Maintenance on America is scheduled for Nov. 4

I have railed in the past about the “break-fix” mentality in manufacturing maintenance. The same holds true for the current federal plan, such as it is, to address manufacturing's challenges in the modern world. Break-fix doesn't work in Washington any better than it does on your plant floor.


I have railed in the past about the “break-fix” mentality in manufacturing maintenance. The same holds true for the current federal plan, such as it is, to address manufacturing's challenges in the modern world. Break-fix doesn't work in Washington any better than it does on your plant floor. If you need proof, check out how the world has changed in the last few months.

What makes it harder is that there isn't one solution to the problem. If you look at one side, they want closed borders and protectionist trade rules. The other side wants more tax incentives for businesses and unfettered free trade. They don't talk much about education, innovation, training and energy modernization as it pertains to manufacturing %%MDASSML%% those issues are way too complex. You'd have to have an actual comprehensive plan to address all those issues at once, one that cut through the rhetoric and the partisan polarization that has gripped our country for the last eight years.

The last eight years are over, finally, and both of the major party candidates have scrambled to wear the mantle of change through the last month of the campaign. Change, it seems, is what we all agree is needed.

The only way to change %%MDASSML%% the way to break out of the break-fix mentality in Washington %%MDASSML%% is to cast a vote on Nov. 4. Failure to participate in this election is like failing to lubricate your bearings %%MDASSML%% you can't blame anyone but yourself when things go wrong. This is your four-year preventive maintenance check-up on the policies and programs that will shape our profession and the world our profession works in for the next four years. Not voting is a run-to-failure strategy, and that doesn't work.

If your vote is cast based on a candidate's race or gender or the number of houses they have or the number of times they've been accused of plagiarism (I think that covers everyone), that's like putting the wrong oil on those bearings. Now more than ever, this must be a reasoned, thoughtful vote.

To that end, we've pulled the candidates' positions on manufacturing issues from their Websites and put them in our Forum section this month for your review. Even that should only be the starting point. This is a time for citizens to look past superficial matters to focus on the essence of a candidate's position on key issues.

We get this chance once every four years, and we at least seem to be getting a little better at this idea of voting %%MDASSML%% but just a little. In 2004, more than 60% of registered Americans voted in the presidential election. That was the highest percentage since 1968, but it still means 40% of our residents sat out the 2004 election.

With less than a month to go before Nov. 4, there's still time to listen and think and talk and discuss and debate and decide. Maintaining democracy, like maintaining your plant, isn't easy. The best in our profession know it's the only way to ensure you get what you want out of your machine.

On Nov. 4, it's time to perform a little scheduled maintenance on America.

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...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

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.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

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.