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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

A Teflon® Fluoropolymers Hose Primer

October 22, 2009 6:37 am | by Jeffrey A. O'Hearn, Product Manager, Eaton Corporation | Articles | Comments

The attributes that make Teflon® an ideal hose material for hundreds of critical applications—thermal stability, strength, and compatibility with a wide variety of different media—also make it well suited for many mobile and industrial applications.

Vibration Due To Shaft Misalignment

October 21, 2009 10:38 am | by Bill Hillman, technical contributor for LUDECA, INC. | Articles | Comments

Unlike imbalance, misalignment does not produce forces that are similar in the radius of the machine. Vibration in one radial direction may be very different in amplitude when compared to vibration in another radial direction. This is one instance where amplitude readings are not only helpful in detecting a problem but also helpful in diagnosing a problem.

Why I Fired GM's CEO

October 21, 2009 9:13 am | Articles | Comments

Yesterday Steve Rattner, the former head of Obama's automotive task force, said he was alarmed by the "stunningly poor management" of GM and Chrysler earlier this year and considered GM to have "perhaps the weakest finance operation any of [the task force] had ever seen in a major company." Ouch.

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1959 vs. 2009: The Chevrolet Showdown

October 20, 2009 11:55 am | Articles | Comments

To celebrate its 50th year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (you know, those guys who crash cars together) lined up a classic 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air with its contemporary counterpart, the 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. Let the games begin. If nothing else, this video presents a vivid example of why manufacturing must always innovate and improve, because nothing we've ever made is perfect, and everything we make now will soon be obsolete.

Horizontal Motion Conveying FAQ

October 20, 2009 11:05 am | Articles | Comments

Horizontal motion conveying is proving to be an alternative to vibratory conveying. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions that come up when investigating conveying processes for the dry-bulk and food processing industries.  How does a horizontal motion vibrating conveyor work without any vertical motion? In horizontal, zero-pitch, conveying, the translation comes from a differential or slower forward movement relative to the retraction, which is quick.

Taking Them On, One Weld At A Time

October 19, 2009 12:33 pm | Articles | Comments

In 1972, Time published a special issue of their magazine, devoted to addressing the staus of women in the American workplace. One of the women they spoke to was Janie Cottrell, who had taken a liking to her welding class at school. At the age of 24, Janie couldn't get an interview because no male manager could possibly believe Janie had any talent in welding.

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind

October 19, 2009 12:11 pm | Articles | Comments

Meet William Kamkwamba, author of the new book " The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind ," written with Bryan Mealer. At the age of 14, William Kamkwamba was a poor farmer in Malawi, a country blighted by years of drought and famine. After he was forced to drop out of school because his family could not afford to pay the fees, William was left to his own devices.

Dog vs. Keyboard — The Ultimate Showdown

October 19, 2009 11:58 am | Articles | Comments

Many industrial components are designed and tested to withstand the rigors of the manufacturing plant, whether it's extreme temperatures, water, or intense shock and vibration. But have your components been tested to function under the terrifying dangers of the office dog? Reagan, iKey's in-house German Shepard, took the SLK-79 to task and gave it the rundown.

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What If Your Automation Is Anything But?

October 19, 2009 5:16 am | Articles | Comments

What is the most important thing on the mind of a manufacturing professional? Well, from most articles we read, there are two areas — improving manufacturing performance and reducing downtime with a wide array of solutions available to assist you with both. You can focus on integration with your business systems to improve the real-time aspects of production management and you can focus on better production analytics to squeeze additional performance out of the equipment you are monitoring.

The Self-Lubricating Machine

October 15, 2009 4:48 am | Articles | Comments

A simple, self-lubricating machine. Now, if it could do something other than lubricate itself, the people at MIT who built it might be on to something. Wouldn't it be great if all our machines took this great care of themselves? Do you 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 a future deployment? Email me at Joel.

Making The Ultimate Office Weapon: Rubber Bands

October 15, 2009 4:33 am | Articles | Comments

We use them. We love them. Good 'ol rubber bands. Perfect for flinging at co-workers, or even just holding a pack of index cards together. Whatever floats your boat. But I bet you've never thought about how the stretchy brown things are made. I, for one, did not know latex came straight from a tree, just like maple syrup.

Mechanical Walkthrough: The Differential

October 15, 2009 4:06 am | Articles | Comments

We all experience the engineering prowess of our car's differential every day when we head off to work, go errands, or, for some, hit the apex just right. But do we really understand how it works? This video, as old as it is, features an excellent step-by-step explanation of how the differential works.

