No drill wander
• Problem: Trying to start a drill bit on a flat surface usually results in the drill bit wandering if there is no center punch. How can this be stopped if a center punch is not handy?
• Solution: Cross two pieces of masking tape over the hole location. This provides a retaining surface to minimize drill bit wander that can easily be removed later.
Contributor: Tracy Faulk, Brooklyn, NY.
See through bubbles
• Problem: Ultrasonic liquid level sensors can be ineffective if there is foam or bubbles on the liquid surface. How can the sensor be set up to ignore the surface condition of the liquid?
• Solution: Install a piece of PVC pipe on the end of the sensor as a stilling well. Drill a vent hole above the liquid surface. Set the end of the pipe below the liquid level. Foam or bubbles will not affect readings.
Contributor: Brian R. Thomas, Process Engineer, SF Phosphates Limited Co., Rock Springs, WY.
• Problem: Pulling wire through a 1/2-in. or 3/4-in. conduit by yourself is not easy and the wire can be cut. How can the wire be protected and the pulling job made easier?
• Solution: Tape or wedge a plastic or metal funnel so its spout is inside the conduit. This will protect the wires from getting cut and guide them into the conduit to make pulling them easier.
Contributor: Ralph Dewey, BP Solvay Polyethylene North America, Deer Park, TX.
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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