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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

'Mystery At The Factory' — In Lego

September 16, 2009 6:22 am | Articles | Comments

How often does this happen at your facility? You know, when flowers and zombies start coming down your conveyors? Well, in the hyper-colored world of Lego, it happens all too often. This riveting film chronicles the plight of a plant worker as he attempts to sort out the mysteries of his conveyor belt under the supervision of a unique manager.

Double Decker Racing

September 10, 2009 5:13 am | by Top Gear | Articles | Comments

Top Gear's crew heads to the mainland to take on their German counterparts in a no-holds-barred car race. The only problem? They're racing home-made double decker cars. The driver on top controls the steering, while the bottom participant navigates the throttle, brake, and gearbox.

SUV-Sized Engines

September 10, 2009 5:11 am | by Caterpillar Inc | Articles | Comments

Caterpillar, along with MaK, creates massive marine engines for cruise ships and other large boats at this manufacturing facility in Germany. Watch how these incredible machines are built with the same precision and delicacy you would see in a car's engine.

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Shades Of Green

September 10, 2009 5:07 am | by Faro Technologies and Discovery | Articles | Comments

The Discovery Channel has recently featured FARO technologies in a documentary entitled "Shades of Green," a behind-the-scenes look at how those massive turbines progress from design and engineering to manufacturing.

Robots With A Taste For Flesh

September 10, 2009 5:00 am | by New Scientist | Articles | Comments

James Auger, at the Royal College of Art in London, has built a series of furniture that do a little more than decorate your home. A table that eats mice? Yes, it's true. A fuel cell hidden inside the table can decompose a trapped mouse and generate enough electricity to not only power a table-top display, but also capture the next sorry rodent.

Forklift Safety: 16 and Paralyzed

September 10, 2009 4:53 am | by Work Safe BC | Articles | Comments

John Higgins was a regular 16-year-old who found a good-paying job, and was eager to help most anyone around the workplace. All was well, up until a simple mistake — along with improper forklift training — led to an accident that left John with a broken back and without a kidney.

BMW's Prius-Crushing 'Vision'

September 3, 2009 5:25 am | Articles | Comments

The new BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept was introduced this week, featuring a hybrid drive system that pushes current technology to the limit. Forget the Prius — this hybrid even absorbs excess heat from the exhaust system to recharge the battery — and will get you to 60 twice as fast.

Hybrid Hogs

September 3, 2009 4:31 am | Articles | Comments

While already controversial for cars — see the numerous YouTube videos praising and equally debunking this hydrogen technology — some bikers have decided to adapt the technology to their Harley-Davidson rides. However controversial, these riders are trying something new and innovative, trying to push the boundaries of what the public thinks is possible with a traditional gasoline engine.

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When 'Rapid' Isn't Fast Enough

September 3, 2009 4:25 am | Articles | Comments

Via IET Faraday . A process of rapid manufacturing developed at Loughborough University is being used by a Ph.D student to create custom outsoles for a sprinter's particular biomechanical movement, allowing them to harness their full potential.

A P.U.M.A. Without The Bite

September 3, 2009 4:17 am | Articles | Comments

Check out the Project P.U.M.A — the result of a collaboration betweeen GM and Segway. This self-balancing vehicle blurs the boundaries between cars and bikes to create a product that, according to the company, "values less over more; taking up less space, using less energy, produced more efficiently with fewer parts, creating fewer emissions during production and operation, all while offering more enjoyment, productivity, and connectivity.

Keep It Simple, Build It Strong

September 2, 2009 12:33 pm | Articles | Comments

Via www.op2iowa.com . The regional economic development group of Southern Iowa, Opportunity2, in collaboration with the region's Manufacturers Consortium has developed an Advanced Manufacturing video that showcases the great employment opportunities available in southern Iowa's manufacturing industries.

Squeaky Clean With Hotsy

September 2, 2009 12:24 pm | Articles | Comments

Hotsy's integrated wash bay systems are simple, intuitive, and will help save time at any facility that cleans trucks or other heavy equipment. Featuring a remote control box to control each function of the washer, users won't have to constantly walk back and worth — while wasting water and time — to turn the machine on and off.

"Don't Walk On By"

September 2, 2009 12:21 pm | Articles | Comments

If you're the type to just "walk on by" the plant safety hazards that seem to be unimportant at first glance, then maybe this music video is for you.

