DHL Global Forwarding held its first annual U.S. Chemicals Supply Chain Conference last month to discuss the challenges, security and various global economic factors pushing the industry’s growth in Europe and shale gas production in the U.S. Chem.Info sat down with Tim Robertson to talk more about this projected growth and how companies can prepare for it.
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in May for the 12th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 60th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.
Sustainable improvement has recently become a buzzword for manufacturers. Change has been implemented, processes updated and teams successfully trained to use them. And yet, somewhere along the way, old habits rear their ugly heads, improvements begin to slip away and managers struggle to motivate a previously enthusiastic workforce.
Operating executives looking to produce a wider variety and higher volume of products may think it’s time to expand the plant or invest in new equipment. But in many cases, they can improve their current output from their existing machinery. Learn how faster setup times and improved equipment performance can translate into increased capacity, more flexibility, reduced lead time and costs, and better quality and speed.
The Chemical Activity Barometer has reached its highest peak since February 2008, while also posting its highest year over year gain since September 2010. The CAB realized a healthy 0.8 percent gain over April, and is up a solid 4.1 percent over this time last year. The data reflect upward revisions for the previous five months, suggesting more than just a rebound from the adverse winter months.
A common question customers will ask is “What polyurethane product do I use for my application?” With so many different types of applications, practically no two are the same. The trick is to figure out what material properties are the most important, while at the same time keeping price and processability in mind.
The results of limescale build-up are a higher pressure drop across a water treatment system. This translates into higher operating costs and eventually the need to clean or replace the reverse osmosis membranes. Electronic Water Treatment (EWT) can be the ideal solution for preventing limescale build-up in RO membranes.
In the considering Big Data, as well as other emerging trends like mobility, cloud technology and how to implement metrics programs that drive the most performance improvement, LNS Research teamed up with MESA International to create the ‘Metrics that Matter’ survey. With over 200 responses, it aims to identify the ways leading manufacturers are approaching these and other manufacturing technologies and initiatives.
A persistent problem in the food industry is the contamination with foreign material from ingredients, processing equipment and the environment. To establish the correct preventive measures and develop a successful program that withstands FDA scrutiny, food quality employees need specialized materials analysis training that enables them to characterize and identify raw material, processing contaminants and their sources.
The evolving regulatory environment presents many challenges to food and beverage manufacturers. And today’s consumers are more vocal than ever, driving the regulation of certain substances that come into contact with foods and beverages during production. Perception is often the new reality and product manufacturers must proactively address any chemicals of concern to ensure brand integrity and consumer loyalty.
Liaoyang Petroleum’s Olefin Factory in the Hongwei District of mainland China, producing MEG and polypropylene, is saving $65,000 a year in maintenance following the installation of a computerized, electronic water conditioner.
Detroit’s Wastewater Treatment Plant is one of the largest in the United States, serving more than a third of Michigan’s population. To better protect the rivers from runoff, the city began building a network of combined sewer overflow basins 25 years ago. By capturing and substantially treating the storm water, the basins play a major role in protecting the surrounding watersheds, and the people and wildlife living there.
This is an all-too-familiar story: a young person enlists in the U.S. military, completes their service and then finds themselves in a difficult period of transitioning back into civilian life. But, when it comes to understanding the need for reliability and maintenance, look no further than veterans — they know the stakes if a piece of equipment fails.
Predictive maintenance practices are entrenched in regulation-driven manufacturing sectors with high costs of downtime, such as refineries or pharmaceuticals, but for the average facility, the ROI for predictive maintenance hasn’t been there. Not all facilities have the budgets to implement a predictive maintenance system, but by incorporating smart devices they can raise the effectiveness of even a small maintenance team.
As concern about the environmental impact of manufacturing grows, increased shareholder activism has the potential to affect any company’s approach. Recent changes in how the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission looks at shareholder proposals are giving activists a bigger voice, forcing manufacturers adapt to the new environment.