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Today in Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Drought Looms Large For Food Processors

September 20, 2012 1:31 pm | by Krystal Gabert, Editor, Food Manufacturing | Comments

The reasoning behind the seemingly counterintuitive notion that food prices could level out — or even decrease — in the midst of a drought is that, faced with increasingly steep corn prices, ranchers may rush cattle to slaughter, causing a glut in the beef market and, in turn, lower prices.

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Google’s War On Drugs

September 17, 2012 8:23 am | by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D | Comments

The war on drugs is an age-old bullet point issue with politicians, but until Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt brought up the issue during the Illicit Networks Forces in Opposition conference (organized by Google’s think tank, Google Ideas) it often seemed like a lost cause.

Glaring Military Incompetence

September 12, 2012 10:08 am | by Mike Rainone, Co-founder, PCDworks | Comments

What if Apple designed an iFighter? That was the question posed by Arthur Herman in a recent op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. The central premise questioned whether or not the United States’ military bureaucracy is up to the task of procuring the materials necessary for our current or future military needs. According to Herman, it might be time to let “businessmen” take over.

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Construct Your Own Innovation Pipeline

September 10, 2012 2:16 pm | by Mike Schmidt, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Comments

AT&T developed a tool called The Innovation Pipeline (TIP) an outlet for company employees to share imaginative ideas with AT&T and one another. After rigorous examination and development, some of these ideas are turned into AT&T products, applications, and services.

Is The Ongoing Mortgage Crisis Harming Our Manufacturing Skills Crisis?

September 7, 2012 9:47 am | by AJ Sweatt | Comments

The reality is that with so many houses underwater, so many homeowners tied to them, and so many potential employers in manufacturing ready but unable to hire, the mortgage crisis must be included in any discussions about what’s causing our lack of manufacturing talent and how to help relieve that deficit.

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When Big Pharma Pays To Stall Generics, Is It Legal?

September 6, 2012 9:54 am | by Thomas Carey, Partner, Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP | Comments

The Federal Trade Commission has long held that brand-name pharmaceutical companies may not pay generic-drug companies to stay out of the market. To its dismay, the FTC has had great difficulty convincing the courts that its dim view of such “reverse payments” is correct.

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Does Your Product Have a Lasting Story?

September 5, 2012 9:56 am | by Jim Signorelli | Comments

When we buy brands, we buy products differentiated by function. When we buy brands that have become stories, we buy important meanings. If your brand is nothing more than an outer layer, no doubt, growth has an expiration date. The good news is that it's never too late to find and communicate your brand's meaning, perhaps something Xerox should have thought about before trying to sell computers.

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Routine Problems, Routine Explanations

September 4, 2012 10:06 am | by the QA Pharm | Comments

One clever approach to handling a particular recurring deviation was to have a pre-printed form. The investigation was already written with the exception of the slight nuances, which were accommodated by blanks. This "Mad Lib" approach was completed in a matter of minutes, and a quality assurance (QA) approval was handily secured.

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Communicating Change To The Outside

August 31, 2012 11:14 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Comments

If you read my posts, then you know that I believe a successful process improvement or business improvement results from changing our behavior. Well, if we are going to be changing our behavior, shouldn’t we warn those people and organizations with whom we work that we are doing so? Of course we should.

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Armstrong’s ‘Flying Bedstead’ Close Call

August 30, 2012 10:17 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Comments

Back in Armstrong’s prime, innovation was a matter of national pride, of maintaining the United State’s position as the world’s biggest hotbed of technological advancement. And Armstrong was completely swept up in this fervor, and the risk-taking it required. His name might have meant far, far less — or nothing at all — if one of his many test flights had gone a little differently.

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Managing Change For Improving Operational Performance

August 29, 2012 2:07 pm | by Paul Glover, Founder of the Glover Group | Comments

We often ask if employees are ready for change. We sometimes assume that employees may feel uneasy when a goal or procedure alters, and while that may be true, before we ask if an employee is ready for change the more important question to ask first is if you, as a manager, are ready.

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How Money And Politics Corrupt Innovation

August 28, 2012 9:59 am | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, Product Design & Development | Comments

Have you heard of Nikola Tesla? I’m sure some have — many of you are engineers, for crying out loud. Just in case you haven’t, Tesla is arguably the most underrated and overlooked engineer of all time. He developed the alternating current, invented the bladeless turbine, built the first induction motor, and innovated the use of X-rays, to name just a few of his contributions.

Visiting The 'Detroit' Of Southeast Asia

August 27, 2012 10:20 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Comments

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of flying across the Pacific to visit Thailand and to tour the county’s burgeoning automotive industry. The trip was at the behest of Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) agency, which has developed a number of policies and incentives to help bring more manufacturing into the country, regardless of industry.

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U.S. Industrial Markets Remain Resilient In A Challenging Time

August 24, 2012 12:54 pm | by Jim Dieter, Cushman & Wakefield National Industrial | Comments

The resiliency of industrial real estate is showing itself noticeably heading into the second half of 2012. Key markets nationwide continue to experience healthy demand, declining vacancies and positive absorption, which are beginning to push rent growth and foster the return of speculative construction.

Is Your ERP Ready?

August 23, 2012 9:51 am | by Bob Vormittag, CEO and President, VAI | Comments

Those who make the investment in BI and the cloud will realize improved cost and operational efficiencies, expanded real-time collaboration with customers, vendors and partners as well as faster and more personalized customer relationships. But how do you get there?

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Manufacturing Is Getting A ‘Kickstart’

August 22, 2012 9:56 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Comments

Kickstarter is a relatively simple service in theory: It helps inventors, artists or designers (and other professionals) get funding to transform their designs into real products when they don’t have the up-front cash. And the rise — and subsequent success — of consumer electronics and gadgets on the site has me wondering if this funding model could become a real part of manufacturing’s future.

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Seeing The Forest And The Trees

August 20, 2012 9:46 am | by Jack Levis, Director of Process Management, UPS | Comments

It’s important to understand that business analytics is a scientific approach to making decisions and is broken down into three forms: descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics. Descriptive analytics provide an accurate picture of what has happened. Predictive analytics enable an assumption about what will happen in the future or explain what has happened. Finally, prescriptive analytics shows the best course of action.

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Improve Your Organization's Hiring Abilities

August 17, 2012 1:57 pm | by Paul Glover | Comments

In a tough economy, you’d think it would be simple to find the employees you need. But organizations are finding that high performing employees are difficult to recruit because with their skill set and experience, they have many choices about where to work. Add to that the treat your existing high performing employees will be recruited by other companies, and you have an even greater need to find and keep talent.

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Process Improvement And Mud Bogging

August 17, 2012 9:45 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Comments

At an objective business level, a stuck project is a resource drain, even if no one is really putting any effort to it. No matter how you slice it, we have a problem.

Quality & Safety Systems: Focusing On Prevention

August 15, 2012 1:18 pm | by Nikki Willett, Vice President of Product Marketing & Regulatory Affairs, Pilgrim Software Inc. | Comments

After a long wait, President Obama signed into law the Food Safety Modernization Act with a focus on prevention and traceability. How does that change today's business?

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