A source for industrial products & services news and events.
Latest Insights in the Evolving Digital World

Laser Welding Creates Potential For Small Parts Applications

Laser welding is an effective method for joining small parts with tight tolerances. In the future, it will compete with traditional methods of welding or replace assembly/joining technologies benefiting industries that have never used laser welding before. Using light in the form of laser radiation as the energy source is a process used to achieve a balance between the process of thermal fusion and metallurgical effects. Functionally, the laser generates infrared or visible light (usually with the use of Nd-YAG lasers or frequency-doubled ‘green’ lasers for reflective metals) which is delivered through an optical fiber and focusing lens onto the workpiece. Welding is the process that occurs when laser radiation is absorbed by the workpiece and turned into heat raising the temperature in the localized area above the melting point…

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Discrepancies in Website Tracking – When Paid Tracking and Google Analytics Don’t Add Up

This is a question which is often raised by our advertisers. IQS offers free Hitslink website tracking to all companies listed in our directory, not only so that listed companies can track the progress they’re making through being listed on IQS sites, but also so that our manufacturers and service providers have an effective tool for measuring their overall success on the web. Naturally, many of the companies which come to be listed on our sites already have some form of website tracking (although you’d be surprised to find out how many companies have no website tracking at all). While some have paid tracking programs, most of the companies that have tracking come to us already set up in Google Analytics, Google’s free website tracking service which goes hand-in-hand with Google’s Adwords program…

Environmental Testing for the Best Product Possible

With your company’s reputation on the line, especially in this unstable economy, the functionality and reliability of your products need to be rock-solid. Whether you’re refining existing products or developing new, you can’t waste valuable time on the wrong product testing procedure. Beyond simply meeting the standards for your industry, you want to stand out from the competitors by offering superior performance for the long run. Proper environmental testing is key during research and development; you want the confidence of going to market with documented proof that your product is the best it can be. After all, consumers will love the great warranties you will be able to offer, and why leave the door open for costly, time-consuming recalls?

Page Views, Impressions, Engagement and Understanding Site Metrics for B2B Websites

What’s the difference between a hit, an impression and a unique visitor? Aside from all sounding like activities that take place at a Saturday night college party, these terms explain different ways of measuring a website’s traffic and, subsequently, a website’s success. This process of formulating website tracking into quantifiable data is called ‘metrics’, and with everyone using the new Web 2.0, quantifying a website’s success is trickier than ever. How many visitors does your site have each day? Each month? How many page views? What is the average time each visitor spends per session? What’s your site’s click through rate (CTR)? Is anyone subscribing to your RSS feed? All these questions are pointing to one underlying concern: is my website doing what it is supposed to do? Obviously, website success looks much different to a blogger than it does to an industrial manufacturer. A professional blogger will put more weight in how much time each visitor spends reading content and how many RSS subscriptions she has, while a manufacturer wants to know how many online quotes are being submitted and how many unique visitors view his ‘Capabilities’ page. These qualitative methods of measurement are part of the industry’s shift towards ‘engagement metrics’. But before we get too deep into this new mind-bog of ‘squishy’ analytics, let’s iron out some definitions.

Hose Reels: Much More than Lawn & Garden Accessories

Yes, hose reels are important for keeping your lawn organized and hazard-free, as well as for helping those flowers stay colorful and that grass remain green. Using garden hose reels, either wall-mounted, lawn-mounted or on a wheeled cart, makes sure no one trips, falls and scrapes their knees or runs over the hose with the mower; it avoids the inevitable tangles of hoses left on the ground, and it provides easy and smooth unwinding and rewinding for convenient delivery of water to where it is needed. Hose reel construction relies on the same concept as a sewer’s spool. Just as the sewing thread is wound around a small cylinder with rimmed ends that can fit in the palm of your hand, so the hose is spooled around a much larger cylinder. How much we are dependent on the simplest of inventions, even in this advanced era, always amazes me. Without these foundational ideas and mechanisms, we wouldn’t be able to, in the case of hose reels, fight fires in mere moments or convey vital drinking water or fuel with ease.

