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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Material Disclosure Best Practices

June 3, 2010 11:54 am | Articles | Comments

Are there toxic chemicals in the charm bracelet I bought for my daughter? Is there lead in this paint? These days, manufacturers and suppliers must disclose materials information to regulatory agencies and, often, to the public. The process is appropriately called material disclosure, and regulatory compliance depends on it.

The Brainstorm: Total Cost Of Ownership

June 3, 2010 7:18 am | Articles | Comments

What factors do you consider when calculating Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) before you make a significant equipment purchase? Russ Holmer, President,  Haumiller Engineering To get the most value out of your automated assembly machine, looking at total cost of ownership (TCO) is a must.

Building The Audi R8 Spyder

June 2, 2010 9:41 am | Articles | Comments

Building a car like the Audi R8 Spyder takes a lot of hard work, patience, and hand-built labor. No wonder the end product is so stunning. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department. Have any comments or questions about our Thursday video editions of IMPO Insider? Or do you have a video you'd like to see featured in one of our deployments? Email me at Joel.


Living The Plastic-Free Life

June 2, 2010 7:44 am | Articles | Comments

According to CNN , Americans use enough plastic in a year to shrink wrap Texas. Enter Jean Haegele, who wanted to live her life plastic-free. Two-and-a-half years later, she's almost there, going to extremes to keep plastic out of her life, including baking her own bread and making cinnamon toothpaste (with vodka).

No One Plays With Marbles Anymore

June 2, 2010 7:43 am | Articles | Comments

Marbles might not be as popular as they once used to be, but that doesn't mean many of us don't have fond memories of playing with them as kids. Even though marble production largely occurs outside the U.S. these days, we can still see how the colorful glass spheres are made. Like much of manufacturing, it takes an artistry that not anyone can achieve.

The Diet-Coke-And-Mentos Car

June 2, 2010 7:42 am | Articles | Comments

The guys who made the Diet Coke and Mentos reaction a worldwide phenomenon are at it again: they built a "car" powered on the explosive mixture alone. Will we forget about electric cars in favor of this contraption? Probably not. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

Not Your Ordinary Labels

June 1, 2010 11:05 am | by Del Williams | Articles | Comments

For the chemical industry, POD printing of labels reduces lead times, improves supply chain managment, equates to shorter run lengths and minimal stock holding, and satisfied the requirements of variable data and other last-minute changes. In the chemical industry, simple adhesive labels are anything but simple.

We Are On Fire Right Now

June 1, 2010 4:34 am | by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D | Articles | Comments

In the latest PD&D Fireside Chat, Heppelmann discusses how working on a dairy farm influenced his work ethic today; why he launched Windchill Technology — and later sold it to PTC; why entrepreneurs die; Rolex watches; the future of PLM technology; the things that keep him up at night, and more.


A Chance To LEED The Green Revolution

May 27, 2010 11:49 am | by Krystal Gabert, Editor, Food Manufacturing | Articles | Comments

Innovative manufacturers have the opportunity to pave a greener path for the industry. As consumer attention turns more toward environmental stewardship, LEED certification is emerging as a growing trend in building design and engineering. At the close of 2009, there were 4,286 LEED certified projects — and only 39 of them were in manufacturing facilities.

Choosing A Process Automation System

May 27, 2010 9:59 am | Articles | Comments

It started as a modest dream among three friends. Recently, the vision became reality with the opening of Green Planet Farms — a $40 million, 195,000 square-foot soy protein isolate (SPI) manufacturing facility in South Sioux City, Neb. As an ingredient manufacturer, Green Planet Farms’ main focus is to serve organic and non-genetically modified protein isolates to food and beverage producers worldwide.

Manufacturing A Bigger Truck

May 26, 2010 7:26 am | Articles | Comments

If you’re in need of a massive truck at your facility, maybe the new Chevy Silverado is your best bet. Production started on Monday, and we get a sneak peek into some of the new manufacturing processes that promise to make this year's version the best yet. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

Spider-Like Robots Boogie Down

May 26, 2010 7:21 am | Articles | Comments

If you’re looking to see some hexapod robots boogie, or at least listen to some tedious electronic music, look no further. I’ll be honest — some of these robots have moves I’m pretty jealous of. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

J&J CEO: We're Sorry For Bad Products, Recalls

May 26, 2010 7:19 am | Articles | Comments

Johnson & Johnson has been under fire recently for a spate of poorly-manufactured products, and like other major companies mired recalls, the pharmaceutical giant is working hard to restore its image. Bill Wheldon, J&J's CEO, apologizes for the failure to see its manufacturing practices falter, and for the workers themselves who did not follow GMP.


