Business & Industry

Speed, Quality Demands Drive Advances in Barcode Technologies

For decades, barcodes have been a key technology linking physical objects with automation systems. Now, however, the growing complexity in manufacturing operations and supply chains, as well as the acceleration in time-to-market requirements, is putting pressure on barcode technologies to do more, to do it faster, and to do it better. Manufacturers need systems that can give them near-real-time...

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Business & Industry

Editor's Note: The Big Cargo Hold

When a six-year contract between West Coast dockworkers and container cargo lines expired earlier this year, the prevailing observation was a new deal will get hammered out, talks will go past the expiration, and this has happened before. No sweat. That was back in July. Four months have passed and the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents shipping lines and waterfront employers,...

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Business & Industry

Viewpoint: How to Spark Interest in Manufacturing Among Our Youth

It's not even winter yet, but I have snowballs on my mind. You know how you pack and roll and pack and roll to make the biggest snowball possible, and it just grows and grows? My hope is that, through articles and through outreach in my community and beyond, efforts to attract younger skilled workers (and young women, in particular) will have a "snowball effect." By encouraging young people to...

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Business & Industry

Millennials Needed to Sustain American Manufacturing's Upward Trajectory

North America's manufacturing sector is on an upward trajectory. However, a shortage of young talent, compounded by Baby Boomers' negative perceptions about Millennials, could impact its continued expansion, according to ThomasNet's latest Industry Market Barometer (IMB) research. The annual survey of product and custom manufacturers shows continued growth for this sector. Companies are hiring,...

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Business & Industry

10 Tips for Leveraging Packaging-On-Demand Solutions

[Editor's Note: This article is written by Felecia Stratton, Editor of Inbound Logistics, a Thomas Publishing Co. sister publication providing the latest news about warehousing, logistics, supply chain management, transportation, cargo, freight, and more. Inbound Logistics is the information leader in supply chain and logistics management. To receive a free subscription to Inbound Logistics,...

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Business & Industry

Industry Crib Sheet: Retail Sales Strengthen in October

Plus: Metalworking Machinery Sales Spike in September; and Equipment Rentals Soar in Preference, Study Says U.S. retail sales rebounded in October, pumped up by falling gasoline prices that left Americans with more discretionary spending dollars. The Commerce Department reported Friday that retail sales rose 0.3 percent last month, surpassing economists' general consensus of a 0.2 percent...

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Business & Industry

The Light Side: This Spy Drone Will Self-Destruct Eventually

Plus: Could Dark Matter Be Massive?; and Cockroaches to the Rescue No good spy equipment is worth its salt if it can't disavow its own existence if caught. After all, what's the whole point of espionage if you're going to leave evidence that you were there? In comes the world's first "biological drone," which avoids capture by degrading naturally but within a predetermined amount of time. Made...

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Business & Industry

Steel Price Forecast for 2015: It Might Get 'Ugly'

The steel industry has been in a kind of funk this year, as frenetic production in Asia has flooded global markets with cheap steel the once-burgeoning American auto and construction sectors want less and less of now. Storm clouds are building on the horizon, however, as a flood of Asian mill bankruptcies threatens to tighten capacity and create downstream supply chain risks. For now, steel is a...

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Business & Industry

Machine Vision's Rapid Eye Movement Is QC Dream

Will machines one day be able to see just as humans do, as popular science is wont to desire? If you're a manufacturer, it probably doesn't matter. "Machines don't really "~see' anything in the human, anthropomorphic sense," said John Parkinson, affiliate partner with Waterstone Management Group, a Chicago-based advisory firm focused on serving the technology sector. "What we have today," he told...

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Business & Industry

5 Keys to Producing Successful Sustainability Reports

More than 90 percent of the world's most profitable organizations engage in some form of sustainability reporting. It's not so much a chicken-or-the-egg question to ask whether organizations that have achieved sustainability successes are profitable as a result of reporting or reporting organizations do so simply because they have achieved market-leading financial performance and feel they ought...

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