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Sustainability in Packaging – New Market Trends Point to a Greener Future

Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say, and it appears that more and more manufacturers are viewing sustainable packaging as a necessity (as they should). This has lead to a recent slew of compostable, biodegradable and low-emission innovations across the manufacturing spectrum, and that trend is being picked up by leaders in the packaging industry…

Will You Miss the Inventory Rebuild? A Glimmer of Hope in Failing Production

As the Wall Street Journal’s figures showed, consumers haven’t stopped buying entirely – in fact, their consumption has dropped far less than production has dropped. When businesses finally empty their inventories, they will face continuing demand – demand which they must meet. Consumers will force businesses to rebuild their inventories, causing the gears of industry and manufacturing to begin turning once more. Granted, Wall Street stocks and the job markets are still plummeting at alarming rates, and no one is quite sure when (or ‘if’, as many gloomy commentators have said) things will take a turn for the better. However, the inevitability of an inventory rebuild in the manufacturing community gives us in the world of B2B commerce some cause to hope. A recent issue of Alliance News & Info reported that while revenues, purchasing and jobs are still on a steep decline, there is evidence that the decline is beginning to level off. ‘The longer term economic outlook is beginning to show the first tiny signs of hope’, Alliance observed with caution.

Del-Tron Precision Launches New Website with Tools for Linear Motion System Design

Del-Tron Precision, Inc., a manufacturer of precision linear motion devices, has launched a new website that provides engineers with an unprecedented array of design tools. The new website enables users to identify products based on a wide range of criteria, calculate life and moment loads, download solid models and order products. ‘Our goal with the new website is to put all of the information needed at the fingertips of the design engineer to develop an optimized linear motion solution in much less time than was required in the past,’ said Emil Melvin, Director of Sales and Marketing for Del-Tron Precision. ..

The Man Cave: How Not to Organize Your Facility’s Workstations

Whether you’re assembling a plastic component, packaging products in boxes or machining metal parts on a lathe, the basic principles of a good workspace are the same: efficient use of space and attention to worker safety. Together these create a high-production workflow while lowering production costs. Let’s look at a few of the ways the Pole Barn’s workstations and workbenches fail to apply these principles, a few ways it succeeds, and how all this applies to improving your own facility…

Basic Bulk Bag Filler Unveiled by Flexicon Corporation

BETHLEHEM, PA – The new Basic Bulk Bag Filler introduced by Flexicon performs low capacity filling operations at minimal cost, and can be upgraded with performance enhancements including a material delivery system integrated with the user’s process equipment or bulk storage vessels, says David Boger, VP Sales and Marketing. The new ‘Model BFB’ filler is a lighter-duty version of the company’s heavy-gauge Twin-Centerpost™ filler, a patented design with two on-center posts said to offer the structural integrity of four-post fillers but at significantly lower material and fabrication costs and with less weight. It also affords easier access to the bag spout and loops according to the company.

New Sanitary Bag Dump Station by Flexicon Corporation

BETHLEHEM, PA, USA-A new Sanitary Bag Dump Station for pneumatic conveying systems collects dust created during manual dumping of bulk materials from bags, boxes, drums and other containers, and allows rapid, tool-free wash down, according to David Boger, Flexicon’s Vice President Sales and Marketing. Optional rocker arms support the hood assembly above the hopper rim, eliminating the need for operators to lift and remove the hood during cleaning and inspection.

Deschner Corporation Offers the ‘Skipchek®’ Speed Regulator to Dramatically Improve Tube Drilling Operations

Santa Ana, California, March, 2009 — The latest speed regulator from the Deschner line of products– the SKIPCHEK® model Kinechek – is being offered by Deschner Corporation, headquartered in Santa Ana, California. According to Frank Solis, President, the Skipchek was developed to meet customer requests that their popular Kinechek® speed regulators be configured for tube or clevis drilling to deliver a controlled feed, followed by a fast ‘skip’ then returning to a controlled feed. No more drilling air! The skip distance is non adjustable and is engineered to meet each customers application and can be configured to drill through more than two walls.

Ball Bearings: Motion Technology for a Spinning World

Leonardo da Vinci is credited with introducing the modern ball bearing circa 1497, adding friction reduction to his long list of useful, functional and not-so-functional inventions. Da vinci was not the first to come up with ideas for friction reduction or motion improvement, however; ball bearings have been found on ‘luxury yachts’ of the Roman Empire dating back to 40 A.D., and the basic technology of linear roller bearings has been used in the building of many monuments of ancient civilizations, such as Egypt’s Giza pyramids and possibly Great Britain’s Stonehenge. Just as multi-ton blocks of stone were transported long distances by being rolled across bearings of logs and platforms, modern motors, axles and even building columns are given movement and stability by the modernized ball bearing (Fig. 1)…

Lexco Cable Supports 2009 Academy Awards…Literally!

