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Today in Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Advanced Manufacturing: GE’s Response To Full Employment

April 12, 2013 11:47 am | by Tom Kadala, Founder and CEO of Alternative Technology Corporation | Comments

Without a ready inventory of workers to support a competitive manufacturing base, America’s future will always be vulnerable to outside economic threats. History reminds us of our true potential, when in 1945, 50 percent of the products produced in the world were "Made in USA." Today that number has trended down to 22 percent.

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We All Need Google Fiber

April 12, 2013 9:00 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Comments

Almost a year ago, Google launched its first broadband internet network, Google Fiber, in Kansas City, and is now expanding into Austin, Texas. Meanwhile, the rest of the U.S. languishes with shoddy providers who refuse to innovate. And with Internet a critical part of our business infrastructure, that's just not good enough any more.

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The Dirty Dozen: Finding And Fixing Company Culture

April 9, 2013 12:12 pm | by Steven Shaffer, President, Shaffer Consulting | Comments

Sometimes, a company stops growing when its leader’s gifts are no longer enough to effectively manage the business. It’s no surprise then that one of the biggest impediments to a healthy business is poor organizational health, which stems from poor leadership. When a culture of blame and excuses permeates a company, it can paralyze it.

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Legos On The Plant Floor?

April 8, 2013 4:00 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Comments

Apple’s campus-in-progress will feature an orchard for engineers to wander through, while Facebook is wrapping up work on campus that features a B-B-Q shack, a sushi house and a bike shop. And it's all just too good to be true, because those benefits are anything but.

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The Earth Is Eating People

April 5, 2013 3:34 pm | by David Mantey, Executive Editor, PD&D | Comments

Further news from Florida sealed the state’s fate on my list of states to which I will never travel again, when a regional geologist said that February is the unofficial beginning of “sinkhole season,” which kicks off the state’s rainy season and typically lasts until the end of summer.

5 Ways Manufacturers Can Take Advantage Of The Industrial Internet

March 29, 2013 9:43 am | by Cindy Waxer | Comments

Big data is not just for predicting election outcomes and mapping genomes. General Electric (GE) is betting on the so-called Industrial Internet — a term they coined — to help manufacturers boost performance, streamline processes and better compete in the global marketplace.

Is Re-Industrialization The Key?

March 27, 2013 11:53 am | by Dr. Tom McNamara, Assistant Professor of Operations Management, Rennes School of Business | Comments

Most economists agree that the “Great Recession” of 2008 ended sometime around August 2009, and while the economy has been slowly recovering, unemployment still appears to be a stubborn problem. The headline rate is just a shade under 8 percent, but another measure, U6, stands at an incredible 14.4 percent.

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Lessons From The Cupping Room

March 25, 2013 9:18 am | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Comments

We kicked off the facility visit with a trip to the “cupping room” for a coffee tasting with one of Carson Valley’s experts, a studied and energetic woman whose passion for coffee was infectious. I found myself wishing I knew more about the roasting and brewing process as we swished and spit uber-fresh coffee into spittoons.

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Fighting To Reclaim Manufacturing In America

March 19, 2013 12:40 pm | by Kristopher Settle, Energy Curtailment Specialists | Comments

The bleeding was stopped nearly three years ago, as manufacturing jobs have been slowly increasing since then. In fact, over 14,000 manufacturing jobs were added in February alone and a total of around 500,000 have been generated since 2010.

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Take Two Of These

March 12, 2013 4:41 pm | by David Mantey, Executive Editor, PD&D | Comments

By injecting the aforementioned inebriated mice with nanocapsules full of enzymes that are instrumental in alcohol metabolism, researchers have not only sobered the little vermin, but created a unique drug delivery technology that could disrupt the medical industry.

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The End Of Insight

March 11, 2013 7:36 pm | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D | Comments

As we broach the crest of technology that operates upon the barrier between autonomous and thinking, it is easy to see the inevitability of crossing over. Immersing ourselves in a world not far off from Futurama, where robots have personalities and rights (sort of).

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Too Big To Fly: Why Engineering Should Stay Small

February 26, 2013 7:40 pm | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D | Comments

This isn’t a jab at Boeing, rather, it’s an exploration of a flawed (or somewhat flawed) design process. All things considered, there is a lot to weigh in any design. We’d all like to imagine a world with unlimited budgets and no time constraints, but in reality, compromises in design are made with every concept.

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Marketing Schemes Through The Google [Looking] Glass

February 25, 2013 2:09 pm | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D | Comments

Google Glass proposes to, essentially, put a computer on your face with a sleek pair of glasses that gives you access to everything from the current time or temperature to Google Chat. This is all well and good for those of us who aren’t easily distracted by shiny objects or images flickering in our direct (or indirect) line of sight.

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Increasing The Odds Of A Successful Launch

February 21, 2013 5:07 pm | by Marcy Alstott, Principal and Owner, OpsTrak Consulting | Comments

Launching is not equal to success. One out of every ten products is successful, and even, that success is defined quite narrowly. How can a company increase its odds of not only launching a product that makes money but also ramping a product that grows rapidly in revenue and profitability?

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Is Your Online Presence Ready For A Mobile-Centric World?

February 20, 2013 2:45 pm | by Michael Stutman | Comments

Most manufacturing executives wrestle daily with important issues like industry consolidation, global competition and eco-manufacturing trends. Another issue that many of them should be considering, but don’t, is: How ready is my digital ecosystem for an increasingly mobile, touch-based world?

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Yes Virginia, We Do Have A Need For More STEM Workers

February 12, 2013 9:35 am | by Robert D. Atkinson, ITIF | Comments

At the heart of the “we don’t need more STEM immigration” argument is the wage argument. According to this view, American students are not enrolling in STEM because of wages are not high enough. But this ignores that STEM wages are the third highest of any occupational group, after law and medicine.

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Manufacturing’s Evolving Workforce

February 11, 2013 10:18 am | by Bob Dean, Executive Director, Business Transformation, Cisco | Comments

Pop culture references manufacturing as the factories of the 1800s or modern day overseas sweatshops — full of mind-numbing, remedial tasks in dark and dingy factories. Today’s manufacturing environments tell a much different story: clean and safe environments with employees managing advanced machinery that drives innovation and productivity.

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Mars Or Bust

February 6, 2013 3:12 pm | by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D | Comments

Maybe if you were the first to plant a boot print in the dusty red sand, you would have some sort of historical notoriety, but if you’re going to be second or third on the surface, please note how history books are not particularly known for remembering the rest of the posse.

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2013: The Year Of Soft Gains And Big Ideas

February 6, 2013 1:29 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Comments

So, if MAPI is right and manufacturing has a quiet year, I'd suggest you think about "pulling a Baldor." Examine everything within reach and think about how you can do it better. Some of the initiatives at Baldor based around safety, quality, production flow, and machinery investments resulted in big gains.

How Has Manufacturing Fared In The Second Half?

February 5, 2013 10:15 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Comments

Anyone who watched the Super Bowl last year likely caught a glimpse of Clint Eastwood proclaiming that it was “halftime in America.” The country had been knocked down: The housing bubble had burst and top U.S. automakers – employing thousands of American workers – had sought a government bailout.

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