California to Require Solar Panels on New Homes

On May 9, the California Energy Commission unanimously voted to require all new homes built after January 1, 2020, to feature solar panels. California has long been at the forefront of clean energy, helping lead the way for alternative fuel use in fleet vehicles and offering more electric recharge options for hybrid and full-electric vehicle…
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U.S. Manufacturing Employment Update: Continued Job Growth, Higher Wages

Manufacturing is alive and well in the U.S.: This industry has been leading job growth in the country, adding 222,000 jobs from February 2017 to the same month in 2018, and, in turn, boosting the economy. That’s because manufacturing jobs offer higher average weekly compensation with full work weeks and better benefits than many available…
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Why 2018 Is the Year of Employee Engagement

Perhaps you heard the news, and perhaps you didn’t. Either way, 2018 is the year of employee engagement. What does this mean and how does it affect you? What Is Employee Engagement? Employee engagement is the effort to improve the employee experience. It may include employee benefit programs and other efforts to increase employee happiness….
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What Is the IHS Markit Flash PMI — and How Can It Help Manufacturers?

Hindsight is usually perfect but of little use in today’s fast-paced manufacturing environment in the U.S. and around the world. The IHS Markit Flash Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) tracks business trends across the manufacturing sector in the U.S. In addition to keeping up with the monthly Institute for Supply Management (ISM) PMI, monitoring the Flash…
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Pharmaceutical Technician

How Could Opioid Production Restrictions Impact Manufacturers?

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is proposing to curb the oversupply of prescription painkillers available on the market. The development comes against the backdrop of an opioid crisis that killed nearly 64,000 people in the U.S. in 2016. The plan, which Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last month, could reduce the volume of opioids…
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What Is a Soft Start?

Have you ever wondered if there was an alternate way to start the motors of your various machines and pieces of equipment? An ordinary startup gets the job done, but there are many ways in which it’s less than ideal. Is there an alternative method you could be using? If so, what is it? If…
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When To Rent And When To Buy Equipment

In the world of machine driven manufacturing if you want to increase production to match a growth cycle you logically have to add on more machines. But even if your company is enjoying a steady pattern of growth, the cost of increasing production can be enormous.  No matter what industry you are in or what your…
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The Pros & Cons of Using RFID Technology in Manufacturing

Manufacturing is trending more and more towards automation with obvious benefits such as streamlined production lines, succinct product tracking and robust data collection to analyze logistics and production flow. One big push in automation is the use of RFID (radio frequency identification) to track products throughout the product lifecycle without the need for scanning barcodes….
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April PMI: U.S. Manufacturing Grows for 20th Consecutive Month; Continued Economic Expansion

Despite a 1.5 percentage point decrease in March, manufacturers were optimistic about industry growth moving out of the first quarter of 2018. Showing similar signs, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) again dropped in April. With a decrease of 2.0 percentage points from March’s 59.3 reading to 57.3 in April, what…
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A Guide to Better Tracking Your Operating Costs

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to tracking your operating costs is knowing your company’s operational overhead. Overhead can represent a huge chunk of your business’ expenses. Overhead costs often don’t fluctuate like production costs since they are operating expenses that are independent of your production. However, they are also costs that must…
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