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Is ‘Low-Cost’ Manufacturing Headed To The U.S. Next?

July 22, 2014 | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Comments

The U.S. is now considered the prime location for low-cost manufacturing, with Mexico a close second and China falling behind. It’s a far cry from the trends over the last few decades and because it’s a rather extraordinary claim, it deserves a little more examination.

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Is The Texas Fertilizer Explosion Doomed To Repeat Itself?

July 15, 2014 1:00 am | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, MBT | Comments

The small town of West, Texas recently marked the one year anniversary of a fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people and injured 200 others. Subsequent news on the accident went largely unnoticed, because it happened on April 17, two days after the Boston Marathon. But since the blast little has been done to ensure it won’t happen again.

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4 Manufacturing Software Applications That Support Operational Agility

July 8, 2014 1:00 am | by Greg Goodwin, LNS Research | Comments

Chances are, an increased rate of production response to changes in supply and demand is high on your operational wish-list. And you’re not alone. When it comes to increased agility, it’s hard to argue there’s such a thing as too fast, and even small improvements in the ability to quickly ramp production up or down can translate to significant long-term bottom-line gains.

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Are Manufacturers Stuck In The 20th Century?

July 1, 2014 1:00 am | by James Jensen, VP of Products and Services, Perillon | Comments

With a variety of automated Environmental Management Information Systems to track and report environmental, health and safety compliance, it’s surprising that many companies are using manual programs. Why are companies accepting liability associated with these archaic programs and what can they do to bring their EH&S systems into the 21st century?

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Let’s briefly explore some of the more elemental aspects of maintenance management life. In the last few years, a prodigious amount of effort and time has resulted in mapping the entire human genome. All this research has enabled us to solve the fundament

Cracking The Code: Maintenance Genetics

June 20, 2014 1:00 am | by Joel Levitt, Life Cycle Engineering | Comments

Let’s briefly explore some of the more elemental aspects of maintenance management life. Has research finally enabled us to solve the fundamental problem faced by managers of maintenance workers since the time of the pyramids: what makes maintenance people tick?

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How Trustworthy Is The Data You’re Using?

June 17, 2014 9:07 am | by Rich Garvin, Training & Development Manager, Knovel | Comments

How are your engineering and sales teams gathering they data they use to make decisions? Are they getting it from reputable sources? Rich Garvin, the Training & Development Manager at Knovel, offers some guidance as to how to do web-based research - safely.

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The Impact Of Consumer IT Trends On Manufacturing Software

June 2, 2014 1:00 am | by Greg Goodwin, LNS Research | Comments

It's a multi-tasking world and the line between work and personal activities is becoming fuzzy, with technology at least partly to blame. More and more of our everyday activities have incorporated interactive displays, live feeds and Internet accessibility, and, in addition to changing the way we relate to each other and navigate the consumer market, it’s having a noticeable effect on enterprise operations.

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IoT Transforming The Industrial Sector

May 20, 2014 1:00 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director | Comments

When breaking down the multi-faceted components, resources and benefits the Internet of Things encompasses, it clearly offers an intriguing display of opportunity, investment and concern. IoT’s surge into the everyday lives of nearly every person represents significant social and cultural change, with its impact being felt in numerous areas - including manufacturing.

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New Approaches To Contract Manufacturing Open Doors For Manufacturers

May 13, 2014 1:00 am | by David Douthit, Operations Executive, Accenture | Comments

Although many companies have a limited view of contract manufacturing, manufacturing leaders have recognized the benefits of using it as a part of their long-term production strategy. These benefits can be particularly important in an economic environment characterized by rising customer expectations, growing complexity and ever-increasing volatility.   

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The Enlightened Plant

May 6, 2014 1:00 am | by Peter G. Martin and Grant Le Sueur | Comments

Information without context is just noise. The best way to filter the noise is to ensure that each plant function — operations, maintenance, safety, etc. — has clear, up-to-date information on how it can contribute most effectively to safe, successful operation. Although each role operates within multiple contexts, automation systems can offer useful assistance.

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77 Safety Glasses

April 29, 2014 1:00 am | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Comments

If you’re not open to letting suppliers into your plant, your competition may be – and then skipping these kinds of service offerings goes from a missed opportunity to a threat to your competitive advantage.                          

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Finding The Next Generation Of Manufacturers

April 22, 2014 1:00 am | by Timm Johnson, Vice President of Sales/Marketing, Spee-Dee | Comments

Notice anything about your workforce? Some of them may be graying and soon preparing to retire. The age of your workforce represents a good opportunity for qualified younger employees to step in and launch their career. The problem you face is finding that young person...

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Recent growth in the manufacturing industry has exposed a staggering downward trend that threatens future growth: a severe shortage of manufacturing talent. Quickly advancing technology combined with aging workforces, negative perceptions of the market an

Recruit & Retain: Closing The Talent Gap

April 15, 2014 1:00 am | by Jeff Turner, president and founder, Turner Machine Company | Comments

Recent growth in the manufacturing industry has exposed a trend that threatens future growth: a shortage of manufacturing talent. Advancing technology combined with aging workforces, negative perceptions of the market and a lack of up-and-coming workers make it more important than ever for companies to focus on employee recruitment and retention.

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A couple of weeks ago one of Chevron's fracking well pads exploded and caused a deadly fire in a small town in Pennsylvania. Since, the apology letters and coupons for free pizza have met with a great deal of internet scorn. Is there a "right" way to apol

American Perceptions Of Power

April 8, 2014 1:00 am | by Nikita Ernst, Associate Editor | Comments

More and more Americans claim to be informed about where their energy comes from, but does that knowledge translate into behavior? A poll conducted in February shows that the majority of Americans make small efforts to save energy, but larger lifestyle changes have yet to materialize. 

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A couple of weeks ago one of Chevron's fracking well pads exploded and caused a deadly fire in a small town in Pennsylvania. Since, the apology letters and coupons for free pizza have met with a great deal of internet scorn. Is there a "right" way to apol

Looking Back At The West Virginia Chemical Spill: Myths & Facts

April 1, 2014 1:00 am | by Nikita Ernst, Associate Editor | Comments

Unsurprisingly, many are using the West Viriginia chemical spill to push the government to tighten chemical regulations across the country. The typical reaction to this kind of incident is to demand increased transparency - but is that the real problem? And is it a real solution? A new report lays out some of the myths and facts surrounding the spill and the media frenzy that followed. 

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Take Profitability To The Next Level

March 28, 2014 1:00 am | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Comments

Many small manufacturers have good sales records but rarely keep summaries of profitability. For many manufacturers, the focus is a bit more on production, customer service, safety and labor — and a bit less on the margins that take up the white space in between. But it’s hard to just “be profitable” without taking into consideration the millions of variables that contribute to the success or failure of a company...

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