Joseph L. Foszcz, Senior Editor, PLANT ENGINEERING Magazine
Over the past two decades Plant Engineering magazine has been publishing the entrants and winners in our Tips & Tricks competition. Since 1994 we have limited the winners to three, 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Out of these winners we have selected the "best-of-the-best" to present to you now. These winners present novel solutions to everyday problems encountered by plant engineers.
Since the 1970 Clean Water Act, state and local legislatures developed their own initiatives, and the proper disposal of wastewater generated by manufacturing facilities has been a focal point of environmental regulations. This concern exemplifies the operating and environmental challenges confronting plant engineers.
Winner of the 2004 "Maintenance Tip of the Year" is Jason Barron, Diversified Technology, Inc., Ridgeland, MS. He received $1,000 for his suggestion on how to install a pipe under a sidewalk. Runners-up were Craig Deluhery, Formosa Plastics, Illiopolis, IL and Jakob T. Duerson, Matsushita Electric Motor, Berea, KY.
In the 1970s electronics manufacturers began placing their underground and aboveground hazardous chemical piping systems within an outer jacket for the sole purpose of preventing leaks from getting into ground water supply. Part of the reason was inadequate performance of single-walled piping components.
When, where, how much, and with what — these are the fundamental questions that have to be answered in equipment lubrication. The answers are normally provided by the builders of process and manufacturing equipment. However, maintenance personnel must sometimes address the "with what" question when finding substitutes for previously used lubricants.
Time-conserving, money-saving, aggravation-avoiding ideas for solving typical maintenance problems should be shared with others in the plant engineering profession. This idea exchange concept serves as the basic philosophy for PLANT ENGINEERING magazine's 16th annual "Tips & Tricks" article. Details of this article were explained in the December 2003 issue.
Fluid power is one of the most reliable and repeatable forms of power and motion control. All that is required is a comprehensive state-of-the-art design and modern contamination control. When problems are encountered, 75% to 80% of the time they are related to inadequate contamination control practices.
While many of us have been around screw compressors for a long time, there may be some terminology whose meaning we are not sure of. This glossary attempts to describe the most common terms associated with screw compressors and compressed air systems. — A — Absolute micron rating. All (not just 98%) particles larger than the stated micron size that will be removed from the fluid be...
Winner of the 2003 'Maintenance Tip of the Year' is Mark Coomes, Ferro Corp., Evansville, IN. He received $1000 for his suggestion on how to lock out an airline under repair.
Flowmeters are used for determining the amount of product passing through a pipe for purposes of product blending, determining billing or cost, machine lubrication, process heating or cooling, and many other applications. Reliability and accuracy are two of the selection factors used in choosing a flowmeter.
Environmental concerns and the awareness of limited resources accompanied the shift away from reciprocating air compressors, which required enormous amounts of lubricant, and discharged it into the air and the environment. The shift to rotary and centrifugal compressors addressed these issues and resulted in greatly reduced consumption of lubricants.
Time-conserving, money-saving, aggravation-avoiding ideas for solving typical maintenance problems should be shared with others in the plant engineering profession. This idea-exchange concept serves as the basic philosophy for Plant Engineering magazine's 15th annual "Tips & Tricks" article. Details of this article were explained in the February issue.
Synthetics are the logical lubricant choice in a number of applications, including when: Man-made synthetics reduce wear by providing a more robust lubricant film in the load zone or nonconforming surface of bearings, gears, compressors, rotary shaft seals, vacuum and diaphragm pumps, valves, and hydraulic systems.
Clutches and brakes couple, decouple, accelerate, and decelerate rotating machine components and maintain them at proper speed. The functions of each are so similar that their rolls are often interchangeable. Whether the clutch/brakes are mechanically, electrically, or fluid power actuated, they are considered mechanical devices because they transmit mechanical power.
No other standards in the United States exist for air quality inside industrial plants aside from OSHA's Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs). OSHA laws on interior air pollution control concern air contaminants inside industrial buildings. The laws establish permissible exposure limits for over 500 regulated substances.
