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What are some of the underlying reasons why hand injuries are still so common? Responding is Uzma Altaf, senior marketing specialist and social media strategist,  Protective Industrial Products Inc. , Latham, NY. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported in 2017. Because most injuries are avoidable, we need to understand why the injury rate remains enormous. The top providers of safety products are well acquainted with injury statistics by industry and have worked on efficiency and usage tools to help reduce workplace injuries. When it comes to hand protection, one ...
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CBM can increase system reliability and productivity, and decrease maintenance costs. That means high ROI — which is appealing to every manufacturer. The machine condition-monitoring market is expected to grow from  $2.38 billion this year to $3.5 billion by 2024 , according to MarketsandMarkets, mainly due to the increased availability of condition monitoring sensors and the growing number organizations looking to implement advanced maintenance strategies like Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) and Predictive Maintenance. For such projects, the right preparation is half the battle. CBM is an aspect of "predictive maintenance" that relies on monitoring ...
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Each organization’s challenges may stack up differently based on considerations like industry sector, product/service type, customer base and culture. Figure 1. An interrelationship digraph in a matrix format was created to rate the relative importance of the priority quality challenges.   Successful management and leadership of the quality department for an organization involves an integrated approach that includes a communication network that extends both horizontally and vertically within the organization, as well as outward to customers and suppliers. The top 10 challenges identified below are the primary constraints to achieving effective quality ...
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Cost avoidance, better networks make better financial sense. Even though industrial manufacturing companies are realizing greater efficiencies due to the implementation of new Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies, they are still under immense pressure to improve productivity and operational profitability. Safety has a huge role in that. Today, stricter regulations and the risk of reputational damage that can rapidly cut a company’s share price mean plant managers need to pay even more attention to ensure their people, assets, and operations are continuously safe. There’s good reason for that. Even though OSHA reports worker injury and illnesses ...
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Montreal - Air travel will become more affordable and more environmentally friendly with 3D printing technology in the near future. The airplanes of American, Boeing, and European Airbus already have a few components produced with 3D printing. Although 3D printing technology becomes more and more common in many industries, it has still relatively a small share in the aviation industry. In the future, therefore, Boeing and Airbus, the two major manufacturers plan to increase the number of such parts in the production of passenger planes. The first airplane containing a 3D-printed component took off in 2014. It was an Airbus A350 with a small 3D-printed titanium ...
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Are you an artificial intelligence (AI) optimist or pessimist? Today, AI is often thought of as either the end of the world as we know it; when robots will take all of our jobs; or the answer to all our problems, when AI is the ultimate solution to save the planet. It’s ironic that such a complex technology often provokes such a simple, binary response. Ultimately, that’s a problem when it comes to utilizing AI’s full potential.  Anyone who actually works with AI will tell you that the truth about the technology is less dramatic, at least in the short-term, but far more relevant now than you can imagine. The key to successfully utilizing AI is to combine its ...
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Two elements that are on every business owner’s mind are the uncertainty of the economy, and how to keep good people in an environment conducive to “job-hopping”.  At the MTI Spring Meeting in Hollywood, Florida, you will experience two days of sessions that will energize and inspire you on both topics, and it all takes place at one of the most amazing resorts in the country…The Diplomat Beach Resort & Spa.   MTI is excited to bring in Ken Gronbach, the nation’s leading speaker on demographics, and Jim Knight, one of the leading speakers nationally on building a workplace culture that rocks.  Ken’s opening keynote will share how the U.S. economy is at ...
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Unplanned downtime is the single largest cause of lost production time for manufacturers in processing — that is food and beverage, pharmaceutical, chemical, and oil and gas production. Production stoppages in these sectors can be attributed to several causes, perhaps a lack of ingredients for the required batch, or a shortage of operators to manage the equipment. However, the most common cause of downtime in processing is equipment breakdowns.  Ultimately, time is money. If the production line is idle and products are not being processed, the delay will damage the business’ bottom line. However, it is not only lost production time that can cause financial ...
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Lightweighting isn’t new to the auto industry, but it’s finally mature enough to make a significant impact on manufacturers, drivers, and the whole planet. Even if you’re not a car aficionado, you can see why the Chevy Corvette C2—aka the Stingray—is re­vered among the pantheon of American automo­tive manufacturing. Sleek. Classy. And fast. Really, really fast. It’s everything a muscle car should be. But what you can’t immediately see is how innovative and ahead of its time it was at its 1953 release. Chevy made the Corvette body  from fiberglass rather than steel —and the difference shows on the stopwatch. A 1967 model with a 427 engine could accelerate ...
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How a new generation of grippers with improved 3D perception and tactile sensing is learning to manipulate a wide variety of objects.   Photo: Robotic Materials Inc. A gripper created by Robotic Materials Inc., founded by the author, Nikolaus Correll, performs a manipulation task during the industrial assembly competition at the World Robot Summit in Tokyo.   This is a guest post. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not represent positions of  IEEE Spectrum  or the IEEE. While robots have prepared  entire breakfasts since 1961 , general manipulation in the real world is arguably an even more complex problem than autonomous ...
