Exploring the show

The main event may be over, but its impact remains.


The main event may be over, but its impact remains. The 51st National Plant Engineering and Management Show gathered record numbers of top plant engineers and facilities managers once again, and gave them the opportunity to explore and examine the products and services of nearly 600 exhibitors.

This annual spring rite, held at Chicago's McCormick Place in March, lets attendees view the future of the manufacturing enterprise, offering them ideas and innovations for maintaining uptime, cutting costs, and increasing productivity. Displays focused on the latest technologies in buildings and grounds, energy management, fluid handling, lighting, material handling and logistics, safety, health, and environmental, and software tools.

If you missed this stellar event-or if you just want to take a second look at some of the exciting offerings that appeared on this year's show floor-here's your chance. We toured the booths and captured bits and pieces for your review. So jump on board and sample or revisit some of the displays that helped make National Manufacturing Week 2000 an occasion to remember.

MRO.com drew attendees into its booth with a mini rack track and kept them there with information about its web-based automated procurement systems and integrated software solutions from its parent company, PSDI.

The Stanley Works attracted visitors to its booth by rigging a tool chest/roller cabinet from a single wrench. Displays included all types of tools from sockets and wrenches to screwdrivers, along with tool boxes and storage cabinets.

Mannesmann Dematic modular components are designed to form material handling equipment and machinery that function at the highest levels of efficiency. Precision products give operators fingertip positioning and control.

La-Man Corp. featured its new refrigerated extractor/dryer, which provides clean, dry, reduced dewpoint compressed air suitable for many industrial uses.

New Pig Corp. drew attention to its wide line of sorbents, wipers, containment pallets, and more with its traditionally unique and unorthodox product displays.

Exxon Mobil Corp. displayed lubricants for almost every need in front of a striking gear backdrop. In addition to its products, the company promoted its planned engineering services, its lubrication maintenance programs, and its technical support activities.

Leviton 's extensive line of industrial wiring devices included its Wetguard plugs and connectors, locking flush receptacles, ac motor starting switches, surge protection devices, and ground fault circuit interrupters.

JLG Industries mobile aerial work platforms include a new self-propelled vertical lift and an electric articulating boom lift series that offers electric and dual power sources for performance indoors and out.

Graco 's air-operated diaphragm pumps feature a simple, reliable air valve design for reliability in a variety of applications. Husky line has a three-way pilot valve and needs no air-line lubrication.

Ledtronics, Inc. , solves lighting problems with a variety of LED products, which come in a wide array of colors, sizes, and packages; and are rugged, reliable, and brilliant.

AVO Intl .'s premium handheld insulation testers are designed to perform extremely high-sensitivity insulation resistance measurements (200 GV) and offer the ability to view the measurement in terms of leakage current (mA).

Datastream Systems, Inc. , demonstrated its new iProcure system of electronic commerce for industrial procurement along with other software solutions for the maintenance community.

Raytek Corp .'s MX CF close-focus temperature measurement instrumentation features adjustable emissivity, a 16-point laser circle spot, target spot sizes as small as 1/4 in., and a distance-to-spot ratio of 50:1. Units are designed for checking very small points.

Baldor Motors and Drives presented a variety of products for visitors to review, including a line of large frame ac induction motors and Series 15H inverters. A new feature on all its motors is Exxon's new polyurea grease, which provides added protection against bearing failing.

SKF displayed its Explorer spherical roller bearings, which offer improved endurance and performance. Benefits of the new bearings include higher load-carrying capacities, longer life, less noise, and reduced maintenance costs.

Milwaukee Electric Tool Co. based its display on a theme of tools, tools, tools. Visitors stopped to examine cordless drills, sanders, saws, accessories, and more.

HVLS Fan Co. displayed its 20-ft, high-volume, low-speed fan. Unit is designed to circulate air over a 10,000-15,000-sq ft area from ceiling heights exceeding 45 ft.

TabWare 's Lamborghini Countach drew almost as much attention from attendees as its TabWare OnLine product. A true ASP, the product lets companies access and use enterprise asset management software over the internet for a low, per-user monthly fee while purchasing only the functionality they need.

Ingersoll-Rand air compressors deliver oil-free air in all three technologies: rotary screw, reciprocating, and centrifugal. Sierra rotary screw unit comes in water or air-cooled designs.

Daniel Woodhead Co. featured a selection of electrical wiring devices that help create a safer workplace. Visitors saw plugs, receptacles, connectors, and the company's line of Watertite portable outlet boxes and lights that comply with OSHA regulations, among other products.

Zeks Compressed Air Solutions featured its new CFX exchanger technology that replaces copper heat exchanger components in refrigerated dryers with corrosion-resistant stainless steel. Modification lets companies use less energy while lowering operating costs.

Fluke Corp .'s familiar yellow meters included a new temperature calibrator featuring measure and source functions that can test and calibrate almost any temperature measurement. In addition to electronic test tools for process industries, the company showed off the premium leather cases it is now offering for its digital multimeters, electrical testers, and accessories.

Power Measurement Ltd. offers a variety of products and services for power monitoring, analysis, and control, including a multifunction digital power meter that features an internal Ethernet port option. Booth highlighted both instrumentation and software systems designed to reduce industrial energy costs and optimize power quality.

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Doubling down on digital manufacturing; Data driving predictive maintenance; Electric motors and generators; Rewarding operational improvement
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
Prescriptive maintenance; Hannover Messe 2017 recap; Reduce welding errors
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Research team developing Tesla coil designs; Implementing wireless process sensing
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

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