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Today in Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

2014: The Year Of The Label

February 12, 2014 3:39 pm | by Holly Henschen, Editor, Food Manufacturing | Comments

What’s in a name? Or, more appropriately for food manufacturers, what’s on a label? In 2014, this question will be analyzed from angles we’ve yet to imagine. While the federal government struggles to implement the Food Safety and Modernization Act, industry groups and large food processors are taking up the mantle to define food labeling.

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Apple's Big Bet On Sapphires

February 12, 2014 3:27 pm | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Comments

Apple is betting on sapphires to be the next big thing for its products. It feels so strongly about using the material that it’s building a factory in Mesa, AZ and signed a development and supply contract with crystal materials manufacturing specialist, GT Advanced Technologies, to make sapphire material exclusively to Apple for consumer electronics.

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I’ve Seen The Future Of Drug Delivery And It's A Bear

February 12, 2014 3:09 pm | by Mike Auerbach, Editor in Chief, Pharmaceutical Processing | Comments

The use of gummies as a form of drug delivery is exploding. Just do a Google image search for “vitamin gummies” and you will see what I mean. Currently, it seems like gummies are most popular with vitamin and supplement makers – both for children and adults – and really what’s not to like about gummies?

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Trusting Too Much In Data, Part 2

February 10, 2014 3:43 pm | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Comments

Metrics are often derived or calculated from a multitude of measures or from data. Metrics give us a progress report or a status level of some type of performance. Data is a raw output of a process or a test or an experiment. Most times data is not useful until it is turned into some form of information by an analysis of some kind.

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Manufacturing Decline Is A Misconception

February 10, 2014 3:14 pm | by Tia Nowack, Associate Editor, IMPO | Comments

There is still a far greater emotional response to a factory closing than to an engineering firm opening. It’s not that plant closings are trivial, or that engineering is somehow superior. But there may be a problem with our focus on factories in that it takes energy away from aggressively developing more advanced services.

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What The World Would Be Like If Engineering Didn't Exist

February 5, 2014 2:49 pm | by Jenny Ann Beswick | Comments

We, as engineers, all play a vital role in the world actually functioning. Without these job roles being fulfilled by skilled people, the world would start to break down slowly. A world without engineering would be a world without humanity, our ability to design and create makes us unique in the natural world.

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Leading The Way On A New Manufacturing Generation

February 5, 2014 9:54 am | by Timm Johnson, Vice President Sales/Marketing – Spee-Dee, and Chairman of the Education and Workforce Development Committee – PMMI | Comments

I want to invite you to go take a walk out onto your shop floor. Notice anything else about your workforce? Some of them may be graying and soon preparing to retire. The age of your workforce represents a good opportunity for qualified younger employees to step in and launch their career. The problem you face is finding that young person.

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On Chrysler’s Dismissals, Shaky U.S. Credibility

February 5, 2014 8:26 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Comments

Amid the news that Chrysler was being merged with its Italian owners Fiat, and many still-unanswered questions about the future of what used to be one of America’s “Big 3” automakers, the company has doubled-down on its very U.S.-focused — and some say ironically xenophobic — advertising scheme.

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How Outsourcing Went Horribly Wrong

February 3, 2014 3:16 pm | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Comments

There is much debate over the effectiveness of the strategy, the affect it has had on “American” brand quality, and the affect it is having on the U.S. economy and its ability to pull out of the current recession.        

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EDVs Don’t Reduce Emissions

January 31, 2014 3:26 pm | by Chris Fox, Managing Editor, PD&D | Comments

Through 108 different scenarios in a model, the researchers found that even if EDVs made up 42 percent of passenger vehicles in the U.S., there would be little or no reduction in the emission of key air pollutants.      

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The Basics Of Internal Auditing

January 30, 2014 2:12 pm | by Karen Spencer, Quality Manager, Clinkenbeard, Inc. | Comments

Normally companies will have a schedule that is written to audit their entire quality system on an annual basis. Usually the Quality Manager or Engineer is responsible for creating this schedule. The schedule consists of the elements of the standard to be audited, who will be auditing and when the results are due.

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What Does 3D Printing Mean For ERP?

January 29, 2014 3:06 pm | by Antony Bourne, Global Manufacturing Industry Director, IFS | Comments

The implications for spares and repairs inventory are obvious — rather than keeping safety stock on hand, parts could be printed as needed from a stock of materials.                          

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Trusting Too Much In Data

January 29, 2014 8:32 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Comments

We are virtually bombarded by the phenomenon of data-driven headlines. On any given day we might read that cigarette smoking is on the rise, or that book sales are down, but without seeing the data plot over a long time we don’t really know what those headlines mean.

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Manufacturers Are Leaving China, But Where Are They Headed?

January 28, 2014 10:59 am | by Tia Nowack, Associate Editor, Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation | Comments

Seeing China’s manufacturing sector shrink is a trend that excites Americans, although it may not actually alleviate much of the pressure around a U.S. unemployment rate of 7.3 percent. The reality, according to many experts, is that the phenomenon is more one of nearshoring than reshoring, as many of these businesses — along with their jobs — head to Mexico.

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Do You Believe In Safety Factors?

January 24, 2014 3:16 pm | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Comments

The science of mapping performance distributions told us exactly where we could set our process controls in order to ensure virtually 100% defect-free results. It is a better method than assuming or guessing at an appropriate safety factor.   

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3D Printing: 2013’s Biggest Market Disruptor

January 23, 2014 8:47 am | by Chris Fox, Managing Editor, PD&D | Comments

Being a technology that has been around for some 25 to 30 years, additive manufacturing (3D printing) was bound to make some intriguing changes and advances, as is expected every year. So why on Earth is 3D printing the biggest market disruptor of 2013?

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Process Mapping For Marketing

January 21, 2014 8:28 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Comments

Except among the deeply process-minded fellows with whom I sometimes converse, the suggestion that process mapping is a valuable market analysis and planning tool meets with argument and outright dismissal more often than it does serious consideration.

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Strengthening The Electrotechnical Sector By Participating In IEC Standarization

January 20, 2014 2:32 pm | by S. Joe Bhatia, President & CEO American National Standards Institute | Comments

Did you ever wonder who is involved in the creation and promulgation of these standards? Most people have no idea – and it’s an incredibly important piece of business intelligence to have, since those at the table where standards are developed have the opportunity to shape the specifications and market acceptance of products and systems for every industry.

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Manufacturing Needs More ‘Post-Mortems’

January 15, 2014 8:51 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Comments

An in-depth post-mortem can actually increase confidence in a business and encourage more trust. Everyone and every business makes mistakes, and often, what separates a successful one from a failed one is the way in which they respond to the unexpected. Proving that your company can do just that should be a matter of pride, not shame.

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A Headless Chicken Leading The Blind

January 13, 2014 8:43 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Comments

Generally speaking, the real challenge is not solving the problem. The real challenge is managing the chaos. Everyone is so busy being busy for the sake of appearing like they are solving the problem, that no one can invest the time and attention for critical thought.

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