Building Airplanes, One Lego At A Time

October 15, 2009 3:51 am | Articles | Comments

Most children spend countless hours building Lego airplanes that just fall apart after their inaugural flight. These enthusiasts? They built a Lego factory that builds its own airplanes. Beat that. These dedicated Lego builders take no shame in the $12,000 they poured into the project, nor the 2,000 man hours it took to complete.

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A Historical Tour Of Autonomous Robots

October 14, 2009 12:01 pm | Articles | Comments

Take a tour of domestic robots throughout history. Now that we're approaching a time where autonomous, human-interacting, robots will take over the home, how long until industrial robots offer the same type of complex decision-making processes? We've already featured a video on the necessity for industial robots that can interact with humans ( Our Robot Future ), but the question begs to be asked again: why are industrial robots so unfriendly to their human co-workers? Should there be a movement in manufacturing toward robotics that is self-aware, do not harm people, and yet do its task just as efficiently? Via ROCKETBOOM .

The Bowling Ball-Tossing Industrial Robot

October 14, 2009 10:23 am | Articles | Comments

Innovation is key to our industry, so here at IMPO we like to showcase ways that individuals and companies are doing something unique with the tools that get used every day to make the products we all know and love, even if they're a little off-beat. The guys from Mana Energy Potions program a KUKA industrial robot to hurl heavy objects like a medieval trebuchet.

Take Back Your Facility

October 14, 2009 6:47 am | Articles | Comments

Managing storage space is critical in the effort to maximizing your productivity. In most storage facilities, a whopping 60 percent of floor space is wasted on aisles. So how do you add more SKUs to the same amount of square footage? What do you do when you run out of space? The Compact Storage Systems are a solution.

'Don't Die On Me!': Staying Alive With Predictive Maintenance

October 13, 2009 9:45 am | Articles | Comments

In recent years, modern packaging machines have become more intelligent. They are incorporating more decentralized intelligence in order to protect the machine from expensive breakdown situations using error diagnostics and reactions without any detour through the control. With today’s generation of intelligent servo drives, predictive maintenance functionality is now built into the electronics.

The Mysteries Of Ketchup

October 8, 2009 4:16 am | Articles | Comments

Ever wondered how ketchup is manufactured? This video will take you through (most of) the process, save for the "myserious" blue bags containing the Heinz secret recipe. And ironically enough, they actually have a test to make sure that the ketchup is next to impossible to extract from those glass bottles.

Combustible Dust At Imperial Sugar

October 7, 2009 5:54 am | Articles | Comments

The CSB has investigated the Imperial Sugar refinery explosion of 2008, and has concluded that combustible dust was to blame for the deaths of 14 workers and injuries of many more. The company did not properly clean up after combustible dust, particularly that which accumulated on hard-to-reach places like light fixtures and beam, and did not provide adequate ventilation systems for dust in the air.

Forget The Cling Wrap

October 6, 2009 9:04 am | by ScienCentral | Articles | Comments

Scientists have created a new type of food wrapping that will someday leave the traditional plastic wrap unused in the back of some kitchen drawer. The new material is anti-microbial, which means things like fresh fruit stay fresh considerably longer. In addition, it's completly edible and environmentally-friendly.

The Cloaking Cop Car

October 6, 2009 8:57 am | by HARD Lifestyle | Articles | Comments

These guys have developed a paint that changes colors when applying heat, and they thought it would be perfect for a cop car that goes from jet black to fully-marked in seconds. They strip the interior of an Escalade to attach massive heaters to the doors and, well, you can see the rest for yourself.

Respect The Nerd: Part 3

October 6, 2009 8:21 am | Articles | Comments

Watch the exciting conclusion of Gerard's long struggle with keeping his processes quick and error-free. With a robotic arm from FARO, Gerard manages to not only capture the attention and respect of his boss, but also a special someone... Do you 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 a future deployment? Email me at Joel.

Respect The Nerd: Part 2

October 6, 2009 8:18 am | Articles | Comments

Gerard still can't seem to stay on top of his work. After that many complaints, it's no wonder he gets sent to his supervisor. At the end of his rope, it seems like Gerard won't ever catch a break... Stay tuned for Part 3 . Do you 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 a future deployment? Email me at Joel.

Respect The Nerd: Part 1

October 6, 2009 8:14 am | Articles | Comments

Poor Gerard. The nerdy quality control inspector is mocked incessently by his co-workers for being slow and keeping things off schedule. In Part One of the series, see how Gerard finds a glimmer of hope in his effort to revolutionize his quality control process.

Biodegradable Plastic Packaging Material

October 2, 2009 11:54 am | Articles | Comments

Poly(lactic acid) cup before and after adding hot water. Interest in biodegradable disposable plastic items has steadily grown over the last decade. With packaging materials, the reduction in usage of raw materials, re-use, and recycling is of course the best route to a sustainable lifestyle.

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