Solutions In reading the Solutions in the October 2003 issue, I found that the first solution for sharp edges on wire ties was written correctly, but was shown incorrectly. There is no cutting performed in this solution, only twisting. The best device to use is side-cutting pliers known as railroad pliers.



In reading the Solutions in the October 2003 issue, I found that the first solution for sharp edges on wire ties was written correctly, but was shown incorrectly. There is no cutting performed in this solution, only twisting. The best device to use is side-cutting pliers known as railroad pliers. But the key is to use the tip of the pliers to grab the ties and twist it off perpendicular to its slide direction. No cutting is required, just twisting. This twisting action gives you a smooth edge instead of a cut edge. — Robert V. Gulbranson

New books of note

Mechanics' friend Seldom does a technical manual come along that can be called a "gem." Industrial Machinery Repair: Best Maintenance Practices Pocket Guide is one of those books. Ricky Smith and Keith Mobley have compiled a manual that is chock full of useful, important information for all maintenance mechanics, young and old, new and experienced. It is an amazing compilation of the basic knowledge every skilled mechanic should be familiar with.

A unique feature of the book is the maintenance skills assessment self-evaluation. It is fun, challenging, and enlightening to go through this list of multiple-choice questions to assess your knowledge level. And the rest of the book provides all of the information you need to raise that level.

Helpful as this assessment is, however, the real purpose of the book is to enable a serious reduction in "self-induced failures." According to the authors, surveys show that 70% of equipment failures are self-induced. So the potential for improvement is large.

Industrial Machinery Repair: Best Maintenance Practices Pocket Guide by Ricky Smith and R. Keith Mobley. Butterworth-Heinemann, Elsevier Science, 200 Wheeler Rd, 6thFloor, Burlington, MA 01803; 781-313-4700; . Softbound, 544 pp, $29.99.

Asset maintenance guidance

Asset Maintenance Management: A Guide to Developing and Improving Performance is a major entry in the literature of maintenance management. Editor Alan Wilson and a group of knowledgeable contributors have teamed to provide a handbook containing a wealth of guidance on the industrial maintenance function and its strategic importance in today's industrial world.

Part I, which discusses maintenance management in general, provides an excellent perspective on the role of maintenance and how it has changed. Chapters on aims and objectives, development of practices, benchmarking and trends, strategy, targets, and policies offer a philosophical foundation for the rest of the book.

Part II concentrates on eight major policy sectors: activities development, people development, planning, contracting, control, computer systems, management tools, and auditing.

Asset Maintenance Management: A Guide to Developing Strategy and Improving Performance by Alan Wilson. Industrial Press Inc., 200 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016; 212-889-6330; . Hardbound, 824 pp, $59.95.

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