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Mid Day Report

Daily news and top headlines for IT professionals

A Little Business Intelligence Can Go A Long Way

January 5, 2012 8:17 am

2012 is here. It's time for manufacturers to gain some business intelligence. This Q&A with Erik Kaas, Vice President of Product Management for Mid-market ERP products, Sage North America , discusses some ways companies can approach gaining greater business intelligence -- at a reasonable price.

What's In A Name?

January 5, 2012 7:59 am

Management Dynamics, a leading provider of Global Trade Management solutions, recently announced that it has changed its name to Amber Road. According to the company, Amber Road evokes images of trade throughout history, and it more accurately embodies the nature of the company's business. Scott Byrnes, Amber Road's Vice President of Marketing , spoke with Manufacturing Business Technology about the name change, the reasons behind it, and what it means for the company moving forward.

Weighing The Risks Of Nanotechnology

January 3, 2012 6:40 am

Nanotechnology is an emerging science that offers many new opportunities for the food industry, but food manufacturers should be aware that there are some potential risks with this new technology.  Food Manufacturing, MBT’s sister site, recently  spoke with Amy Galland of As You Sow about nanotechnology and what processors should consider before implementing this new science into their processes.

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When Performance Lags, Look to the Team Culture

January 3, 2012 4:53 am | by Timothy F. Bednarz, Ph.D., Author -Publisher, Majorium Business Press

An effective team will define specific performance goals, a work-product, a set of challenges to overcome, and milestones to meet. Teams, team results, team culture, performance goals, milestones, team work-product, focus, goals, problem solving, objectives, productivity.

Be Proactive In 2012 And Get To The Next Level

December 22, 2011 5:15 am | by Joey Benadretti, President, SYSPRO USA

Rather than making predictions about the economic conditions that will prevail this year, I feel that companies, particularly US-based manufacturers and distributors, must take aggressive steps to impact the nation’s economy and strive to actively shape their own destinies in 2012. I have thought long and hard about the state of our economy going into 2012 and what needs to be done.

American Picker

December 22, 2011 4:15 am | by Chris Fox, Managing Editor

Thriving for the last year by repurposing industrial materials into new products, one company is constantly looking for other ideas for reuse and development. It’s not recycling, it’s repurposing. Just over a year ago, the owner of a waste company was struck with a vision for old billboard vinyls.

ISM: Manufacturing Expands Due To Higher Production, Lower Prices

December 20, 2011 6:57 am

The November ISM Report On Business indicated economic activity expanded for the 28th consecutive month and the overall economy grew for the 30th straight month. Brad Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD Both pieces of news are certainly welcomed by Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, as signs the manufacturing sector is on the right track as 2011 transitions into 2012.

'Solution-Caused Problems' And How to Prevent Them

December 20, 2011 6:49 am | by Jamie Weiss, Senior Consultant for Kepner-Tregoe (KT)

Solution-caused problems are all too common and are an indication of an incomplete approach to resolving issues. A pharmaceutical company produced a compound using three ingredients. One of them, Substance A, had a tendency to stick to the grinding machine, causing shut-downs and costing money for maintenance and clean-up.

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Ready For The Post-Incandescent Plant

December 19, 2011 7:55 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net

It’s rare that government regulation can push a business toward an investment with a positive, quick ROI. The traditional incandescent has done its job well, and we should be thanking it as we push it faster toward obsolescence. The much-debated “phase-out” of incandescent light bulbs has struck a nerve with consumers and manufacturers alike recently, but the process began long ago, when the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 was passed into law.

Taking The Risk Out Of Leading Edge

December 19, 2011 7:25 am | by Tom Aubin, Director of Global Technology, Volex

Many equipment manufacturers are facing a problem; the performance requirements for signal transfer are becoming ever more critical as data-rates continue to increase and the boundaries of physics lead to minimal headroom. Interconnects, once a simple commodity, now present a highly complex design and manufacturing task, one that most equipment manufacturers are now finding they have neither a sufficiently experienced design staff or in-house knowledge.

The Lost LEGO: Rebuilding an Empire

December 16, 2011 6:23 am | by Louise Rainone, Vice President of Marketing, PCDworks

In the business of innovation and new product development, I often forget it’s not all about idea people and innovators. It’s the management team who actually gets the product out into the marketplace. What does new product development have in common with Frank Lloyd Wright? Imagination, of course.

Netting An Automated Alarm & Monitoring System

December 16, 2011 5:25 am | by Benjamin Smith, Maintenance Supervisor, Hidden Falls Hatchery  

In need of a fully functional automation and alarm system, one fish hatchery researched its options and designed a system to monitor its site. Alaska leads U.S. states in the value of its commercial fishing catch. The Alaska salmon industry represents the world’s only sustainable salmon fishery.

Game Time

December 15, 2011 5:50 am | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology

We’re so determined to change the game… why? Well, because the rules are slippery and it seems some of the players can roll the dice as many times as they want. But before embarking on any drastic upheaval, you might begin by assessing which combination of planning, technology, and available resources can truly address the best opportunities for your business.

Conserving Energy & Reducing Costs

December 15, 2011 5:21 am

Conservation not only helps preserve the planet's limited resources, it also makes economic business sense at a very fundamental business level. Energy conservation is often the most economical solution to shortages and rising costs. Most economists expect continued energy price increases over the next few years.

Manufacturing Technology Orders Up 80.5% from 2010

December 13, 2011 7:45 am

October U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $463.32 million according to AMT-The Association For Manufacturing Technology and AMTDA, the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTO program, was down 22.

Tightening The Cap On Process Control

December 13, 2011 7:33 am

One soft drink manufacturer turned to a ERP system for handling the unique and complex requirements for its production-scheduling system and for ordering allocation to its distributors, as well as providing it better inventory visibility within one complete system. Deacom Inc.

The Quality Trap

December 12, 2011 8:28 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions

If we can ensure that our quality function can proactively promote quality practice and screen out defects, our businesses are better off. When we experience defects or “escapes” that reach customers the impulse is to assume that the Quality function is failing to do its job.

Optimization Helps Companies Achieve Product Potential

December 12, 2011 8:24 am | by Royston Jones, president and global CTO, Altair ProductDesign

To meet the challenges that now confront us, we must introduce products that minimize weight while furnishing outstanding performance characteristics. Optimization tools are perfectly positioned to achieve these goals.  In our everyday lives, intelligent software, and inexpensive computing have revolutionized our access to information and the immediacy with which it is communicated (e.

Delayed Visibility of Metrics Inhibits Manufacturing Improvements

December 9, 2011 7:40 am

Providing real-time data and metrics throughout a manufacturing enterprise is a significant challenge for many manufacturers. There are some major obstacles to it, which lead to delays and data between multiple systems that is not integrated, connected, or normalized. Julie Fraser, lead analyst and researcher on a Cambashi/MESA study entitled Pursuit of Performance Excellence, discusses how delayed visibility of metrics is a significant issue for many manufacturers in this recent interview with Manufacturing Business Technology .

Global Sourcing Improves Product Quality

December 9, 2011 6:13 am

The new study, “Navigating the Product Mindset,” explores the connections and contradictions between perceptions of consumers and manufacturers on issues of safety, innovation, performance, and sustainability. Photo by Kenneth Lu Underwriters Laboratories, a world leader in advancing safety, has developed the first of what will become an annual global study examining the role of perceptions on how and where products are made, sold, bought, and consumed.

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