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Productivity Perspectives

Kevin Parker

Kevin Parker, editorial director of Processing magazine, has been writing about process industry, automation and information-technology markets for more than 20 years.

Rising water costs could cause major shifts in processing landscape

In the last 12 years, says a recently published survey,“water rates have at least doubled in more than a quarter of the locations and even tripled in a few.” Continuing rate increases are expected of 5% to 15% every few years.
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SCADA ‘honeypot’ mimics water station, attracts 39 attacks from 14 different countries

SCADA systems are today the most common means for establishing computer-based production monitoring and control. While the SCADA security challenge is widely recognized, just how bad it is can be hard to say, since, for most companies, little is to be gained by talking publicly about the problem.It took only 18 hours to find the first signs of attack on one of the honeypots.
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Computer-age coordination of age-old processes

Have you seen some of the things they do with industrial-plant software models today? As always, it’s the meshing of user roles that makes an integrated system sing.
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Warren Buffet and the food industry: big and getting bigger

A $28 billion offer for H.J. Heinz Co. may be the largest takeover of a pure food producer ever. Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway partnered with private-equity firm 3G Capital on the announced deal, which is already taking some interesting twists.
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There’s sand involved, but it’s no day at the beach

The water consumed in oil & gas production is something tremendous. Folks in the water and wastewater treatment industry know it, and they’re introducing solutions that make continuing use of carbon-based energy more sustainable.
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Profiles of the winners

This December 2012 issue of Processing magazine marks the first time this editor has had the pleasure of working on its annual Breakthrough Products awards. What was striking after reviewing both the submissions and the winners was how many of the solutions presented came out of companies headquartered in the U.S. manufacturing heartlands, or in a few cases, the European manufacturing heartlands.
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Breakthrough product award winners demonstrate the 'absorption' needed to excel

About the 1st of December Processing magazine will announce the winners of its annual Breakthrough Products awards. It is the first time this editor has had the pleasure of working on them.   


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Get hip to 'virtual' walk-throughs for integrated process operations

The world of television commercials is chock full of integrated enterprises, but not so ours.


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K-Tron parent's acquisition of Coperion banks on company synergies, US polymers renaissance

The parent company of process equipment suppliers K-Tron and Rotex, Hillenbrand, Inc., has agreed to acquire Stuttgart, Germany-based Coperion Capital GmbH, a provider of compounding and bulk materials handling systems, for an estimated purchase price of $530 million. 


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Innovation: management concepts have lifecycles too

“Innovation,” as a management concept, was recently found by somebody or other to be, at the moment, the most over-used buzzword of them all. But you probably know that already, having been subjected to a steady stream of innovation rhetoric through B-to-B media or other venues. (Some amongst us will even remember the quality craze of the 1990s.)


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