When you plan on buying metal springs for your company, it is important that you pay attention to all of the details. A manufacturer can provide you with a lot of different features and you want to take advantage of each of these. When you work with the right manufacturer, you can obtain a quality spring at an affordable price.

Material

There are all sorts of materials to look at when you get metal springs. The type that you get is going to depend on what you need the spring to do. You will also need to look at some of the environmental factors. Some materials are more corrosive than others and you don’t want to run into issues where the springs are literally dissolving in acid.

Popular materials include beryllium copper, stainless steel, and titanium. You may also need more unique materials such as Hastelloy, Inconel, or Monel. This means that you will need to find a manufacturer who is capable of finding these materials and making you springs out of them.

Size

Size matters when it comes to metal springs. If you get one too small, it isn’t going to form the connections. If you get one too large, it is not going to allow your operations to function as necessary. There are a lot of “in stock” sizes that you can select from. If none of these fit your needs, you will need to ask the manufacturer if they will provide you with a custom size.

Coating

Various coatings can be added to the springs as well. This is beneficial when you want to add strength and durability as well as to expose the springs to various environmental factors. The coating is typically latex, though you have options when you talk to the manufacturer to find out what they are capable of providing you.

Price

Finally, you want to look at the price for your metal springs. In many instances, you will have the opportunity to save money if you buy in bulk. This is especially the case if you have a custom order. If the manufacturer has to run a special batch of springs for you, it will be in your best interest to have them run a larger batch in order to save you money.

Ultimately, you have to work with a manufacturer to be sure you get what you want. There are many types of metal springs on the market and you need to find ones that meet your needs. You can choose various materials, sizes, and coatings. Depending upon how many you buy, you can also influence the price. Not all manufacturers can provide you with all of these things to the custom level that you may require.

Work with a manufacturer and tell them what you are looking for. If they are unable to provide you with assistance or provide you with what you need, then you need to find a different manufacturer.

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Technology Traps for Associations to Avoid

Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, but that isn’t always the case. If your association doesn’t have a clear technology vision and plan, the programs and tools designed to improve your organization can work against you.

Here are three technology traps to watch for in your association.

Technology Trap #1: Shiny Object Syndrome

It can be tempting to jump on the latest technology fad and convince yourself your organization must invest in it. For example, does your association really need a custom app?

Maybe.

But before you spend precious budget dollars on building one, be sure you understand why you are doing it first. How will the technology help your organization? Is the area a pain point – or is this a “nice to have” expenditure?

Buying something just because it is cool or trendy doesn’t pass the spending test.

Technology Trap #2: Creating a Piecemeal System

This month your association is focused on email, so you subscribe to a newsletter service. Next month, the focus shifts to online registration, so you subscribe to a different provider for that. Then your association decides to dedicate time and resources to blogging, so you invest in a content management system.

Before you know it, you have accounts all across the internet and monthly payments to multiple services.

Streamline your association’s service providers by investing in a membership management service that offers all the tools you need.

Not having to remember numerous passwords is a benefit for using an all-in-one system.

However, the biggest benefit is comprehensive reporting. By having all your information in one place, you won’t have to export data from all the accounts and then try to synchronize it in a spreadsheet.

Technology Trap #3: Not Using All Tools Available

Now that you’ve invested in membership marketing software, are you taking advantage of all the resources available?

It can be tempting to continue to keep your email list with another provider – it’s a huge list with multiple segments and the monthly payment may not seem like that much. (Beware: it adds up over time!)

Importing all your data into a new system can feel intimidating, and not worth the immediate effort. But in the long run, your life will be a lot easier.

Take advantage of the professionals who work for the membership management software company – they are there to help you get your data imported and working.

Technology can be a huge expense for associations. Before investing, pinpoint exactly how the software will benefit your organization. Take a look at both time and cost savings to determine if you are making a wise investment.

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LASYS takes place every summer at the Stuttgart fairgrounds in Stuttgart, Germany. Each year, this international trade fair showcases the latest innovations in laser material processing. This year, expect to see laser welding in the spotlight. Laser plastic welding is an emerging technology, still in its early stages. This year’s LASYS exhibition is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about it.

According to Coherent, diode lasers are used to weld thermoplastic materials. Using a laser beam, two plastic materials are joined through a heat transfer process. Welding has a high degree of automation, process control, and product quality. Both the medical and automotive industries find laser welding an attractive alternative to ultrasonic welding which often leaves undesirable particles behind.

