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Mid Day Report

Daily news and top headlines for IT professionals

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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Inspiring The Next Generation Of Female Engineers

December 8, 2011 4:33 am

A special, mentoring relationship from one of my own female teachers from when I was young helped me recognize the positive influence that strong role models can have on young women. Professor Cristina Amon, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, University of Toronto Professor Cristina Amon is the Dean of Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto.

50 And Fired

December 8, 2011 3:55 am | by Tucker Mays and Bob Sloane

Interviewing is especially challenging for executives over fifty, because most recruiters and company hiring authorities have a bias against hiring "older" workers, most of whom are not good at interviewing to start with. There have been a plethora of advice for job seekers on how to conduct a successful interview.

10 Questions To Ask Before Implementing Cloud ERP Software

December 6, 2011 10:45 am | by Douglas Johnson, VP of Marketing and Business Development, Acumatica

With these benefits that come from cloud ERP software, several critical questions need to be answered regarding security, data ownership, vendor lock-in, customization, integration, and performance. Cloud computing is the most important software technology advancement in many years.

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Dealing With 2012's Uncertainty

December 6, 2011 10:28 am

Jeff Owens is the President of Advanced Technology Services, a Peoria, Illinois-based company that provides outsourced production equipment maintenance, information technology assistance, and spare parts repair. The company utilizes extensive training programs to give engineers the knowledge necessary to troubleshoot and fix the high-tech manufacturing machinery of the 21st Century manufacturer, allowing these companies to focus on their production.

I, Robot & The Young Engineer

December 5, 2011 9:52 am

Perhaps you are (or you know) an engineer who has retired recently and is looking around with that wide-eyed stare that means, “What do I do now?” Tell him or her about FIRST Robotics. In the movie I, Robot , the character played by Will Smith didn’t much care for robots.

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ECM & Lean In The Front End Of The Manufacturing Plant

December 5, 2011 7:35 am | by Chris Lewis, VP of Operations, iDatix

Communicating with external vendors, suppliers, and distributors is often the most inefficient and time-consuming process in a manufacturing company, but a quality ECM system can streamline and effectively handle almost every aspect of this process. Trimming the fat off of manufacturing processes is continuously a goal as organizations look to cut costs, reduce footsteps, and improve efficiency.

The Hidden Costs Of Manual Tool Tracking

December 2, 2011 9:43 am

RFID can bring quite a bit of savings to a large manufacturing operation, and it offers significant opportunities to reduce loss in the area of tool tracking. By Wynn Ponder, Choctaw Tool Tracking Last weekend I had a fascinating discussion with a friend who performs materials inspections for one of the world’s largest suppliers of aircraft parts and assemblies.

Less ERP Means More Efficiency

December 2, 2011 9:05 am

The desire to have all of its divisions on a single instance of ERP helped one manufacturer gain increased efficiency and visibility, as well as become a more closely-tied global company. After going live on IFS Applications in a succession of its global divisions, Armstrong International (Armstrong) is enjoying a number of the classic benefits associated with a global instance of enterprise resource planning (ERP) including reduced inventory levels, streamlined communication, standardized processes, reduced errors, and increased productivity with fixed resources.

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Systematic Failures Of Leadership

December 1, 2011 8:01 am | by Mike Rainone, Co-Founder, PCDworks

Of all inputs for rational decision-making, profit versus risk has the greatest propensity to entangle us, and it is the ability to balance that equation that makes for real leadership. For some time I have been interested in the whole notion of risk. Subsumed in the concept of risk is the idea that decisions, and the behaviors that result from those decisions, have positive and negative consequences.

Top Predictions For IT In 2012

December 1, 2011 7:51 am | by 2015, low-cost cloud services will cannibalize up to 15 percent of top outsourcing players' revenue.

As the world of IT moves forward, CIOs are finding that they must coordinate their activities in a much wider scope than they once controlled. While this might be a difficult prospect for IT departments, they must now adapt or be swept aside. Photo by scribbetaylor Gartner, Inc.

When Is The Right Time To Obsolete Your Products?

November 30, 2011 3:28 am | by Kim Leleniewski, Motion Product Marketing Specialist, Yaskawa America

Correctly managing product life cycles can cut costs, reduce required man-hours, and streamline manufacturing operations. In today’s fast-paced world, your products can become outdated in a relatively short period of time, particularly if your company is in the high tech arena.

Do You Struggle To Hear Your Customers?

November 29, 2011 9:03 am | by Mike Collins, MPC Management

Chit-chatting with a customer when they call you is not enough. You need to develop systematic ways of gathering information on an ongoing basis. Most business books acknowledge that customers are the people who pay the bills, send your kids to college, and whom we absolutely have to satisfy.

In Memory Of Engineers

November 28, 2011 7:55 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net

How do we remember the accomplishments of the incredible thinkers, engineers, and innovators? They're not necessarily famous or news-worthy people, and despite the enormous impact they have on how we currently live, they're forgotten for any number of reasons. October was a bad month for the technology world -- we lost a number of incredible thinkers, engineers, and innovators.

Business Process Management Tool Leads To Better Visibility

November 28, 2011 7:29 am | by Mike Schmidt, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology

Tasked with the effort to develop electronic, rules-based workflows for the automation of manual processes, one company found a business process management tool to be very helpful. Effectively aligning all aspects of a business organization with the wants and needs of the customer is one of the most widespread trends in manufacturing today.

Stay One Step Ahead Of Your ERP Implementation

November 23, 2011 6:46 am

It can be amazing to see how manufacturers go from high expectations during their ERP software selection process to merely hoping that their "goes-live” doesn’t fail as the implementation proceeds. by Vivien Chan, Regional Marketing Lead, Tectura ASEAN Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has truly become a mature business application.

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All-Electric Tube Bender Provides Production Versatility For Submarine Builder

November 23, 2011 6:19 am

A second state-of-the-art tube bending machine has been ordered by BAE Systems Submarine Solutions to support the construction of the UK's Astute class nuclear-powered submarines.  The new tube bending machine is an all-electric model with precision software-controlled servomotor movement, for bending tube diameters up to 76 millimeters.

The $100,000 Haircut

November 22, 2011 8:09 am | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology

Manufacturers — especially those reaching a consumer market— sometimes run the unfortunate risk of being held hostage by something as seemingly insignificant as a haircut. And even if your products reach professionals, the swings don’t always get easier to duck; more often than not, surprises that affect production don’t just come from the customer.

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