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Manufacturing

These blog posts cover manufacturing processes, federal regulations that govern the industry, and tips for using material handling equipment to improve operations. Learn more here.

Topics

  • Making the Most of Automotive Plant Shutdown

    Automakers and other manufacturers use summer shutdowns to perform vital tasks to keep operations running smoothly. While these lulls in output can be expensive — after all, factories are not only stopping production but spending big money on improvements — they can also increase productivity. And when management takes time to carefully plan a plant turnaround, they can reap even... Continue Reading
  • How Automotive Manufacturers Can Improve Material Flow Systems During Plant Shutdowns

    Automotive manufacturers can’t push out the next big model without retooling plants, and that means periodic shutdowns at factories across the U.S. But while teams of workers busily upgrade assembly lines, plant managers also stay busy planning to move the entire operation forward. Disruptions of day-to-day plant operation create tremendous opportunities for improvement. This is especially true in the automotive... Continue Reading
  • Alternatives to Going Forklift-Free at Automotive Manufacturing Facilities

    Automotive manufacturing facilities have long been at the forefront of lean manufacturing — after all, the practice was born out of Toyota’s process of continual improvement, or kaizen. But unlike some other sectors, many auto manufacturers are choosing not to go forklift-free to achieve their goals. That’s because automakers have discovered how to become leaner without sacrificing the muscle of... Continue Reading
  • Food Industry Conference Season: What to Attend and What to Do There

    The food industry conference season kicks off in July with a whirlwind of events. Due to limited time and budgets, potential attendees may have to pick and choose which conferences to attend and which to skip. To help you decide, we’ve provided a quick rundown of three major conferences in July. Here’s the who, where, and what-to-do of our favorite... Continue Reading
  • OSHA Standards for Sheet Metal Storage at Shops and Warehouses

    Sheet metal isn’t always the simplest material to work with, but choosing the right type of storage can set you up for a safer, more successful material handling environment at the shop or warehouse. While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) hasn’t written a regulation that refers to sheet metal storage in specific, the standards do offer clues. Here... Continue Reading
  • Retaining Skilled Workers

    America’s supply of skilled workers isn’t as young as it used to be, and the trend has no end in sight. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that, by 2024, 41 million workers will be 55 or older. For the manufacturing sector and other industries with higher physical demands, this trend could mean more sick days and reduced productivity. While... Continue Reading
  • Lift Tables vs. Tilt Tables: Ergonomics for Various Applications

    Lift Tables vs. Tilt Tables: Which is right for your application? Both improve the fit between workers and the tasks they must complete, which is the core of ergonomics. By adjusting loads to a more agreeable height or angle, these positioning tools reduce injuries, conserve human energy, and increase productivity. These adjustments can have tremendously positive effects on worker health... Continue Reading
  • Collaborative Automation and the Reshoring of American Manufacturing

    Between 2000 and 2010, the United States lost 6 million manufacturing jobs. Pundits and politicians offer a variety of explanations for how and why this happened. Depending on their political affiliation, talking heads might blame offshoring, illegal immigration, or bad trade deals. Among these conflicting ideas, there is one point that everyone seems to agree with: Workers are being replaced... Continue Reading
  • An Industrial Revolution in the Battery Room: Industry 4.0 and Battery Care

    Think back to fifth-grade history class. You were probably taught that the Industrial Revolution took place in the early-to-mid 19th century, when the steam engine reshaped manufacturing techniques in dramatic ways. Well, things have changed — including history. Industrial academics now say that there wasn’t just one Industrial Revolution. There were four of them, and we’re in the midst of... Continue Reading
  • CNC Machining Means Precision and Efficiency

    Computer Numerical Control, or CNC, machining is an umbrella term to describe various machining processes that are conducted by inputting data into a computer that controls the actual machining equipment. The computer uses software – often designed specifically for a certain object or task – to control the tool’s operation and track the raw material’s attributes. The computer controls and... Continue Reading
  • 4 Reasons Powder Coating is the Best Choice

    Powder coating is a form of painting using electrostatically charged powdered pigments. The charged pigment is attracted to the grounded components. After spraying, the components are heat-treated, which liquefies the powder and creates a smooth, even film that bonds with the component surfaces. This technology has been in use for more than 60 years and provides many benefits over traditional... Continue Reading
  • Manufacturing Innovation: The Theme for 2015

    2015 could be a big year for US manufacturing because of projected reshoring, growth, and investment in manufacturing innovation. Recent market research indicates that 2015 may bring manufacturing and production functions for many companies back to the US from overseas. According to a 2014 study conducted by the MIT Forum for Supply Chain Innovation, “13.5 percent of U.S. manufacturing companies... Continue Reading