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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Instructional How To Lose Your Job

November 19, 2009 3:34 am | Videos | Comments

Full disclosure up front: remarkably, no one was hurt in this incident. And that's why forklifts have cabs. That said, this warehouse worker takes his forklift driving a little to vigorously, and has a little mishap with some shelves absolutely filled with bottles of vodka. In his defense, I don't think good steel is supposed to bend over like a twig as these shelves did.

Apple Industrial Designer: We're Cool, You're Not

November 19, 2009 3:21 am | Articles | Comments

Apple computers are well-recognized around the world, despite having a small market share in comparison to the plethora of Windows-based computers from manufacturers such as Dell, HP, Sony, and countless others. So, what makes people tick when they get an iPod or a MacBook in their hands? Easy: industrial design.

Head Of U.S. Military Celebrates Wisconsin Trucks

November 18, 2009 6:50 am | Articles | Comments

Last week, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Corp. to check out the production of the company's M-ATVs, which are currently being used in Iraq and Afghanistan. Take a peek at Gates' speech to the workers who build the trucks on a daily basis, and why they're so important to the military.

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Keep Tabs On Consumables Consumption

November 12, 2009 6:54 am | Articles | Comments

Lakeshore Technologies processes ingredients for the food and pharmaceutical industries, serving customers such as Cadbury, Schweppes, Kellogg’s, Pfizer, and Ocean Spray. Their facility in Lakeshore, Michigan spans 75,000 sq. ft., with 7-8 employees per shift. Like many companies that don’t have a dedicated inventory control manager, they found it difficult to keep their stock in balance, opting to over-stock inventory rather than risk stock-outs.

The Gassier Side Of Paper Manufacturing

November 11, 2009 10:36 am | Articles | Comments

Sometimes we forget about the — ahem — gassier side of paper manufacturing. But creating paper from recycled sources, instead of virgin fibers, can spare us all from a whole lot of methane. 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.

The Ups And Downs Of 'Coal Country'

November 11, 2009 10:30 am | Articles | Comments

It's undeniable: coal mining is a dirty but absolutely necessary business. In this trailer from the documentary " Coal Country ," we can get a glimpse into the endless battles between anti-coal activists, residents, and the workers that make our modern lifestyles possible. The results are explosive and powerful.

ABB Robots Waltzing With Fanta Cans

November 11, 2009 10:19 am | Articles | Comments

ABB industrial robots are known for their stellar motion control, but this is a little bit crazy. Check out how the company has pushed their previous Fanta test to a whole new level. It's like a high school dance — no touching allowed! 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.

TIME's Best Invention Of 2009: NASA's Ares I Rocket

November 11, 2009 9:36 am | Articles | Comments

TIME Magazine has pegged the Ares I rocket, NASA's newest endeavor into space travel, as the greatest invention of 2009. Although the rocket is not yet ready to carry humans back to the moon and all the way to Mars, the October 28 launch proved that the upgraded system is on its way to being the next best hope in stellar travel.

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Do You Like Your Chips Green?

November 11, 2009 5:25 am | Articles | Comments

Kettle Foods, based in Beloit, Wis., has used precast concrete walls, wind turbines, and native prairie grasses to help make the greenest food manufacturing plant in the U.S. See why Kettle chose to place such an emphasis on sustainability, and how they're reaping the benefits. 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.

Cleaning With Dry Ice

November 11, 2009 3:22 am | Articles | Comments

Incorporated in 1852, Ghirardelli Chocolate Company is a manufacturer and marketer of premium chocolates and chocolate products. Ghirardelli controls the entire chocolate manufacturing process, from cocoa bean to finished product. This control over the manufacturing process combined with Ghirardelli’s proprietary bean blend and unique methods of roasting and processing, ensure the highest quality and richest chocolate products.

Wireless With A HART Is Catching On

November 10, 2009 4:51 am | by Bob Karschnia, Vice President of Wireless, Emerson Process Managment | Articles | Comments

It’s been two years since the WirelessHART™ standard was approved by some 200 member companies of the HART Communications Foundation. Successful Smart Wireless applications are now operating in more than 1,000 customer sites around the world, and as the range of available wireless products grows, end-users are finding more and more ways to apply them.

Can Recycling Be Fun?

November 4, 2009 9:10 am | Articles | Comments

Even in the 21st century, getting people to recycle can be a challenge. But what if we made it fun? That's exactly what the guys at The Fun Theory decided to try. Check out how they made recycling as exciting as an arcade game. Is there a way we could make recycling fun for all our manufacturers too? Via The Fun Theory .