In order for the plastics to bond properly, welding has specific material and component design requirements. The thermoplastic materials used must be compatible with one another and have an overlapping melting range (Source: “Laser Plastic Welding Takes Root”, Photonics Online). In addition, the laser beam must be able to penetrate the top plastic component’s transparent layer. The bottom layer must have good surface absorption properties.

Advantages of Laser Plastic Welding

Laser welding offers several advantages. Naturally, one of its advantages involves the plastic itself which opens the door to more applications. Another advantage is that you can create concealed seams using welding as well as minimize component interaction. Using traditional welding techniques, heat is used extensively and can harm the product’s components.

Laser plastic welding also doesn’t scatter particles of materials in the area, making it ideal for medical applications. Vibrations, which are common with other welding techniques, are not a problem with laser welding nor is friction. In addition, less welding material is used at thinner thicknesses, which reduces material costs.

Laser plastic welding is also much cleaner than adhesive bonding. The weld is made using a laser beam rather than micro-nozzles, which can become clogged. In addition to generating much less heat than other techniques, laser welding does not use liquid or expel fumes which could affect surrounding materials.

Many industry experts believe that welding can help manufacturers meet rigorous design and safety requirements. For example, the aviation and automotive industries are using fiber reinforced plastics. Not only can these strong, lightweight components meet design and safety requirements, laser processing is a cost-effective solution.

Laser plastic welding has numerous benefits and applications. If you will be attending LASYS 2014, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more as well as seek advice from various experts, exhibitors, and consultants. To learn more visit the sources below.

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Older display technology like DLP/LED rear projection cubes for video walls are still considered to be the gold standard, however they can be relatively expensive and take more maintenance than the latest LCD video walls. Front projectors run hot, burn expensive lamps frequently, and as a rule have lower resolution which is important when displaying small text and symbols. These are driven by a processor which accepts a variety of input sources. Hardwire switchers are considered outdated because of their limitations and they can be bulky and expensive relative to their performance. Modern LCD video walls are the preferred technology for demanding mission critical environments; they have overall high resolution with relatively lower initial investment lower maintenance costs and longevity.

An Overview
There are a variety of display technologies on the market, but modern LCD video walls are the best investment relative to cost, maintenance, longevity and return on investment. The latest ultra-thin screen mullions make LCDs competitive with the thinner mullion DLP cubes, but the difference in width is adequate for most control room requirements. From a functional perspective, these with their internal video processors, can acquire more sources, display more information and manage more information than any other method. This means better and faster decision-making.

That said, no technology is perfect so there is a trade-off. LCD panels don’t last forever and when a panel fails, it is typically replaced rather than repaired. The potential problem is availability of a matching replacement. Technology is changing and products go on and off the market frequently as do the manufacturers. For this reason, buying several replacement panels is a good idea.

These are the most popular of the display technologies for the reasons mentioned, however the most obvious, but less emphasized is the depth. These panels can be mounted on the wall with an approximate 7″ depth or mounted in a 12″ deep cabinet. Compared to its DLP cube competitor, it’s a good foot and half shallower and in a small control room the difference of 12″ in depth could make a difference.

To conclude, if you’re shopping for a video wall for your control room and want one that will hold up under continuous use 7/24, you won’t find much choice within the ultra-thin mullion market. However, when shopping, don’t focus on the displays, look at the video wall as a performance system and match the best LCD panel to that system. An integrator specializing in control rooms should be able to assist you with your selection. These are a sizable investment, so it’s important to take the time to make your evaluation.

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Professional office cleaning services are required by all large businesses, most mid-sized businesses, and many small businesses. No matter what size company you run you will need to interview the professional office cleaning companies in your area to find the right one for your needs.

To interview a professional office cleaning service you must first know what services you require, and how often you require those services. You must be informed of your requirements in order for you to be able to decide if the service the company is offering is a good deal for you.

Professional office cleaning services generally offer their services in packages. They will list the jobs that they will perform, the frequency in which they will perform them, and the price they will charge to do them. Most company owners do not realize that these packages are usually negotiable, and the prices can be reduced.

