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Power Systems September 23, 2022

Electricity-driven water purification method may extend to saltier waters

Penn State researchers are working toward a realistic purification option that is portable, lightweight and easy to operate stimulated by battery- or solar-powered electricity.

By Mariah Chuprinski
Power Systems September 8, 2022

Concept for low-cost battery developed

Made from inexpensive, abundant materials, an aluminum-sulfur battery could provide low-cost backup storage for renewable energy sources.

By David L. Chandler
Power Systems July 26, 2022

Natural gas could play key role for clean hydrogen energy

Researchers at West Virginia University are attempting to use hydrogen energy as a clean energy alternative.

By Jake Stump
Power Systems July 17, 2022

Borehole to reveal viability of campus’s geothermal future

Cornell University is breaking ground on its geothermal energy efforts in order to be carbon-neutral by 2035 with a 2-mile borehole to determine feasibility.

By David Nutt
Power Systems June 6, 2022

Top 5 Plant Engineering content: May 30 to June 5, 2022

The most-viewed content from the past week covered Product of the Year winners, power factor, EAM systems, equipment scanning and predictive maintenance. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
Power Systems May 31, 2022

Top 5 Plant Engineering content: May 23-29, 2022

The most-viewed content from the past week covered Product of the Year winners, power factor, EAM systems, equipment scanning and predictive maintenance. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
Power Systems May 10, 2022

Lithium-ion battery market expected to grow

The global Lithium-ion battery market is moving into surge mode with an increase of more than 70% in 2021.

By Maya Xiao
Power Systems May 4, 2022

Research groups join consortium to propose hydrogen energy hub

Cornell and two Cornell research-startups have joined a consortium that aims to propose a Northeast research hub to make hydrogen a viable, clean-energy alternative to carbon-based fuels.

By Blaine Friedlander
Power Systems April 20, 2022

RNG benefits for fleet vehicles

Renewable natural gas (RNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) are being increasingly used by companies such as UPS for their fleet vehicles. Learn why.

By Gas Technology
Power Systems April 16, 2022

CHP success stories

Combined heat and power (CHP) systems play a key role throughout the United States as a key source of power for facilities and several examples of how they improve a facility’s overall performance are highlighted.

By Gas Technology
Power Systems April 11, 2022

Top 5 Plant Engineering articles April 4-10, 2022

Articles about geothermal heat-pump wells, additive manufacturing, predicting process events, AI-based predictive maintenance and material handling systems were Plant Engineering’s five most clicked articles from April 4-10, 2022. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Ellie Clare
Power Systems February 2, 2022

Your questions answered: Dynamic UPS systems: How kinetic energy can protect sensitive processes and equipment

Dynamic uninterruptible power supply systems provide conditioned electrical power to mission critical facilities. Learn the basics, along with benefits of specifying

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Power Systems January 26, 2022

Lithium-ion battery production goes global

The latest research from Interact Analytics into the fast-moving lithium-Ion battery market offers a dual-track focus.

By Maya Xiao
Power Systems January 22, 2022

TMDs could be used for ultrathin, lightweight solar panels

Stanford University researchers have developed transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), which could be used in mobile applications such as from self-powered wearable devices and sensors.

By Andrew Myers
Power Systems January 18, 2022

Rubber material key fo long-lasting, safer EV batteries

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have found rubber could be an alternative to conventional lithium-ion batteries.

By Georgia Institute of Technology
Power Systems December 20, 2021

Top 5 Plant Engineering articles Dec. 13-19, 2021

Articles about securing reliable power for upstream production, cybersecurity and IT/OT convergence, reducing downtime and risk with effective alarm management, and more were Plant Engineering’s five most clicked articles from Dec. 13-19, 2021. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Keagan Gay
Power Systems December 14, 2021

Secure reliable power for upstream production

Lithium-ion batteries, diagnostics and connectivity contribute to solution

By Albert Rooyakkers
Power Systems December 3, 2021

3D concrete printing system tested

A 3D concrete printing system is a cleaner, more cost efficient way to create anchors as opposed to continued use of steel anchors

By Steve Martin
Power Systems October 13, 2021

Renewable energy will increase security and lower geopolitical risk

As renewable energy assume a greater share of the energy mix, risks to the continuity of the U.S. energy supply will dissipate

By Avery Ruxer Franklin
Power Systems September 1, 2021

Building a secure energy and power grid for the future

The power grid that keeps the world running has historically been stable and secure. With digital transformation and the rise of converging technologies, there are many ways to create a better power grid, but it comes with challenges.

By Chris Vavra
Power Systems August 18, 2021

How to spot the top three track busway qualities

What to look for in a track busway power distribution system

By Doug Moore
Power Systems July 1, 2021

Lithium battery developments step forward for electric vehicles, more

A team of scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has created a lithium-metal battery that lasts for 600 cycles, which brings it closer to a lithium-ion battery's lifecycle.

By Tom Rickey
Power Systems June 8, 2021

5 things to consider before implementing a UPS

Critical control systems feed the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and require uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) to prevent momentary power interruptions that could cause an industrial PC or other industrial controller to crash. Here’s how to choose an industrial UPS.

By Ken Allwine
Power Systems June 2, 2021

Engine donation supports research to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Caterpillar donated an industrial natural gas engine to West Virginia University to bolster research aimed at developing new technology that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and improves fuel consumption at natural gas production sites.

By West Virginia University
Power Systems May 11, 2021

Metal-free, recyclable peptide battery developed

A multidisciplinary team of researchers from Texas A&M University has made a breakthrough that could lead to battery production moving away from cobalt with lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries.

By Drew Thompson
Power Systems April 20, 2021

Leveraging the 5G network to wirelessly power IoT devices

Turning 5G networks into a wireless power grid for Internet of Things (IoT) devices that need batteries to operate could eliminate them altogether down the road.

By Anne Wainscott-Sargent
Power Systems April 1, 2021

Using hydrogen in industry

A look at hydrogen, from generation to injecting it into gas networks to the role it plays in decarbonizing the steel industry

By Gas Technology
Power Systems March 30, 2021

Using natural gas for metal processing

Metal processing involves the shaping and reshaping of metal materials to create useful objects, parts, assemblies and large-scale structures by producing metal from smelting of ore or remelting of scrap and many finished products, which may require further processing such as heat treating

By Arvind Thekdi
Power Systems March 16, 2021

China to lead global chlorine capacity additions by 2025

GlobalData reports that chlorine capacity is poised to see considerable growth by 2025 with China leading the charge.

By GlobalData
Power Systems January 14, 2021

Safer, fast-charging aqueous battery developed

A 3D zinc-manganese nano-alloy anode has been developed, resulting in a stable, high-performance aqueous battery that uses seawater as an electrolyte.

By Jeannie Kever
Power Systems October 20, 2020

Manufacturing biobased electronics for sensors, batteries

Researchers are studying how plant-based inks can be used to print low-cost, biodegradable and recyclable sensors.

By Mike Krapfl
Power Systems October 9, 2020

Generating renewable hydrogen fuel from the sea

Membranes originally developed for purifying water in the reverse osmosis (RO) treatment process, commonly used in electrolyzers, are used to remove salt from water to help turn sea water into hydrogen fuel.

By Tim Schley
Power Systems September 24, 2020

Understanding the growing importance of hydrogen

A look at hydrogen, from generation to blending with natural gas

By Gas Technology
Power Systems September 23, 2020

Atomic dynamics help turn heat into electricity

An atomic mechanism that makes some thermoelectric materials efficient near high-temperature phase transition could help unlock better options for technologies reliant on transforming heat into electricity.

By Ken Kingery
Power Systems September 23, 2020

Mirror-like photovoltaics get more electricity out of heat

Heat-harnessing solar cells that reflect 99% of the energy they can’t convert to electricity could help bring down the price of storing renewable energy as heat and improve overall energy efficiency.

By Kate McAlpine
Power Systems September 8, 2020

Cause and effect of record-low energy prices

An elevated supply of natural gas and increased use of renewables, along with COVID-19 changing everyday life, has made energy prices drop to record lows.

By Joe Estrada
Power Systems August 19, 2020

How nanomaterials are improving battery design

Graphene coating enables new electrode designs with potential for electric vehicles

By Mark Heiden
Power Systems July 15, 2020

Adhesive tape improves lithium batteries’ performance, lifespan

Rice University researchers turned adhesive tape into a silicon oxide film improve lithium metal technology and make them last longer.

By Mike Williams
Power Systems July 13, 2020

Making plastic more transparent while adding electrical conductivity

University of Michigan researchers have made plastic conductive while also making it more transparent, which can improve large touchscreens, LED light panels and window-mounted infrared solar cells.

By Kate McAlpine
Power Systems June 30, 2020

Spectrometry research advances could lead to safer rechargeable batteries

Researchers have found a way to advance safer rechargeable batteries with spectrometry. Their findings could improve batteries used for consumer electronics such as laptops and cellphones.

By Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Power Systems June 15, 2020

Nanoscale hollow structure formation could boost battery storage

Researchers at Georgia Tech, ETH Zurich and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have discovered particles can change a nanoscale hollow structure formation, which could be beneficial for lithium-ion battery storage.

By John Toon
Power Systems May 26, 2020

Solar energy farms could give electric vehicle batteries new life

An MIT study shows that electrical vehicle batteries could have a useful and profitable second life as backup storage for grid-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) installations.

Power Systems March 31, 2020

Double-walled nanotubes have electro-optical advantages

Rice University calculations show double-walled nanotubes could be highly useful for solar panels and other nanoelectronics applications such as photovoltaics.

By Mike Williams
Power Systems March 26, 2020

Cutting carbon in California

Environmental and energy concerns are typically addressed in California first; for a preview of what’s to come regarding decarbonization, look West

By Gas Technology
Power Systems March 3, 2020

Metal battery using Potassium could be alternative to Lithium-ion

Researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have created a metal battery that relies on potassium instead of Lithium-ion, which could create more energy efficient batteries for consumers.

By Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
Power Systems February 5, 2020

Wearable power generator for IoT devices developed

Researchers at Purdue University have created technology designed to address the thickness issue for wearable power generation for Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

By Chris Adam
Power Systems February 4, 2020

Electrode design may lead to more powerful batteries

An MIT research team has devised a lithium metal anode that could improve the longevity and energy density of future batteries.

By David L. Chandler
Power Systems December 13, 2019

Energy solutions will define our futures

What you have seen in automotive, you will see in lift trucks.

By Damon Hosmer
Power Systems November 18, 2019

Synthetic compounds could help produce more energy from biogas

Researchers at the University of Michigan have found that synthetic compounds, called siloxanes, could be harnessed to produce more energy for industries such as wastewater treatment plants and other energy-dependent industries.

By James Lynch
Power Systems November 11, 2019

Top 5 Plant Engineering articles November 4-10

Articles about Leaders Under 40, low battery self-discharge, optimized maintenance programs, Industry 4.0 success, and industrial fire systems were Plant Engineering’s five most clicked articles from November 4-10. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
Power Systems September 28, 2019

Low battery self-discharge: the hidden secret to long operating life

While much media attention has been focused on extending battery operating life through the use of low-power chipsets and communication protocols, the potential energy savings gained from all of these schemes fails to compare with the energy lost to annual self-discharge.

