December 21

Website aims to help cities reduce urban wood waste

first_imgAcross North Carolina, municipalities and arboriculture businesses are faced with the problem of what to do with urban trees that are removed due to age, pests, disease or damage. In fact, across the country, removal of urban trees produces an estimated 200 million cubic yards of wood residue annually, typically costing municipalities or businesses large sums to have that wood hauled to a waste facility.The Southeast Urban Wood Exchange is attempting to address this problem. “This website encourages the highest and best use of the urban wood resource by connecting the producers of the urban wood, like arborists and municipalities, with local businesses or individuals who want that wood,”said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “This can add value and reduce the amount of wood entering the waste stream.”The N.C. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, in partnership with the N.C. Urban Forest Council, has relaunched the website, which was previously part of the Urban Hardwood Recovery Project. The site has been revamped to serve the Southeast.“Urban wood is an underutilized resource and marketing opportunity, and we hope that providing a way for those who have wood to connect with those who want wood will provide a service that will benefit communities, businesses and residents,” said Nancy Stairs, Urban Forestry Program coordinator with the N.C. Forest Service.The need for improving the visibility and accessibility of the urban wood market has been amplified by the rise in invasive insects and other threats to the health of municipal trees. Stairs said renewable wood resources help cities and towns avoid disposal costs and even generate revenue that can support pruning, replanting and other tree care activities.last_img read more

December 18

A Sure Way to Annoy Workers: Think Outside the Box

first_imgThe next time one of your employees admires your business suit, it’s OK to wonder if she’s sucking up. More than one in five U.S. employees admit to complimenting managers to get on their good side—even if the flattery is a bunch of hooey. Just be glad you aren’t a supervisor in India: Almost half of workers there (46 percent) say they sweet-talk their bosses even if they don’t mean it. Those are among the findings in a 2013 Kronos Boss’s Day Survey of more than 4,000 workers in the U.S., Australia and India. Harris Interactive conducted the survey with 2,041 full-time and part-time U.S. workers and 2,100 full-time and part-time Australian and Indian workers Sept. 24-26, 2013, on behalf of the Workforce Institute at Kronos Inc., which helps companies with workplace issues such as labor costs, regulatory compliance and productivity. The Workforce Institute is a think tank that provides research and education on the workplace. Irritating IdiomsWorkers in all three countries get truly annoyed when managers use inside business jargon, according to the survey, whose release coincided with National Boss’s Day, which is celebrated Oct. 16. The phrase that irks them the most? “Think outside the box.” Twenty-five percent of U.S. employees can’t stand it when managers tell them to do this. Other annoying phrases cited were: “I don’t care how— just get it done” (24 percent). “I need you to be more proactive” (17 percent).“I’ll circle back with you” (17 percent). “I’d like to task you with this project” (11 percent). Indian employees get far more irritated by corporate jargon (95 percent) than do Australians (83 percent) and Americans (76 percent). Age, Geography MatterThe older the worker, the more he prefers honesty in a boss: U.S. employees 55 and older value this trait in a manager (90 percent) more than U.S. Millennials do (69 percent). And the younger workers are, the more they prefer a boss who’s “direct” and has a sense of humor: Among different age groups, “directness” is most important to Millennials (43 percent), as is “humor” (34 percent). All that talk about Southern hospitality and manners? Maybe it doesn’t translate to the workplace. A thoughtful boss was least important in the South (26 percent) and most important in the West (41 percent). As for those stereotypes about the laid-back West Coast? Maybe there’s something to them. A goal-oriented boss isn’t as important to those living in the West (26 percent) as it is to those in the Northeast (45 percent), Midwest (51 percent) and South (48 percent). What about that workplace buzzword “transparency”? It isn’t as important in the Midwest (17 percent) as it is in the South (31 percent). In a press release, Kronos highlighted these findings among U.S. workers: A large majority of employees (69 percent) say their managers set a good example, agreeing they are ethical, honest, collaborative, creative, empowering, innovative, dedicated and trustworthy. Given the choice between a manager who is a high achiever but demanding, or one who’s nice but ineffective, 75 percent chose the former. When respondents ranked the three most important attributes of a good manager, honesty was at the top (78 percent), followed by goal-oriented (44 percent) and compassionate (40 percent).Asked if they’d prefer a manager who invests in their professional development or one who invests in programs to make work more fun, 61 percent chose the former, while 39 percent chose the latter. Four out of 10 employees (43 percent) prefer direct individual praise from managers, 32 percent favor praise from their manager’s manager, and 25 percent prefer praise in front of peers. Indians are most likely (39 percent) to want recognition among peers. “One of the interesting aspects of this survey is that U.S. employees would choose a high-performing and demanding boss over a nice but ineffective one,” said Sharlyn Lauby, president of ITM Group Inc. “In the same vein, they’d prefer a manager who invests in their professional development over one who invests in making a fun working environment. Employees are saying they don’t need their boss to be their best friend; rather, it’s important to them that they are able to work effectively, be challenged and grow.” Dana Wilkie is an online editor/manager for SHRM.To read the original article on shrm.org, please click here.last_img read more

December 15

Optomec sees surge in orders for its advanced 3D printer

first_imgDavid Curry Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Tags:#3D printer#Aerosol Jet 5X#GE Healthcare Systems#Internet of Things#Optomec Related Posts Follow the Puckcenter_img Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces In less than a month, Optomec’s Aerosol Jet 5X printing system has become a hit with companies looking for a 3D printer to build smart products for their Internet of Things (IoT) systems. The New Mexico-based company revealed a large uptake in orders from industry leaders in defense, healthcare, aerospace, and automotive, including GE Healthcare Systems.According to 3DPrint, companies in these industries are lining up to purchase the new Aerosol Jet 5X printing system, already seeing the immense capabilities of the new printer.See Also: 10 Crazy Things 3D Printers Can Make TodayWhile Optomec did not reveal the names of any other “industry leaders” or give us sales numbers, GE Healthcare Systems AME senior electrical process engineer Steve Crynock gave a positive impression of the 3D printer.“With the Aerosol Jet 5X system we expect to iterate quickly to provide optimized 3D-printed electronic solutions enabling engineers to create smaller, lighter, and more efficient products,” Crynock says.Optomec new system can print down to 10 micronsThe Aerosol Jet 5X printing system offers a five-axis coordinated motion platform that can print as small as 10 microns, making it ideal for small circuitry and cable. Previous 3D printers have been unable to print circuitry at such a small size, which made them rather inefficient when compared to traditional tools and machinery.According to Optomec’s website, the 3D printer also supports a wide variety of materials, including polymers, adhesives, inks, and dielectrics. The 3D printer features a patented additive and aerodynamic material deposition capabilities and Optomec claims the printer can meet the demand of a busy factory floor.“We are pleased to see the rapid adoption of our recently introduced Aerosol Jet 5X system by multiple companies across a variety of industries,” said Mike O’Reilly, director of Aerosol Jet’s product management. “This solution is enabling next generation 3D electronics in ways not possible with current manufacturing methods.” Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to…last_img read more