When you are comparing the prices that the different companies are asking for their services you must look at them carefully. You must make certain that each company package is offering the same cleaning services. If one company is charging more than another company is check to see if the two companies are offering the same number of services.

You also want to check the packages that each company is offering to determine whether or not the cleaning services will be done on the same frequency. One company may be offering their services more often than the other company is and that can cause the price of the services to be higher.

Ask the company representatives what cleansers they use in their work. If one company is using organic cleansers they may charge more, but as the head of the corporation you may prefer all natural cleaners over ones filled with harmful chemicals.

You will want to ask the company representative what types of security checks they do on their employees to determine which company takes their responsibility to their clients more seriously. A cleaning service provides employees that may have the opportunity to enter sensitive areas of your company, or that may have an opportunity to view sensitive materials. You want to know that the cleaning service checked their employees backgrounds out before they sent them into your office complex.

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Recently I did a seminar for around 100 financial planners and we talked about the importance of creating a healthy balance. These professionals routinely create financial plans for their clients to create financial wealth so I explained the similarity around the importance of creating a wellness plan for themselves if they want to create a great life.

I explained that most people make the time to plan a holiday well in advance but neglect to spend the time on creating a wellness plan and then are surprised when life doesn’t turn out like they hoped.

Isn’t it any wonder?

For most people, you have in your control, the ability to create abundant health if only you spend the time to dissect the elements of what health truly is to you and create small, actionable steps that lead you to the bigger picture. Some of these elements would include: exercise, nutrition, sleep, mindset training and spiritual/personal development.

This is why I believe everyone, especially leaders – should take the time to create a written wellness plan document. A leader is an influencer and can show the way to their fellow work colleagues, families and children.

There are at least seven reasons why I believe this is important:

1. A Wellness Plan will help clarify your important priorities.
When you think about your ideal health, do you have an order of preference? Lose weight? Reduce blood pressure? Reduce cholesterol? Reduce alcohol? Gain more energy? Clear brain fog? List what is important to you.

2. A Wellness Plan will enable you to maintain balance.
When life throws you a ‘curve ball’ you’ll be better equipped to handle what comes your way. With robust health, you’ll have reduced stress, become more resilient and have a stronger mindset to react to life’s adversities.

3. A Wellness Plan will provide a filter by which you can say “no” to lesser things.
Once you have said “yes” to the things that matter most, you are in a better position to say “no” to things that don’t align with your goals. You’ll have clarity – and the courage – to manage circumstances and temptations rather than to be managed by them.

4. A Wellness Plan will empower you to identify and address your current realities.
What are the most brutal realities of your health? Where are you falling short? Where do you know you need to improve? A Wellness Plan will identify what areas take higher priority and what you need to address.

5. A Wellness Plan will equip you to envision a better future.
What do you want in your life? In your current status of health, can you see yourself sustaining where you want to go in the future? Whether it is 1 year, 5 years or 10 years ahead – do you really believe that without a health plan and the right strategies in place, you can really achieve what you set out?

6. A Wellness Plan will serve as a road map for accomplishing what matters most.
It doesn’t have to be complicated but you do have to identify life’s markers along the way. A health plan does that..

7. A Wellness Plan will help ensure that you don’t finish life with regrets.
For many people life is not turning out like they had hoped. They are disappointed, confused and discouraged due to ill health. But it doesn’t have to be this way. While you can’t control everything, what is in your control are your lifestyle choices. You can live with a plan and dramatically improve your chances of ending up at a destination you choose.

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One of the unexpected expenses that business owners have to deal with is the cost of commercial cleaning in the offices. Keeping the offices neat and tidy is something that many business owners do not even think of until they have their business up and running.

Commercial cleaning is essential to keep the office neat, and to keep pathogens, and germs to a minimum. The problem with commercial cleaning is that it can be very expensive to hire a company to do this work for you.

One way to save money on commercial cleaning is to first make a list of all of the cleaning chores that are necessary to your operations. Get very detailed with your list and include every minute task that you can think of.

Once you know all of the things that need to be done to keep the office clean and sanitary you can decide how often each of the chores need to be done. Some chores have to be done every day and some chores can be done less frequently.

After you know what needs done, and how often it needs done, then you can decide which jobs you need to hire a professional cleaning service to attend to, and which jobs could be assigned to employees within your own company.