By Sol Jacobs
Power Systems September 28, 2019

LDC Focus: Spotlight on Atmos Energy

Atmos Energy Corp. has experienced growth as an energy provider for the distillery market in Kentucky and Tennessee.

By Gas Technology
Power Systems September 27, 2019

CHP is a cost-effective solution for cannabis production

Combined heat & power (CHP) is a reliable source of electricity and power for cannabis owners, which need a constant and reliable source to ensure their plants quickly grow.

By Gas Technology
Power Systems September 26, 2019

Fueling asphalt production with LNG and CNG

Asphalt companies without a readily-available pipeline are turning to LNG and CNG.

By Gas Technology
Power Systems September 9, 2019

Top 5 Plant Engineering articles September 2-8

Articles about hybridization benefits, control system connectivity, arc flash hazards, VFDs in injection molding, and IIoT baby steps were Plant Engineering’s five most clicked articles from September 2-8. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
Power Systems September 6, 2019

Interdisciplinary team awarded grant to research bioenergy conversion

Cornell researchers received a $2 million grant to study the combination of inorganic semiconductor nanoparticles and bacterial cells for more efficient bioenergy conversion.

By David Nutt
Power Systems September 5, 2019

Greenhouse gases transformed into liquid fuel

Rice University researchers have found a common greenhouse gas could be repurposed in an efficient and environmentally friendly way with an electrolyzer that uses renewable electricity to produce pure liquid fuels.

By Mike Williams
Power Systems August 29, 2019

Hybridization as a disruptive, profitable energy strategy for manufacturers

The basic configuration of electrical power systems for industrial and commercial applications has altered little for decades, but hybridization could change this in a disruptive and positive way.

By Steve Moore
Power Systems August 9, 2019

Achieving long battery life with remote wireless devices

A lower self-discharge rate leads to longer operating life for batteries and a lower cost of ownership for remote wireless devices.

By Sol Jacobs
Power Systems August 1, 2019

What to do when a production fan fails

Catastrophic failure of a critical piece of air handling equipment can be devastating.

By Fritz Theilacker
Power Systems July 23, 2019

Europe expected to be fastest-growing market for lithium-ion batteries

Interact Analysis reports Europe will be the fastest growing market for lithium-ion batteries with energy storage being the fastest growing sector.

By Interact Analysis
Power Systems July 17, 2019

Researchers develop device that channels heat into light

Rice University scientists are designing arrays of aligned single-wall carbon nanotubes to channel mid-infrared radiation and increase the efficiency of solar energy systems.

By Mike Williams
Power Systems May 16, 2019

Unclonable digital fingerprints developed for IoT devices

Rice University integrated circuit (IC) designers have developed unclonable digital fingerprints for Internet of Things (IoT) devices that allows their PUF to be more energy efficient than previously published versions.

By Jade Boyd
Power Systems April 7, 2019

Hybrid cathode developed for lithium batteries

Researchers at MIT and China have developed a hybrid cathode that is designed to improve the lifespan of lithium batteries as well as making them lighter and smaller.

By David L. Chandler
Power Systems April 3, 2019

Researchers improve solid-state battery design

Cornell University researchers have advanced the design of solid-state batteries by transforming liquid electrolytes into solid polymers inside the electrochemical cell.

By Chris Vavra
Power Systems March 27, 2019

NGV trucking outlook on the rise

Increasing fueling opportunities for over-the-road (OTR) trucks and the availability of improved truck technology with larger, more efficient engines make natural gas vehicles a cost-effective, environmentally responsible choice because of lower emissions.

By Gas Technology
Power Systems March 25, 2019

Full steam ahead: Packaged boilers

Packaged boilers focus on safety, efficiency, and modularity.

By Gas Technology
Power Systems November 2, 2018

ISA releases CAP Learning System demo

ISA has recently released a fully operational free online demo of its Certified Automation Professional (CAP) Learning System. The system is a comprehensive CAP exam preparation and professional development tool. The program combines printed textbooks with online review and testing tools to provide automation training. The CAP Learning System includes comprehensive print materials, including seven textbooks covering the entire CAP body of knowledge and the seven technical topics on the exam.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems November 2, 2018

Proficy Enterprise Connector

Proficy Enterprise Connector 1.5 provides bidirectional enterprise integration between Proficy and ERP systems such as SAP. The introduction of this real-time capability allows manufacturers to establish flexible production operations, helping them remain competitive in the global economy. The Enterprise Connector enables the mapping of the external Business Systems requests to/from the Proficy...

By Staff
Power Systems November 2, 2018

Steam system software

Spirax Sarco’s HVAC Solution Steam Program Version 3.2. is created for engineers, designers and contractors to design and model HVAC steam systems using intelligent objects. HVAC Solution Steam is a Windows-based drag-and-drop program. The software allows for easy modeling of steam generation, steam distribution, steam utilization and condensate-handling systems.

By Staff
Power Systems November 2, 2018

How Horsepower Works

The word "horsepower" is constantly mentioned regarding car and industrial engines. This edition of How Stuff Works defines the term, and explains how to measure it.DefinitionThe term horsepower was coined by engineer James Watt, who is most famous for his work on improving the performance of steam engines.

By Marshall Brain
Power Systems September 13, 2018

2018 Engineering Leader Under 40: Adwait Palsule, 39

Project Manager, Panacea Technologies Inc., Montgomeryville, PA, United States

By McKenzie Burns, Production Coordinator
Power Systems September 13, 2018

2018 Engineering Leader Under 40: Adam Cleary, 26

Automation and Controls Technician, Crofter's Organic, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada

By McKenzie Burns, Production Coordinator
Power Systems September 13, 2018

2018 Engineering Leader Under 40: Raniel Camacho, PE, 33

Project Manager, San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, CA, United States

By McKenzie Burns, Production Coordinator
Power Systems August 23, 2018

CHP, DG, and microgrids energize universities

Combined heat and power (CHP), distributed generation (DG), and microgrids keep university campuses energized—fueled by natural gas.

By Gas Technology
Power Systems March 22, 2018

Knowledge is power management when it comes to standards

Differing IEC, ANSI requirements can impact compliance.

By Sherry Rollins, Schneider Electric
Power Systems September 17, 2015

2015 Engineering Leader Under 40: Bryant Jackson, 28

Systems Engineer/Task Manager, Leidos Engineering; Walled Lake, Mich.; BS Electrical Engineering Technology, Michigan Technological University

By Amanda Pelliccione, Project Manager and Director of Research
Power Systems September 17, 2015

2015 Engineering Leader Under 40: Scott Lawless, 35

Project Manager, Leidos Engineering; Walled Lake, Mich.; BS Electrical Engineering & Computer Engineering, Kettering University

By Amanda Pelliccione, Project Manager and Director of Research
Power Systems September 17, 2015

2015 Engineering Leader Under 40: Hunter Longshore, 33

R&D Professional—Control Systems Engineer; Sandvik Mining; Alachua, Fla.; BS Electrical Engineering, University of Florida

By Amanda Pelliccione, Project Manager and Director of Research
Power Systems September 17, 2015

2015 Engineering Leader Under 40: Bret Van Wyk, 32

Program Manager; Interstates Control Systems Inc.; Sioux Center, Iowa; BS Computer Science & Systems Administration, Dordt College

By Amanda Pelliccione, Project Manager and Director of Research
Power Systems May 14, 2015

Expandable liner hanger system

System is designed for reliability in challenging deepwater environments with elevated temperatures

By Halliburton
Power Systems November 11, 2014

Innovation as a formal management process

Want light bulbs to go off? Create a way to encourage, act on new ideas.

By Bob Vavra, Content Manager, CFE Media
Power Systems September 15, 2014

2014 Engineering Leader Under 40: Kenneth Benedict

Project Manager; Avid Solutions; Winston-Salem, N.C.

By CFE Media
Power Systems September 15, 2014

2014 Engineering Leader Under 40: Jason Donath

Project Manager; Avid Solutions; Winston-Salem, N.C.

By CFE Media
Power Systems September 15, 2014

2014 Engineering Leader Under 40: John Glenski

Senior Controls Engineer; Process Plus; Cincinnati, Ohio

By CFE Media
Power Systems September 15, 2014

2014 Engineering Leader Under 40: Heather Johnson

Division Manager; Interstates Control Systems Inc.; Sioux Center, Iowa

By CFE Media
Power Systems September 15, 2014

2014 Engineering Leader Under 40: Thomas Keeports

Electrical Controls Engineer; JST Corporation; Harrisburg, Pa.

By CFE Media
Power Systems March 19, 2014

Even air gaps are not secure

Even if air gaps were workable in today’s industrial control environment, that could end up being a moot point as there is a malware prototype that uses inaudible audio signals to communicate and covertly transmit sensitive data even when infected machines have no network connection.

By Greg Hale
Power Systems February 12, 2014

Understanding Flash Steam

Effective flash steam recovery can be a valuable source of heat.

By Spirax Sarco
Power Systems January 16, 2014

Manufacturing consortium to focus on high-tech power electronics

Obama announces $140 million project at NC State; universities, companies to partner on research and development

By Bob Vavra, Content Manager, CFE Media
Power Systems January 6, 2014

Intelligent rack PDUs driving total global rack PDU revenue growth of 6% in 2013

Global rack power distribution unit 2013 shipments are projected to grow 3%, while 2013 global revenue is projected to grow over twice as fast, at a rate of 6.3%, according to a recent IHS Inc. report.

By IHS Inc.
Power Systems December 19, 2013

Fossil fuels sector loses steam in the medium- and high-power generator markets

The fossil fuels sector dominates the medium- and high-power generator markets, but the share of new generator sales that utilize fossil fuels may decline, according to research by IHS.

By Source: IHS
Power Systems November 18, 2013

2013 Product of the Year finalists: Power Transmission

Finalists in the Power Transmission category for the Plant Engineering 2013 Product of the Year competition.

By Amanda McLeman
Power Systems July 9, 2013

Steam tip: Ensure that your boiler is operating at its best performance

There are many things you can do to ensure your boiler is operating optimally.

Power Systems May 22, 2013

PV inverter supplier base fragments in 2012 – Minimal impact from recent M&A activity in 2013

The market share of the 10 largest PV inverter suppliers fell from 62% in 2011 to 56% in 2012.

By IHS Inc.
Power Systems May 20, 2013

Using Lean to add value, achieve operational experience

Lean manufacturing can be measured for operational excellence in three ways to ensure manufacturers are getting the most efficiency and engagement from their workers and machines

By Vince Campisi, CIO, GE Intelligent Platforms
Power Systems April 15, 2013

Modular software to boost productivity

Part 2 in the "Staying ahead of the technology curve" series explains how leveraging modular software for more efficient machine automation engineering

By Chuck Edwards
Power Systems March 15, 2013

Pipe joining systems get in the groove

Ease of maintenance cited as a major advantage

By Dave Hudson, Victaulic
Power Systems February 26, 2013

PV inverter after-sales service market to double by 2017

Despite PV inverter hardware profit margins being squeezed, the after-sales service market is forecast to more than double by 2017 to reach $1.7 billion, providing suppliers with a valuable additional profit source.

