Readers share more Tips, Tricks
After Tips & Tricks ran in the August issue, we got a few more great ideas to share with readers:
A great way to remove broken bolts is to use an AIR scribe (not electric) with a sharp point to back the bolt out. It acts as a miniature impact. I used this technique at Caterpillar for 30 years with great success. If this fails, place a flat washer above the broken bolt and weld from the bolt up to the washer with Certainium 680 (or equiv.) rod. The flux keeps the weld out of the threads. Then weld a nut onto the washer and when it cools, remove the bolt.
The heat from welding seems to break rust free from the threads.
How to repair a large hole in drywall or synthetic stucco: Cut a piece of cardboard larger than the hole. Attach a wire/rope/thread to the center area of the cardboard piece. Fold the edges of the cardboard piece and insert it through hole while holding the wire/rope/thread outside the hole.
Pull the wire/rope/thread so the cardboard is covers the hole from the inside of the hole and is flush with the interior edge of the drywall or synthetic stucco. The cardboard will hold the putty in place as it is applied. After the putty is cured, trim the excess wire/rope/thread, then touchup the repair as needed.
Quick way to keep wires separated during a repair in the field, such as a solder repair: Spread and press the wires against adhesive tape or double-sided tape against a flat surface, connect the discrete wires, remove the wires from the taped surface.
Usually the best way to remove the residue of an adhesive or glue is to press what has already been lifted against the residue to pull it from the surface.
We have numerous automated machines on site and often cylinder piston position sensors go bad or out of adjustment.
It is hard to tell which sensor is out of adjustment if several are daisy chained together to one PLC input. A trick I have found is to use a little pocket “pencil” magnet. When placed next to the sensor that is out of position the string lights up to indicate the sensor that needs adjusting. It’s a great time saver.
The future is more automated factories
The future of manufacturing lies in higher skilled and fewer workers. Stronger materials and smaller automation are making fully automated factories a reality. Complex manufactured parts are close to the ideal of being loaded at one end of the machining line and unloaded as finished product at the other.
Minimum labor contracts with unions and technophobia are all that are holding manufacturing back from what in the 1980s was called “The Factory of the Future” or “The Lights Out Factory”.
Although the lights will never actually be turned out, the number of workers will be reduced to skilled jobsetters, housekeeping services, and truckers.
Simple machine operators are almost gone now.