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Six Challenges Facing The Modern Manufacturer

November 11, 2014 | by Danielle Iera, TPC Wire & Cable Corp. | Comments

Manufacturing is an ever-changing industry, where manufacturers and processors face new issues and concerns every year. Since this year is no exception, here are a few of the top concerns.                         

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Forget The Garage, GE Research Was Born In A Barn

November 14, 2014 11:18 am | by GE Reports | Comments

Yesterday, GE added Brazil to its list of global research centers when it opened the Brazil Technology Center in Rio de Janeiro, its first R&D center in Latin America. The gleaming $500 million center has come a long way since GE’s R&D beginning more than a century ago: a barn behind the house of engineer Charles Steinmetz.

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What's Keeping Chemical CEOs Up At Night

November 10, 2014 11:53 am | by Stefan Guertzgen, Senior Director of Chemicals, SAP | Comments

With the chemical industry back in the game, so to speak, executives can finally start to relax and enjoy the ride, right? Wrong. A new threat is looming on the horizon with the potential to seriously jeopardize projects and the progress of the industry as a whole. The issue: the limited supply of skilled labor.

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CLP: The Perfect Storm Of Compliance

November 6, 2014 2:10 pm | by Neil Gleghorn, CEO of Kallik | Comments

The chemicals sector is no stranger to radical change, but the Classification, Labeling and Packaging EU regulation, which is meant to align with GHS and REACH on June 1, 2015 introduces a whole new set of criteria for warning users of Physical (explosives, flammable gas, etc.), Health and Environmental Hazards.

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Process Solutions For Taking Your Products Gluten-Free

October 28, 2014 1:00 am | by Kevin Wilson, Senior Project Engineer, Stellar | Comments

Ingredient changes and process design solutions are much easier to engineer in a new plant than in an existing one. Plants can design dedicated process lines, separate storage areas and well-planned cleaning processes to avoid any cross-contamination issues. With gluten-free products firmly ingrained, retrofitting an existing plant to incorporate this allergen into the current product mix can be challenging.

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The Inversion Crackdown Is In Full Swing

October 24, 2014 1:00 am | by Maura Falk, Associate Editor, IMPO Magazine | Comments

It looks like the Obama administration has finally thrown down the gauntlet with companies moving their headquarters overseas. For years, companies have been buying smaller businesses abroad and, in turn, evading taxes. This practice is called inversion, and President Obama seems to be at the end of his rope with it, going so far as to call it an unpatriotic practice...

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A Misused Metric Is Worse Than No Metric At All

October 23, 2014 1:00 am | by Dan Miklovic, LNS Research | Comments

LNS Research embodies the expression “you can’t control what you don’t measure.” With that, they’ve focused a significant part of their research on identifying the “Metrics That Matter.” And one of the most interesting topics to their Global Executive Council is benchmarking and understanding how to measure performance.

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Banning Plastic Bags May Be Bad Science

October 14, 2014 1:00 am | by Chris Fox, Editor, Manufacturing.net | Comments

California Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic shopping bags, following the lead of more than 100 California cities and counties. The fight between environmentalists and manufacturers is not over, as the data begins to show that plastic might not be as bad as you'd think...

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Why Pennsylvania Should Not Enact A Severance Tax On Natural Gas

October 10, 2014 9:51 am | by Tracy Miller, Associate Professor of Economics, Grove City College | Comments

As the governor’s race heats up in Pennsylvania, one of the central issues is whether to enact a severance tax on natural gas. Democratic candidate Tom Wolf has emphasized that Pennsylvania is the only state without a severance tax and critics of the status quo argue that the state is giving away resources by not imposing the tax... 

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Chemicals mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the fourth quarter of 2013 saw a large uptick that helped level off 2013 overall deal volume and value, largely in part due to divestitures and mega deals – those valued at more than $1 billion, accordi

The Future Of Chemicals: Managing Complexity & Enabling Growth With Natural Supply Chains

October 7, 2014 1:00 am | by Rohit Singh, Principal, Strategy and Marc Waco, Partner, PwC US Chemicals Advisory Leader | Comments

In an increasingly challenging climate, chemical companies are facing shifting market forces and heterogeneous customers. Many are focusing solely on all-out growth or cost-cutting strategies in an attempt to adjust course. But succeeding requires a more innovative strategy. Now more than ever, chemical companies should make the time and resource investments needed to develop new capabilities in natural supply chains.

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Talent Shortages? Blame Salary, Not Just Training

September 30, 2014 1:00 am | by Chris Fox, Editor, Manufacturing.Net | Comments

As the economy has turned around and employers have been seeking to invest in fresh blood, a consistent tone of unemployable youth has been ringing from the manufacturing and engineering ranks. The skills gap is a growing problem as baby boomers are retiring and green workers are attempting to enter the workforce. 

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America Loses Another Iconic Brand, Sort Of

September 24, 2014 4:19 pm | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing, Business Technology | Comments

It looks like foreign investors are taking one more slice of Americana pie. News broke this week that Pabst is being sold to a Russian company, which begs the question, “Can we still claim it as our own?”

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Machine Safety Labeling In The 21st Century

September 16, 2014 1:00 am | by Geoffrey Peckham, CEO of Clarion Safety Systems | Comments

If your company manufactures machinery that has potential hazards associated with its transportation, installation, use, maintenance and/or disposal, you most likely have a strong need to create effective product safety labels. And the stakes are too high for the job to be done incorrectly – people’s lives and your company’s financial well-being are on the line.

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5 Key Reasons To Keep Maintenance History

September 9, 2014 1:00 am | by Gena Lyon, Marketing Assistant for Eagle Technology, Inc. | Comments

Recording maintenance history accurately leads to failure prevention and heightens awareness about equipment maintenance. CMMS software will also narrow down performance issues to parts and elements of your equipment.      

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Why American Manufacturing Is Vital To Future Prosperity

September 2, 2014 1:00 am | by Hillary Schaub and Darrell M. West, Brookings | Comments

At the 3rdannual John White, Jr. Forum on Public Policy the topic was Regional Manufacturing Hubs in the US, and we heard from a number of different experts. As noted in a recent White House report, the manufacturing industry is growing, but there is still much work to be done.

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Avoiding Decision Fatigue In The Engineering Change Management Process

August 26, 2014 1:00 am | by Heatherly Bucher, Arena Solutions | Comments

In product design and manufacturing environments, we assume decisions are based on facts and technical details. But, perhaps not always. Sometimes, it could be the wrong time of day to make one more good decision.         

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