By IHS Inc.
Power Systems February 20, 2013

Connector system for limited spacing

The SpeedStack Mezzanine Connector System supports data rates of up to 40 Gbps and is designed for OEMs that contend with limited PCB real estate.

Power Systems February 18, 2013

Thermal imaging camera kit

The thermal imaging camera kit features plug-and-play compatibility and sensitivity of <50mK and features everything needed for "out of box" deployment.

Power Systems January 15, 2013

Photovoltaic module shipments surge in the fourth quarter of 2012

A new PV module shipment record of 11 GW was reached in the fourth quarter.

By IHS Inc.
Power Systems December 28, 2012

CMMS: Work out the kinks in maintenance

When it comes to maintenance, don’t underestimate the value of CMMS consulting and maintenance organization analysis.

By Paul Lachance
Power Systems September 19, 2012

Microinverters, power optimizers outpace PV inverters in 2011 – 70% growth predicted in 2012

IMS Research’s latest report “The World Market for Microinverters & Power Optimizers – 2012” revealed that shipments of the products grew by more than 180% last year and at the same time revenues surged by 160% to more than $200 million.

By Source: IMS Research (IHS Inc.)
Power Systems September 11, 2012

2012 Leader Under 40: Mohamed AbuAli, 30

Chief Operating Officer, FORCAM Inc., Cincinnati

By Plant Engineering
Power Systems August 16, 2012

PV module prices dive again in July as German rush ends

Photovoltaic module prices continued their downward trend in July, falling by more than 2% over June’s average prices and 44% down annually, according to IMS Research.

By Source: IMS Research (IHS Inc.)
Power Systems July 18, 2012

“UPS” and downs in backup power market

While it is customary to see sales decline in the first quarter of the new year as a result of the seasonal post-holiday slump, UPS sales were especially slow in 1Q 2012.

By Source: IMS Research (IHS Inc.)
Power Systems May 2, 2012

Time-honored technology has a new luster

Today, watertube units are dominant in many industrial applications. Fire-tube units, tubeless units, and hybrid boilers have their places, but when an industrial user needs medium- or high-pressure steam, and lots of it, watertube boilers usually get the nod.

By Plant Engineering
Power Systems May 2, 2012

Gas Technology: CHP does it all

We started talking seriously about cogeneration back in the 1970s. The idea was to find a use for waste heat from the engines or turbines used for on-site electric generation. This concept has found many adopters, and today is getting a serious foothold in the industrial energy market

By Plant Engineering
Power Systems April 26, 2012

Wireless evolves to meet a new range of challenges

Efficiency and productivity on the plant floor are crucial components to delivering consistent product quality, minimizing downtime, and improving customer satisfaction.

By Susan Schnelbach, Banner Engineering
Power Systems March 28, 2012

Booming China market creates opportunities for PV inverter manufacturers

The Chinese PV inverter market, driven by the introduction of the national FiT, grew by over 400% in 2011.

By Source: IMS Research (IHS Inc.)
Power Systems March 1, 2012

African Frontier: Shell buys Cove Energy

Safety and security are major initiatives for energy companies, but refiners will have to step it up a notch as Africa is becoming an oil and gas hotbed of activity.

By Greg Hale, ISS Source
Power Systems February 10, 2012

Data center products a key factor in ABB purchase

An IMS Research analyst sees advantages after Thomas and Betts acquisition by ABB.

By Source: IMS Research
Power Systems January 24, 2012

Air handler system

The 2012 AHR Expo took place Jan. 23-25, 2012 in Chicago. Among the new products introduced at the show were:

Power Systems November 1, 2011

POY Finalist: Surface-mounted lifeline system

Finalist in Safety in Plant Engineering’s 2011 Product of the Year competition

By Edited by Gust Gianos, Plant Engineering
Power Systems November 1, 2011

POY Finalist: Cable protection system

Finalist in Safety in Plant Engineering’s 2011 Product of the Year competition

By Edited by Gust Gianos, Plant Engineering
Power Systems November 1, 2011

POY Finalist: Data matrix positioning system

Finalist in Automation and Control in Plant Engineering’s 2011 Product of the Year competition

By Edited by Chris Vavra, Plant Engineering
Power Systems November 1, 2011

POY Finalist: Flame-free press system

Finalist in Compressed Air in Plant Engineering’s 2011 Product of the Year competition

By Edited by Chris Vavra, Plant Engineering
Power Systems November 1, 2011

POY Finalist: Moving mast reach trucks

Finalist in Material Handling Systems in Plant Engineering’s 2011 Product of the Year competition

By Edited by Gust Gianos, Plant Engineering
Power Systems August 20, 2011

White paper: Flow measurement

Flow measurement solutions for a more energy-efficient world.

By Marisa Fedele, Siemens AG Industry Sector
Power Systems July 11, 2011

Details emerge on China’s first domestically developed MOCVD tools used in production

The Chinese LED manufacturer, Yangzhou Longyao, currently utilizes more than 10 Aixtron systems at two different facilities in Shanghai and Yangzhou. In addition to producing LEDs, it created a company focused on building MOCVD tools under the Yongsheng brand. MOCVD tools are the most critical tools for manufacturing LEDs.

By Ross Young and Alice Tao, IMS Research
Power Systems June 20, 2011

Treating corrosion as a process variable

Corrosion, when examined as a process variable, can be both monitored and controlled in real time.

By Michael McElroy and Kristen Barbour, Pepperl+Fuchs, Inc.
Power Systems May 16, 2011

UK PV conference: Depressing, downbeat and dead?

The overall state of affairs for the PV market in the UK is an uncertain mood after the tariff system was halted in late 2010.

By Ash Sharma, Research Director, IMS Research
Power Systems May 12, 2011

Best practices for ultrasound testing of steam traps

Follow these steps to use ultrasound testing for steam traps with inverted bucket operation, float and thermostatic operation, thermodynamic operation, and thermostatic operation.

By Kelly Paffel, Swagelok Company
Power Systems May 11, 2011

Ford, GM work together toward recovery

After a rough decade, auto giants learn, change, and rebound

By Jack Smith, BIT Writing and Editing Services
Power Systems April 26, 2011

Firing up a burner system

Addition of new technology through safety instrumented system brings paper mill more advanced diagnostics and a big boost in security features.

By Gary Northam; Source: ISS Source
Power Systems April 20, 2011

AME event: Staying competitive in a global economy through sustainable lean execution

Workshop hosted by Ventana Medical Systems; May 5, 2011; Tuscon, AZ

By Source: Association for Manufacturing Excellence
Power Systems April 19, 2011

It’s “Take a Congressman to work’ month

Plant Engineering Content Manager and Editor, Bob Vavra, discusses his experience at the 2011 Manufacturing/Automation Summit in Chicago, IL.

By Bob Vavra, Content Manager
Power Systems April 18, 2011

Schneider Electric receives Green Cross for Safety Medal

Schneider becomes first company to earn top two NSC safety honors

By SOURCE: National Safety Council
Power Systems April 15, 2011

Beckhoff Automation increases turnover by 46% to $500 million in 2010

Growth fuels office and production expansion for Beckhoff in Verl, Germany

By SOURCE: Beckhoff Automation
Power Systems April 12, 2011

U.S. reactor back-up batteries weak

Almost all American nuclear power plants have backup batteries that would last only half as long as those at Japan's troubled Fukushima Daiichi plant did after a tsunami knocked out power there, an expert testified at a Senate committee briefing on nuclear safety.

Power Systems April 6, 2011

Best Practices: The soft side of Root Cause Analysis

Eliminate the risk of recurrence of an undesirable event by identifying root causes and taking corrective action

By Robert J. Latino, Reliability Center, Inc
Power Systems March 24, 2011

U.S. nuke design could help Japan

The earthquake and tsunami exceeded the design basis of the plant

Power Systems March 24, 2011

Cyber task force eyes power grid

A cyber-attack task force is forming to evaluate a way to help protect the U.S. power grid in the event of a web-based assault, said officials at the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC)

Power Systems March 23, 2011

Product package for special handling applications

Special Product Package from IFH Group is designed for applications involving corrosive chemicals and other abrasive fluids that require special handling for safety and efficiency

Power Systems March 14, 2011

Reports determine New Jersey lost fewer manufacturing jobs

Manufacturers’ News, Inc. reports New Jersey lost 14,511 manufacturing jobs from December 2009 to December 2010, compared to 23,798 jobs lost over the 2008-2009 survey period

By Source: PR Newswire
Power Systems March 10, 2011

1.2 million power engineering initiative at NC State

ABB commits $632,000 over five years to support power engineering research, education at North Carolina State University

By SOURCE: North Carolina State University
Power Systems March 7, 2011

AMT elects 2011-2012 officers, directors

'We expect to see the support generated for manufacturing in the U.S. increase," said new association chairman, Eugene Haffely, PE.

Power Systems February 14, 2011

AMT/AMTDA report: Manufacturing growth spurt continues

December 2010 growth doubles from 2009 levels; year closes up more than 85%

Power Systems January 27, 2011

APC Symmetra PX 250/500kW supports parallel configurations up to 2000kW

The Symmetra PX250/500kW offers a modular, hot-scalable system consisting of dedicated and redundant modules.

Power Systems January 18, 2011

Dust Collection Seminars offered for free

Camfil Farr APC delivers free seminars on dust collection, industrial ventilation basics from headquarters, regional offices

Power Systems January 12, 2011

Management software enables revenue growth, reduced supply chain costs

Enhancements to the FlexNet Producer Suite facilitate revenue growth by empowering manufacturers to more quickly monetize high-tech devices throughout their lifecycle.

Power Systems January 4, 2011

Embedded Vision System supports PoE

PoE support reduces cabling complexity for M40 processor by eliminating the necessity for camera power cables; reducing costs, enhancing system reliability.

Power Systems January 2, 2011

Underground security system

The border-monitoring system, known as Helios, could watch the entire US-Mexico border continuously.

Power Systems January 2, 2011

SC utility slow to fix nuclear safety equipment

Progress Energy Carolinas faces increased federal oversight as a result of problems cited by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in a recently issued notice of violation.

Power Systems December 15, 2010

ABB acquires Insert Key Solutions to software portfolio

Insert Key Solutions has been added to ABB’s Ventyx software portfolio, bringing comprehensive solutions for the power industry to the table

Power Systems December 1, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: ABB’s acquisition of Baldor seen as a big bet on energy efficiency

ABB says deal "strengthen ABB’s position as a leading supplier of industrial motion solutions, and will also enable ABB to tap the huge potential in North America for rail and wind investments."

Power Systems November 15, 2010

Static grounding dangerous, preventable

Clamps, cables must meet strict testing guidelines to forestall accidents

By MIke O'Brien, Newson Gale
Power Systems November 12, 2010

GAS TECHNOLOGY: Coil Tube Boilers

Solving the Industrial Boiler Replacement Riddle

Power Systems November 12, 2010

ROCKWELL REPORT: Automation, technology seen as manufacturing assets

The overall need for a more pervasive use of automation and technology was not just the subject of show floor discussions, but also the topic for a research study released at Automation Fair by Rockwell Automation, the Fair’s sponsor, and the Opinion Research Corporation.

