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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Pesticides? Not In This Plant

November 10, 2010 3:17 am | Articles | Comments

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. has recently announced that Conserve Italia, a leading company in the agri-food industry in Europe, is using Thermo Scientific GC/MS and LC/MS systems for fast and reliable pesticide analysis of food products. Conserve Italia processes around 650,000 tons of raw materials each year, including fruits, vegetables and tomatoes and provides the European market with finished goods such as fruit juices, canned vegetables and tomato sauces and purees.

Automated System Speeds Up Time

November 8, 2010 10:47 am | Articles | Comments

This article first appeared in the November/December 2010 issue of IMPO . When Automationdirect.com decided to automate its warehouse, it was already operating at 99 percent accuracy. But in order to keep the company’s promise of same-day shipping, the warehouse was requiring more and more personnel.

Helping Manufacturers Navigate CPSIA Compliance

November 8, 2010 10:45 am | by Nick Parnaby is the Founder and Chief Operating Officer at RollStream Inc. | Articles | Comments

For years, standards bodies have worked to develop common vocabularies to help streamline supply and demand chains. However, with recent legislation demanding rapid compliance and costly fines for organizations that fail, a new approach for compliance is required—one that could forever change the way we think about exchanging supply chain information.

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Preventing Incidents With Proper Torque Wrench Handling

November 8, 2010 10:15 am | by Jason Junkers, Director of Operations, Hytorc | Articles | Comments

This article first appeared in the November/December 2010 issue of IMPO . Ask around among people that use hydraulic or pneumatic torque wrenches on the job and, chances are, almost everyone knows someone that has been injured or has experienced an injury themselves. Injuries can range from pinched fingers to broken hands and fingers, or even toxic oil “injections.

Going The Distance With Flexible Freight Solutions

November 8, 2010 6:28 am | Articles | Comments

Chr. Hansen is a leading global supplier of bioscience-based ingredients for the food, health and animal feed industries. On-time delivery of these high-value, time-sensitive ingredients is expected. And, if expectations are unmet, customer relationships hinge on the quick and complete resolution of any issues.

Sweetening The Wastewater

November 5, 2010 11:13 am | by David Delasanta, President, CASTion Corp. | Articles | Comments

Many food and beverage manufacturers produce wastewater that is high in organic content, and must therefore be treated before it is discharged into streams or into the municipal sewer system. Strict regulations protect the environment and the public water treatment systems from being overloaded and degrading the water quality.

An Unrelenting Focus On The Big Picture

November 4, 2010 7:04 am | by Dr. Francois Nader, CEO, NPS Pharmaceuticals | Articles | Comments

The business of bringing new therapeutic products to market is full of challenges.  From high costs and long development trajectories to unanticipated side effects and questions of reimbursement, succeeding in the pharmaceutical industry requires intellectual, scientific, regulatory, and financial acumen.

Japan Readies Its Robotic Workforce

November 4, 2010 6:34 am | Videos | Comments

Japanese researchers have developed a human-like robot to supplement the country's shrinking workforce, as nearly 25 percent of the country's population is over the age of 65. The machine has 34 moving joints, stands almost 5-feet tall, and weighs 85 pounds. According to CBS News , the robots are expected to be used in manufacturing applications, and their mobility will allow them to move around the plant at will.

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How Not To Pour Molten Aluminum

November 3, 2010 9:54 am | Videos | Comments

A group of what appear to be students get an important lesson on safety when dealing with molten metals. Step one: Get a bigger set of tongs. Step two: Wear your face shield, and don't lie about not wearing it to your boss. It's on video. Step three: It's usually better to delete these sorts of things, rather than put them on YouTube.

75 Good Years Of Anti-Competitive Business

November 3, 2010 9:51 am | Videos | Comments

The legendary board game Monopoly turns 75 this year, so CNN visited Hasbro's manufacturing facility to ask the employees why they think the game has been so consistently successful. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

Mike Rowe And The 'War On Work'

November 3, 2010 9:49 am | Videos | Comments

This one's an oldie, but a goodie. Mike Rowe, renowned for his work on Discovery's Dirty Jobs , gives a few anecdotes about some of the work he has been forced to do over the years. And while one of them is particularly cringe-worthy, Mike's message in the end is pretty clear: hard, dirty work is nothing to be ashamed of, and in fact, it's usually the better work.

The State Of Today's U.S. Worker

November 3, 2010 9:48 am | Videos | Comments

Former IBM CEO Lou Gerstner discusses the state of the average U.S. worker in today's globalized tech industry, and how companies who are trying to make their enterprises efficient and global are treating their workforce. Furthermore, Gerstner touches on just how these workers can position themselves for success in this environment.

How To Relieve Back Office Headaches

November 2, 2010 7:11 am | Articles | Comments

A flexible labor management system was just what one plant needed to deal with its industry-specific needs and complex business requirements. A decadently glazed ham for the holidays or a succulent, juicy pork tenderloin served at a dinner party… sounds good, doesn’t it? But what do these delectable treats have to do with time and labor management? A lot, if you’re Dan Norman, Director of Information Systems for  Triumph Foods, LLC , a pork food processing company in Missouri.