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Protect personnel and processes by conducting a thorough review before operating new or updated units. A pre-startup safety review (PSSR) is a critical element of the process safety management (PSM) program mandated by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). However, due to time constraint and budget pressures, the temptation to rush or completely neglect the PSSR often exists. OSHA implemented the PSM program in 1992. It spelled out the need for a PSSR in 29 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 1910.119(i): 1910.119(i)(1)  — The employer shall perform a pre-startup safety review for new facilities and for modified facilities ...
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Oakland University professor of Lean studies Robert Van Til, Ph.D., teaches you to apply continuous improvement concepts into your shop operations. One of the most common misconceptions about Lean manufacturing techniques is that they only apply to large-scale operations. Lean is the continuous improvement of operations to cut down wastes. “What Lean tends to do is look at the system and try to identify what adds value,” explains Robert Van Til, Ph.D., Professor of Lean studies at the Oakland University School of Engineering and Computer Science and Chair of the Industrial Systems and Engineering Department. “Waiting and moving from point A to point B and ...
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Amid all the cybersecurity concerns and advice circulating throughout industry, a short checklist can be a good ongoing reference to make sure you're on track. With all the news surrounding industrial cybersecurity—from Russian hackers targeting industry to the maze of new companies created to address industrial control system (ICS) security—it can be a confusing time for companies of all sizes. How vulnerable are we, really? How much protection do we really need and where should we focus it? Should we staff up internally or rely on external expertise? These are just a few of the questions that come to mind for many companies as they assess their ...
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How the top 10% of safety performers make the most of their data. In the 1980s and early ‘90s, in order to be safer, companies typically had to slow down. In order to increase productivity, they had to take more risks. Then companies realized that safety couldn’t play second fiddle to productivity--they needed excellence in both. Social media had a dramatic effect. Photos, video, and accounts of company mishaps could go viral and destroy a brand. “We can’t keep a secret anymore,” said Mark Eitzman, Director of Business Development—Safety and Cybersecurity, for Rockwell Automation. “That has completely changed the landscape from a risk perspective.” ...
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With digital technology reaching an inflection point, manufacturers have a critical choice to make. They can continue to digitize individual factory functions, making them more efficient, or begin to integrate digital capabilities across the factory. The digital factory , which integrates all functions, internal and external, is a horse of a different order. It will change the nature of manufacturing—from mass production to product customization—and allow companies to respond instantly to changes in customer demand or the inevitable production variation, such as supply disruption. It can lead to gains in productivity, performance, output, and market share ...
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Documenting and recording the eight types of waste in any process is essential for any manufacturing operation. Here are a few tips on how to identify each type:    Continuous-improvement efforts begin with finding, then eliminating, the waste that exists in a process. In fact, waste elimination is the foundation of Lean manufacturing. I have previously discussed eight forms of process waste: defects, overproduction (completing work faster than the next process can handle), waiting (idle time), non-value-added processing, transportation (movement of materials), inventory, motion (movement of people or machines), and employee underutilization. Together, they ...
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The pace of technological innovation in industrial manufacturing has accelerated drastically in recent years—for better and for worse. The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to take hold across industry, and driving the most value from it requires manufacturers to unify their operations and business processes in some way. The most logical method for doing so is bringing closer together the IT functions that have historically controlled the business with the operational technology (OT) functions that have historically controlled the manufacturing process. The business synergies and financial implications of doing so make it a no-brainer for manufacturers to ...
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Dear MTI Members, I am excited to have been elected to serve as President of the Metal Treating Institute for the next year.  It is truly an honor.  My company, Solar Atmospheres, is a family-owned, commercial heat treating company, and we have been an MTI member since 1983. I have served on the Board of Trustees since 2012, and in that time I have seen first-hand how MTI has had a positive impact on my company. In 2019, MTI will be focused on providing you with high-level resources in the core areas of your business: Having a strong voice in the Specification Review and Design Process with Nadcap, AMEC, CQI-9, and ASTM Increasing employee effectiveness ...
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Lean principles can help your people deploy the right IoT technology at the right time.   Manufacturing is evolving. Digitization, improved monitoring and sensors, and faster computing and data networks have produced a new, smart factory environment. This evolution has been described as Industry 4.0 – the utilization of internet of things (IoT) technology, automation, and other smart factory technologies. The problem with the current definition of Industry 4.0 is that it ignores or undervalues the role of human knowledge and creativity. Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted on April 13, 2018, in response to production issues the company was experiencing: “Yes, ...
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A design engineer at Chevron’s sprawling El Segundo refinery in California used to travel from her office to the plant as many as five times a day to assess operations. Each time, she would bike to where she was needed, suit up with safety gear, assess the problem, and bike back to the office, spending considerable time and energy in the process. Not anymore. Plant workers outfitted with high-tech goggles equipped with a camera and connected to the internet now beam her in with a video call, allowing her to assess the problem on her computer screen and make the necessary recommendations. The goggles serve as holographic computers for the workers, allowing ...
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