2013 Product of the Year finalists: Maintenance Tools & Equipment
Finalists in the Maintenance Tools & Equipment category for the Plant Engineering 2013 Product of the Year competition.
Wireless test tool system
The Fluke CNX Wireless System is a set of test tools that wirelessly connects multiple measurement modules and sends simultaneous readings to a master device up to 20 m away, allowing users to troubleshoot problems quickly and efficiently. The rugged, customizable tool set allows users to choose various measurement modules based on their specific troubleshooting scenario. At the core of the Fluke CNX Wireless System is a CAT III 1000 V / CAT IV 600 V multimeter with a screen that displays its readings along with live readings from up to three other measurement modules.
Visual IT thermometer
The Fluke VT02 Visual IR Thermometer is a troubleshooting camera with an infrared (IR) heat map. This tool combines the visual insight of a thermal imager, the visual images of a digital camera, and the point-and-shoot convenience of an IR thermometer. The VT02 displays and saves images as full visual, full IR, or in tree blended modes (25%, 50%, and 75%). Markers pinpoint hot and cold spots indicating the hottest temperature with a red box and the coldest with a blue box. A temperature reading is provided at the center point. Images are saved to the micro-SD card, eliminating the need to write down single or multiple measurements.
Gas turbine inlet filter cartridge
ClearCurrent PRO is an innovative gas turbine inlet filter cartridge that has been field tested and shown to positively affect gas turbine performance while helping to reduce the effects of turbine degradation. The cartridge filters are compatible with GE’s FlexEfficiency Portfolio, are available in both galvanized and stainless steel, and have a long filter operating life. The PRO (predictable, reliable output) technology helps prevent water from reaching turbine blades, mitigating corrosion within the gas turbine. ClearCurrent PRO is available in self-cleaning and static systems and is fully compliant with GE original equipment manufacturer filter performance specifications.
GE Power & Water
Floating brush seal
The Sentinel Floating Brush Seal (FBS) for Elliot YR process steam turbines was developed as a drop-in replacement to carbon rings. Utilizing brush seal technology, the Sentinel FBS comprises densely packed and flexible metallic bristles that “bend” with changing clearances between rotating and stationary surfaces. The brush serves as the primary shaft seal while a carbon element provides face sealing in the turbine’s casing. The Sentinel FBS technology offers an extra layer of protection that slows down the natural wear of downstream carbon rings and provides predictable leakage over an extended operating life.
Tubing press tool
The RP 340 press tool is a small, lightweight pressing option for joining copper and stainless steel tubing 1/2 to 4 in. in diameter and PEX tubing and black iron pipe 1/2 to 2 in. in diameter. Compatible with all RIDGID Standard series pressing jaws and attachments, the RP 340 offers industry-exclusive bolt sensor technology to ensure jaws and attachments are securely connected to the tool before a press cycle is initiated. The RP 340 increases user maneuverability and reduces the potential for operator fatigue, while also featuring a quick cycle time, the ability to operate in extreme temperature ranges, and the ability to rotate jaws up to 270-deg to access tight spaces.
Vibration, temperature monitor
The SKF Machine Condition Indicator is a low-cost vibration and temperature monitoring device designed for rotating machinery with constant operating conditions. It provides the ability to track basic machine health on assets that are not currently being monitored on a regular basis. The device can be used indoors or outdoors where rotating machines are used. The SKF Machine Condition Indicator periodically makes two types of vibration measurements. Velocity measurements are made to keep track of overall machine health and highlight potential problems relating to misalignment and imbalance. The device also monitors machine operating temperature.
Shaft alignment tool
The Fixturlaser NXA Pro is a laser-based shaft alignment tool that utilizes the latest technology in digital signal processing as well as other innovations to provide fast and intuitive operation with advanced functions and capabilities. This tool features a display unit with a 6.5-in. touchscreen with video game style realistic graphics and a redesigned set of transmitters/detectors. A microelectromechanical systems gyroscope in the display unit powers the OmniView function. OmniView changes the screen display in real time to always show the machine being aligned from the same viewing angle as seen by the operator.
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After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.