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Businesses that make products with PFAS may face unexpected issues.

By Jeffrey M. Karp

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of more than 3,000 man-made chemicals that are receiving heightened public awareness due to concerns about their potential impact on human health and the environment. Many of these chemicals were used over the past 70 years in the manufacturing processes for various consumer, commercial, industrial and military-grade products because of their unique structure and physicochemical properties, such as heat resistance, oil and water repellence and friction reduction. Despite a production phase-out for some of these compounds beginning in the 2000s, the environmental persistence and mobility of PFAS contribute to continued detections in drinking water, groundwater, soil, human blood serum, plants, fish and animals. A 2018 study conducted by the Environmental Working Group estimates that as many as 110 million Americans may be consuming tap water containing PFAS.

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By Dr. Denis Maier

Manufacturing supply chains, especially in the automotive industry, are characterized by a significant volume that is outsourced to suppliers. The added value inhouse can be as low as 20%. Sophisticated supplier selection and management systems combined with supplier development activities are essential tools to manage the inherent supply chain challenges. However, the enormous efforts for every new product launch are an indicator of the lack of sustainability. Manufacturing 4.0 will impose additional challenges on top of that and require a focus shift on supplier development.   


The Pool of RCRA Universal Waste May Get Bigger

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On March 16, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to add hazardous waste aerosol cans to the category of “universal wastes” regulated under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations, codified at Title 40 of the C.F.R., Part 273. 83 Fed. Reg. 11654. According to EPA, this action would benefit the many manufacturing facilities and others that generate and manage large quantities of hazardous waste aerosol cans.


Maximize efficiency when engaging in supply chain planning.

By Rahul Mital

As the global marketplace expands, the need for more efficient supply chain planning and management tools follows suit. Manufacturers have to be able to match demand to supply—no matter where that supply may be located or how widespread the organization may be. To accomplish that goal requires a commitment to the planning for, integration of and continual evaluation of the latest technology available. This is where the relatively new and untested concept of global cross-pegging comes in to play. It is the next step beyond some of the most current practices when it comes to planning, scheduling, material ordering and inventory control.



At one Pennsylvania manufacturer, women play important roles and find success with tangible results.

By Susan Towers

A recent study by Deloitte found that women constitute one of U.S. manufacturing’s largest pools of untapped talent. Women made up about 47 percent of the U.S. labor force in 2016, but accounted for a small portion of manufacturing jobs. Underrepresentation of females in manufacturing may be due in part to the perception that jobs in the industry are “too difficult” or “too dirty” for women. At Miller Welding and Machine Co. (MWM), a strategic metal fabrication partner for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), in Brookville, Pa., women are a vital part of the workforce. Female employees put their skills to use, whether on the shop floor or in the C-suite. While they work in various roles, these women all agree on one thing: anyone can have a successful career in manufacturing, regardless of gender.

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