SidebarSAFETY FIRSTIn 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.Pounding the unionProblem: Stubborn pipe unions occasionally leak or cannot be taken apart.
Pounding the union
Problem: Stubborn pipe unions occasionally leak or cannot be taken apart. Using oversized pipe wrenches or a saw and cutting torch to disassemble the pieces can be strenuous and time consuming. How can I loosen the union nut?
Solution: First, ensure that the system pressure is turned off and put on your safety glasses. Use a one-hand sledgehammer as an anvil, and a ballpeen hammer to pound away on the flat side of the union nut, opposite the "anvil." Go around, if there is room, to repeat this action on each of the four flat sides of the union nut. Make sure the "anvil" is always in contact with, and opposite, the hammered area.
The resulting shock waves loosen the union nut and allows its removal or retightening.
Contributor: Luc Raeckelboom, Curing Engineer, Michelin Tire Corp., Easley, SC
Full or empty?
Problem: It is often difficult to tell if a tubular sight glass is completely full or completely empty of clear liquid. Is there a quick and easy way to make this determination?
Solution: Place a long object, such as a finger or pencil, behind the sight glass. If the object looks normal, there is no liquid in the glass. If there is a distortion, the sight glass is full.
Contributor: Joe Ivie, Maintenance Manager, Dynamic Foods, Lubbock, TX
Pushing tape through conduit
Problem: Pushing a standard steel fish tape through aluminum conduit is almost impossible if there are more than two 90-deg bends to negotiate. Is there a way to get "through" this problem?
Solution: Tie a string onto a1/4-in. nut and blow the assembly through the conduit with an air hose. Then use the string to pull the wire through the conduit. If the wire is too big to pull, use the string to move a pulling rope through the conduit.
Contributor: Dave White, Titan Wheel Corp. of Illinois, Quincy, IL
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.
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.