Power Systems October 25, 2010

Global Plant Engineering: Enhance your alarm management analysis

Ebook includes news and features from around the world

Power Systems August 26, 2010

Expanding our tools to tighten the Skills Gap

Issues concerning the recruitment and retention of the up-and-coming science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce have begun to take center stage – with no shortage of evidence to support the claim.

By Chris Forbes, Knovel
Power Systems July 20, 2010

GAS TECHNOLOGY: New thermal oxidizer designs

The goal is to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). Examples of such exhaust stream sources are paint or solvent vapors, printing exhausts, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, and plastics manufacturing.

Power Systems July 20, 2010

GAS TECHNOLOGY: CNG fueling for heavy-duty trucks

The U.S. EPA has issued rule modifications to make the conversion of gasoline and diesel engines to natural gas less restrictive and easier to achieve from engine family to engine family, and from year to year. Several federal bills are pending to add tax credits for bi-fuel (gasoline/CNG) and dual-fuel (diesel-natural gas) and to double the tax credits for CNG and LNG fueling structures.

Power Systems April 1, 2010

Larger microturbines make inroads in industrial cogeneration

Microturbines have come a long way. These distant descendants of aviation auxiliary power supply turbines and automotive turbochargers were first developed in the 1990s. From the beginning, they have been recognized as an important technology for on-site electric generation. Beneficial use of the turbine waste heat has always been the key to successful installations.

Power Systems April 1, 2010

Logistics software

The ERP SyteLine Shipping and Logistics module, developed in collaboration with solution partner Pacejet, provides enhanced shipping, warehouse and logistics controls for managing order fulfillment. ERP SyteLine Shipping and Logistics enables customers to speed and simplify picking, packing and shipping processes to reduce costs, eliminate errors and improve customer service.

Power Systems April 1, 2010

Isolation switches

The RTS series bypass/isolation switches are UL labeled and listed for 30-cycle closing and withstand ratings based on testing per UL Standard 1008. Available in continuous current ratings from 100 to 3,000 A, these switches dramatically simplify the selective coordination of overcurrent devices in backup power systems for healthcare and other mission-critical facilities.

Power Systems March 1, 2010

Direct drive motor/drive system

RPM AC Cooling Tower Direct Drive system eliminates the gearbox and mechanical transmission drive for cooling tower applications. The system combines a laminated-frame ac motor with permanent magnet salient pole rotor design and an adjustable speed drive. The fan couples directly to the motor, which is designed for minimal maintenance.

Power Systems February 1, 2010

Power supplies – 2010-02-01

The NXT-400 series of compact ac/dc power supplies pack 400 W of power into a 1U high enclosure. The power supply is available in eight models that provide adjustable, single outputs from 2.5 Vdc to 48 Vdc. Standard features include 85% efficiency (typical), 0.5% line and load regulation and operating temperatures up to 70 C with airflow and a power factor corrected.

Power Systems January 14, 2010

MAPI report: manufacturing recovery "in sight"

Leading index jumps above 50 threshold for first time in 18 months, signaling pending improvement

By Bob Vavra
Power Systems January 1, 2010

When updating your computer security, why patch?

Why should you be concerned about applying security patches to the computers in your manufacturing zone? Simply put, because no buffer zone provides a perfect security solution for your automation system. The reality is that in order to operate your manufacturing plant, data and people need to move between enterprise and manufacturing zones.

By Michael Bush, Rockwell Automation
Power Systems January 1, 2010

Thread sealant

The Loctite 5452 is specifically formulated for use on metal fittings found in high pressure hydraulic and pneumatic power systems. Curing four times faster than traditional anaerobic sealants even on stainless steel or inert metals, the 5452 sealant allows fittings under low pressure to be returned to service immediately.

Power Systems December 1, 2009

Plant design and operation

Simulation software enables plant designers to view design scenarios in a virtual world without the expense, time delay and risk of testing it in the real world. This presents an ideal opportunity to test plant and maintenance issues early in the design phase, enabling plant engineers to compare, for example, how modifications in scheduling, downtime and maintenance strategies might reduce cost...

By Joseph McMullen, Invensys Operations Management
Power Systems November 10, 2009

No-mix epoxy resin system

This UV curable, no-mix epoxy resin system has exceptional sealing and gap-filling properties and excels in applications such as aligning parts and bonding irregularly shaped surfaces.

Power Systems November 4, 2009

Energy Dept. funds $155 million in industrial projects

Program focus is cutting energy waste in manufacturing

By Bob Vavra
Power Systems November 2, 2009

Searching for energy efficiency incentives?

Want money for becoming more energy efficient? Besides the obvious payoff of reduced energy bills, rebate and incentive dollars are out there if you know where to look.

By Jack Smith, Managing Editor; Source: DSIRE
Power Systems November 1, 2009

Dual channel CompactFlash

The Dual Channel line of CompactFlash (CF) cards is designed for speed, durability and extended temperature operation. The CF cards are ideal for high performance embedded systems applications requiring high reliability and high tolerance to shock, vibration, humidity and altitude, as well as -40 C to 85 C temperature operation.

Power Systems October 27, 2009

Submersible pressure transmitters for Class I, Div. 1

Submersible pressure transmitters are optimized for detecting the level of water or other media with similar density in challenging industrial environments including wastewater and irrigation systems and tanks containing liquids such as gas and diesel.

Power Systems September 1, 2009

Groups bring expertise to co-located events at ISA

Seven organizations will co-locate their events at the 2009 ISA Expo on Oct. 6–8 at the Reliant Center in Houston. The Presentations at this year's ISA Expo include:

By Staff
Power Systems September 1, 2009

ISA announces seven co-hosted events at Houston Expo

ARC, NIST among groups presenting at conference

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems July 13, 2009

Next-generation RPM software

This mobile productivity solution sets up quickly to collect relevant data from production systems without any changes to the existing assets or disrupting the operations.

Power Systems July 13, 2009

What’s Up With Wireless Safety? Comment: Failsafe, Yes, But a Nuisance?

Wireless communication has been around for several years, experiencing many ups and downs. Today - it’s largely considered just another communications bus with its own set of design and application criteria. Its maturity and acceptability has now created the launching pad for adding safety functionality over wireless.

By J.B. Titus
Power Systems June 9, 2009

Sensor simulator for testing

This sensor simulator installs in place of an ICP sensor and accepts test signals from a voltage function generator.

Power Systems April 2, 2009

ABB conference highlights economics, services, and R&D

Automation & Power World event confronts economic issues

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems January 29, 2009

Celebrities help draw attention to skilled worker shortage

The data is there; now it's supported by folks like Jay Leno and John Ratzenberger

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems January 1, 2009

Zumtobel Lighting joins consortium

Highland, NY-based Zumtobel Lighting Inc. ( has joined the Emerge Alliance (, a consortium whose focus is to address the growing need for flexibility, efficiency and sustainability. Comprised of experts in architecture, engineering and construction practices, the EMerge Alliance consortium was launched by Armstrong World Industries, Johnson Controls, Nexte...

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems December 15, 2008

Real recognition: Expert lists “Top 10” ways to keep auto workers productive

Roy Saunderson, president of Recognition Management Institute, a worldwide consulting firm focused on helping companies motivate their workforces to increase productivity thus profits, has prepared a “Top 10” for how HR professionals, department managers, frontline supervisors, and C-level execs can keep autoworkers focused on the job during the bailout/bankruptcy uncertainty.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Power Systems December 2, 2008

Rockwell Automation puts emphasis on convergence at conference

Automation Fair focus is on plant/IT cooperation

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems December 1, 2008

Rack mount single-phase UPS

This double-conversion UPS is available in a rack mount design and up to four units can be installed in parallel.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems October 15, 2008

Gas leak detector

The OptoAcoustic GLD-OA-01 gas sensor comprises two identical cells that act interchangeably either as a primary gas-measurement cell or as a secondary compensation cell. The dual-cell design eliminates the need for calibration. The secondary cell provides an active sensing element and a backup sensing element within one unit.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems October 10, 2008

ARC Asset Lifecycle Management Forum takes on digital plant

The ARC Asset Lifecycle Management Forum will take place Oct. 13-15 at the Marriott Westchase Hotel in Houston. The “Digital Plant of the Future” forum will discuss optimizing asset lifecycle performance through better Asset Information Management (AIM).

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems September 19, 2008

HVLS fan maker, alarm company team up on smoke detection

Big Ass Fans, Xtralis enter into joint partnership to integrate early detection

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems August 14, 2008

Conditioning system

The DSC-2300 Series high-performance signal conditioning systems are programmable and network-centric systems, housed in a 3U, 16-slot rack-mountable chassis.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems July 24, 2008

Low-temperature actuator

Valvcon ADC low-temperature actuators provide a torque of up to 3,000 inches per pounds in a packaged weight of only 31 pounds.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems July 22, 2008

Two takes on VW’s Tennessee facility

Volkswagen’s move to Chattanooga seen as a boon to its new home, a challenge to the rest of the region

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems July 17, 2008

Laser system

The laser systems checks for operating efficiencies in roll and web lines, CNC cutting and milling equipment, lathes, stamping presses, injection molding machines, and extrusion systems.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems July 15, 2008

Change management software

Proficy change management solution software version 5.8 tracks changes to critical assets. It offers a web-based client that provides access to common functions such as version reports, check in and check out, as well as a functional drag-and-drop interface. The scheduler allows the user to automate backup procedures.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems July 9, 2008

Infrared camera – 2008-07-09

The EZTherm 880 portable infrared camera line strengthens the role of thermal imaging in any facility’s predictive maintenance program.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems June 23, 2008

German Sedans Slip

Could Consumer Reports actually be correct in listing Japanese makes as tops in ratings for performance and reliability?

By Charles J. Murray, Senior Technical Editor
Power Systems June 20, 2008

Inventory management software

FastPic4 inventory management software automatically displays a photo of the item the user is required to pick.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems June 4, 2008

Government policy: Trade group wants R&D tax credit restored

A coalition of trade associations is urging Congress to act quickly in restoring the federal Research & Development (R&D) Tax Credit that was allowed to expire at the end of last year. A group calling itself The R&D Credit Coalition is using an Ernst & Young study on the impact of the tax credit to bolster its argument for its restoration.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Power Systems June 4, 2008

Pelican acquires Blue i, launches sustainable lighting div

Advanced lighting systems manufacturer, Pelican Products Inc., has launched a new division focused on bringing to market environmentally sustainable, energy-efficient and powerful LED lighting products. Peli AALG Limited combines Pelican’s nearly 30 years of advanced lighting technology with the expertise and products of newly acquired Blue i UK Ltd.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems June 1, 2008

Looming skills shortage prompts innovative workforce retention and recruiting strategies

A shortage of highly skilled manufacturing workers—the people running sophisticated equipment on the plant floor, as well as engineering and management professionals—poses a serious threat for North American industrial competitiveness. The shortage lies in the demographics as legions of baby boomers near retirement.

