Blog! Five Fast Things for January 12, 2007

By Bob Vavra, Editor January 12, 2007

Five Fast Things for Jan. 12, 2007

1. Build demand, build plants: Want to see how fast you can make manufacturing take off in America? Find the right product and build it close to your end users. That’s what Toyota, one of Plant Engineering’s 2006 Top Plant recipients, is getting ready to do. A story from Bloomberg Friday indicates Toyota may be ready to build as many as five new plants in North America in the next 10 years to meet demand. The key phrase there is “meet demand.”

2. And while Rome burns… GM CEO Rick Wagoner is trying to position his company as rebounding after several sluggish years and the potential that Toyota may overtake then as the world’s number one automaker. See that Q&A from the Detroit Auto show here.

3. To hear more about the auto business: Plant Engineering will host a Manufacturing Summit on April 2 and April 3 in Chicago. On hand will be the winners of the 2006 Top Plant awards, including Toyota, BMW and Square D. For details on the program and how to register, click here .

4. Teaching an old Zebra new tricks: Barcode innovator Zebra Technologies has agreed to purchase California-based RFID provider WhereNet Corp. in a merger of not just two snappy names, but two competing technologies. As we saw at the ProMat Show in Chicago this week, RFID is an emerging technology in the Wal-Mart driven CPG industry, but its application for all warehouse and material handling issues is growing —something the folks at Zebra already understand. Barcodes aren’t disappearing, but the tide may be turning — something Plant Engineering readers knew more than two years ago.

5. This is just silly: But as you know, we embrace silly around here every once in a while. If you complete this in