All matter above absolute zero continuously emits energy in the form of infrared (IR) radiation. This emitted energy is detectable and quantified as an object's temperature through the technique of infrared thermography. The human eye can see in a very narrow range of the electromagnetic spectrum, in wavelengths from 0.
Winner of the 2002 'Maintenance Tip of the Year' is Steve Bailey, Honeywell, Conway, SC. He received $1000 for his suggestion on how to find and drill through the center of a piece of round stock. Runners-up are Frank Anderer, Bell & Gossett, Morton Grove, IL, and Ralph Dewey, BP Solvay Polyethylene North America, Deer Park, TX.
Initially, valves were simply on-off devices to control flow and were actuated by hand (Fig. 1). They evolved into modulating flow, which also was done manually and controlled by eye and feel. As plants grew larger and some process fluids became hazardous, valves began to be actuated remotely. Basically, manual actuators were provided with power sources other than a strong arm to enable them to...
Power transmission belts and chains stretch in operation, up to 6% for belts and 3% for chains. If not compensated for, this stretch can lower drive efficiency down to 93%. Stretch also leads to power loss due to slipping belts, sheave wear, chain whip, and overloaded bearings. Belts and chains that run slack typically have their useful life reduced by 30%.
Time-conserving, money-saving, aggravation-avoiding ideas for solving typical maintenance problems should be shared with others in the plant engineering profession. This idea-exchange concept serves as the basic philosophy for PLANT ENGINEERING magazine's 14th annual "Tips & Tricks" article.
Most of us use the same tools every day and don't give them a thought. They work, they are comfortable, and they are reliable. Fortunately, there are among us those who are not satisfied with the status quo. On the following pages you will find tools that are "out of the box" in design thinking. In the process some new ideas have given old, favorite tools a new twist.
The three most expensive items in operating a compressed air system are inadequate, inefficient controls that waste energy, costly lost production due to an improperly maintained system, and leaks. State-of-the-art controls can provide efficient volume and pressure regulation of compressed air delivery and signal when maintenance or repair is due.
An additive is a chemical substance added to a lubricant base stock that imparts a new or desirable property not naturally occurring in the base stock. An additive may also reinforce a desirable property that the base stock already possesses. A formulated fluid consists of a base stock and a performance package.
A rotating union is a unique product because it must be capable of containing pressure, sometimes very high, and withstanding corrosive fluids that can be at elevated temperatures, all the while rotating, sometimes at high speeds. This is possible through the use of almost perfectly mating seal faces.
Refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, in the past, has relied on chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerants to operate. After evidence began mounting that CFCs were harming the earth's ozone layer, their production in the U.S. was banned under the Montreal Protocol, effective December 31, 1995.
Piping refers to the overall network of pipes, fittings, flanges, valves, and other components that comprise a conduit system to convey liquids. Whether a piping system is used to convey fluids from one point to another or to process and condition the fluid, piping connections serve an important role in the operation of the system.
Aerial work platforms provide a safe and efficient means of getting to hard-to-reach overhead areas. They can quickly carry an operator, with tools and materials, to places that would require setting up ladders or scaffolding.An advantage of the aerial work platform is its ability to maneuver in tight spaces and hard-to-reach areas.
Power transmission belting has been used for more than 200 years. The first belts were flat and ran on flat pulleys. Later, cotton or hemp rope was used with V-groove pulleys to reduce belt tension. This led to the development of the vulcanized rubber V-belt in 1917. The need to eliminate speed variations led to the development of synchronous or toothed belts about 1950 and the later deve...
Compressor capacity should be stated at plant conditions and centrifugal air compressors are best suited to applications where demand is relatively constant.
Key concepts Cavities in the pump gently move many types of fluids and solids without disturbance. Elastomeric stators provide good sealing and resist abrasion.
Adjustable speed drives (ASDs) are known by several other names: variable speed, variable frequency, or adjustable frequency. Variable infers a change that may or may not be under the control of the user.