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Choosing A Pneumatic Conveying System

November 1, 2010 5:43 am | Articles | Comments

When it comes to understanding pneumatic conveying systems, entire books have been written and many white papers published with diagrams and complicated equations to explain how the process works.  It could be said that designing a pneumatic conveying systems is like operating a sailboat.

Covering All Your Bases With Capital Investment

October 29, 2010 8:01 am | Articles | Comments

A new laser-guided 1,000 amp sub-arc welding facility has been introduced by the T.W. Woods Group to help handle large and challenging pipelines, pressure vessels, cylinders, tanks, and other material handling and metal fabrication tasks in which it specializes. The high speed, high efficiency facility — which delivers crack-free high quality butt welds in thick steel — is part of an ongoing multi-million dollar expansion of the company’s Tomago facility to serve customers in industries including energy, mining, minerals processing, materials handling, metals, manufacturing, process engineering, energy, and water.

RIP, Cassette Walkman?

October 27, 2010 11:46 am | Videos | Comments

RIP, cassette Walkman. Anyone who was alive in the ’80s or ’90s fondly remembers the Sony Walkman, once the world’s smallest cassette player. Of course, the march of technology makes all things obsolete, this gadget included. Sony has recently announced they will discontinue selling the product in most markets.

100 Miles On One Gallon Of Gas

October 27, 2010 11:23 am | Videos | Comments

What’s 830 pounds, can be moved using only one human thumb, and can travel 100 miles using just one gallon of gas? Apparently, the car featured in this video. The Edison 2 is this year’s winner of the Automotive X Prize competition. It’s certainly not a luxury automobile an executive would buy to impress his or her friends and colleagues, but it's a pretty impressive (and efficient) vehicle in its own right.

Richard Branson: 'This Is History'

October 27, 2010 11:15 am | Videos | Comments

Richard Branson, billionaire and adventurous entrepreneur, recently unveiled the runway at what will someday be the world’s first commercial spaceport. While the actual craft that will take aspiring "astronauts" into space isn't quite ready yet, those who have already booked their six-figure ticket are eager to get into the air (and beyond it) some 12 to 18 months from now.

Are Mushrooms The New Plastic?

October 27, 2010 10:58 am | Videos | Comments

Styrofoam is well-known as an environmental disaster, considering that it can stick around for centuries after we throw it out. The problem is, it's relatively cheap to make compared to the alternatives, and it uses easily-procured petroleum. Product designer Eben Bayer reveals his recipe for a new, fungus-based packaging material.

Manufacturers Worried About Absenteeism During Flu Season

October 25, 2010 11:10 am | Articles | Comments

New Survey Finds Support for Hand Hygiene Education & Preventive Measures On the heels of last year’s H1N1 scare, manufacturers are taking a closer look at how to avoid wide-spread workplace absenteeism and productivity declines if faced with another flu pandemic. According to a recent survey conducted by Kimberly-Clark Professional, 87 percent of manufacturing industry professionals polled said they are concerned about declines in productivity at their workplace due to absenteeism or presenteeism related to a flu pandemic.

The Challenges Of Viscous Fluids

October 25, 2010 6:50 am | Articles | Comments

Measuring flow in fluids with viscosities of more than 100 centipoise (cP) requires special consideration by those responsible for operating and maintaining the equipment. In addition to heavy crude, other challenging high-viscosity products include: heavy fuel and lubricating oils, bunker fuels and grease components.

HACCP In The Food Industry

October 22, 2010 12:06 pm | by Lindsey Coblentz, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | Articles | Comments

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is quickly becoming one of the most important issues in the food industry.  Food Manufacturing  spoke with Mike Gay of Rockwell Automation to discuss the latest HACCP technology and trends and how food manufacturers can utilize these tools to improve efficiency, increase cost savings and strengthen product quality control.

ERP: Your Strategic Weapon

October 22, 2010 6:41 am | by Cindy Jutras, Vice-President, Research Fellow & Group Director, Aberdeen Group | Articles | Comments

ERP provides a necessary infrastructure that forms the transactional system of record upon which a business is based, it serves as a source of cost savings and operational improvements, and it streamlines and accelerates business processes. As optimism increases for a worldwide economic recovery, small to mid-size enterprises (SMEs) once again look forward to revenue growth.

New Motivations For Plant Modernization

October 22, 2010 5:03 am | by Luke Simpson, Associate Editor , Chem.Info | Articles | Comments

Pictured is the integrated Bayer site in the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park. In the foreground is the state-of-the-art methylene diphenyl diisocyanate plant. On September 27, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. The 101-page legislation contains a number of provisions designed to free up credit for small businesses and provide incentives for small business job creation.

Pumping Up The Bottom Line

October 21, 2010 12:26 pm | Articles | Comments

For the management of a fiberglass and steel door manufacturer, taking their traditional East Coast manufacturing facility through a three-year Lean manufacturing process in order to re-engineer and improve their practices and workflow turned out to be a profit making investment. In fact, it actually led to additional and more creative income streams.

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