Simple Solutions

Reading a meter Problem: Trying to take voltmeter readings when the test points are far apart and there is no place to set the meter down can be a problem. Is there an easy way to take the readings? Solution: Get a cable hold down clip that fits one of the probes. These usually have a self-adhesive on the back.


Reading a meter

Problem: Trying to take voltmeter readings when the test points are far apart and there is no place to set the meter down can be a problem. Is there an easy way to take the readings?

Solution: Get a cable hold down clip that fits one of the probes. These usually have a self-adhesive on the back. Attach the clip to the side of the meter and slip the probe into it. Now readings can be taken and seen easily using two hands.

Contributor: Ron Hardison, AFG Industries, Victorville, CA.

Repairing chain

Problem: Mending roller chain while it is still on a drive is a challenging exercise that seems to require three hands. How can you pull the chain together and make a repair?

Solution: Grind a half radius on each jaw of a pair of slip-joint pliers to fit the chain roller. Adjust and squeeze the jaws to pull the chain together while the other hand is free to insert the repair link. The pliers can still be used to bend the cotter pin on the repair link.

Contributor: J.C. Bedenbender, Maintenance Supervisor, United Brick & Tile, Adel, IA

Don't drain the tank

Problem: A hose, filter, or similar item must be disconnected from a hydraulic reservoir or other part of the system somewhere below the fluid level. Draining the tank or system is time consuming and messy. Is there a way to avoid doing this?

Solution: Attach a wet-type vacuum cleaner to the fill pipe of the reservoir. Seal the connection with duct tape and turn the vacuum on. The resulting vacuum in the reservoir prevents any fluid from running out when the system is opened.

Caution: Do not use an electric vacuum cleaner around highly volatile or flammable liquids. An air-operated vacuum cleaner is safer.

Contributor: Galen Duckstein, E.C.O. Coordinator, Wermeer Mfg., Pella, IA

Safety First

In all cases, even if not specifically mentioned in the writeups, verify that the tip does not violate any relevant code, standard, or practice. Always use the appropriate safety equipment and procedures when applying the maintenance tips.

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
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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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