The Blog is Back! Five Fast Things for March 1, 2007

By Bob Vavra, Editor, Plant Engineering March 1, 2007

1. Back and better than ever — with your help! We’re in the process of creating a new Website, which will debut in about 45 days. March 1 seemed to be a good day to get back into the swing of Five Fast Things. We’re also looking for bloggers to appear on our new site starting April 15. If you have an interest in manufacturing (especially plant floor work) and have some knowledge you’d like to share in automation, systems management, maintenance or electrical efficiency, drop me a line at and explore the chance to join our blogging team.

2. Toyota building again: The sign into Tupelo, MS says, “ Birthplace of Elvis Presley .” It’s now also the home of Toyota’s latest manufacturing facility. Toyota announced this week they will build its new facility in the town of Blue Springs, MS, just outside of Tupelo. At the risk of sounding like nuthin’ but a hound dog, isn’t it surprising that while the major U.S. automakers are singing‘Don’t Be Cruel’, Toyota croons ‘Love Me Tender’ and Mississippi ponies up a huge incentive plan to get the business. It’s leaving what we think about American automaking all shook up, but it is creating jobs in the auto industry and in manufacturing, and that’s theimportant part. Toyota’s Georgetown, KY facility is one of this year’s Top Plant award winners, which brings us to…

3. Manufacturing Summit on the horizon: If your boss suggested you needed to find out about MES, wireless monitoring or energy efficiency, he’d sent you to three different trade show. There’d be travel and entry fees and dinner and a series of three-day trips. What Plant Engineering has done is put all three topics under one roof in the Manufacturing Summit. It’s a two-day session that includes dinner. You can arrive in Chicago the morning of April 2, get to our first session on MES at 1 p.m., hear the wireless presentation at 3 p.m., go to dinner at 6:30 p.m. and learn about the Top 50 news products in manufacturing for 2007, then get a good night’s sleep at the Hotel Sofitel, the host venue for the Summit. The next morning, have a breakfast meeting with our three Top Plant winners at 8:15 a.m., hear a presentation on energy efficiency at 10 a.m. and leave for the airport by noon to get back home that night. That’s a full, productive day of work, and for $395, it’s cost-effective as well. Go to to learn more about this exciting program.

4. Growth seen in magnetic flowmeter market: The latest report from the ARC Advisory Group finds that the magnetic flowmeter market is poised for growth despite challenges from Coriolis and ultrasonic meters. The growth rate is projected to continue at a 3.5% rate over the next five years. For the full report, go to .

5. A sure sign of spring: I post this only because it is one of the surest signs winter is headed out (the weather in the Midwest today notwithstanding.) I also post it despite the specific outcome.