Oil Regulators Took Bribes, Did Drugs On The Job

May 26, 2010 7:16 am | Articles | Comments

More evidence comes to light that our federal oil regulators were doing their jobs, and then some: CNN reports that some of these "watchdogs," so to speak, took company gifts and used government computers to watch pornography while they were supposed to be working. One even dabbled in drugs, partaking in crystal meth while on the job.

Energy-Efficient CNC Machining

May 25, 2010 11:23 am | by Jack Lundee | Articles | Comments

With heavy development of prototypes and the never-slowing business-to-business construction/adaptation of plastic, metals, and wood, laser sintering and stereolithography  have become widely energy efficient. These large machines have rapidly become greener by yielding the same, if not better ouput.

Building Faster Retractable Conveyors

May 24, 2010 6:32 am | Articles | Comments

Retractable conveyor systems are used in many industries, but most often in food and pharmaceutical. The determining factor in the performance of these systems is speed.  The sytem comprises transpositors, shuttles, dealers and reciprocators, which can be thought of as: Dealers deal out rows of products.

Battle Bots Educate Youth On Manufacturing, Engineering

May 24, 2010 6:24 am | by Pamela Kan, President, Bishop-Wisecarver Corporation | Articles | Comments

I first learned about the FIRST program while traveling with one of my salesmen. We called on several companies where somewhere within the course of the meeting one of the engineers would reveal their involvement as a mentor in a group called FIRST . I realize now that these mentors during the time of the competition are extremely dedicated and devote many hours to their teams and probably think of little else.

Capital Investment Makes Manufacturing RVs A Plush Ride

May 21, 2010 5:39 am | Articles | Comments

Advanced Machine & Engineering Co., (AME) offers its line of Amlok® cylinder rod locks for a variety of applications in myriad industries. One recent installation is on the worker lift platforms at a major RV manufacturer in the Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana area, home to that industry’s leading producers of motor homes, fifth wheel campers, trailers, and other vehicles.

When The Little Things Matter A Lot

May 20, 2010 10:58 am | Articles | Comments

Pharma Tech Industries (PTI), a contract manufacturer and packer of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and personal care products, is focused on exceeding customers’ expectations. To consistently achieve their high quality standards, they rely on x-ray and metal detection systems from Mettler-Toledo Safeline and checkweighers from Mettler-Toledo Hi-Speed.

New Mexico Shines Brightly For Solar Manufacturers

May 19, 2010 7:37 am | Articles | Comments

While New Mexico is facing a tough economy like anyone else, they have the advantage of more than 300 days of sunshine every year. Gov. Bill Richardson is pushing hard to bring more solar manufacturers into his state, all with the hope of becoming the nation's capitol for the green technology. 2,500 new jobs have already been created, and everyone is hopeful for more.

Turning The Tide

May 19, 2010 7:32 am | Articles | Comments

Unlike the wind or the sun, our ocean's tides are reliable like clockwork. That's why South Korea has decided to build what will become the world's largest tidal power plant, which is projected to power up to half a million homes. The massive turbines certainly look more menacing than the white windmills that have been popping up around the U.

Top 10 Things Overheard At BP

May 19, 2010 7:30 am | Articles | Comments

"Tell everyone it's our free oil giveaway bonanza." If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department. Have any comments or questions about our Thursday video editions of IMPO Insider? Or do you have a video you'd like to see featured in one of our deployments? Email me at Joel.

Building A Duct Tape Bridge

May 19, 2010 7:30 am | Articles | Comments

Duct tape can fix anything, right? It's used by maintenance professionals, in one form or another, on countless jobs. But can it be used to build something, too? Jamie and Adam of Mythbusters fame once again do the impossible—they build a 100-foot bridge entirely out of the sticky stuff. Does it work? Do one of the Mythbusters fall to a sticky death? Watch the video to find out.

Reduce Your Shrinkage

May 13, 2010 9:53 am | Articles | Comments

Seeing 250,000 pounds of product go to waste each year can bring a tear to any company’s eye. For powdered food processor Allied Blending & Ingredients, Inc., (Keokuk, IA) there was little comfort in knowing that product shrinkage on this order — one percent — is actually the industry norm when handling 25 million pounds of ingredients each year.

Turning Gas Cylinders Into Missiles

May 12, 2010 8:50 am | Articles | Comments

You probably have a number of cylinders laying around your plant, whether they're used for welding or other compressed gasses, but if not cared for delicately, they could become a serious safety hazrard. Flammability aside, a malfunction or breakage of the cylinder's cap could lead to a massive discharge.

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