All systems go: Baldwin Filters ensures its computer systems run as smoothly as its production equipment

Baldwin Filters, a Kearny, Neb.-based manufacturer of air, oil, fuel, and hydraulic filters primarily for industrial vehicles, is ramping up an OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) program. It also is taking steps to ensure that the computer systems that support its plant operations are as finely tuned as its production equipment. <br/>

12/13/2007


Baldwin Filters , a Kearny, Neb.-based manufacturer of air, oil, fuel, and hydraulic filters primarily for industrial vehicles, is ramping up an OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) program. It also is taking steps to ensure that
“Computing systems are very instrumental in the manufacturing process,” says Eric Carel, network systems supervisor for Baldwin Filters. “We support a large amount of equipment on the shop floor directly in our network environment. This includes a lot of automated production control equipment, inspection equipment, and supporting systems such as wireless RF systems
All of Baldwin’s 52 server computers and approximately 400 workstations run on the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 operating system, as well as Microsoft’s SQL Server 2005 database.

Because every second of production counts, especially with such a high number of computer operations, file fragmentation can be a serious barrier to increasing efficiency. File fragmentation—the splitting of files into tens, hundreds, or even thousands of fragments—is a fact of life on today’s computer hard drives, developed to fully utilize disk space. The downside is that accessing a file in multiple fragments adds considerable time to both employee

Management for Baldwin Filters long ago realized that fragmentation needs to be countered. And like many companies, Baldwin originally installed a system that would allow for scheduling defragmentation sessions when there were the least number of users on their systems. This took care of the fragmentation performance problem—but at somewhat of a price.

“Scheduled defragmentation was a headache to manage; on-demand defragmentation interrupted users until completed; and those left with fragmented hard drives had to deal with subpar system performance,” Carel says.

This year, however, Carel and his team discovered a new solution that is able to defragment without scheduling, in real time, invisibly, in the background, with no affect on computer users. It was a great find for Carel.
“Given the sheer number of computers and operations that must be managed with limited staff, having an automated low-maintenance environment is essential,” he says.

One feature of the new solution that Carel especially likes is called I-FAAST (Intelligent File Access Acceleration Sequencing Technology). This feature boosts access to frequently used files, and Carel and his staff employ it to increase the performance of disk-to-disk back-up operations.

Lean and efficient manufacturing methods are vital in today’s cutthroat market. When implementing them, however, don’t overlook the efficiency of your computers and the primary barrier to optimum computer system efficiency: file fragmentation.

Bruce Boyers is a freelance writer based in Glendale, Calif. He wrote this article on behalf of Diskeeper Corporation





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
The true cost of lubrication: Three keys to consider when evaluating oils; Plant Engineering Lubrication Guide; 11 ways to protect bearing assets; Is lubrication part of your KPIs?
Contract maintenance: 5 ways to keep things humming while keeping an eye on costs; Pneumatic systems; Energy monitoring; The sixth 'S' is safety
Transport your data: Supply chain information critical to operational excellence; High-voltage faults; Portable cooling; Safety automation isn't automatic
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Synchronizing industrial Ethernet networks; Selecting protocol conversion gateways; Integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs
Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.