Reader Forum

Product of the YearWelcome to our annual Product of the Year issue. This issue showcases 150 of the finest products from the last year. You, the reader, get to be a part of the competition. By using the ballot in this issue, you can vote for the best new product in each of our 15 categories. Your votes determine the winners of our Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Grand Awards.


Product of the Year
Articles that work for the entire family
Basics of Belt Drives revisited
Deserving a mention

Product of the Year

Welcome to our annual Product of the Year issue. This issue showcases 150 of the finest products from the last year. You, the reader, get to be a part of the competition. By using the ballot in this issue, you can vote for the best new product in each of our 15 categories. Your votes determine the winners of our Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Grand Awards. Turn to p 40 and start voting for the best new products of 2001!

Articles that work for the entire family

I really appreciate your including "How Things Work" in your magazine. After reading the article on torque, I went to the web site and was very impressed. I haven't had time to look at more than a couple of items, but after seeing the article on "How Work, Power, and Energy Work," I am definitely going to make time to visit the site again. The articles are so well-written that I intend to go there with my children. Please keep running this article, as it is short, well written, and very educational. I also enjoy "Human Side..."Management Side." Keep up the good work. — Michael R. Donn, Scientific Technologies Inc.

Basics of Belt Drives revisited

I was very impressed with your article on "The Basics of Belt Drives." On the other hand, I was very disappointed to see that you failed to mention the Goodyear Eagle PD drive system even though you pictured them on the cover. This is the only belt that I currently am using here at my plant, and the rules outlined in your article do not exactly apply to the Eagle PD belts. Having Kevlar built into the belt makes the installation stretching entirely different. I initially over-stretched the belt when installed and found myself with a few broken shafts. Lesson learned: Eagle PDs do not stretch like other drive belts. Plus, the alignment is even more critical than a standard V-belt. All this aside, I am most impressed by the low-level noise, cleanliness, and the preventive maintenance that will be cut in half. Thanks for letting me vent. Other than that, I loved the article and your magazine. Keep up the good work. — Russell Wilson

Deserving a mention

The editors of PLANT ENGINEERING apologize for failing to acknowledge the contribution The Gates Rubber Co. made to the September cover story on belt drives.


"HowStuffWorks" in the September issue of PLANT ENGINEERING contained an error. The text stated, "If we use 1 kWh of power, a kilowatt-hour of energy lasts 2 hr." The text should have stated, "If we use 1 kW of power, a kilowatt-hour of energy lasts 1 hr." Also, the text stated, "If we use 10 kW of power, we use the kilowatt-hour of energy for just 6 min." The text should have stated, "If we use 10 kW of power, the kilowatt-hour of energy will last for just 6 min."

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.
A new approach to the Skills Gap; Community colleges may hold the key for manufacturing; 2017 Engineering Leaders Under 40
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
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
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
Research team developing Tesla coil designs; Implementing wireless process sensing
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems

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

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.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
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