By Frank O Smith (
Power Systems June 1, 2008

IBM investments: Telelogic acquisition finalized; EnterpriseDB gets backing

Almost a year after making its original $745M offer, IBM completed its buy of Telelogic AB in early April, and plans to play a larger role in the software development aspects of product life-cycle management (PLM). Under the deal, Telelogic will be folded under IBM's Rational software brand, which is known for tools used across all stages of the software development life cycle.

By Staff
Power Systems May 19, 2008

Economic trends: Manufacturers in upstate New York see both sides of globalization

Midstate Spring has made coiled wire forms and precision for nearly seven decades. But the soaring price it pays for steel and copper wire is set by global supply and demand trends, and that's put Midstate in a world of hurt. Across town, a scrap yard operated by Metalico Syracuse Inc. is enjoying good fortune. It sells mostly to nearby mills such as Nucor Steel in Auburn, N.Y., not to foreign countries, yet it nets a rising global price. Welcome to the increasingly complicated world of international trade.

By Kevin G. Hall, McClatchy Newspapers
Power Systems May 15, 2008

Inventory tracking solution

Built on the company’s Sky-Trax indoor positioning system and the Skan-Free identification imaging system, the Total-Trax system automatically captures exact pallet location and identification, vehicle location, precise location and full path tracking of warehouse assets.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems April 15, 2008

North American companies may miss REACH deadline

Despite a Nov. 30 deadline, many business leaders appear lax about taking steps to comply with the Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals legislation, or REACH, according to a survey released March 11 by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems April 1, 2008

Kevin Parker: Innovation as a collective undertaking applied to newly pervasive technologies

Why is innovation the current king of management concepts? How has it become in manufacturing circles something akin to one of the “four big truths” or “five shining lights” that used to emerge with the five-year plans of command economies? According to Paths of Innovation: Technological Change in 20th Century America, by Mowery and Rosenburg, it wasn't till the second h...

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
Power Systems March 19, 2008

Drum-top vacuum

Drum-top vacuum fits 30- and 55-gallon drums, and allows users to recycle drums.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems March 15, 2008

Online UPS

The UniStar P series single-phase online UPS protects over a range of input voltages. The double-conversion UPS is available in 6-, 8- and 10-kVA models and protects from outages and irregularities in incoming line voltages from 160 to 280 VA at 45 to 65 Hz.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems March 15, 2008

Heating systems

Thermo Rotation heating systems provide temperature distribution throughout a facility with variances ranging between two and three degrees from floor to ceiling. Coupled with ThermoMixer technology, the systems prevent condensation and do not introduce moisture into the building. Systems are available for natural gas, oil, LP gas, hot water and steam applications.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems March 14, 2008

BMW announces plant expansion

The three-year construction project includes a new 1.2 million square foot assembly facility north of the existing factory, along with an expansion of the paint shop and renovation of the existing body shops.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems March 11, 2008

Door system

The Speed-Commander 1400 SoftEdge is a high-performance, high-speed, roll-up door system, designed for use on interior openings measuring up to 14 x 16 feet.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems February 29, 2008

Hand-vacuum suction cups

Industrial-duty hand-vacuum suction cups, suitable a variety of products and materials, are offered in more than 40 varieties for applications ranging from assembly to installation operations.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems February 15, 2008

Workforce development leads to economic development: report

The economic development efforts in Minot, ND are on the upswing, and civic leaders convened a meeting of the North Dakota Workforce Development Council to look for new ways to develop economic opportunities in the region. Consultant Greg Newton told the group that workforce development is a key to economic development.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems January 15, 2008

Parallel three-phase UPS

The RP36000/3 three-phase UPS enables attached servers to save all work in progress and initiate a shutdown in the event of power loss, and restores it with Thermal Logic power policies to ensure business picks up where it left off. The pre-racked UPS provides 36 kW of power or 24 kW with N+1 redundancy.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems January 10, 2008


* Virginiagovernor touts skills development * Georgia college seeks $10.8 million from state* Consultant: Workforce development leads to economic development

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems December 4, 2007

DIN rail dc UPS

The 24 Vdc uninterruptible power supply is designed to provide maximum uptime and protection from unexpected dc power disruptions. It is intended for industrial computer, robotics, automation and process control applications.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems November 15, 2007

What’s the ‘M’ in TPM?

It’s confusing, at times, when working with a number of sophisticated clients who are engaging my help to implement TPM because I see the same acronym used to drive change within organizations, but with so many different meanings. So I ask you, what’s the “M” in your TPM? The first time I asked this question, I got the strangest look.

By Darrin Wikoff, Life Cycle Engineering
Power Systems November 15, 2007

ABB exhibits analytics solutions

ABB showcased some of its process analytics solutions at its booth (#1228) during ISA Expo 2007. These solutions provide precise measurements and monitoring for process industries, including hydrocarbon processing, gas processing and petrochemicals, as well as laboratory applications. Analyzers featured at the booth include: EasyLine3000 and ACX – these analyzers complement the Advance Op...

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems November 15, 2007

Modular UPS

Powerware BladeUPS is a rack-based UPS designed and optimized for today's high-powered blade servers and high-density computing environments. The three-phase system is efficient, scalable and flexible. The UPS provides 12 kW of power in only 6U of 19-inch rack space, including batteries. Patented load-sharing control distributes the workload among modules without requiring direct synchronizatio...

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems November 15, 2007

Ball-bearing housing

The pillow-block housing unit is available with either a set-screw or eccentric collar locking system. Designed to be more durable than previous models in both upright and upside-down mounting positions, the housing has flat feet to provide strength, eliminate stress points in recessed corners and prevent accumulation of ambient material under the feet.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems October 29, 2007

A strategic move: Oracle buying S&OP specialist

In another shot across the bow to SAP, Oracle has acquired Interlace Systems, a provider of Integrated Business Planning tools, for an undisclosed sum. Interlace’s offerings help planners ensure that Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) remains on target.

By Tony Baer, contributing editor
Power Systems September 24, 2007

Schneider Electric backs Virginia Tech research effort

IDAPS project focuses on integrating distributed energy resources with demand-side management

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems August 15, 2007

High-speed camera system

Network-ready, the InLine high-speed digital camera system captures line stoppages and automatically downloads the images, via gigabit Ethernet, to a pre-selected computer for analysis. System cameras continually monitor operator-selectable areas of production lines. When a failure is sensed, the system stops recording and automatically downloads the images to a computer.

By Staff
Power Systems August 15, 2007

Mixing Lean and ‘green’ delivers sustainability for manufacturer

Not every company is as environmentally focused as Canyon Creek Cabinet Company in Monroe, WA. With a five-year plan to reduce toxic waste emissions, a mission statement that requires environmental considerations in major business decisions, a full-time environmental manager on staff and an environmental management system in place, the company clearly places a high priority on reducing waste, p...

By John Vicklund, Washington Manufacturing Services
Power Systems August 15, 2007

Industrial vacuum

The CFM 125 is a lightweight, polypropylene-constructed industrial vacuum designed to help maintain a dust-free environment in the concrete industry. Powered by two 800-watt motors, the vacuum is suitable for use with surface preparation tools and equipment. Other features include an oversized main filter, an external filter shaker to help maintain maximum suction power and filtration performan...

By Staff
Power Systems August 1, 2007

Eaton to acquire MGE’s Small Systems business from Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric and diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corp. have entered into exclusive negotiations for the divestment of Schneider’s MGE uninterruptible power systems.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems July 11, 2007

Ladder accessory kit

The Professional Ladder Utility System contains a ladder mount, a tool bucket with a carrying handle and a universal tool holder.

By Staff
Power Systems June 29, 2007

Vibration-damping breadboards

Versatile, high-performance breadboards provide a flat, stable surface for a variety of applications including mounting or assembling lasers, small optical systems, prototyping and precise inspections.

By Staff
Power Systems June 15, 2007

Tackle talent management to achieve high performance

Let’s be honest. Industrial products companies face a talent crisis. Despite the durable demand for products, a critical shortage of skilled labor threatens your ability to outperform the competition. Worse, your workforce is aging and the younger generation doesn’t think your industry is glamorous or 'high-tech.

By Paul Loftus, Accenture
Power Systems May 23, 2007

MDSS becomes Factivity

MDSS has changed its name to Factivity Inc. to reflect its evolution from a provider of classic ERP inventory systems to total factory floor process solutions.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems May 15, 2007

Flat-panel monitor

The FPM-3170G 17-inch SXGA TFT LCD flat-panel monitor has a 1280 x 1024 resolution and direct-VGA, DVI, video and S-video inputs. Direct VGA signal transmission upgrades the display without changing current systems. Other features include an OSD control pad on the front panel, an anti-reflective screen with tempered glass, a hard anodic coating to prevent panel abrasion and acid corrosion, a stainless-steel chassis and an aluminum front panel.

By Staff
Power Systems April 15, 2007

Reader Feedback – 2007-04-15

Does anyone care about the loss of manufacturing jobs, plants? There was an interesting article in the March 2006 issue of PLANT ENGINEERING. It was the cover story (The Future of Manufacturing), and I thought I would save it. Looking back one year, I wanted to see if any of it made sense. Here are my thoughts: I am about to retire from Goss International.

By Staff
Power Systems April 6, 2007

Compatible chemical program goes global

The original FGG/BM System Compatible Program, established in 2002, has been expanded beyond the United States, Canada and Mexico and now includes 25 European countries, the United Arab Emirates, India and China. The expanded program is designed to increase user confidence and help eliminate the guesswork as to what products are chemically compatible. The program’s updated name — FGG/BM/CZ System Compatible — reflects that it ensures chemical compatibility with FlowGuard Gold and Corzan water distribution systems, as well as BlazeMaster fire sprinkler systems. The FGG/BM/CZ System Compatible Program is designed to test and monitor ancillary products on an ongoing basis to ensure chemical compatibility with these three different CPVC piping systems. Products in the program display the FGG/BM/CZ System Compatible mark on their label, which identifies that the product is chemically compatible with the CPVC products.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems March 13, 2007

Productivity board

The 4' x 6' production-efficiency-tracker magnetic whiteboard lets users track production goals, issues and performance figures by the hour utilizing color-coded magnetic status signals, management feedback magnets and magnetic star attention symbols in five colors. The system includes dry-erase pens and markers in four colors, PreciseLine chart line tape and adhesive letter and number sets for graphing. Board cleaner and conditioner, lint-free wipes and a magnetic eraser/pen holder are also included. Magnatag Visible Systems

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems March 1, 2007

Nickel-cadmium batteries

Varta R-series nickel cadmium (NiCd) batteries include the RL (long duration), the RM (medium duration) and the RH (short duration) batteries. The batteries operate over a temperature range of -40 to 50 degrees C (-40 to 122 degrees F), and are designed to be especially effective at low temperatures and deep discharge applications.