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When Robot Programmers Get Bored

August 27, 2009 4:12 am | Articles | Comments

Thrill-seeking robot programmers, that is. IMPO's editorial staff, of course, does not condone such obviously dangerous — albeit fun-looking — creativity.

Manufacturing Innovation From BMW

August 26, 2009 12:30 pm | Articles | Comments

Take a look inside BMW's Berlin plant, where they produce motorcycles for consumers around the world. An incredible combination of technology, robotics, and human innovation help keep this 2,000-person plant churning out BMW's beloved two-wheeled masterpieces.

Introduction to Lean Manufacturing

August 26, 2009 12:18 pm | Articles | Comments

In this video from Gemba Academy, the history of “lean manufacturing” is dissected and presented in a simple, easy-to-follow manner. While the subject is usually, and ironically, obscured with buzzwords and unnecessary details, this video would be an excellent first base for a new employee or someone just arriving in the manufacturing field.

Hop On The 10-Seater Harley

August 26, 2009 12:10 pm | Articles | Comments

Steve "Doc" Hopkins had the opportunity to show off his design and technical chops with this 10-seater Harley-Davidson motorcycle, which he claims represents a “timeline” of Harley history, at the Sturgis rally in 2009. See how the Wisconsin native is pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the customization-heavy Harley culture, however bizarre his latest creation.

I Didn't Mean To Burst Your Bubble

August 26, 2009 12:04 pm | Articles | Comments

“How It's Made” takes you inside a bubble gum manufacturing plant. See how the process begins, as plastics and rubbers are combined with flavor and glucose syrup, and ends up as the confectioner's delight we all know and love. Did you know that bubble gum's traditionally pink flavor originated because the inventor had only that color on hand?

Unit Load AS/RS Acts As A Temporary Buffer

August 19, 2009 11:42 am | Articles | Comments

This automated storage and retrieval system at the Cox Target Media Valpak facility has two storage retrieval machines and is configured to hold both full and empty print rolls. Rolls are delivered and removed from the AS/RS by automatic guided vehicles (AGVs).

'Extract' Draws Out Manufacturing Humor

August 19, 2009 11:38 am | Articles | Comments

Mike Judge, creator of Office Space , returns with Extract , a film about the owner of a food manufacturing plant. Starring Jason Bateman as the plant operator and Ben Affleck as a local bartender. If nothing else, the film will no doubt thoroughly tackle the important issues of employee relations, co-worker romance, and the various safety hazards presented to male workers.

The Chinese Steel Steal

August 19, 2009 11:19 am | by OurFuture.org | Articles | Comments

China has created a larger steel-manufacturing infrastructure in the last four years than the US has in existence. Scott Paul, executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, explains how Chinese steel manufacturers are able to undercut American producers for lesser-quality product.

Microsoft: Future Manufacturing Will Be Beautiful, Seamless

August 19, 2009 11:11 am | Articles | Comments

Microsoft's Future Vision: Someday, the manufacturing of old will be gone, and in its place will be 21st century innovation in order to create a seamless transition from design, to prototyping, to manufacturing, and finally the showroom floor. While most of these technologies are within our grasp, it will take an enormous effort to push old infrastructures into a new age.

Ramen-Making Robots Kick Chefs To The Curb

August 19, 2009 11:09 am | by ITN News | Articles | Comments

High-tech robots mix and match a seeemingly-endless flavor selection of Ramen noodles at a restaurant in Japan. The owner-designer claims his robots are more efficient and accurate than their human counterparts. Could these automated food connoisseurs be the next revolution in food preparation? The American equivalent — hamburgers and french fries — might be the next target for restauranteers looking to save a buck.

Inside GM's Electrifying 2011 Chevrolet Volt

August 13, 2009 5:54 am | by MyRideVideos | Articles | Comments

The 2011 Chevrolet Volt represents a direction for GM, and maybe you guessed by the name, one that is focused on electricity. In fact, although technically a hybrid, the Chevy Volt uses only electric power to move the wheels. For trips up to 40 miles, the Volt is powered by electricity stored in its lithium-ion battery.

Yes, It Could Even Scan And Print Jay's Chin

August 13, 2009 4:28 am | Articles | Comments

NextEngine's 3D Scanner — Everything you need to scan and digitize 3D models at a reasonable price. Made in America. Via Jay's Garage . See why 3D scanning and rapid prototyping could change the game for hobbyists, restoration specialists, and even the most mainstream of manufacturers.

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