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Today in Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

What’s Trending: U.S. Boss Held In Chinese Factory

June 28, 2013 9:39 am | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Comments

This hostile act by the workers shows the growing unease the Chinese manufacturing labor force has about jobs during a time of slowing economic growth in China. As more U.S. companies talk about reshoring, the idea of relocating manufacturing operations is not lost on employees at foreign-owned factories. Workers sense that the growing costs of doing business there is making China less attractive for the manufacturing sector.


OMG… It’s A Tesla

June 26, 2013 1:42 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Comments

Everyone, everywhere, has heard of Tesla. Despite never seeing one in person (though I do admit that the Model S probably isn’t great for Wisconsin driving) — every single person I mention Tesla to knows exactly what I’m talking about. And this is despite a reputation for being too expensive, too inaccessible and did I mention too expensive?


'Saving' The Next Generation Of Manufacturing Workers

June 13, 2013 2:40 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, | Comments

When it comes to the monumental task of training another generation of manufacturing employees, armed with the high-tech skills that the technology-heavy processes of the future will require, it’s easy to come down hard on the educational system. And yes, there are bad educators, but that shouldn’t detract from those who care and who work hard despite the poor infrastructure to help students get the education they need.


Why Own Expensive Equipment When You Can Lease It?

June 12, 2013 2:14 pm | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D | Comments

A new buzzword was recently thrown my way at the annual PTC Live conference in Anaheim. I’ve never been a big fan of buzzwords nor the concepts that they represent, as they are often watered-down or tainted versions of truly original ideas that have been bastardized by Corporate America. But, I digress.


Manufacturing Gangnam Style

May 21, 2013 2:08 pm | by Stacey Wagner, Manager, Workforce Systems Development, NIST MEP | Comments

Rethink Robotics, the firm that designed and manufactured Baxter the famous industrial robot, has met its match. Robotis’ Bioloid, an educational DIY robotics set, has developed a new, hipper cousin to Baxter that dances – Gangnam Style.  And no wonder. Baxter is a “serious robot” who has a job at Vanguard Plastics.


Campylobacter On The Rise

May 10, 2013 2:37 pm | by Krystal Gabert, Editor, Food Manufacturing | Comments

By tracking identified foodborne illness instances, FoodNet determined that, in addition to various other strains of foodborne bacteria and viruses, campylobacter infection was found in 14.3 people per 100,000. This figure shows a 14 percent increase over the infection rates from 2006 to 2008.


Smartphone Shakes

April 29, 2013 2:33 pm | by Meaghan Ziemba, Editor, WDD | Comments

I recently attended a concert in Madison, WI. I placed my phone in my back pocket to avoid carrying a purse and to have it easily accessible when I wanted to update my status and snap a few photos. Unfortunately, after a visit to the facilities and a horrifying plop, I knew that I was in trouble.


Technology Is Not The Problem — It Is The Solution

April 25, 2013 10:57 am | by Robert Atkinson, President and Founder, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation | Comments

Technological growth has been principally responsible for the development of new industries, products and processes that have created better paying jobs, cheaper goods and a higher standard of living for society. Where would our economy be without information technology, advanced manufacturing and biotechnology?


How Clouds Can Dominate Sunny Florida

April 25, 2013 8:11 am | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Comments

It’s not always easy to get a room full of people excited about IT, but Inforum 2013 succeeded in doing so. But it wouldn’t be a conference on enterprise solutions if there weren’t cloud cover—and Infor has a few new cloud initiatives with big ramifications for manufacturers.

Welcoming Grandma Into Our Virtual Future

April 24, 2013 9:57 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, | Comments

I feel that every generation experiences at least once technology that is a complete diversion from what existed before, one that fundamentally changes the way our society works. These revolutions challenge us to adapt and take on new ways of thinking. I think VR is on the verge of becoming one of those technologies.


Taking Manufacturing To School

April 21, 2013 8:36 pm | by Lindsey Jahn, Associated Editor, Food Manufacturing | Comments

An AMP Steering Committee was appointed, and in July 2012, the Committee issued a report with 16 recommendations to help AMP attain its mission. The report included five “workstreams,” or focus areas, each of which the Committee assessed and then made recommendations for improvement.


Please Turn Out The Lights

April 16, 2013 9:42 pm | by Krystal Gabert, Editor, Food Manufacturing | Comments

According to the EIA, the average retail price of electricity for industrial customers has risen steadily from 5.05 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2001 to 6.82 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2011. While this increase closely mirrors the rate of inflation, manufacturers have been proactive in adopting energy efficient equipment and procedures in order to reduce energy-related expenses.

Who’s The Fool? – Profound Discoveries Or Elaborate Pranks

April 15, 2013 7:49 pm | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D | Comments

April 1 used to be a day where the bully in school could yell out the hallmark and get away with tripping you in the hallway (kind of), or when you tied a rubber band around the faucet to soak the next poor soul trying to get a drink. In a time of viral marketing, April Fools Day has been rebranded to represent the comical creativity of major corporations and colleges.


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.


We All Need Google Fiber

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


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.


Legos On The Plant Floor?

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


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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