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Video fire detection employs surveillance cameras and software analytics to detect smoke and flames.   Those who work in and visit high-rise office buildings, warehouses, petroleum storage facilities, electric power plants, and other sizable structures and outdoor work areas are commonly subject to safety and security issues beyond their control. This includes the potential of injury and death due to fire and explosion. Corporations typically spend sizable sums of money in an attempt to minimize the risks. For example, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) of Quincy, MA, in 2016, there were 1,342,000 fires reported in the United ...
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"The level of disruption ... is at a level unlike anything that any of our customers have ever seen," Roos tells Plant Services.   Darren Roos officially took the reins as CEO of Global Enterprise Software Company IFS on April 1, succeeding the now-retired Alastair Sorbie. In naming Roos, most recently the President of SAP's cloud ERP business, as the company's new Chief, IFS touted his "track record for establishing and scaling global software businesses" and his "reputation as a customer advocate, industry thought leader and cloud expert." Roos sat down with Plant Services Chief Editor, Thomas Wilk and Managing Editor Christine LaFave Grace in March ...
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Over the next 7 to 9 years, labor management is going to play the #1 role in the growth of your company.  With qualified labor being so hard to find, it is important you know how competitive you are in the marketplace in the area of wages and benefits. No other source provides you this critical information.  This survey compares you to your competition nationally and in your local region on: 20 hourly wage positions 14 salaried management and executive positions Company benefit structure MTI's   Benchmarking Committee is pleased to announce the 2018 Wage and Benefit Survey as one of MTI's most valuable benefits. With labor being ...
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Furnaces North America 2018 (FNA 2018), presented by the Metal Treating Institute, in partnership with Industrial Heating Magazine, is the heat treating industry’s marquee event every other year.  FNA 2018 will attract attendees from over 40 states and 20 countries, including Fortune 500 companies.  For three days attendees take part in networking, connections, and learning about the vast changes taking place on emerging technologies, industry trends, and advances in equipment.  Change is happening at such a rapid pace in today’s economy, both commercial and captive heat treat plants can’t afford to miss FNA 2018.  Demographic shifts, emerging technologies, ...
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Industrial control systems need protection, too. Cybersecurity and the threat of malicious actors make headlines every day. Boards of directors are recognizing cyber threats as one of the most significant risks. To date, this cybersecurity discussion has centered largely on IT systems; however, the industrial control system (ICS) that operates a facility is often as critical as or more critical than the IT system to an industrial company’s financial results. The FBI issued a warning in 2016 to the nation’s power companies that the sophisticated cyber-attack techniques used to bring down portions of the Ukraine’s power grid in 2015 could easily be used ...
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Calibration Intervals

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Establishing calibration intervals for gages and instruments is a tricky business, particularly if you’re starting from scratch. Calibration data, knowledge of metrology, and experience come into play in this game, so before we begin let’s look at the goal we hope to achieve. Reliable calibration intervals will ensure that the equipment you are using remains in a state of precision, suitable for your work tolerances. Simply speaking, you are able to replace, repair, or adjust before the gage or instrument is worn out, or starts acting up enough to call your measurements or acceptance decisions into question.  The most common method of setting calibration ...
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Cyber Risk Management

