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Today in Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

The End Of Insight

March 11, 2013 7:36 pm | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D | Comments

As we broach the crest of technology that operates upon the barrier between autonomous and thinking, it is easy to see the inevitability of crossing over. Immersing ourselves in a world not far off from Futurama, where robots have personalities and rights (sort of).

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Too Big To Fly: Why Engineering Should Stay Small

February 26, 2013 7:40 pm | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D | Comments

This isn’t a jab at Boeing, rather, it’s an exploration of a flawed (or somewhat flawed) design process. All things considered, there is a lot to weigh in any design. We’d all like to imagine a world with unlimited budgets and no time constraints, but in reality, compromises in design are made with every concept.

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Marketing Schemes Through The Google [Looking] Glass

February 25, 2013 2:09 pm | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D | Comments

Google Glass proposes to, essentially, put a computer on your face with a sleek pair of glasses that gives you access to everything from the current time or temperature to Google Chat. This is all well and good for those of us who aren’t easily distracted by shiny objects or images flickering in our direct (or indirect) line of sight.

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Increasing The Odds Of A Successful Launch

February 21, 2013 5:07 pm | by Marcy Alstott, Principal and Owner, OpsTrak Consulting | Comments

Launching is not equal to success. One out of every ten products is successful, and even, that success is defined quite narrowly. How can a company increase its odds of not only launching a product that makes money but also ramping a product that grows rapidly in revenue and profitability?

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Is Your Online Presence Ready For A Mobile-Centric World?

February 20, 2013 2:45 pm | by Michael Stutman | Comments

Most manufacturing executives wrestle daily with important issues like industry consolidation, global competition and eco-manufacturing trends. Another issue that many of them should be considering, but don’t, is: How ready is my digital ecosystem for an increasingly mobile, touch-based world?

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Yes Virginia, We Do Have A Need For More STEM Workers

February 12, 2013 9:35 am | by Robert D. Atkinson, ITIF | Comments

At the heart of the “we don’t need more STEM immigration” argument is the wage argument. According to this view, American students are not enrolling in STEM because of wages are not high enough. But this ignores that STEM wages are the third highest of any occupational group, after law and medicine.

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Manufacturing’s Evolving Workforce

February 11, 2013 10:18 am | by Bob Dean, Executive Director, Business Transformation, Cisco | Comments

Pop culture references manufacturing as the factories of the 1800s or modern day overseas sweatshops — full of mind-numbing, remedial tasks in dark and dingy factories. Today’s manufacturing environments tell a much different story: clean and safe environments with employees managing advanced machinery that drives innovation and productivity.

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Mars Or Bust

February 6, 2013 3:12 pm | by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D | Comments

Maybe if you were the first to plant a boot print in the dusty red sand, you would have some sort of historical notoriety, but if you’re going to be second or third on the surface, please note how history books are not particularly known for remembering the rest of the posse.

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2013: The Year Of Soft Gains And Big Ideas

February 6, 2013 1:29 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Comments

So, if MAPI is right and manufacturing has a quiet year, I'd suggest you think about "pulling a Baldor." Examine everything within reach and think about how you can do it better. Some of the initiatives at Baldor based around safety, quality, production flow, and machinery investments resulted in big gains.

How Has Manufacturing Fared In The Second Half?

February 5, 2013 10:15 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Comments

Anyone who watched the Super Bowl last year likely caught a glimpse of Clint Eastwood proclaiming that it was “halftime in America.” The country had been knocked down: The housing bubble had burst and top U.S. automakers – employing thousands of American workers – had sought a government bailout.

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Extra Inventory? Donate It

January 31, 2013 9:46 am | by Gary C. Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources (NAEIR) | Comments

Donating companies not only fulfill philanthropy and corporate social responsibility efforts, they also benefit from the enhanced tax deduction, which enables companies to receive an up to twice-cost federal tax deductions. Gifts-in-kind organizations typically provide free services to donating corporations, and shipments can range from one box to dozens of truckloads.

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What Should GM’s Next Move Be?

January 30, 2013 4:10 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Comments

When it comes to major, public-facing manufacturers, there are few companies more interesting to follow than General Motors. And while I’m not the one to forecast whether the company will or won’t make a full comeback after its troubles in the Great Recession, I can say it’s been an interesting ride either way.

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How To Bring Manufacturing Back: A Lesson From Germany

January 28, 2013 4:05 pm | by Jeremy W. Crane | Comments

In America, from an early age, in our public and private schools we are all made a promise: We can become teachers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, politicians, CEOs, media magnets, tycoons and so on. There is no praise to those of us who may be best as mechanics, electricians, plumbers, painters or, most importantly, manufacturing workers.

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How Geithner Helped Us Add A Robot And Three Employees

January 24, 2013 1:09 pm | by Andrew Ratner, Chief Communications Officer, Marlin Steel | Comments

When we heard the news that President Obama was ready to name his replacement for U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, we recalled the day last spring when Mr. Geithner visited our factory in Baltimore. He was pleased that we were growing in a bad economy and exporting to 36 nations in contrast to the grim picture of American manufacturing losing out to cut-rate competitors overseas.

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Bendable Phones Are Bunk

January 18, 2013 4:16 pm | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D | Comments

At the risk of sounding like an anti-progressive fuddy duddy: What is the point? Painful sarcasm aside, a serious R&D dilemma that presents itself with the announcement of a flexible screen. Flexible circuits have been getting progressively more complicated, and they are showing promise for astoundingly durable and compact technologies.

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Are We Running Out Of Wind?

January 18, 2013 1:38 pm | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Comments

I guess the dream of powering the USA with wind and solar will have to remain just that, a dream. At least until we invent a much lower cost way of capturing the energy. And solar? Well no dark energy collectors have been invented yet. Or cheap storage that can be deployed anywhere.

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RFID Technology – Taking Notes From Orwell

January 7, 2013 7:19 pm | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D | Comments

Really, there is nothing bad about this tech in theory. Warehouses can track their inventory for reasonably low cost, retailers can make sure unpaid merchandise stays in the store, and lost animals can be returned home without run-ins with grizzly bears.

Big Brother Takes The Wheel

December 20, 2012 8:27 am | by Meaghan Ziemba, Associate Editor, PD&D | Comments

If drivers are following the laws of the road, and driving carefully, the information fed into the data recorder doesn’t even get looked at.  However, if an individual does get into a wreck, the information that the little black box contains actually might help someone’s case instead of hindering them.

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The Real Cost Of That Pool Toy

December 19, 2012 10:01 am | by Laurie Keyser Brunner, President, MainStream Management LLC | Comments

A recently fielded a simple question from a friend: “You’ve worked in China. Can you recommend a manufacturer to produce my patented pool toy?” I asked, “Have you considered a US-based producer? Why not keep the job in America?” My friend was surprised: “Really? I hadn’t thought of that.” And, therein lies the root of the problem.

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The Patent Office: Innovation Eliminator

December 6, 2012 1:13 pm | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D | Comments

Patent lawsuits happen all the time, and it is rare that they blow up to anything huge for either side, other than some bragging rights and some lawyer’s paychecks (see Samsung versus Apple for a counterpoint).This patent issue has the potential to dictate a bright or dismal future for crowdsource funding websites, and, in turn, the potential of small, low capitol start-ups.

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