Archive: May 2011

The Hazards of Defective Product Returns

Product defects are problematic for customers, manufacturers, and even the legal system. In truth, product defects are a symptom of larger problems within the manufacturing and distribution processes. A problem that begins as a small hiccup has grown into a full-scale crisis by the time the first defects are returned to the plant. Such problems…

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The Manufacturing Renaissance

Manufacturing has been in the news of late, surrounded by optimistic musings of a manufacturing “renaissance”. Bloomberg’s Business Week devoted an entire section of the magazine to it and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) devoted an entire roundtable session to the idea. But what is a renaissance really and why is news of this phenomenon…

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How States Are Luring Multinationals Back to the U.S.

It began a few years ago. Multinational firms have started relocating to the U.S., reversing a trend of increased outsourcing since the 1960s. The subtle transition to the U.S. for manufacturing went unnoticed and minimally reported on in the media, due to the recession that the country was dealing with, but when the quarterly economic…

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Sensing Potential Problems Before They Happen

Factory automation has created many areas along the assembly line that are unmanned by human workers. Traditionally, workers using the equipment everyday spotted spontaneous problems. This was in addition to stringent preventative maintenance protocols. With that hands-on attention gone, companies have come up with other ways to detect problems that pop up in the line…

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Lessons on Pick and Sort Technology from the Recycling Industry

Depending on the industry, picking and sorting may be one of the most valuable departments in the factory. This isn’t an exaggeration. Just think of the immense confusion that can arise from the wrong parts going into a project or packaging. Imagine the wrong items going out to clients. A picking and sorting sector needs…

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Considerations for an Emergency Management Plan

When we discussed the first steps factory managers have to take in an emergency situation, we mentioned having a clear grasp of your company’s emergency plan ahead of time. Today, we’ll talk about a few attributes of a fine-tuned emergency management plan. 2011 has already been a dangerous year for natural disasters. The deadly tornadoes,…

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Recent Improvements In Preventative Maintenance

The preventative maintenance process is often time consuming, as every machine and component on it has to be checked for damage, wearing and debris. Because of the procedures that must be performed, you can only shave so much time off the inspection process without putting the machine’s safety and reliability in danger. Or at least…

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The First Four Things To Do In A Plant Crisis

Imagine that the power has gone out, or the snow has piled up quickly, with several managers and an entire shift of workers still working in the plant. What happens next? In the first few minutes of a crisis, it is of critical importance that you already have an established plan ahead of time, because…

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