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Mid Day Report

Daily news and top headlines for IT professionals

Make The Most Of The Trade Show

December 7, 2012 11:06 am | by Vijaya Singh-Dhillon, Managing Director, ABI Marketing Public Relations

Trade shows continue to be a popular and effective way to capitalize on marketing and sales investments, as well as a successful approach for leveraging business success. With trade show participation, careful planning will allow marketers to maximize lead generation, as well as educate target audiences and recruit distributors. By following a few simple rules, any exhibitor can boost its return on investment (ROI).

It’s Storm Season: Your Best Insurance Is Agility

December 7, 2012 9:38 am | by Glen Margolis, Founder and CEO, Steelwedge

In mere minutes, last year’s earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan broke apart supply chains that took global companies 30 years to build. And we just experienced it again with Hurricane Sandy, the 2012 “megastorm” that shut down cities and paralyzed transportation — much of which is still not functioning.

ISM: U.S. Manufacturing Continues Sideways

December 5, 2012 9:58 am

It appears that it’s more of the same in U.S. manufacturing. While the overall economy grew for the 42nd consecutive month, economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in November following two months of modest expansion, according to the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

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Forecast 2013: Manufacturing Market Outlook

December 5, 2012 9:29 am | by Abbigail Kriebs, Associate Editor, Industrial Distribution

The data suggests that manufacturing, and specifically American manufacturing, should be on the rise and retaining a slight competitive edge over most countries around the globe. However, this all seems to depend on the way in which Washington handles their monetary issues over the next couple of weeks.

Q&A: The Future Of Twinkies

December 3, 2012 5:01 pm | by Lindsey Jahn, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing

Hostess last week received court approval to liquidate its company, resulting in the termination of 18,500 employees and leaving the future of the company’s iconic brands up in the air. Food Manufacturing spoke with Jeff Lotman about the future of these brands and how the Hostess sale could affect the bakery marketplace.

Magnetic Filters To Solve Manufacturing Challenges

December 3, 2012 9:05 am | by Magnetic Products Inc. (MPI)

When a manufacturer suspects that a drilling operation could cause plugs inside a precision brake component, he knows that the resulting damage will be more costly and require far greater action than a simple phone call. That's why manufacturing engineer Jim Helpling sought an innovative solution when charged with making a new steel brake fitting that he knew would be prone to plugs caused by metal-laden coolants.

Swiss Watch-Makers' Competitive Edge

November 30, 2012 9:30 am | by Vero UK Limited

Linear guide rails developed by CNC machine-tool manufacturer Almac, ensure that Swiss watch-makers who use their ultra precise 3- to 5-axis machining centres produce a better quality component. Couple that to their long-standing use of Alphacam and it’s easy to see why Almac are a leading supplier of high precision machines for all aspects of Swiss watch production.

Clear Thinking: The Last True Competitive Advantage

November 30, 2012 9:05 am

Employing Clear Thinking process, from the C-Suite to the plant floor, is the only way to empower the capability to manage fast and well all the big issues associated with constant change through an organization, says Ray Baxter, CEO of Kepner-Tregoe, and he explains more here.

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The Importance Of Learning Styles In Training

November 28, 2012 9:47 am | by Mike Collins, Author, Saving American Manufacturing

I have always been interested in learning styles and how people learn. If you read the literature on this subject, there is a lot of academic research on everything  from neuro-linguistic programming to basic cognitive skills. Academics don’t seem to agree on a particular model, and appear to love writing theoretical research papers more than finding practical applications for education and training.

Report: Wide Agreement On U.S. Competitiveness

November 27, 2012 9:32 am | by Harvard Business School, SRBI and GfK

A new Harvard Business School (HBS) survey reveals serious concern about America’s competitiveness trajectory, but wide agreement between liberals and conservatives on the policy imperatives that Congress and President Obama should advance following the election.

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Moderate Growth Likely Pending ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Compromise

November 26, 2012 5:11 pm | by The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI)

Major issues still need to be addressed, but presuming the United States gets its fiscal house in some semblance of order, the U.S. economy could be in a transition from sluggish growth to a longer period of moderate growth, according to a new report. MAPI Quarterly Economic Forecast predicts that inflation-adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) will expand by 1.8 percent in 2013.

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A ‘Blueprint’ For Better Third Parties

November 26, 2012 10:06 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net

Even small manufacturers have remarkably complex supply chains, oftentimes global in nature, that need to be managed effectively and efficiently to mitigate the endless sources of risk. Hundreds or thousands of third party relationships — and even more for large manufacturers — are a necessary evil in today’s economy, thanks to the efficiency that the system brings to a manufacturer’s operations.

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The Next Frontier Of Competitive Wars In Supplier Management

November 26, 2012 10:01 am | by Vineet Seth, Head of Product Management, SAP Global Business Incubator

If you are responsible for managing the supply base within your company, in order to be very successful you must not only be a procurement expert and an operations whiz, but also an analytical data junkie. In the face of ever-shortening product lifecycles, increased cost pressures and lean supply chains, you are continually faced with potential supply disruptions.

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Don’t Sing The Outsourcing Blues

November 20, 2012 4:59 pm | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions

Outsourced services and functions are common practice for most businesses, yet they come with their own set of horror stories and sad  songs. Avoid disappointment with a simple outsourcing rule: Don’t buy the most capable solution; buy the one that will do it your own way.

Increasing Efficiency Of Wireless Networks

November 19, 2012 5:08 pm | by Sean Nealon, University of California

Two professors at the University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering have developed a new method that doubles the efficiency of wireless networks and could have a large impact on the mobile Internet and wireless industries.

IMTS Boosts Manufacturing Technology Orders

November 19, 2012 4:49 pm

“In the 17 years that this data has been collected, there is only one other month that broke $600 million. Both of those were in months that reflected sales from IMTS, showing its strength as the largest manufacturing event in the Americas,” said Douglas K. Woods, AMT President.

Manufacturing Skills Gap Less Pervasive Than Thought

November 19, 2012 10:03 am | by The Boston Consulting Group

The skills gap in U.S. manufacturing today is more limited than many people believe and is unlikely to prevent a projected resurgence in U.S. manufacturing by the end of this decade. But more severe shortages could develop, threatening to constrain that revival, unless aggressive steps are taken now, according to new research by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

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Q&A: How To Handle Your Supply Chain When Natural Disasters Strike

November 19, 2012 9:51 am | by Siva Paramasivam, Senior Manager of Supply Chain Operations, Deloitte Consulting

In this challenging environment, forward-looking insights combined with disciplined execution can help organizations ensure that their supply chain is healthy and robust, helping to assuage the impact of unexpected chaos, like the recent Hurricane Sandy that hit the east coast.

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Transforming The Relationship Between Manufacturers And The DoD

November 16, 2012 10:05 am | by Mitch Free, MFG.com Founder and CEO

The challenges of sourcing complex manufactured goods to support the Department of Defense (DoD) create significant obstacles for the U.S. manufacturing industry. These obstacles increase defense costs, hinder the Department’s ability to keep equipment operational and impede military readiness.

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Hidden Opportunities Within Your Plant, Part 2

November 15, 2012 2:54 pm | by Todd Smith, FactoryTalk Metrics Product Manager, Rockwell Automation

In some cases, disparate data points alone aren’t enough to compel a manufacturer to action, especially when operators can’t physically see the problem identified by the data. Rather, it’s combining data in a way that defines root causes that offers compelling enough evidence to drive actionable improvements.

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