Monthly Archives: January 2011

U.S.Manufacturing jobs grow 1.2 %

A report in the Wall Street Journal (January 19, 2011) describes a 1.2 % growth in manufacturing jobs in the US in 2010, with a projected increase of 2.5 % in 2011. The article also states that while manufacturing output … Continue reading

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Incorporating Manufacturing efficiency in Japanese farms using IT

An article in the Wall Street Journal (January 18, 2011, page B5) describes the head of a Japanese commercial farm who uses information technology to optimize his farm’s output. The article describes the use of sensors to monitor temeprature, soil … Continue reading

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Initiatives to protect the Global Supply Chain

Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, wrote an Op-Ed piece in the Wall Street Journal (Januray 6,2011) describing the challenges and efforts to protect the Global Supply Chain. Products ordered by consumers today may often involve components, subassemblies and packaging … Continue reading

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US Factory Output, Capacity Utilization Increases

An article in the Wall Street Journal (January 15,2011) reports that US factory output rose 0.8 % in December (from November).  Capacity utilization was reported to increase to 76 % from 75.4 % in November and business inventories increased 0.2 … Continue reading

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The weak dollar vs Yen and Toyota’s production decisions

An Associated Press article (January 15,2011, http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Toyota-Rising-yen-could-force-apf-1661264517.html?x=0) describes the impact of the current 83 yen to the dollar exchange rate on Toyota’s decisions regarding production. Toyota has the largest Japanese production of all Japanese automakers, and the strong yen decreases … Continue reading

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Rice Husk Power Supply Chain in India

An article in The New York Times (“A Light in India”, January 10,2011) describes a sustainable supply chain for electric power in the state of Bihar, India.  A short summary of the article – “In the past, over 1.8 billion … Continue reading

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US Solar panel producer closes MA plant

An article in the International Herald Tribune (January 15,2011) describes closure of the MA plant of Evergreen Solar – that shifted production to a plant in China.   The article reports that company had plans to decrease its costs from $ … Continue reading

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Plug-In Hybrids – how clean are they ?

An article in Fast Company (Ariel Schwartz, January 13,2011) summarizes a  MIT study (http://web.mit.edu/mitei/research/reports/transport-electrification.html) that tracks the sources of electricity that will power electric plug-in cars.  Plug-ins using alternate energy sources such as nuclear, biomass etc are estimated in the … Continue reading

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Energy Efficiency for troop tents to save fuel convoys

An Op-Ed piece in the New York Times (January 13,2011) describes the over 1,000 US troops who have been killed on fuel related missions. The author, Steven Anderson, proposes a solution – using foam insulation on the exteriors of bases … Continue reading

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Rare Earths Elimination in Electric Motors by Toyota

A Wall Street Journal article (January 14,2011) describes imminent breakthroughs announced by Toyota in eliminating use of rare earth metals in electric motors for hybrids.  This is a response to earlier reports claiming decreased exports of rare earths by China … Continue reading

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