By Staff
Power Systems February 21, 2007

Sony Ericsson finds productivity gains through MES

After implementing a new enterprise manufacturing execution system, Sony Ericsson saw its volume and yields increase. Hiroyuki Tanaka, vice president of planning and logistics control for Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, said the InSite system from Camsrat delivered immediate improvement. “We shipped 8.5 million units in the third quarter of 2006, a 25% increase over the same period last year — this is supported by Camstar's InSite,” said Tanaka. Sony Ericsson's manufacturing operation necessitates extremely high production volumes and strict traceability requirements. The system processes high transaction volumes, continuously around-the-clock, with input from 9,000 operators working on more than 100 production lines.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems February 6, 2007

Upcoming coverage in the Feb. issue of Plant Engineering magazine

• Senior Editor Kevin Campbell explains how manufacturers are making their systems more Lean-compliant, more flexible and more intelligent. • Registration is underway • • Bob Vavra talks about the right place and the right time in his insightful commentary. • • Making motors on demand • Sujeet Chand, Rockwell Automation’s CTO, explains what RFID is really about. • Managing Editor Jack Smith discusses how traditions in the process industries are evolving, and how their control systems much change as well.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems February 2, 2007


The voltage performance monitor identifies voltage events and harmonics that can cause equipment damage and failures. By plugging into a circuit at the point of equipment connection, the VPM indicates when problematic voltage events occur and logs the time, duration and severity of the event without requiring a computer. Users can determine if equipment problems are related to voltage and if a circuit is safe for new or existing equipment.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems February 1, 2007

Embracing RFID technology drives process improvements

Depending on who you talk to or what you read, radio frequency identification is either going to revolutionize business practices the way the Internet did, or it will simply become another information gathering technology that is routinely integrated into the manufacturing process. Either way, for manufacturers, distributors and retailers alike, the advances in RFID technology (and the conseque...

By Sujeet Chand, Rockwell Automation
Power Systems January 25, 2007

Fortune 500s, environmental groups unite for global climate change

On the eve of President Bush’s State of the Union Address, a diverse group of U.S.-based businesses and leading environmental organizations called on the federal government to quickly enact strong national legislation to achieve significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. The group said any delay in action to control emissions increases the risk of unavoidable consequences that could necessitate even steeper reductions in the future. This unprecedented alliance, called the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), consists of market leaders Alcoa , BP America , Caterpillar , Duke Energy , DuPont , FPL Group , General Electric , Lehman Brothers , PG&E , and PNM Resources , along with four leading non-governmental organizations — Environmental Defense , the Natural Resources Defense Council , the Pew Center on Global Climate Change and the World Resources Institute . At a news conference Monday at the National Press Club , USCAP issued a landmark set of principles and recommendations to underscore the urgent need for a policy framework on climate change. The solutions-based report, titled A Call for Action , lays out a blueprint for a mandatory, economy-wide, market-driven approach to climate protection. “The time has come for constructive action that draws strength equally from business, government and non-governmental stakeholders,” said Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO of General Electric.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems January 11, 2007


The new Everest Series of rugged computers is suitable for forklift and fixed-mount applications. Designed to perform in extreme conditions, the computers are available with 10.4- and 12.1-inch screens. The Everest series offers an array of processor options, from a 600-MHz Celeron up to a 1.4-GHz Pentium M, and provides up to 1 GB DRAM.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems January 5, 2007

Siemens VDO to acquire Ballard Power Systems’ electric drive business

Siemens VDO Automotive Corp. recently signed an agreement to acquire Ballard Power Systems, Inc. 's electric drive business located in Dearborn, MI.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems January 1, 2007

Shrink wrapper

The Continuum integrated tray/shrink system is designed for packaging applications in the food and beverage industries. The system provides efficiency, flexibility, quick changeover and a low-maintenance design. It includes a large diameter range, making it suitable for both loose containers and multipacks in a variety of materials, including glass, PET and metal and fiber cans, among others.

By Staff
Power Systems January 1, 2007

Sheet membrane system

The Pyroflex sheet membrane system for vessels in corrosive chemical processing and mining facility construction is a manufactured, fiber-reinforced composite membrane system that remains permanently plastic. The system is an alternative to traditional asphaltic and fiber-reinforced resin linings, which can become porous and cracked.

By Staff
Power Systems December 22, 2006

Cardview system

Kanban CardView Systems help keep facilities running efficiently. The boards hold up to 828 cards in 17 different colors to effectively communicate to employees. Red and yellow taped card pockets are used to signal critical inventory levels or the need to immediately start or complete production of certain parts.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems December 15, 2006

Schneider Electric president honored with achievement award

The Schneider Electric North American Operating Division recently announced that Chris Curtis, president of Schneider Electric USA , has been honored as a pioneer of sales and marketing with a 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award from Frost & Sullivan , a global growth consulting company. “I am honored to be chosen as a recipient of Frost & Sullivan’s 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Curtis. “Over the last three years, our North American Operating Division has made great progress in many areas of our business. Our collective efforts have helped us excel in key areas, including growth, profitability, and customer satisfaction improvements, and I am proud to be in a position to help drive the company’s top goals.” The Sales and Marketing Lifetime Achievement Awards are given each year to individuals whose careers are characterized by a legacy rich in accomplishments and achievements.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems December 13, 2006

Maintaining sustainability at BMW Manufacturing

Sustainability is one of the most prevalent buzzwords being used in the manufacturing community today. Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines sustainability as, “of, relating to or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged.” At BMW’s U.S. factory in Spartanburg County in upstate South Carolina, sustainability is at the forefront of the manufacturing process. “We have eight indicators that we track every month,” said Briggs Hamilton, section manager, environmental services at BMW.

By Kevin Campbell, Senior Edito
Power Systems December 5, 2006

NEMA releases cable tray guidelines

Information on maintenance and system modification of cable tray systems can be found in the recently-published third edition of “VE 2-2006, Cable Tray Installation Guidelines” from NEMA. This practical guide for proper cable tray system installation also addresses shipping, handling and storing of cable trays. Cable tray system design must comply with “NEC Article 392,” “NEMA VE 1” and “NEMA FG 1,” and follow safe work practices as described in “NFPA 70E.” The guidelines in this publication are useful to engineers, contractors and maintenance personnel. “NEMA VE 2-2006” has been revised to reference the 2005 version of the NEC, and provides clarification for grounding and bonding cable trays, as well as recent cable tray product developments. “VE 2-2006” may be downloaded free, or a hardcopy purchased for $69.00 by visiting NEMA’s website at or by contacting IHS at (800) 854-7179 (within the U.S.), (303) 397-7956 (international), (303) 397-2740 (fax).

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems December 1, 2006

Schneider Electric acquires APC

The announcement in November that Schneider Electric has agreed to purchase American Power Conversion for about $6.1 billion was seen as a complimentary purchase between a company that wants to expand its electrical distribution business and a company whose strength is in that market segment. “This acquisition allows us to greatly strengthen Schneider Electric in the fastest growing segme...

By Staff
Power Systems December 1, 2006

The making of a Top Plant takes more than machines

How do we get our plant to be a Top Plant so that we can improve our competitive position in global manufacturing? Many manufacturers apply various tools and strategies to achieve this, while others simply move to other countries to get cheaper labor. But is this really working? There are more important issues to address than the tools themselves: leadership, alignment, teamwork, innovation...

By Ron Moore, The RM Group, Inc.
Power Systems December 1, 2006

Infrared imaging system

The GS110 process imaging system for low emissivity glass is designed to monitor one-side coated flat glass. The system can also be used for non-contact infrared temperature measurement in other secondary glass-processing applications such as bending, forming and annealing. It features an automatic correction mode that adjusts the system to accommodate changes in emissivity due to different gla...

By Staff
Power Systems November 11, 2006

Help Smiley survive and prove your automation knowledge while you play!

Smiley is a survivor. Even though he's shipwrecked on a desert island, he has all the tools he needs to survive. But, he's going to need YOUR help! Smiley is the star of a new online game — Automation Survivor —sponsored by AutomationDirect.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems November 7, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: Baldor to acquire Rockwell Power Systems business

Baldor chairman and CEO John McFarland said he has always admired the Reliance and Dodge brands from afar. He now has a chance to get much better acquainted with them. Baldor’s Nov. 7 announcement that it would acquire the two brands in Rockwell’s Power Systems division for $1.8 billion immediately doubled the size of Fort Smith, AR-based Baldor and diversified the company in the process.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems November 3, 2006

Schneider Electric acquires American Power Conversion

Schneider Electric and American Power Conversion recently entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Schneider Electric acquires all outstanding shares of APC for an enterprise value of approximately $5.5 billion. The price per share is U.S. $31, and will be paid in cash for a total amount of approximately U.S.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems November 1, 2006

It’s on the Vista: Business, process systems aligning

In a discussion of its new system, representatives of ICONICS and ARC Advisory Group talked about the emergence of manufacturing execution and manufacturing intelligence systems as a bridge between the plant floor and the enterprise. “The reality is that the business and process worlds are moving closer together,” said Mark Hepburn, VP of worldwide sales for ICONICS.

By Bob Vavra
Power Systems November 1, 2006

Mist collector

The WSO mist collector filters water-soluble coolants, straight oil and oily smoke. It adapts to application requirements with a change of the filter cartridge. Engineered with Synteq XP filter media and oblong cartridges that provide filtration efficiency and low operating pressure drop, the unit is available in machine-mountable, stand-mount or ducted cellular and central system configurations.

By Staff
Power Systems November 1, 2006

Water-based flooring system

AquArmor flooring systems are engineered using a water-based resin technology and offer 100 times the permeability of standard epoxy floor systems. It can be used underneath most flooring, including terrazzo and resinous floors, or as a standalone system. The low-odor flooring system has zero VOCs and can be applied to green concrete without taking moisture readings.

By Staff
Power Systems November 1, 2006

Distribution panel with ATS

The Smart Distribution Panel with Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) integrates automatic transfer with electrical distribution to lower total cost of ownership and improve overall availability. Features include predictive failure alarms, runtime calculation based on remaining fuel and generator load, fluid level monitoring, integrated distribution panel and ATS and UPS coordination.

By Staff
Power Systems November 1, 2006

Online learning

Web Based Training online learning management system combines the proven techniques offered in Computer Based Training with the convenience and technology available via the Internet. The system allows companies to train large groups of people in a small amount of time; as many as 500 people can be trained simultaneously.

By Staff
Power Systems November 1, 2006

UHF RFID system

SIMATIC RF 600, an RFID system that operates in the UHF band, is designed for logistics and distribution. The system has three communication ports: Ethernet, RS-422 and RS-232. It transmits data to IT, ERP and SCM systems, to SIMATIC PLCs, or to PCs. The antenna is designed for IP65 and can be mounted on walls or frames.

By Staff
Power Systems October 27, 2006

Upswing due to new orders for non-defense aircraft and parts

Yesterday’s Commerce Department report that manufactured durable products increased by 7.8 percent in September and climbed to a record-high $226.7 billion shows that, “America’s industrial base is taking off on the wings of aircraft manufacturers,” said David Huether, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers. “The rise marks the biggest monthly gain in new orders for durable goods since manufacturing entered recession in mid-2000,” Huether said. The upswing in orders last month was largely due to new orders for non-defense aircraft and parts, which soared 183.2 percent in September, the largest single monthly gain in four years. “With over half of domestic aircraft production destined for markets overseas, today’s report is a good omen for U.S. exports, which is critical for the U.S. economy to maintain healthy growth in coming quarters,” Huether continued.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems October 1, 2006

Particulate monitor

Model EM 70 particulate monitoring system is designed for cyclone overflow detection, chocking and efficiency monitoring. Its ability to operate in moist process environments makes the unit suitable for cyclone filter outlet monitoring. The company’s proprietary combination of induction sensing and a protected-probe provides reliability and early warning of cyclone plugging, according to ...

