Gaskets made easy
• Problem: Many times when equipment is being repaired the gaskets are damaged and must be replaced. Often they are complicated and it is difficult to get an accurate outline. Is there a way to make gaskets that will fit as well as the original?
• Solution: One way to make exact copies of gaskets is to photocopy the face of the equipment that must be gasketed. An extra photocopy can be kept in the files the next time a gasket is required.
Contributor: Tracy Faulk, Brooklyn, NY.
Find the hot spot
• Problem: An infrared temperature gun is an ideal way to remotely check temperatures. The readings can vary, depending on who is taking them. What can be done to ensure that the readings will be consistent, no matter who takes them?
• Solution: Spray paint a 4-in. to 6-in. spot where the readings should be taken. Use flat, white paint for accurate results. The spot can easily be seen and each reader will know where to aim the gun.
Contributor: Eric Hatt, Domtar Industries, Inc., Baileyville, ME.
Airless conveyor monitor
• Problem: On packaging lines, it's not uncommon for a box or bottle to not get filled. Sometimes a noisy air jet is used to push the unfilled item off the conveyor. Is there a quieter and less expensive way to remove these unfilled articles?
• Solution: Mount a flexible piece of wire or metal to the side of the conveyor so that it reaches the other side and is across the product stream. Filled items will push the gate away. Light, unfilled items will be deflected off the conveyor.
Contributor: James Vandervoort, Mechanical Engineer, St. Louis, MO.
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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