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The economic reports this week were mixed with several reports coming in weaker than expected.

Solid Market Rebound, Expansion Expected To Continue

May 30, 2014 1:00 am | by American Chemistry Council | Comments

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.

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Choosing The Right Material For The Job

May 29, 2014 1:00 am | by Anderson Development | Comments

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. 

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Reduce Fouling With Electronic Water Treatment

May 28, 2014 1:00 am | by Jan De Baat Doelman, President, Scalewatcher North America Inc. | Comments

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.

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Manufacturers Weigh In On Big Data

May 22, 2014 1:00 am | by Greg Goodwin, LNS Research | Comments

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.

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Choosing the Right Preventive-Control Training

May 21, 2014 1:00 am | by Chuck Zona, Vice President and Dean, Hooke College of Applied Science and Cheryl Murley, Quality Manager, McCrone Associates | Comments

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.

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Q&A: Addressing Chemicals Of Concern Amid Regulatory Pressures

May 19, 2014 1:00 am | by Lindsey Jahn, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | Comments

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.

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Saving Thousands By Removing Scale

May 15, 2014 1:00 am | by Jan de Baat Doelman, Scalewatcher | Comments

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.   

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Protecting Detroit's Water With Better Controls

May 14, 2014 1:00 am | by Rockwell Automation | Comments

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.

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Veterans Filling In The Manufacturing Skills Gap

May 12, 2014 1:00 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Comments

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.

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Changing The Tune On Asset Uptime

May 8, 2014 11:09 am | by Leah Friberg, Education and Public Affairs, Fluke Corporation | Comments

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. 

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Adapting To Shareholder Environmental Concerns

May 7, 2014 1:00 am | by Patrick Daugherty, Foley & Lardner LLP | Comments

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.

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Solving An Age-Old Powder Handling Dilemma

May 5, 2014 1:00 am | by Spiroflow Systems | Comments

Access Security Products Ltd. manufacturer burglary and fire resistant vaults and security equipment using a proprietary cement mixture in the walls that render them almost impenetrable to thieves and fire. This material also happens to be very difficult to handle. After a year of using a crane to manually unload, they finally found a real solution.

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ISM: Solid Numbers All Around

May 2, 2014 2:03 pm | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Comments

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in April for the 11th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 59th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

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The Pros & Cons Of Outsourced vs. In-House Maintenance

May 1, 2014 1:00 am | by Mike Johnston, CRMP, Senior Consultant, T.A. Cook Consultants, Inc. | Comments

Outsourced contract maintenance is becoming an increasingly prevalent method for companies to maintain their assets. There are three approaches to maintenance management: In-house staffing, a hybrid of in-house and outsourcing, and complete outsourcing. How these may be applied and to what extent is driven by each company and their own unique needs.

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The Disconnect Between Equipment Purchasers And Factory Operators Costs Manufacturers Billions

April 30, 2014 1:00 am | by IHS Technology | Comments

A lack of communication, combined with a short-sighted fixation on holding down factory capital expenditures, is incurring massive energy-inefficiency costs for manufacturers during the lifetimes of their production facilities.

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