By Staff
Power Systems October 1, 2006

Performance monitoring system

Capable of monitoring fluid concentration, pH, conductivity, temperature and real-time biologic activity in most water-based metalworking fluids, the company’s performance monitoring system can monitor critical fluid parameters from up to four metalworking fluid central systems. Its biological activity reading alerts users immediately when preset, microbiological activity levels in metalw...

By Staff
Power Systems October 1, 2006

Letters to the editor – 2006-10-01

The “A View from Washington” column in the September 2006 edition of PLANT ENGINEERING by John Engler was titled “Sleepwalking schools are failing U.S. industry.” While I agree with Mr. Engler's view on the condition of schools in the USA and the need for our schools to meet the challenge of our new global competitors, I believe the title and conclusion of the article ar...

By Staff
Power Systems September 20, 2006

Why bother with wrenches?

Why bother with wrenches?Wrenches are almost never a part of a finished product, nor are they much of a concern of a design engineer unless he notices that a fastener is located in the manner that will make wrenching very difficult or impossible.Of course, some very cost-conscious companies have found that they can reduce the cost of assembly and the cost of maintenance by the appropriate selection of fasteners and by providing space for efficient access. Although unit construction, adhesives, welding and fastener redesign to use fewer stronger fasteners reduce the number of fasteners, they can never eliminate it because fasteners are required for joining subassemblies, providing access for inspection and maintenance, and for the ability to replace portions of the product. Another reason for considering wrenches and their associated fasteners is that this is an area that has not received much study in the past, which means it is more likely to provide opportunities for improvement or cost reduction. Wrenches and fasteners must work together (see Figure 1) to accomplish the job of either installing or removing fasteners.Good engineering requires specifying the installation torque of tension bolts to ensure their performance because bolts that are either over-tightened or under-tightened are prone to failure.Furthermore, removal torque is usually more than installation torque — often twice as much — that may result in wrench failure, which can cause injury or an expensive delay. Historically, wrenches and fasteners have not been thought of as a system, resulting in a lower-grade of performance and thus providing opportunities for improvement.Figure 1 shows the five components of the wrench/fastener system, which is most clearly illustrated by a socket wrench.The wall of the wrench has been counted as a separate part from the rest of the wrench.That is critical because most socket wrenches and other types of wrenches fail through the breaking of the wall. The faces of a wrench only transmit force, but the wall of the wrench must transmit torque and is subject to high circumferential stresses if not properly designed and mated to the other components.There are five possible modes of failure in the causality chain between the mechanic applying force and the fastener.In researching the various possibilities for improving wrench performance and reducing their size, Wright Tool has produced failure in every one of the five modes to learn how to increase strength without making wrenches larger, which is important in today’s designs. The original design of the fasteners’ engaging surfaces was square or hexagonal, which worked quite well but were bulky and expensive. For lack of design information, the fasteners were substantially over-sized.So the wrenches did not have to deal with high torques. Twelve-Point Wrenches Twelve-point wrenches were developed as a more convenient way of engaging with a fastener and are preferred by mechanics for that reason.Most mechanics also know that they are not quite as strong as 6-point wrenches.If the fit is snug, they are as strong but because of manufacturing clearances on both fasteners and wrenches and wrench wear, line contact tends to be the rule.Line contact not only can damage both wrench and fastener but it can combine with the high circumferential stresses in sockets to produce areas of failure. Wrench manufacturers can help this problem by making subtle departures from geometric designs.The best wrench design is one that produces a load pattern that avoids damaging the corners of the fastener or the corners of the wrench and, thereby, decreases strength and reduces life.The maximum strength and least wear when turning 12-point fasteners is produced by the shapes in Figure 2.Advanced 12-spline type design wrenches are stronger on both 6-point and 12-point hexagonal fasteners by 6% to 10%. The lower left corner of figure 2 shows three different wrenches applied to a 12-point, double-hex fastener.The relationships would be the same on a 6-point hexagonal fastener.The traditional double-hex wrench contacts only the corners of the fastener resulting in high contact pressure and a tendency to deform the fastener. Depending on the clearance between wrench and fastener, the location of the point of contact will vary.The high contact pressures will tend to cause a socket wrench to expand.If the point of contact is close to the inner point of the wrench, the wrench may slip on the fastener and shear the tip of the fastener teeth. Figure 3 shows the strength of the spline wrenches compared to the 12-point and 6-point wrenches.Twelve points are not twice as good as 6 points because the torque is limited not only by the teeth but also the ability of the socket to withstand the increased circumferential tension, which is, of course, proportional to the load.Because socket wrenches were not increased in diameter when the manufacturers went from 6 to 12 points, there is no strength in the body of the sockets to maximize load transmission. This failure to mate the design of the wrenches and fasteners is clearly shown in Figure 3, where the loads for 12-points are substantially better than a 6-point fastener but not double the load as one might expect.The premium wrench profiles do help. While these differences may seem subtle, the difference between success and failure may be just a few percentage points.

By Richard Wright, Chairman, Wright Tool
Power Systems September 7, 2006

Continuous improvement systems to grow 12.7% annually

The market for continuous improvement (CI) systems was $211.5 million in 2005 and is forecasted to grow to $402.8 million by the end of 2010, with a strong compounded annual growth rate of 12.7%, according to the ARC Advisory Group. The results of surveys ARC has conducted among manufacturers show that 80% of them are applying one or more CI methodologies. The programs used most often are Lean manufacturing, Six Sigma, total quality management and theory of constraints, and manufacturers are looking to CI systems to improve operational performance in the areas of labor utilization, inventory levels, quality, asset utilization and cost of goods sold. Some proponents of traditional Lean manufacturing avoid systems, recommending a manual approach in order to keep people close to the process. However, many manufacturers are using technology to enhance their program’s effectiveness. “Adoption of technology to enhance continuous improvement programs allows manufacturers to take their business to a higher level of financial performance, in both their P&L and balance sheets,” said Ralph Rio, research director and principal author of ARC’s “Continuous Improvement Systems Worldwide Outlook.” The study examines the market for applications that manufacturers use to bring their programs to a new level of performance.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems September 1, 2006

Invensys heading to Dallas for customer conference Dec. 4-7

Invensys Process Systems' 2006 North American Customer Conference will be held on Dec. 4-7 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas. The Customer Conference will bring together users of Avantis, Foxboro, SimSci-Esscor, and Triconex products, software, systems, and services for a program developed in conjunction with Invensys' various customer user groups.

By Staff
Power Systems September 1, 2006

Vehicle mount computer

The vehicle mount computer features a rugged construction and the company’s fanless, mobile MPC 5/110, and a touchscreen PC for indoor and outdoor vehicles, including forklifts and construction machinery, in logistics operations. The optional 3M Near Field Imaging MicroTouch 10-inch touchscreen is designed to provide visibility, even in bright environments.

By Staff
Power Systems August 4, 2006

Liquid-cooled AC drive

The Allen‑Bradley PowerFlex 700L liquid-cooled drive withstands increasingly rugged environments while driving high-performance and energy-efficient liquid-cooled technology. It features a single cooling input and output to the IGBTs. This proprietary, liquid-cooled heatsink increases power density resulting in a drive that is up to 65 percent smaller compared with similar horsepower air-cooled drives, the company says.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems August 1, 2006

ABB sees profit growth in 2Q; automation leads the charge

ABB reported a sharp increase in orders and profitability for the second quarter of 2006. Earnings before interest and taxes increased to $640 million from $371 million in the same quarter a year ago, reflecting good growth in the two product divisions. “We continued to deliver strong results in the second quarter,” said Fred Kindle, ABB President and CEO.

By Staff
Power Systems July 1, 2006

FKI Logistex consolidates manufacturing, engineering sites

FKI Logistex has consolidated some of its North American manufacturing and engineering locations within its Airport, Post and Parcel division to take advantage of operational efficiency opportunities. Manufacturing in the company’s Frederick, MD factory will be transferred to its manufacturing facilities in Danville, KY and Cincinnati, while engineering and support functions located in Da...

By Staff
Power Systems June 23, 2006

I Power introduces new low-emissions irrigation pump engine

I Power Energy Systems, LLC, recently announced the introduction of a new, 120-hp, natural gas-fueled industrial engine, designed for extended-duty applications requiring ultra-low exhaust emissions. Highly efficient emissions components and software incorporated into the new engine are based on the company's Greenergy technology, developed for a range of products from their traditional continuous-duty, on-site power generators to numerous industrial, agricultural and commercial engine applications. I Power's Greenergy technology is based on a systems engineering approach that combines induction system refinements, combustion chamber redesign, optimized air-fuel mixing, exhaust flow control and treatment and a power electronic engine controller incorporating a proprietary software tailored to meet specific application requirements.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems June 16, 2006

FKI Logistex consolidates manufacturing and engineering locations

FKI Logistex announces the consolidation of some of its North American manufacturing and engineering locations within its Airport, Post and Parcel division to take advantage of operational efficiency opportunities. Manufacturing in the company's Frederick, MD factory will be transferred to its manufacturing facilities in Danville, KY and Cincinnati, while engineering and support functions located in Dallas will be consolidated within the company's facilities in Louisville, KY. "In our last business year, FKI Logistex sales grew by 14% but continued investment in our operational infrastructure, IT systems, people, and business processes now means that we can deliver this increased level of sales within a smaller operational footprint,” said Steve Ackerman, president, FKI Logistex North America. “We are therefore taking this opportunity to streamline our activities across fewer sites.".

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems June 1, 2006

Take seven successful steps to align your organization

Last month, we looked beyond the rhetorical statements about aligning an organization around goals and looked at why it is important to have a common strategy. In summary, the actions you might consider are: Let’s take a look at each of these: Communicate a common strategy If we are to align the organization to a common strategy and set of goals, then we must actually have a clear strat...

By Ron Moore, The RM Group, Inc. Knoxville, TN
Power Systems May 1, 2006

Organizational alignment: Why it is so important

In the US, manufacturing jobs continue to decline, typically moving to countries with lower labor cost. In my view, labor costs are not the chief impediment to U.S. manufacturers being competitive, but rather the root cause is a lack of productivity and insufficient focus on eliminating waste in their processes.

By Ron Moore The RM Group Inc.Knoxville, TN
Power Systems May 1, 2006

Digi, Rockwell Automation partner

Digi International has been accepted into Rockwell Automation's Encompass Program, a third-party product referencing program that helps Rockwell Automation customers find best-in-industry technologies compatible with Rockwell Automation products. The Digi Connect WAN family of industrial cellular routers has been recognized as best-in-class by Rockwell Automation.