Snowboards: Made By 'Mad Scientists'

November 4, 2009 8:49 am | Articles | Comments

When the weather gets cold, that means only one thing to a lot of people: snowboarding season. But do you think they know how their boards are made? Do you? Chris Doyle, resident "mad scientist" at Burton, takes us through the process of building a snowboard, layer by layer. Check out how they're using rapid manufacturing to innovate and perfect their products.

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From Refuse To Refueling

November 4, 2009 6:09 am | Articles | Comments

Waste Management and Linde North America have teamed up to turn trash into fuel by refining the natural gas emitted by landfills. The gas is then purified and sent out to refueling stations across California, where it provides large vehicles with cleaner-burning fuels. Now the garbage trucks run on the very same trash they picked up the week before.

All The Better To Arrest You With!

November 4, 2009 5:39 am | Articles | Comments

Sometimes, traditional handcuffs just aren't enough. They're awkward, potentially painful, and easy to get out of (for the smaller-boned of us). Simply put, traditional handcuffs are a thing of the past. To fix the nagging issues of the old design, engineers have used CNC machines and a new rigid locking mechanism to create a modern version that's harder to break free from, more comfortable, and easier to use.

Mexican Blue Jeans: An American Tradition

November 4, 2009 5:14 am | Articles | Comments

The Mount Vernon Mill in Georgia is one of the last functioning cotton mills in the country, making a product that's truly American: blue jeans. But the mill only weaves denim. The sewing and hemming work has largely been outsourced to foreign companies, largely Mexican, that turn the long rolls of denim into jeans with labels that read: "Made in Mexico of U.

Coloring Supplier Ramps Up Safety Efforts

November 3, 2009 10:02 am | Articles | Comments

Founded in 1865 in New York City as a manufacturer of burnt sugars for the brewing industry, D.D. Williamson & Co., Inc, has grown to become the world’s leading supplier of caramel coloring and natural coloring for use in food production. Now headquartered in Louisville, KY, D.D. Williamson has nine operations on five continents that produce food colorings that are used in 1.

Enterprise Process Monitoring For Winemakers

November 2, 2009 8:53 am | Articles | Comments

“Bronco Winery is passionate about producing its wines with a consistent color, flavor, and mouth-feel,” says John Franzia, a co-owner in the California-based Bronco Wine Company. The metrics are staggering. Their top brand—Charles Shaw—sells for $2 in California.

The Mattress Dominoes World Record

October 28, 2009 10:36 am | Articles | Comments

The warehouse staff at Bensons for Beds attempt to set the world record for mattress dominoes. Do you think your facility staff could do any better? First, you just have to round up about 100 mattresses, which might be tricky unless you work at, you know, a mattress factory. 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.

There's A Robot For Everything

October 28, 2009 9:15 am | Articles | Comments

We all know manufacturing is being overrun by robots. In many cases, they've become vital resources to our assembly lines, whether it comes to welding, sorting, or fabrication. In many cases, they've taken on jobs that humans find difficult or repetitive, and sometimes dangerous. So, it's inevitable that robots start taking over our other repetitive tasks, like playing Guitar Hero.

The Man With The Golden Audit

October 28, 2009 7:28 am | Articles | Comments

Check out some of Atlas Copco's newest products, including the AIRScan and AIROptimizer, in this James Bond-esque clip. No, the funky music won't play in the background when you're using these products, but you can at least pretend they're some of Q's gadgets. 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.

Bologna Is A 'Dirty Job'

October 28, 2009 6:56 am | Articles | Comments

What won't Mike Rowe do for TV? Luckily, this trip to a bologna factory ranks pretty low on the gross-out factor that has made Mike's expeditions so popular. We do get to see him "throw up," though. 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.

The SuperFreakonomics Of Global Warming

October 28, 2009 6:39 am | Articles | Comments

Steven D. Levitt, author of the famed book "Freakonomics," has some interesting proposals when it comes to global warming. When most people are trying to "green" their lifestyle to reduce their environmental impact, Levitt bucks conventional thought with some cold, hard statistics. Instead of exerting so much effort to be green, there's a simple solution available to us, at little cost or trouble.

Fish Company Ensures Metal-Free Product

October 27, 2009 11:20 am | Articles | Comments

Channel Fish Company (Boston, MA), producers of frozen and salted seafood, takes tremendous care at every step of their process to produce the highest quality product. To improve the effectiveness of their metal detection operation — both in terms of maximizing detection sensitivity and production uptime — they recently turned to Mettler-Toledo Safeline and selected the PowerPhasePRO.

CRM: The Secret Ingredient

October 26, 2009 10:53 am | Articles | Comments

As with many a treasured recipes and favorite dish, Illes Seasonings & Flavors’ name and genesis came from its founding family: current owner Rick Illes’ grandfather, Dr. A.E. Illes, who in 1927 founded this highly respected manufacturer of distinctive seasonings and flavor products.

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