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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

The iPad — Will It Blend?

April 7, 2010 11:06 am | Articles | Comments

A tragedy? For many, absolutely. Amusing? At IMPO , we like to see product destruction in all its forms, whether or not it involves a highly-coveted new gadget. The people at Blendtec certainly seem to share that passion. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

A Meat-Flavored Cocktail

April 7, 2010 10:48 am | Articles | Comments

At the end of a long day at work, sometimes the one thing that hits the spot is a nice drink. Whether it’s a bottle of Bud Light or some expensive scotch, we all have our favorites. Well, have you thought about meat-infused whiskey? One “mixologist” has. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

Eliminating Moisture In Electrical Cabinets

April 7, 2010 4:35 am | by David J.Connaughton, Parker Hannifin Corporation, Filtration and Separation Division | Articles | Comments

Moisture in electrical cabinets, control panels and motor compartments can affect plant efficiency and product quality, leading to significant downtime and expensive repairs. This is especially critical in food processing industries, since moisture can lead to mold and/or bacterial growth and create regulatory concerns.

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Green Ideas In Motion

April 6, 2010 4:46 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.

Stretch Wrapping Technology Reduces Line Stoppages

April 2, 2010 9:14 am | Articles | Comments

In 2008, Buffalo Rock Company—a private, family-owned Pepsi and Cadbury Schweppes bottler—had the opportunity to test Lantech's patent-pending No Film Break stretch wrapping machine. The company jumped at the offer. "We were already planning to buy an equivalent Lantech rotary-arm machine—without No Film Break—and determined this alpha machine trial was low risk to us, with the manufacturer standing behind it and able to monitor its performance through an on-line connection," says George Garrison, general manager of manufacturing at Buffalo Rock.

Chocolate Potpourri Finds Sweet Solution

April 1, 2010 10:54 am | Articles | Comments

After experiencing operational inefficiencies, candy store truffle manufacturer Chocolate Potpourri, sought out an affordable ERP solution that offered a single, integrated database providing up-to-the minute, real-time data for manufacturing, distribution and accounting purposes.

Increasing Motor Efficiency With Power Factor Control

April 1, 2010 7:26 am | by Mark Steinmetz, Field Applications Engineer VincoTech GmbH | Articles | Comments

“Global warming, carbon footprint, and energy efficiency” are becoming mantras for the industrial manufacturing sector. With energy costs constantly rising leading to increased overhead costs, the need to use electrical energy in a more efficient manner by reducing the amount is at the fundamental basis of this crisis.

GM Commited To Electric Technology

March 31, 2010 11:18 am | Articles | Comments

CNNMoney reporter Poppy Harlow speaks to Bob Lutz, vice chairman of GM, about the upcoming Chevrolet Volt, and why it's such a revolutionary product for the company. Lutz says the Volt is the car he's most proud of in all his automaking years, considering the brand new and "very expensive" technology that has been mated together within the chassis.

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Making A World Cup-Worthy Ball

March 31, 2010 6:56 am | Articles | Comments

Eagerly waiting for the 2010 World Cup to start in June? If you're an American, that's not likely. I suppose we just don‘t understand fútbol as well as the rest of the world. Whether you prefer good ‘ol American football, or the more global version, you can still appreciate the extensive and precise manufacturing process that goes into making official game balls.

Jay Leno's 1909 Electric Car

March 31, 2010 6:55 am | Articles | Comments

The automotive industry is all a-flutter with electric cars, but the technology is nothing new. Jay Leno is the proud owner of a 1909 Baker Electric, a fully-electric car that's was certainly ahead of the game. With a range of almost a hundred miles, the Baker could outlast even some of the modern offerings, albeit at a top speed of 22 miles per hour.

Under Pressure, Kraft Slashes Salt

March 31, 2010 6:54 am | Articles | Comments

Kraft, the nation’s largest food maker, has promised to cut 10 percent of the sodium from its portfolio of foods. A ten percent cut doesn’t seem like a whole lot, until you consider how big a piece of the pie it really is: 10 million pounds. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

Kicking The Fossil Fuel Habit

March 31, 2010 6:51 am | Articles | Comments

Tom Rand — the engineer, venture capitalist, and self-appointed “philosopher” — thinks the world has every technology and resource it needs to break the bonds of fossil fuels. Why is that so important? Regardless of your stance on global warming, these green technologies can help any manufacturing facility save money.

Finding Those Golden Production Nuggets

March 30, 2010 9:49 am | by Herb Lichtenberg, Senior VP Practice Director for Production | Articles | Comments

Whistles are blowing, phones are ringing and people are scrambling all over the factory floor. There has just been a major equipment breakdown and it looks like it will take days to fix and get the plant running again. Just think of the lost production, the late orders and the unhappy customers.