The more cleaning jobs that your daily employees can take care of the fewer assignments you will need to hire a professional service to do. Then you can assign the heavier tasks like waxing the floors to the cleaning service.

You can save money when you hire a cleaning service to come on a daily, or weekly basis, rather than hiring them to come occasionally. The services will offer package prices to their regular customers that work out to be a lot lower than the individual prices that are paid by the businesses that hire them intermittently.

You can save more money on your cleaning services if you supply the cleansers that are used to do the work. You will be able to choose your cleansers, and purchase them in bulk, which can greatly reduce the cost of the supplies. Most cleaning companies inflate the price of the cleaners they use. If they pay ten dollars for a product they charge their customers the ten dollars plus thirty percent more.

You will have to shop around for the right cleaning service if you want to get quality work at an affordable price.

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HBR’s 10 Must Reads On Collaboration

Collaboration among internal employees and with external partners is a powerful way to improve productivity, create value, and obtain a competitive edge. But managers must apply it strategically and provide ongoing support to obtain its maximum impact. In ten essays by leading scholars and practitioners originally published in Harvard Business Review, HBR’s 10 Must Reads On Collaboration helps leaders understand how and why this approach succeeds-and sometimes fails. The book offers proven, practical collaboration strategies based on cutting-edge research from a wide range of industries and organizations.

The authors explain that:

1. Collaborative leaders need distinctive skills and styles. To successfully promote and sustain collaboration requires the ability to forge connections outside of one’s organization; engage diverse talent; model collaborative efforts at the top; and take a strong role in directing, forming, and disbanding teams.

2. A socially intelligent leader can inspire others to feel better and perform more effectively. The set of interpersonal competencies known as “social intelligence” taps into neurobiological circuits. These cause others to mirror a leader’s positive emotions and actions.

3. To bring about true collaboration, leaders must convince people to work together when their cooperation would not otherwise be wanted or needed. In addition to persuasiveness, this task requires authenticity and an impresario personality.

4. A collaborative enterprise can be both innovative and efficient. To achieve these ends, an organization must define a shared purpose; create an ethic of contribution; develop scalable coordinating processes; and introduce boundary-spanning infrastructure.

5. To succeed at solutions selling, companies must release and leverage the knowledge and expertise that have traditionally resided in silos. Silo-busting requires coordination of work across organizational boundaries; cooperation among previously competing groups in the interests of customers; capabilities built around a generalist customer focus; and connection to external partners.

6. Communities of practice enable experts to share knowledge and ideas effectively and efficiently. These informal employee networks work best when they tackle high-priority problems; focus on long-term goals; and are supported by integrative human systems in addition to technology.

7. Organizations cannot improve collaboration without addressing the root of its failure: conflict. Leaders can take advantage of various proven strategies to manage conflict, both at its starting point and after it escalates up the management chain.

8. Enterprises can effectively use emergent social software platforms to achieve collaboration-related goals. Managers must not be misled by the common myths about this technology; for example, that its risks outweigh its rewards, or that its benefits should only be measured in monetary terms.

9. Collaboration can go awry, and is not appropriate for every project or opportunity. Business leaders must weigh the return of a potential collaborative project against its opportunity and implementation costs.

10. Before beginning a collaborative effort with an external partner, business leaders need to select the most promising collaboration mode. These modes differ along the dimensions of openness (the degree to which anyone can participate) and hierarchy (whether decision making is shared or reserved to one partner).

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What You Need To Know About LCD Displays

Liquid crystal display or LCD as they are popularly known consist of a large number of picture elements that consist of liquid crystal molecules held between two sets of transparent electrodes.

When the electrical charge running between the electrodes is charged, the liquid crystals react in predictable ways. Here the crystals twist and move in different ways that create the colors that you see on the screen. For you to see the picture, a light source has to shine through the LCD.

There are a number of benefits that come with LCDs. One advantage is that the displays tend to have very high resolutions. For example, it’s common to find many displays with HDTV resolutions. The high resolutions ensure that the picture quality is high thus you have a great viewing experience.

Another advantage is that the displays are energy efficient. Research has shown that HDTVs use very little electricity to run. For example, it has been shown that the LCD spends 30% less power than a plasma display of the same size. Since the LCD spends just small amount of electricity, you save a lot on money.

