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Today in Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

General Electric: Back To The Lab

September 30, 2013 10:26 am | by Tom McNamara and Erika Marsillac | Comments

General Electric (GE), in addition to being one of the world’s largest corporations, is also considered to be one of its last true conglomerates. What started out from humble beginnings in Thomas Edison’s work shop in New Jersey has grown into a multinational behemoth. While most famous for its light bulbs that bring “good things to light,” many people don’t realize that for much of the last decade, GE was basically a bank.


The Center Of The Universe

September 27, 2013 2:04 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Comments

I enjoyed this turn of phrase, particularly since I had recently read about a cable outage in Fairfield, CT that resulted in numerous 911 calls because it occurred in the middle of an episode of “Breaking Bad.” You are not the center of the universe. Never has this concept been required more.


Bluetooth Developer Training—Application Accelerator

September 26, 2013 2:01 pm | by Steve Hegenderfer, Director of Development Programs at the Bluetooth SIG | Comments

Also new this year, almost every major operating system platform—Apple, Google, Microsoft, and BlackBerry—now offers native support of Bluetooth Smart. This means that developers no longer need to worry about which Bluetooth stack is being used on a particular device.


The Importance Of Metal Fabrication Management

September 25, 2013 11:08 am | by Mike Bowlby, Owner, Mack Hils Metal Fabrication | Comments

Successful metal fabrication companies are always on a mission to improve their lead times to cut down on operating costs and to increase customer satisfaction. Many managers may try to analyze what the company does or doesn’t need, or which of the available suppliers might be cheaper and/or faster, yet provide them with their company’s specific needs without sacrificing quality in their products.


Design Can (and Will) Transform Lives

September 24, 2013 8:23 am | by Louise Rainone, Vice President of Marketing, PCDworks | Comments

IDSA is my favorite conference to attend because it’s not just people talking about good design; it’s filled with conversations about how design can transform lives. It’s a very powerful message, especially in today’s society of design-centric businesses.


Will The Wave of New Wearable Products Change Product Development?

September 23, 2013 8:18 am | by Kevin Prendeville | Comments

With this market gaining momentum, a key question needs to be addressed: How prepared are manufacturers to design and deliver these new and innovative types of products time and time again?  To answer this question, manufacturers have several factors to consider.


Out Of The Morass

September 18, 2013 4:19 pm | by Mike Rainone, Co-Founder, PCDworks | Comments

We are constantly bombarded by the “fact” that we are overspending on social programs, which jeopardizes the wonderful future that our great grandchildren so richly deserve. Let’s get this straight, no one deserves anything. Every generation must earn its place.


Cars, Cameras & Computers: License Plates For The 21st Century

September 18, 2013 8:36 am | by Karl Stephan, Consulting Engineer, Texas State University, San Marcos | Comments

Many new cars now carry in their onboard computers a system that amounts to a "black box" which records data on control settings, acceleration, and other information that is of interest to insurance companies and lawyers in the event of an accident involving the vehicle.


SolidWorks 2014: A Cave, But Little Light

September 16, 2013 2:28 pm | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D | Comments

The Cave is a familiar element gaining ground in the industry that places the user in a virtual environment and allows them to manipulate and interact with 3D objects and within three dimensional spaces. It’s somewhat disorienting, but an entertaining experience.


Robots Are Not The Enemy

September 12, 2013 11:54 am | by Robert Atkinson, President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation | Comments

It has become a popular meme that “robots are destroying our jobs.” How else do we explain today’s persistent high unemployment? While scores of pundits and analysts have made this claim in the last couple of years, perhaps no one has done more to popularize this theory than MIT scholars Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, who argue workers are, “losing the race against the machine, a fact reflected in today’s employment statistics.”


How Much Do Your Groceries Cost?

September 12, 2013 11:02 am | by Doug Wallace, CPIM, Life Cycle Engineering | Comments

About once a year (usually during the Christmas holiday) we also delve into the depths of the dry goods cabinets, tossing some of the stuff that hasn’t moved, and restocking everything else neatly according to item, shape, size etc. If we’re lucky, the fruits of those labors might last until New Year’s Day. So why do I tell you all this, and what does it have to do with inventory?


Quality, Process Improvement & Uncomfortable Truths

September 11, 2013 11:34 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Comments

Engineers speak a different language. My fellow engineers will label me “traitor” for confessing it, but it’s true. Of course, the language-of-engineers uses the same regional language as everyone else, but the words themselves have specific meaning to engineers that are different than everyone else’s.


$150,000 Car Of The Future: Driver Not Needed

September 10, 2013 3:19 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Comments

Think of the amount of time commuters everywhere could gain back – without having to actually think about driving, commuters can now safely take a phone call, catch up on the news, or maybe even nap (if you’re the type to put complete trust into driverless technology).


Renewable Energy: Security For Vulnerable Import Dependent Nations

September 9, 2013 12:03 pm | by Anders Jansson, CEO, Minesto | Comments

The need for a secure and reliable energy supply is a seldom mentioned but very important driver for many nations moving towards clean and renewable energy supply. Paradoxically, the very factors that have made many nations dependent on imported energy, like being surrounded by water, can work to their benefit since many island nations have great potential for marine energy.


What We Don't Know About Chemical Accidents

September 5, 2013 8:35 am | by Karl Stephan, Consulting Engineer, Texas State University, San Marcos | Comments

When a team of Dallas Morning News reporters tried to answer what they thought was a simple, straightforward question about the frequency of chemical accidents, they found a mare's nest of conflicting and incomplete statistics.         


Improve, Redesign Or Walk Away

August 29, 2013 10:30 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Comments

A repeated theme in post comments, e-mailed questions, and discussions about various process and business improvement methodologies is doubt about the real potential of process improvement methods. Can we really improve processes to an optimal level, or can a process only be improved to a limited degree before it must be completely scrapped and re-invented?


Piracy, Printing And A New Era Of Manufacturing

August 27, 2013 9:47 am | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D | Comments

A topic that doesn’t seem to come up, at least via outlets that are 3D-printer friendly (which are in a powerful majority at this point), is the proliferation of piracy thanks to the quickly emerging 3D-printer market. Much like Napster brought a slapped major record labels across the face, 3D printing is poised to make major manufacturers shake in their boots… maybe.


A ‘Made In America’ Walmart: Truth Or Gimmick?

August 23, 2013 7:00 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, | Comments

Based on many of the comments left behind on yesterday’s announcement that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. would be holding a summit on U.S. manufacturing, there’s a fair amount of skepticism over the company’s motives, particularly considering its long history of sourcing a vast majority of products from overseas.


Engineering American Energy Independence

August 21, 2013 4:12 pm | by Bill Kerney, Contributor | Comments

Fracking is dramatically increasing the recoverable reserves of America carbon-based energy supplies. but yesterday I just paid $4.15 to fill up my car at the USA gas station in Cardiff, Calif. There is a huge disconnect between supply and the price at the pump.


Surprise Yourself With The True Potential Of Your Process

August 20, 2013 4:16 pm | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Comments

Each of us has a nemesis process; that process that we engage regularly and that drives us crazy because of its inefficiency, its guarantee to waste our time or energy, and some variety of reasons that prevent it from being reasonably improved. Some of us have more than one.



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