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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Industrial Waste Pool Party

February 3, 2010 9:21 am | Articles | Comments

The wastewater from one of Iceland's geothermal power plants forms the Blue Lagoon, where 300,000 tourists a year go to frolic in the blue-green algae-infested waters. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

Our 'C-Average' Food Safety

February 3, 2010 9:21 am | Articles | Comments

A recent CBS poll has found that only 7 percent of American consumers give our food safety system an “A,” and a majority (34 percent) give it a “C.” And while we have an incredible selection of food available to us, our system seems pretty safe at first glance. In Canada, 33 percent of consumers get sick each year from something they ate.

How To Stop A Toyota

February 3, 2010 9:18 am | Articles | Comments

Have a Toyota? Then you might want to figure out how you stop the darn thing in case your accelerator pedal gets stuck. It’s pretty simple, so check out the video below for CNN's tips on what to do in the rare event, regardless of which kind of vehicle you drive. Better yet — just go get it fixed, and fast.

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Drowning In A Sea Of Jargon

February 3, 2010 9:18 am | Articles | Comments

Ever feel like you’re drowning in a sea of technical jargon, most of which is probably a ploy by some marketing firm to make you think you’re getting your money’s worth?  Well, get ready for the Retro Encabulator device, a new automation solution from Rockwell Automation, which uses six hydrocoptic marzel vanes and an ambifacient lunar wane shaft to prevent unwanted side fumbling.

Increasing Heat Exchanger Performance

February 1, 2010 11:23 am | by Nwaoha Chikezie | Articles | Comments

Heat exchangers are typically employed in the process industries as a means of providing heat transfer between two streams of fluid across a medium. The heat exchanger ensures the conservation of heat energy otherwise known as heat economic operations. They are designed to foster contact between materials in a conduit network, with one material exchanging heat and the other material flowing within the network either counter-currently or co-currently.

How Modular Conveyors Can Reduce Costs

January 29, 2010 10:30 am | Articles | Comments

From the smallest manufacturing plant that employs manual methods to create their product to the most elaborately automated plant where conveyors dominate floor space, the majority of manufacturers have at least one conveyor in their plant. Whether it’s a single conveyor employed to take away product from a packaging machine, or the transportation system that connects all areas of a plant, conveyors, like the tires on a vehicle, are often the least thought about component in a processing line.

Food Industry — We Have A Problem

January 28, 2010 7:41 am | by John G. Surak, American Society For Quality | Articles | Comments

The American Society for Quality (ASQ) conducted a survey on Food Safety (ASQ, 2009) revealing 93 percent of adults say food manufacturers, growers or suppliers should be held legally responsible when individuals are fatally sickened by tainted food. Other findings included:  61 percent of U.

The Beauty Of CNC Machining

January 27, 2010 8:29 am | Articles | Comments

A lot of people see manufacturing as a dark, dirty business. Too bad they don’t know the whole truth, but this video could help spread the good word. It has all the design aesthetics of a product from Apple combined with the whole “getting work done” thing that we’re used to in manufacturing.

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Why Cap-And-Trade Won't Work, Environmentally

January 27, 2010 8:29 am | Articles | Comments

Dr. James Hansen, a leading climatologist, thinks cap-and-trade won’t work, at least from an environmental standpoint. While many manufacturers are against a cap-and-trade system for the damage it could cause to their manufacturing capacity, Dr. Hansen points out that with carbon offsets, a tree planted in one place means a tree cut down somewhere else, and a puff of pollution saved from one plant is another puff some another.

The 225,000 Lb. Injection Molder

January 27, 2010 8:27 am | Articles | Comments

Sometimes a big job calls for an even bigger machine. Well, that’s what happened when this manufacturer needed to do some injection molding on a massive scale. The 225,000 pound hydraulic toggle injection molding system is one of the biggest in the U.S. It’s impressive to see how it all comes together.

The 'Augmented' Future Of Maintenance

January 27, 2010 8:25 am | Articles | Comments

In an ideal world, your maintenance professionals know how to work on every piece of equipment in your facility. But sometimes that just can’t happen, especially considering how complex some of the machines can be. But with augmented reality — a type of virtual reality data that is embedded into a worker’s vision using special glasses or displays — could help anyone with a screwdriver and a tinkering aptitude perform many of the complex maintenance work that’s usually left to specifically-trained professionals.

Dear Governor, Can Detroit Survive?

January 27, 2010 8:23 am | Articles | Comments

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm sits down with TIME to answer some reader questions regarding her state, and more specifically, what is going to happen to Detroit in the coming years. One reader asks: “Will Detroit ever really recover, in your honest opinion?” As Gov. Granholm says, Michigan is chock-full of hard workers and intelligent engineers who can do more than just make cars.

