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Today in Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Give New Life To Old Lessons

December 2, 2013 8:36 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Comments

Perhaps the best idea that is most frequently abandoned across almost every industry is that of capturing lessons for posterity and for sharing to other teams and people, and also using those captured lessons to effectively educate or successfully learn from others’ mistakes.


Are There Spiders Lurking In Your Food?

November 25, 2013 8:24 am | by Lindsey Jahn, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | Comments

Occurrences of shoppers discovering spiders lurking in grocery-store grapes have been reported throughout the Midwest over the past month — and the issue isn’t limited to one retail chain. Budget supermarket chain Aldi pulled all grapes from its Milwaukee locations after a consumer found a black widow spider in a package of grapes from an Aldi store in Wauwatosa, Wis.


Innovation Goes Viral

November 18, 2013 3:57 pm | by Lindsey Jahn, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | Comments

Innovation is essential in the food industry, particularly when it comes to technologies that enhance product quality and safety. One new innovation that works to improve food safety is a “viral spray” designed to destroy potentially harmful bacteria on food products.


Addressing The Demographic Challenge Of Knowledge Management

November 18, 2013 11:36 am | by Jeff Moffa and Lisa Merriam | Comments

Peter Drucker popularized the phrase “knowledge economy” back in 1969, referring to a new generation of high tech “knowledge workers.” The truth is manufacturing pioneered the knowledge economy decades earlier and has always been highly dependent on knowledge workers. Knowing how to profitably make things that satisfy market demand better than the competition is the lifeblood of industry.


Say Not 'Cost Of Quality,' Rather Say 'Investment'

November 11, 2013 3:17 pm | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Comments

The term “cost” means an expenditure that we pay to move on or to continue business. It will not offer a profitable return. It is money lost. Alternatively, “investment” means money that we set aside or spend now in order to achieve a greater return later. If we look the pursuit of quality correctly, we see it as an investment, not a cost.


Deluded By Data

November 4, 2013 3:18 pm | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Comments

Why do we collect and analyze data? I believe that answering this question is critically important each and every time we step into a data analysis exercise. I say that because if we don’t keep our purpose foremost in mind while we are analyzing data, we stand a good chance of interpreting information that may not be real.


Google Glass On The Road

November 4, 2013 2:34 pm | by Rene Henry | Comments

Developers and techies alike will pay close attention to how this case resolves. If a judge deems Google Glass to much of a distraction, an array of developers will have to rethink apps they are building for the road.       


Domestic Minerals Production Could Boost Manufacturing

November 1, 2013 9:18 am | by Hal Quinn, CEO, National Mining Association (NMA) | Comments

After decades of outsourcing, the resurgence in domestic manufacturing is now America’s favorite comeback story. Factors that once drove companies overseas — including labor and energy costs — are no longer considered insurmountable obstacles. Yet one troubling trend could signal a major complication for returning manufacturers: our nation’s increasing reliance on unstable supply chains of imported minerals.


A Close Call With The Beloved Sriracha

November 1, 2013 8:30 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, | Comments

Wednesday night, I heard, to my dismay, that the sole manufacturing facility for Sriracha hot sauce, located in Irwindale, Calif., may be shuttered. According to the city, allegations of burning eyes and throats have been rolling in — 30 or so in all, according to the Los Angeles Times — and it’s become enough for the city to declare the plant a “public nuisance” in violation of local ordinances regarding untoward odors.


Russell Stokes: The Future Of Manufacturing Talent

October 29, 2013 10:16 am | by Russell Stokes, President and CEO, GE Transportation | Comments

Roughly a year ago, GE and other thought leaders in the industry — Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Alcoa and The Manufacturing Institute — launched the Get Skills to Work initiative, a coalition aimed at closing the skills gap and specifically, to supporting veterans as they transition to careers in advanced manufacturing.


Don’t Train, Teach

October 28, 2013 3:58 pm | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Comments

Consider the last time that you were invited or directed to attend training on a method to be applied to your own work. It might have been leadership training, process training, Six Sigma training, a Lean workshop, or training on the use of a new machine. The subject doesn’t matter.


The Theology Of Global Warming

October 28, 2013 11:28 am | by Karl Stephan, Consulting Engineer, Texas State University, San Marcos | Comments

Last Saturday, October 19, was the date of the Second Annual Global Frackdown. In case you didn't hear, the Global Frackdown is an international day of activism on which people who believe that global warming is an oncoming train that's about to knock us silly, gather in groups and protest the oil industry's practice of fracking.


Manufacturing’s Renaissance Depends On Skilled Workers

October 28, 2013 10:51 am | by Philip Odette, President, Global Supply Chain Solutions | Comments

Global shifts in costs, processes and consumer purchasing habits put the U.S. in a position to revitalizing its manufacturing sector and enhance businesses and industry at home. The only thing missing is enough skilled workers to maintain the momentum.


If We Got Rid Of The Boxes, Would It Cure The Disease?

October 24, 2013 3:18 pm | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Comments

I started using the phrase, “check-the-box phenomenon” years ago when I was redesigning a “phase gate” structured product development process for my then employer. One of the problems we needed to solve with the new process was to reinvigorate our lost focus on doing things right the first time.


Certifying Energy Management

October 24, 2013 8:21 am | by Lucas Lopez-Videla, Marketing Specialist, Bureau Veritas Certification North America | Comments

Regardless of the industry they serve, most organizations and companies have a highly vested interest in efficiently managing the energy they consume. Effective energy management is essential to helping an organization reduce emissions and conserve resources.


Why 3D Printing Could Be A Manufacturing And Logistics Game Changer

October 23, 2013 9:44 am | by Danielle M., Blogger & Business Student | Comments

Could 3-D printing, also called additive manufacturing, revolutionize the production industry to the same extent as Ford's assembly line? When Michelangelo was asked how he sculpted the famous David statue, he's reported to have simply replied, "I just chipped away everything that didn't look like David."


Peer Review Is Fatally Broken

October 21, 2013 7:08 pm | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Comments

That is how science should be done - in the open with all data and methods available for ANYONE to review. You never know who will have a missing piece of data or an insight that will cancel or compliment a published paper. Let anyone who wants to look and comment.


Innovation Is An Attitude

October 15, 2013 2:38 pm | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Comments

Those businesses or groups or teams that produce the most innovative or daring products and solutions are bold and daring of spirit. That spirit comes from the leaders and mentors that influence or drive the group’s behavior.       


Putting Waste To Work

October 15, 2013 2:34 pm | by Lindsey Jahn, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | Comments

It is clear that food manufacturers are finding sustainable ways to dispose of their food waste, with many companies already experiencing success in this area. But there is always room for improvement.         


It’s A Man’s World

October 14, 2013 8:26 am | by Melissa Barnes, Associate Editor, PD&D | Comments

Haven’t we overcome archaic attitudes towards women in the professional world? We certainly can’t blame the unbalance of gender to any sort of biological reasoning. After all, females are not any less scientific or mathematically capable than males.   



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