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Getting Smart About Dust

March 30, 2010 4:12 am | Articles | Comments

Bell, California — 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.

The 'Price Is Right' For Economic Recovery

March 26, 2010 10:28 am | by Amanda Earing, News Editor | Articles | Comments

Manufacturing.net sat down with Doug Fuehne, VP, Professional Services of PROS Pricing Software Solutions to talk about how manufacturers can improve their pricing strategies and come out ahead as the economy turns around. To get right to it, the five pricing strategies Fuehne suggests will help you come out ahead in the economic recovery: Identify underperformers.

Wake Up And Smell The SCADA System

March 25, 2010 7:39 am | Articles | Comments

For many years, Lavazza’s primary purpose has been to bring the aroma and quality of Italian espresso coffee to the world. Luigi Lavazza invented the concept of blending coffee from various sources to yield a savory blend in the early 1900s. Since then the company has built up more than a century of experience while pursuing its twin aims of excellence and innovation.

Stay Away From The Toxic Sprite

March 25, 2010 4:47 am | Articles | Comments

Coca-Cola has recently come under fire for an incident in China, where a large batch of Sprite was found to be contaminated with high levels of mercury. After consuming a can of the contaminated product, one man vomited up the small pieces of mercury, and others were hospitalized for poisoning. While some accuse Coca-Cola of bad manufacturing practices, others claim the product was intentionally poisoned to affect Sprite’s reputation.

Man On Moped vs. Pressure Washer

March 24, 2010 11:32 am | Articles | Comments

Hotsy has hired once-retired stuntman Courageous Carl Payne to demonstrate the power of their pressure washers. Check out the video to see the result of the man-and-moped vs. machine showdown. As if you needed any reminder, industrial pressure washers are extremely dangerous if not used correctly, or if shot at stuntmen, however willing they may be.

India's Electrified Automotive Industry

March 24, 2010 11:24 am | Articles | Comments

In India, sometimes smaller is better. Especially when it’s electric, too. That’s why the manufacturer of the Reva, the newest competitor in the burgeoning marketplace, is hoping India’s traffic woes will become easier, quieter, and more environmentally-friendly. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

China Scares, Alienates Foreign Companies

March 24, 2010 11:10 am | Articles | Comments

Companies doing business in China are experiencing a growing uneasiness, including feeling as though they are unwelcome among local brands. A recent survey found that 38 percent of companies are concerned about their Chinese-based business, a 12-point increase since December of last year, a mere three months ago.

Running Cars On Old Beer

March 24, 2010 11:07 am | Articles | Comments

The E-Fuel MicroFueler consists of a simple idea: bring ethanol production to the residential level. The MicroFueler is a 250-gallon tank, with an attached fuel pump just like the ones you would find at the local Shell station, which converts organic feedstock into pure ethanol. Chances are you have some old, skunky beer or a bottle of red wine that’s aged a little past its prime.

Cover Your Bases When Combating Combustible Dust

March 24, 2010 10:31 am | by Jon A. Barrett, Business Development Specialist, Interior Maintenance Company, Inc. and Paul R. Miller, General Manager, Nilfisk CFM | Articles | Comments

Combustible dust is fine particulate generated from products such as wood, metals, grains, chemicals, plastics, paper, and more. Manufacturers often pulverize, mill, grind, crush, macerate, and cut this bulk product, which in turn generates dust that settles on equipment and facility structure surfaces.

Hazardous Chemical Control Is Turning Green

March 24, 2010 5:57 am | by Art Stevens for Justrite Mfg. | Articles | Comments

A recent Google search revealed 290 million hits on “economy,” compared to 405 million on “environment.” Even a cursory review of the annual reports of publicly traded companies reveals goal after goal related to the environment. Why? Not only do both federal and state legislation incentivize these efforts, but also regulatory statements mandate compliance.

Tube Bending Cell Changes Production Of Heat Exchanger Elements

March 24, 2010 5:46 am | Articles | Comments

RathGibson is a leading provider of precision engineered stainless steel, nickel, and titanium welded, welded and drawn, and seamless straight lengths, coil, and U-bend tubing to a wide variety of markets such as chemical, petrochemical, power generation, oil and gas, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, medical, biotechnology, and general commercial.

Overcoming Jelly Belly Aches

March 23, 2010 11:26 am | by Karen Langhauser, Editor-In-Chief, Food Manufacturing | Articles | Comments

Requests from overseas customers started almost immediately after it became known in 1980 that President-elect Ronald Reagan adored the jelly beans made by the Herman Goelitz Candy Company. Jelly Belly® jelly beans were different from the standard penny store jellies, instead manufactured through a meticulous process, with intense and unusual flavors in the candy shell as well as inside of the bean, using natural ingredients for flavoring.

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