Ultrasonic Tank Testing a Resounding Success

January 26, 2010 7:46 am | Articles | Comments

SGS Colombia S.A. was awarded the contract to perform storage tank inspections for the expansion of the Cartagena Refinery. All inspection services were performed in accordance with applicable Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) requirements. The storage of dangerous goods in tanks involves risk to the population, the environment, and the surrounding area, and must therefore be executed safely.

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Biofuel 'Pests' Key to Energy Conversion & Storage

January 25, 2010 8:06 am | Articles | Comments

In South Dakota,  news that researchers have discovered that an obscure but fast-growing moth species  has a potentially destructive appetite for switchgrass, raises a question. Is the appearance of this destructive pest good news or bad news? Generally,  pests and invasive species are considered very, very bad news .

Automated Manufacturing System Quadruples Production

January 25, 2010 8:05 am | Articles | Comments

Research Products Company, headquartered in Salina, Kansas, manufactures food additives for the baking and grain milling industries. Products include flour bleaching and maturing services, vitamin and mineral premixes, and others that help the company’s customers create nutritious food for their consumers.

How To Move A Super Duty

January 20, 2010 4:37 am | Articles | Comments

Have you ever needed to move your huge truck around the garage, but couldn’t do it yourself? Maybe your two small daughters are there to help out. Well, with the AeroGo Air Casters, your kids can put themselves to good use, moving that couple thousand pound Super Duty around like it’s a hockey puck.

The Irradiated Truth

January 20, 2010 4:36 am | Articles | Comments

When people hear their food is often “irradiated,” they think of nuclear fallout, or something equally unappetizing. The debate over the mertis of irradiation, including its safety, has raged on for years. Listen to one side of the story, from Sadex Corporation, out of Sioux City, Iowa.

Sheep + LEDs = Art?

January 20, 2010 4:36 am | Articles | Comments

The Mythbusters aren’t the only ones who can recreate the “Mona Lisa” with unconventional means. A group of shepherds from Wales got together (with a little help from Samsung… shh!) to outfit their herd with coats of LED lights, and set them loose, relatively speaking, at nightfall.

Extreme Maintenance: Methane Reactor Repair

January 20, 2010 4:35 am | Articles | Comments

Doing maintenance work on a methane tank is no simple task. Add to that a wet suit, some oxygen tanks, and a disturbing, 35°C sludge. If there was ever a video on why not to become a commercial diver, this is it. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

The 80 Millisecond Mona Lisa

January 20, 2010 4:35 am | Articles | Comments

Adam and Jamie (of Mythbusters fame) were asked by Nvidia, manufacturer of graphics processing units (GPUs), to build a machine that demonstrates the power of parallel processing found in their chips. To prove this power, they built the Leonardo 2.0 the only way the Mythbusters know—far, far over the top—and sought to remake the “Mona Lisa” with modern technology.

Benefits Of Real-Time Traceability, Cradle-To-Grave

January 18, 2010 6:27 am | by Linda Bryan, CEO, Tamlin Software | Articles | Comments

Manufacturing companies are increasingly under more pressure to be compliant. Whether mandated by the government, customers, third-party auditors or quality standards such as ISO, companies must prove their ability to track and trace inventory, goods and other items in order to remain compliant and competitive in the local and global marketplace.

A New Era of Loading Dock Safety

January 18, 2010 6:20 am | by Michael Brittingham, manager, 4Front Engineered Solutions | Articles | Comments

For years the focus on the loading dock has been on two issues — stopping energy loss and dock accident protection. With rising concerns about product quality, processing plant management has a new question to ask — how well does the dock protect against the invasion of airborne contaminants? According to Bruce Paulson with Evapco, Inc.

Automation As An Investment

January 15, 2010 7:30 am | by Paul J. Galeski, Maverick Technologies | Articles | Comments

As every business executive knows all too well, high-return, low-risk investments are hard — if not impossible — to find these days. The economy continues to look uncertain at best, with the stock market having reached its lowest level in many years and numerous companies declaring bankruptcy, including American icons like General Motors and Chrysler.

The Benefits of Deploying AC Drives

January 15, 2010 7:06 am | by Jacob Kimball, AC Drives Product Specialist, Schneider Electric | Articles | Comments

Variable speed AC drives are crucial in food and beverage manufacturing to improve energy efficiency, but that's just the beginning. For example, predictive downtime capabilities built into an AC drive reduce process downtime potential. This benefit can help avoid missed deadlines and product spoilage, while increasing cost savings.

Wireless Marches On...

January 15, 2010 7:06 am | by Bob Karschnia, Vice President of Wireless, Emerson Process Management | Articles | Comments

The use of wireless technology to reduce engineering and construction costs while increasing productivity is being realized by more and more chemical companies. In that vein, Emerson has added a number of new products and solutions, including full redundancy, which enables further wireless adoption for control and critical monitoring applications.

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