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Mid Day Report

Daily news and top headlines for IT professionals

There’s More To Lean Than Textbook Recipes

November 1, 2011 9:37 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions

Two very important elements of successful execution of the Lean methodology are often overlooked and left out of most Lean training. In my experience applying the Lean methodology to both office or “transactional” work functions as well as production environments, I have observed Lean solutions, sometimes they are even recommended by expert consultants, fail leaving the Lean experts scratching their heads.

Taking Things National With ERP

November 1, 2011 9:19 am

When one company decided to bring its business national in 2010, the company’s leaders recognized the need for a modern ERP solution that would cost-effectively scale to support the company’s growth and drive improved efficiencies. From its headquarters in Preston, Wash.

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Generation Y

October 31, 2011 9:11 am | by Meaghan Ziemba, Associate Editor, Product Design & Development

The opportunities that digital technologies provide for today’s younger generation are forcing business leaders and marketers to rethink their strategies for successful product development and manufacturing. While I hate to admit it, I am still very proud to say that my daughter is a lot smarter than me when I was her age.

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Design Junkies Upcycle

October 31, 2011 8:57 am | by Matthew Morris-Cook

Have you ever seen a chandelier made of used eyeglasses? You can see that and more from a Trenton, New Jersey-based recycling and upcycling firm that converts millions of tons of waste into new products or materials . The designers at TerraCycle refer to themselves as “junkies.

Tinker With This Toolbox

October 28, 2011 10:38 am | by Chris Fox, Managing Editor

An up-and-coming CAD program is emerging via the internet. Not a downloadable or updatable piece of software, but a web-based system. Tinkercad allows fresh minds to bring new ideas to the table, and, with its ease of compatibility, makes it easy to get basic ideas into the hands of professionals.

What Enterprise Mobility Means For The Supply Chain

October 28, 2011 7:51 am

Enterprise mobility is an increasingly-relevant and ever-changing issue for today’s manufacturers. What are some of the key trends driving the supply chain market for 2012, and what can manufacturers expect in the future?  Grant Woolf, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development TAKE Solutions, Inc.

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Hey, Man... What's Old?

October 27, 2011 7:19 am | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology

The next time you're looking to improve on the existing, try looking at what's new and what's old, and deciphering which is the most appropriate. Everyone has a story about those few items in their lives they’ve retained for years and years that still function far better than the latest and greatest technology.

New High-Quality Production Boosts Flexibility For Ricola

October 27, 2011 7:06 am | by Frank Jansen, Product Manager, Bosch Packaging Technology

When Ricola was looking to update the production line for its candies in certain varieties, the main requirements for a new, integrated solution were an increase in production output and higher flexibility. Since 1940, Ricola has been synonymous with Swiss quality.

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Defining Outsourcing Management

October 25, 2011 10:19 am | by Linda Elkins, EVP, PolyDyne Software

“Outsourcing management” defines the processes required to manage product pricing data, select outsourcing partners, manage pricing negotiations, maintain updated pricing across EMS providers, and rollup product costing. A cursory look at interactions between electronic OEMs and EMS providers clearly indicates the complexity that exists between supply chain partners.

A 'Yardstick' To Simplify ERP Implementation

October 25, 2011 10:03 am | by Nikhil Kumar, Industry Principal, Oracle Practice, Infosys

In order to drive IT simplification for an ERP implementation, there is an acute need to establish a yardstick or metrics for determining its complexity, and common strategies to identify the means to influence this yardstick. While rapid globalization and inorganic growth have been the cornerstones for defining business strategies for most of the CEOs and business leaders today, these have also created a nightmare for CIOs with the ever evolving IT landscape and struggle in maintaining a common layer across diverse business units.

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Somebody Messing with Your Reality? That's Quirky

October 24, 2011 11:22 am | by Brett Duesing, Obleo Design Media

For those with a strong desire to innovate and also improve the shortcomings of everyday products, there is an opportunity to do so at a social-media industrial design firm, where thousands of online members share ideas on how to make these products better. The Snow-Dozer windshield scraper is one of the many product ideas submiBed by an online community at Quirky.

Can Manufacturing Go Mobile? (Part II)

October 24, 2011 8:15 am

The "holy grail" for mobile manufacturing has always been the capability to completely perform one's duties — say, as a plant manager — from the road. Many think this capability is still years away, if not more, but some say that world is closer than we might think. This is part two of a two-part series on mobile technology in manufacturing.

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Good Industrial Design Requires Consumer Insight

October 21, 2011 8:03 am | by Tor Alden, HS Design

The virtual explosion in new technologies over the past couple of decades has had a dramatic effect on industrial design and the product development process. The availability of new materials and communication techniques, along with vast amounts of computer memory at almost unbelievably low prices, has transformed the product designer’s world in ways that could not have been foreseen — back when clouds were for weather forecasters and tablets required a pen or pencil.

Can Manufacturing Go Mobile?

October 21, 2011 6:28 am

Manufacturers are going mobile — whether it's for inventory control, dealing with customer orders, or managing employees — with a growing network of software providers that are riding on the consumer wave. This is part one of a two-part series on mobile technology in manufacturing.

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Remote Monitoring Systems: What To Think About

October 20, 2011 9:12 am

Here are the most important factors process manufacturers should consider when implementing a remote monitoring system in their facilities. Ed Orvidas, Strategic Account Manager, Culligan International In the food and beverage industry, water is used in nearly every stage of production.

Switch Innovations Ensure Device Advancements

October 20, 2011 8:38 am | by Jean-Michel Bourin, Product Marketing Director, C&K Components

Designers, OEMs, and manufacturers must continue to cater to ever-changing consumer demands that challenge each to come up with “the next big thing” in electronic devices. A traditional five-way tactile switch. Consumer and prosumer electronics are constantly being re-engineered to meet demands for greater functionality and sleeker designs in the quest to become “the next big thing” in the market.

Custom Color LCD Display Module

October 18, 2011 10:48 am

FSCs, a uniquely different color technology, fits a niche in the growing market of custom build color LCD modules. FCS LCDs are a uniquely different color technology. They are not a replacement for OLEDs or TFTs, because they do not display video or high-resolution photos.

Cybervetting And You

October 18, 2011 8:56 am | by Karl Stephan, Consulting Engineer, Texas State University, San Marcos

Because the operators of social media have strong financial motivations to make more information easy to get at, it’s likely that if you’ve ever posted anything you might not want someone to see, they’ll be able to see it anyway . Although I hope any engineer can benefit on occasion from this blog, I am especially keen to discuss matters that younger engineers and engineering students can use.

Like Hobos On The Outsourcing Train

October 17, 2011 8:39 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions, LLC

Consider the change that outsourcing means to your business before you jump on the train with everyone else. Outsourcing has been an enormously popular trend in manufacturing for the U.S. However, as popular as it is, and as much as it might make sense on paper, it doesn’t always produce the business benefit we seek.

Better, Faster, Stronger

October 17, 2011 8:28 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation

As costs continue to rise, distribution centers and warehouses are looking for ways to control these costs and be more efficient. As costs continue to rise, distribution centers and warehouses are looking for ways to control these costs and be more efficient. Innovative ways to address these issues crop up more and more from a technology standpoint, including: New software which allows simplified warehouse management of everything from trailer scheduling to equipment usage.

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