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Approaching cybersecurity first requires a thorough risk assessment. Completing that assessment is not as complicated as you might think. Cybersecurity is a hot topic in the industrial control system (ICS) world. What does cybersecurity mean to your organization and how do you implement proper cybersecurity? Determining how or what control an organization implements should be based on how you choose to handle risk. Risk within an organization can either be accepted (do nothing), mitigated (implement a control), or transferred (get insurance). To most efficiently implement the proper controls, a risk assessment must first be completed. Completing a risk ...
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I have had the opportunity to coach a number of different leaders. Sometimes I am asked to observe how a leader interacts with their team members and then provide the leader with feedback about the impact of their behavior on the team. When I observe a lack of engagement in a leader’s meeting, I interview team members to discover the reasons for their lack of engagement in team meetings.  My observations have led me to identify a number of behaviors that can hurt a leader’s credibility with their team. I hope by sharing some common ways leaders undermine themselves, you can look for similarities that may be negatively impacting your leadership and make any ...
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If you don't know where you're vulnerable, someone else will find out. We live in a digital era – one in which data collection and sharing happens instantaneously across channels, creating enhanced efficiencies and providing faster results. The internet of things (IoT) is changing the workplace, and that includes how the manufacturing industry conducts business. IoT is the interconnectivity of how the digital world integrates and interacts with the physical world, and manufacturing is one of the sectors being affected the most. Intel predicts that by 2025, IoT technology’s global worth could be as much as $6.2 trillion USD, including a potential of $2.3 ...
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Millions are at stake when it comes to maintaining planes, plants, and mission-critical industrial equipment. It's money worth fighting for, and it could be yours if you master the digital thread.   For many years, the question of who manages the maintenance of complex products like airplanes, ships, mining equipment, power plants, and oil refineries has vacillated between manufacturers and the owner-operators. Owning and controlling the service, maintenance, and upgrades for this complex equipment is big business that can last 20 to 40+ years, depending on the product. At stake are millions of dollars of annual maintenance — either revenue to be gained ...
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New systems open door to big operational equipment efficiencies, less scrap, better quality and Batch Size 1   New systems, software, and processes are replacing so-called islands of automation with seamless, automated manufacturing lines that boost overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) from 30 to 80% or more. Like a chess master, these systems think multiple moves ahead on the factory floor to ensure continuing production when circumstances change. These systems cut scrap, improve quality, improve throughput and—the pièce de résistance—open the door to extreme customization, a.k.a. “Order of One” and “Batch Size 1.” Automated processes include pallet ...
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Job openings in the manufacturing sector recently soared to the highest reading since January 2001, with 451,000 openings in April, up from 421,000 in March. Overall, the pace of manufacturing job openings has trended higher, consistent with the tight labor market seen in other data. While the generation of new jobs is nearly always welcome news, the gap between the number of manufacturing workers and available manufacturing jobs—often a result of the fact that there simply are not enough qualified applicants to fill them—is a serious problem for manufacturers. Indeed, manufacturers cited the inability to attract and retain talent as their top concern in ...
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Industrial Heating Magazine , in cooperation with the Metal Treating Institute and the MTI Educational Foundation, is excited to announce nominations are now open for the Commercial Heat Treater of the Year Award . I invite you to nominate an MTI member company for the 2018 Commercial Heat Treater of the   Year. You can nominate any company that you feel is qualified – including your own if you are a commercial heat treater.  This honor will be given to one MTI commercial heat treating member that demonstrates that they are “making a positive impact on their community and the industry.” The award, which will be presented at the 2018 Fall Meeting Awards ...
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We walk through the key steps and essential building blocks required to develop a disaster recovery strategy and how to write a disaster recovery plan.   The main aim of IT disaster recovery planning is to generate a detailed recovery plan that can be executed upon in the case of an unforeseen outage.   Such a plan should set out the detailed steps needed to recover your IT systems to a state in which they can support the business after a disaster. In so doing the disaster recovery plan must successfully cover the range of events your organization might face.   But, there are tasks that precede the creation of a detailed recovery plan. Key ...
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The connected worker is proactive not reactive. Timely data, automation, and information mean their attention is redirected toward more valuable activities like continuous improvement.   You might have noticed smartphones and wearable technology made for the average consumer now being integrated into manufacturing facilities. Smart watches, mobiles, Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity, and asset sensors are all coming together to make the industrial worker more connected. According to a study from Accenture , 85% of manufacturing executives in North America, Europe, and Asia believe connected workers will be commonplace in their plants by 2020. ...
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MTI is pleased to announce the 2018 nomination process is now available for open Board of Trustee seats and the annual leadership and service awards.   Being elected to the MTI Board is a huge opportunity for any eligible member.  You have the opportunity to interact with the best minds in the industry, and to be a part of a team that looks deep into challenges faced by the industry and works toward creating solutions.  Recognition by receiving one of MTI’s Leadership and Service Awards is another big honor.  Please read below and nominate anyone who may fit our awards criteria and is deserving of recognition. Details are as follows for Board and Award ...
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With summer fast approaching, it’s prudent to examine the factors that determine the price of electricity and natural gas supply throughout the United States. Summer is typically a “demand” season – a season where the energy needs of the country necessitate that we expend energy sources, such as natural gas, rather than expand them. Naturally, that demand primarily corresponds to the intensity of summer weather we experience. As we explained in a previous article , late afternoons in mid-summer typically make up the grid’s “peak demand” days. Those peak demand days affect a business’s capacity tags, and how that can lead to reduced or increased expenses going ...
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Artificial intelligence is positioning itself as the transformative technology of the century. The speed at which it is improving manufacturing operations leaves the industry with two options: Embrace the machines or get left behind. It's difficult to identify exactly what Stephen Hawking will be most remembered for. Is it his contributions to cosmology and our understanding of space-time? Or maybe quantum mechanics and the very key to unlocking reality? Maybe it's the fortitude of the human spirit and mind, which he proved can thrive even as the body atrophies. Hawking had ALS for 55 of his 76 years, a disease which stripped him of his mobility in the ...
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NAM Economic Report

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There were continuing signs of strength in the U.S. manufacturing sector in the latest data. For instance, the   IHS Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI   inched up to 56.6 in May, its strongest expansion pace since September 2014. Employment and future output helped to lift the overall headline index in the United States, with the latter recording its best reading since February 2015. This bodes well for production growth over the coming months. Moreover, manufacturing activity remained robust in the latest surveys from the   Kansas City   and   Richmond   Federal Reserve Banks, as well, with the composite index of general business conditions in the ...
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There’s a symbiotic relationship between MES and ERP systems. Your competitive advantage depends on the integration of data from the shop floor up. For more than 10 years I have been following a number of companies in the implementation of manufacturing execution systems (MES). My involvement has ranged from analyzing the requirements and the potential return on investment, to defining the specifications, to training the operators in how to use the system. In many of these MES projects, one of the triggering elements has been the installation of a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system or the replacement of an existing one. It was therefore natural ...
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