Most LCD television displays can also work as PC monitors; therefore, you don’t have to buy a new monitor for your computer. The good side is that connecting the screen to the computer is easy. This is because all you need is a standard PC video cable and you will be able to connect the two.

Video games are known for creating images that get permanently burned into the phosphors on your screen. LCDs are usually immune to this problem because they use a separate backlight instead of creating their own light from phosphors. The immunity ensures that the LCDs retain their elegant look for a long time.

The LCDs have been shown to have the ability of easily handling progressive scan sources such as progressive-scan DVD and HDTV. The reason why they are able to handle these sources is because they don’t display their pictures using electron guns that scan lines across a screen.

Instead of this the displays use millions of tiny transistors that are usually controlled by the “brains” inside the display.

Although, LCDs have these advantages, they have their fair share of drawbacks. One drawback is that they tend to be slightly expensive than other displays.

Another drawback is that they are poor in producing black images. For example, instead of the images appearing as true black, they usually appear as various shades of gray.

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What’s Bad In Making A Copycat App?

Clone, imitation, copycat, rip-off. There are many names for this phenomenon, which is the most obvious solution by lack of ideas. But what’s worse, it is often applied in unoriginal attempts of chasing popular trends and software products.

Nowhere is it obvious and compelling as in the mobile game category. In fact, there are very similar apps in every category, but it’s the games, such as 2048, Angry Birds, and Temple Run, that come to mind first. The bad in making a copycat is bad not only for their developers and/or owners, but for other people as well. Let’s see why.

Imitation Has No Identity

Software owners and developers can implement other apps’ distinct features as a part of their own products. Their products may have a completely different philosophy and succeed. But a copycat by itself won’t bring them any success. It will simply work for the app that got cloned. Everybody prefers originals, no matter how good a copycat is. Ever since Instagram became so popular, there have been lots of related photo/video apps which were all named ‘Insta-this’ and ‘That-gram’. It all even went that far so that stores were rejecting such apps. But no matter what the name of the clone is, you’d still think of Instagram, wouldn’t you?

Bigger Chances Of Copyright Infringements

Not everyone is like Apple and sues for this and that – that’s why we have so many app clones. But Apple is Apple, and their control filters out much litter in apps, and struggles with infringements and use of unauthorized content. It is also easy for developers to contact and report such violations at both App Store and Google Play. They can be unintentional but it’s always a matter of proper revision.

Flooding Copycats Kill Off The Monetization

Over the last months you could watch clones of the infamous Flappy Bird in the tops of app stores. It has been even worse with various websites where ‘New Releases’ are daily renewed – almost every day there was yet another clone – a useless waste of time and efforts. What was interesting, occasionally these clones were paid ones, with the usual $0.99 fee, or in-app purchases with more game levels.

However, while people have their freedom of choice and initial unwillingness to pay for apps, they will definitely scroll further for a free similar game, and in the case of Flappy Bird they wouldn’t have any problems with that.

There can be another scenario – a game gets cloned simply for placing ads. But the result will be the same: ad haters, which are many among us, will still look for ad-free alternatives – and will find them.

Rip-offs Are Generally Disliked, If Not Hated

There are so many ways to take an idea and make it your own, yet still this ‘attack of the clones’ has no end. What do they receive? One/two-star ratings, bad reviews, and often negative media responses, being treated like some kind of spam. Which they are in most cases. Rip-offs are generally hated by creators of the originals, who may even lose revenues, all owing to low-quality clones.

Not all clones are necessarily worse. For example, Apple filters out the really bad stuff, because they’d never compromise on customer satisfaction. Nevertheless App Store still lets clones in, because more apps mean more revenues for the company. Yet the truth remains – imitations are acceptable by some mobile users, but not much more than that.

While cloning an app with a slight change that doesn’t make any difference, is truly bad, borrowing isn’t – to a certain extent. Nobody is able to suggest innovations matching the real state of things, with a strong business idea or distinct philosophy behind it. Any creative work is almost always built upon something that has been before – just remember the idea of iPod, a portable music player that became a market-changer. Or the iPad – its concept wasn’t all that new in 2010, but it was correctly treated, as a perfect and highly portable device for content consumption.

An idea can be taken to another target audience. An idea can be enhanced in usability. An idea can have offline access, which it didn’t have before, and succeed. Finally, an idea can win by another way of monetization and better understanding of what users need and value.

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