Problem: When a valve on an open tank doesn't shut off, the entire inventory must be dumped to repair the problem. Can this expense be saved? Solution: Install an inflatable pipe plug.
Problem: When a valve on an open tank doesn't shut off, the entire inventory must be dumped to repair the problem. Can this expense be saved?
Solution: Install an inflatable pipe plug. Select a piece of pipe just slightly smaller than the section to be plugged. Weld the end shut and drill a 1/4-in. hole in the side. Cut a piece of tire inner tube to fit over the outside pipe. Use wire to seal the ends of the rubber inner tube. From the top of the tank, insert the plug into the pipe opening. Apply about 5 psig of air to inflate the plug. The valve can be replaced without losing the contents.
Contributor: Ralph Dewey, Solvay Polymers, Deer Park, TX; 713-307-3784
Annual Salary Survey
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.