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Today in Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Motor Week: Is An AC Or DC Drive Right For You?

November 19, 2014 4:57 pm | by Maura Falk, Associate Editor, Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operations | Comments

The debate between direct current and alternating current isn’t confined to the pages of history, and between the renowned thinkers, Einstein and Tesla. The debate is still prevalent on the plant floor when the choice whether to utilize an alternating-current (AC) drive or...

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5 Unexpected Ways Businesses Can Use Smartphones To Drive Profit

November 14, 2014 9:40 am | by Kirill Storch | Comments

While businesses already leverage smartphones for communication, companies are only now understanding the power of intra-company smartphone APPs as a mission-critical Mobile Process Improvement (MPI) asset that can actually drive productivity, enhance competitiveness and maximize revenue.

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Learning From Apple’s Strained Supply Chain

November 12, 2014 3:06 pm | by Paul Noël | Comments

Like many of its predecessors, Apple’s latest iPhone iteration is facing supply shortages amid enormous demand. Even as Foxconn churns out 400,000 iPhone 6 and 140,000 iPhone 6 Plus phones daily, volume remains below expectations. Apple’s struggles with supplier consolidation...

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Can System Integration Improve Your Triple Bottom Line?

November 11, 2014 4:21 pm | by Mark Adair, Avid Solutions | Comments

The triple bottom line is a term that was coined in the 90’s. In a nutshell, there are three accounts to the triple bottom line (TBL) — People, Planet, and Profit. The conventional wisdom is that a combination of these three components leads to a successful company that retains...

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Six Challenges Facing Modern Manufacturing Companies

November 10, 2014 5:33 pm | by Danielle Iera, Marketing Coordinator, TPC Wire & Cable Corp | Comments

Nearly every type of manufacturer faces increasing regulations aimed at everything from ensuring product safety to managing disposal and reclamation procedures. While many regulations may be beneficial to consumers, each regulation adds an additional burden to the companies that ...

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Girls Only: A Way To Close The STEM Gender Gap?

November 4, 2014 1:36 pm | by Kim MacGregor | Comments

The numbers told the story. Elk Grove High School administrators could see that incoming freshman girls with high math scores weren’t enrolling in the school’s Introduction to Engineering Design class, while their male counterparts were. In other words, girls with the aptitude to excel in the...

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ISM: Manufacturing Continues Strong Growth Trajectory

November 4, 2014 1:21 pm | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Comments

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in October for the 17th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 65th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. Manufacturing expanded in October as the...

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Taming The Complexity And Cost Of Manufacturing Operations

November 4, 2014 10:21 am | by Ralf Suerken | Comments

Like it or not, the global economy brought higher pressure and thinner margins right to your doorstep. Nobody feels this as keenly as the production managers and shop foreman in the small manufacturing operation. These key individuals must constantly pace the shop floor to eyeball the process...

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How Manufacturers Can Improve Product Design

November 3, 2014 4:46 pm | by Al Kent | Comments

Industrial companies are often perceived as lumbering giants that have difficulty responding to competitive pressures and capitalizing on market trends. Design cycles can last years—not just for developing new products but also for making upgrades to the existing portfolio. Why are many industrial...

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In House Vs Outsourced Fleet Management

November 3, 2014 2:34 pm | by Robert Hall | Comments

For many companies, fleet management brings up one of those enduring business conundrums: whether or not to outsource. Should you hire an on-site fleet manager or use a company? There are good arguments on both sides, but no one solution fits all companies. Ultimately, you will need to...

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Manufacturing Technology Trends Shaping The Industry

November 3, 2014 9:53 am | by Christina Chatfield | Comments

One of the most impressive changes in manufacturing is the renewed awareness of government officials and economists that manufacturing is the real engine behind a robust economy. President Obama has commissioned and funded various manufacturing hubs around the country to focus on...

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6 Ways To Manage Product Complexity

October 27, 2014 10:14 am | by Columbus | Comments

One of the biggest challenges discrete manufacturing companies face is the increasing complexity of the product, whether this is due to technological change, market forces or the need to customize the product to meet demanding customer requirements. It is essential to capture these...

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Digital Transformation & Tomorrow’s eBusiness Strategy For Manufacturers

October 24, 2014 12:36 pm | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | Comments

I sat down for an enlightening conversation about eCommerce and the changing channels of business with Brian Strojny, the Co-founder and Director of Insite Software. Insite Software is the Minneapolis-based company behind InsiteCommerce, a B2B eCommerce platform for manufacturing, distribution, and...

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Women In Manufacturing: Q&A With Allison Grealis

October 23, 2014 2:33 pm | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | Comments

Allison Grealis and I met briefly at the 4th annual Women in Manufacturing Summit, where women working in manufacturing came from around the country to network, share experiences, and offer advice to young women thinking about entering the field. Ms. Grealis is the founder and executive director...

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Manufacturers Gear Up For More Energy Efficiency

October 17, 2014 12:00 pm | by Wayne Kovach | Comments

The Better Plants Program recently recognized eleven manufacturers for their efforts in reducing energy consumption. The energy-efficiency based government initiative enrolls businesses that commit to reducing their energy intensity by 25 percent over a...

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EPA's Climate Rule Could Reach Far Beyond Power Plants

October 16, 2014 9:17 am | by Adam Riedel | Comments

A few months ago the EPA recently released a proposed rule to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing power plants. Although the proposed rule only requires states to limit GHG emissions from existing power plants, states may... 

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Cutting-Edge ERP Technologies For Your Business

October 14, 2014 4:31 pm | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | Comments

Small or mid-sized businesses will benefit most from an ERP system if it can be customized as much as possible and the company can take advantage of the most cutting-edge ERP technology available. Why is customization so important? Smaller organizations may...

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Navigating The Challenge Of Choosing ERP Software

October 14, 2014 4:29 pm | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | Comments

Finding and utilizing the right ERP system is a great way to streamline a company’s manufacturing process, minimize miscommunication and disconnect amongst your employees, and decrease the resulting errors. An ERP system puts all the data—from...

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5 Tips To Extinguish Factory Fire Risks

October 8, 2014 1:22 pm | by Zurich Insurance Group | Comments

Creating a basic pre-fire plan can help a manufacturing facility prevent injuries, loss of life and production downtime. That’s why Zurich North America is recognizing National Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 5-11) and recommending that factory owners...

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Are HMI and Mobile Devices On the Menu For Your Plant?

October 8, 2014 1:18 pm | by Mike Pantoleano | Comments

You’re out to dinner on a Friday night when you spot your plant supervisor a few tables away.  He’s busily manipulating his smartphone, despite his wife’s impatient glare. Then, with a look of satisfaction, he puts down his phone and rejoins the...

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