Norridge, Illinois (February 28, 2009) – That backdrop of shimmering Swarovski crystals at this year’s Academy Awards could never have happened as easily if not for Lexco Cable. The provider of custom cables supplied five miles of its premium cable to support the 92,000 Austrian crystals that comprised the 100-foot wide by 60-foot tall display. The assemblage was handmade by Orion of Rhode Island and weighed in at a whopping three tons! Says Howard Turco of Orion: ‘I’d like to thank Lexco for all of its help. The 1/32′ cable Lexco supplied worked out well to hold all that crystal! (All 22,000 feet of it.) We’ve used other cable before and paid much more for less quality. The flexibility of Lexco’s cable made our job much easier. Thanks Again.’

Blast off that Dirt, Paint, Rust and Debris

From small parts to ships, cars and buildings, sandblasting is a way to clean off unwanted paint, dirt, rust and debris; prepare surfaces for painting, plating and coating; and create texturing, roughening, etching and detailing. Sandblasting is an industrial-strength cleaning method great for eliminating all the caked-on gunk and grime that inevitably builds up on surfaces over years and years. Sandblast cabinets can in minutes get a filthy part down to shiny metal, but they can also perform more delicate procedures as well. Depending on the amount of pressure and type of media used, sandblasters can completely strip parts or just polish and decorate them…

Modern Man’s Fire: Industrial Ovens and Their Many Applications

Our knowledge of curing, tempering and baking has given rise to tools, cars, skyscrapers, utensils, polymer-painted furniture and all manner of processed foods. Food production and metallurgy, two of civilization’s most essential processes, are dependent on heat energy, and today we are more dependent on food processing and metallurgy than any of our ancestors. Ovens are key to these processes, being essential in nearly every type of food processing, metal heat treating and polymer binding. In manufacturing, industrial ovens catalyze the curing, tempering and sintering which cause metal parts and polymers to become solid, strong and resilient. Since industrial ovens have such an extensive range of applications, we’ll review their main types and applications with a list…

Forging: An Ancient Art that Remains an Essential Metalworking Process

It’s not by magic that forging has survived and thrived as technology has advanced. The heart of forging has not changed since its origin in ancient Egypt. From the pre-industrial age on into today’s sophisticated forging facilities, the essence of forging remains the same: how it affects the structure of metals. The results are unequaled in any other form of metalworking. Discussing the different types of forging can get very complicated. Putting it more simply: heating the metal until it’s malleable breaks down the originally coarse grain structure, and then ‘kneading’ it between dies elongates the grains and they recrystallize in a new finer granular structure…

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Magnets: One of Nature’s Best Tools

The magnet is one of civilization’s oldest and most useful tools. Most people would be surprised to learn how many items and conveniences in our daily lives are made possible by magnets. I say most people, but certainly not all; manufacturers of industrial magnets and veterans of the agricultural, mining and metal fabricating industries are well aware of magnets’ many diverse – and essential – uses.

Conveyor Systems: Rolling Cheese Downhill in Safety

Getting objects of all shapes, sizes, weights and levels of fragility from point A to point B has been one of the biggest – or at least most common – challenges in industrial manufacturing since the industry’s beginning. So you’ve just fabricated two tons of gray iron cast pump housings – fantastic! How are you going to move them from production to packaging and distribution? Chances are facilities for those two processes aren’t back to back, and while Amazing Race contestants may not mind carrying 200 pounds on their backs through dangerous territory, the workers in a gray iron casting plant might (and so would the company’s attorneys). Conveyor systems manufacturers make processes like these not only possible, but easy, and they use a very wide range of conveyor designs to do so. Some of these conveyor designs, like roller skatewheels, use simple gravity to guide products along…

Good Housekeeping Rules for Maximizing Business Potential

Industrial manufacturers face a very different market. Few manufacturers have the luxury of being the sole provider of a certain product, with the exception of a few niche manufacturing companies. Competition between manufacturers is brisk, and even if you have the latest technological advances in engineering and manufacturing equipment, there are probably at least a dozen other companies that have the same. Branding, marketing and online visibility will help you stand out among these competitors, but, as Rick Brown commented on Recession Advertising 101, many companies fail to have ‘essential response tools in place’ to deal with the business that comes in. And the last thing a manufacturing company wants in this economic climate is to have customers come knocking then turn away because they received little or no response…