By Staff
Power Systems December 7, 2005

Member Agreement

Last updated: November 2000 The following terms and conditions of use (the " Terms and Conditions ") govern your (" You ") use of the Manufacturing Web site ( ), which shall include, without limitation, several Reed Business Information publications within one common industry category, and all content thereon (the " Site ") as provided by Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. (" Reed Business Information " or " we "). BY USING THE SITE, YOU ACCEPT AND AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS AS APPLIED TO YOUR USE OF THE SITE.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems December 1, 2005

Gasket industry’s first trade show is March 29-31

The Gasket Fabricators Association, with the endorsement of the Independent Sealing Distributors, will be sponsoring the first trade show ever devoted exclusively to the gasket industry. The Gasketing/Converting Expo '06 will be held March 29-31, 2006 at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate in Orlando, Florida.

By Staff
Power Systems November 1, 2005

XPS SIP cartridge seal cuts downtime

XPS pump seals reduce downtime, power consumption and operating costs. They are an alternative to mechanical seals and compression packings. Seals are replaced in seconds with SIP (serviceable in place) technology. Since there are no brittle faces, these seals are very tolerant of process upsets and dry running.

By Staff
Power Systems November 1, 2005

Clean diesel genset for load applications

Gen Set with ACERT Technology is designed for standby and load management applications. The generator set meets EPA Tier 2 requirements, delivers improved fuel efficiency and higher power density in a smaller footprint. Available in 60 Hz and 50-Hz models, the C32 clean diesel generator set is powered by a 32-liter, 12-cylinder, "V" configured engine with electronic fuel injection.

By Staff
Power Systems November 1, 2005

Software upgrade marries productivity, compliance

The Proficy Change Management Version 5.0 is an upgrade on the plant-wide automation management and control software that allows users to increase productivity and flexibility while also meeting regulatory requirements. Capabilities include security, version control, audit trails, central storage and automated backup and recovery.

By Staff
Power Systems November 1, 2005

System extensions allow improved efficiencies

Extensions to the IndustrialIT System 800xA include a flexible and scalable safety instrumented system, manufacturing management for improved batch production and real-time production intelligence for monitoring equipment efficiency. It allows customers to combine data from various automation applications to a single integrated information view in real time.

By Staff
Power Systems November 1, 2005

Fault tolerant UPS has voltage regulation

Galaxy 4000 uninterruptible power supply features precision voltage regulation, an IGBT rectifier that minimizes reflected input harmonics and power factor corrected input. Its fault tolerant architecture manages faults without compromising the UPS system. Battery management capabilities allow the UPS to determine battery parameters and alert operators before performance is affected.

By Staff
Power Systems November 1, 2005

Modulating infrared heater has diagnostics

Vantage Modulating heater is the first infrared fully modulating heater. It provides increased fuel efficiency by modulation, resulting in optimum combustion throughout the full range of burner inputs. The heater has comprehensive onboard diagnostics for fault and system status to provide information and ease of service.

By Staff
Power Systems November 1, 2005

Compressor has wide throttle range

Centac C700 is a centrifugal air compressor that provides 100% oil-free air. It is designed for maximum efficiency even at part load, increased throttle range, and enhanced reliability. Constant pressure control provides stable system pressure and smooth operation. The control system is state-of-the-art.

By Staff
Power Systems October 1, 2005

ABB reorganizes business structure

ABB has announced a reorganization of its core business units in what the company says is a move to improve business operations. The current two core divisions, Power Technologies and Automation Technologies, will be eliminated, and their respective business areas will become the new divisions as of January 1, 2006: Power Products (formerly the Power Technology Products business area), Power Sy...

By Staff
Power Systems October 1, 2005

Wonderware a Gold Partner with Microsoft

Wonderware, a business unit of Invensys Systems Inc., has achieved Gold Certified Partner level in the Microsoft Partner Program. The Microsoft and Invensys alliance was established to combine Invensys' strengths in process and manufacturing applications and expertise in key industry segments with Microsoft's platform, technology and enterprise products.

By Jack Smith
Power Systems October 1, 2005

Human Side – 2005-10-01

Effective hiring practices saves trouble down the line "It's recruitment time and the stakes are high. So states HR Matters, published by Personnel Policy Service, Inc. The report goes on to cite an industry rule of thumb that asserts hiring the wrong person can be expected to cost three times the person's annual salary during the course of employment. The trick in recruiting is to bend over backwards to ensure that the person you too hastily hire doesn't slowly drag you to court some time in the future. "I can't get this point across too firmly," plant engineer Joe Hadley told maintenance foreman Chuck McDonald one bright sunny Monday morning in October.

By Raymond Dreyfack, Contributing Editor
Power Systems September 8, 2005

Manufacturing community offers hurricane relief

The initial response by the manufacturing industry to Hurricane Katrina has been seen far and wide, and in many ways. Among the programs announced to date: The National Association of Manufacturers has set up a Hurricane Katrina Relief Resource Center at its website, Links to all relief organizations, federal agencies, and employee information is included. Schneider North America pledged $1 million to support Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida's Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems September 1, 2005

Microturbines get a boost from energy bill

Microturbine technology incentives included in the Energy Bill signed by President Bush in August will help some companies take a second look at this emerging electric resource. Chip Bottone hopes the rewards, like the power, will be self-sustaining for years to come. "We're not in this for the short-term," said Bottone, president of Ingersoll-Rand's Energy Systems business, after the bill was ...

By Bob Vavra
Power Systems August 1, 2005

The Best of Tips & Tricks – 20 Years

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.

By Joseph L. Foszcz, Senior Editor, PLANT ENGINEERING Magazine
Power Systems July 1, 2005

Human Side – 2005-07-01

In office dating, first determine if there's a conflict When two employees in the same department date each other it is often a source of concern to management. More so than ever when the romantic couple are a supervisor and subordinate. It is thus not surprising that some companies establish policies designed to ban such relationships. Declaring such practices verboten may seem a simple solution, but experience proves it can be anything but.

By Reymond Dreyfack, Contributing Editor
Power Systems July 1, 2005

Dreaming of the future

Ray Connor is the future of manufacturing. Eight years ago, his final interview to be among the first employees at Kansas City's new Harley Davidson assembly plant coincided with his honeymoon. He called back to tell Harley he'd postpone the honeymoon. Eight years and three children later, Connor, 30, is a quality auditor for Harley, a poised professional with an encyclopedic knowledge of the p...

By Bob Vavra, Chief Editor, Plant Engineering
Power Systems June 1, 2005

The Peters principle: Aim higher

Tom Peters is one of those management gurus paid a princely sum for stating the obvious. His books, including In Search of Excellence and The Pursuit of Wow! are great not just because they find and illuminate the best of our collective business wisdom, but because the message is so straightforward. Peters has a lot in common with PLANT ENGINEERING.

By Bob Vavra, Chief Editor
Power Systems June 1, 2005

Condition-based approach rewrites the book on lubrication

Ask any maintenance manager how frequently his machinery is lubricated and you'll probably hear this reply: "We go by the book," referring to instructions in the factory manual that comes with new equipment. Lubricating by the book — preventive lubrication — may be the way it's been done since the dawn of the industrial revolution.

By Alan S. Bandes, UE Systems, Inc., Elmsford, NY
Power Systems June 1, 2005

Bentley CEO sees acquisition, evolution coming in the future

As it touted its plant information products to users at its annual conference, Bentley Corp. is also looking to evolving the next generation of end users in the plant environment. To do that, Bentley CEO Keith Bentley says the pitch has to go directly to plant operators. "The majority of our plant reservations come from the owner-operator," said Bentley at a wide-ranging press conference at the...

By Bob Vavra
Power Systems March 10, 2005

Building successful containment piping

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.

By Joseph L. Foszcz, Senior Editor, Plant Engineering magazine
Power Systems February 10, 2005

Human side – 2005-02-10

Voluntary stepdown What rate of pay? Class I Welder Juan Gomez had sensitive nostrils. He sniffed a change in the wind. He had too much time on his hands without jobs being assigned.

By Raymond Dreyfack, Contributing Editor
Power Systems February 10, 2005

Digital CCTV network solutions

In 2005, a host of new technologies will be employed by plant managers to oversee their facilities. Despite a spate of digital CCTV product introductions during 2004, analog-based video system components remain the dominant choice.

By Darren Nicholson, VP-Marketing, GE Infrastructure-Security, Commercial Solutions, Andrew Bulkley, Senior Director-Project Strategy, GE Infrastructure-Security, Enterprise Solutions
Power Systems January 10, 2005

Don’t cut capital costs

There is an old adage that goes like this: "Be careful what you wish for, you might get it." Consider the case of that all-too-frequent occurrence, the drive to cut capital expenditures. The dictum comes down: "We need to reduce our capital spending by 15% this year." Or "We need to limit capital spending this year to $10,000,000.

By Randall D. Lund
Power Systems January 10, 2005

Analog addressable fire alarm systems compared to conventional systems

Advancements in technology are making analog addressable fire alarm systems appropriate for all sizes of applications — not just the large ones. Unlike older addressable systems, newer analog addressable products are just as easy to program as conventional systems, and are also easy to maintain.

By Jack Grones and Brian Foltz, Applications Engineers, Silent Knight, Inc., Maple Grove, MN
Power Systems December 10, 2004

Instruments & Controls – 2004-12-10

Localized UPS Quint Buffer and Quint DC-UPS uninterruptible power supplies ensure continuous operation of 24 Vdc control devices at the control panel during power interruptions. For power interruptions lasting up to 4 sec, the buffer module supplies the required current from electrolytic capacitors. Phoenix Contact, Inc. Write 324 on PE card Ethernet link to PC-based control T1H-EBC100 module provides an Ethernet link between the company's Terminator I/O products and PC-based control software.

By Staff
Power Systems August 9, 2004

Transforming your business with asset lifecycle management

The livelihood of manufacturing is production efficiency. Despite knowing this, the production, operation, maintenance, design, and marketing data necessary for making sound business decisions are not well integrated with business processes or business applications. For manufactures that have to maintain production plants, a strategy exists called asset lifecycle management (ALM) or process lif...

By Stephan Clambaneva, Marketing Manager, process Manufacturing, IBMPLM
Power Systems June 10, 2004

Basics of power management software

Powerful analytical tools — software, PCs, networks, and the internet — are within a click of the mouse. Power monitoring equipment captures data; software analyzes critical data required for responsible electrical energy management. Power management software tools provide control over how you manage your use of electricity.

By Jack Smith, Senior Editor, Plant Engineering magazine
Power Systems April 8, 2004

Basics of power management equipment

Electrical power enters the plant, drives the equipment, shines the lights, conditions the air, makes the coffee, and runs the printer that prepares your paycheck — and the check to pay for all this electricity. Are you getting your money's worth? Probably not.

By Jack Smith, Senior Editor, Plant Engineering magazine
Power Systems February 10, 2004

User’s view of steam traps

Steam traps are a pain in the neck to maintain. They are difficult to troubleshoot, numerous, geographically widespread, and often inaccessible.

By Michael Lauber, PE/CEM, Continental Tire North America, Charlotte, NC
Power Systems February 10, 2004

Solutions – 2004-02-10

Making push-nuts Problem : A push-nut is removed from a shaft to make repairs. The nut is dropped and can't be found. What can you do to reassemble the parts and keep them on the shaft? Solution : Get a brass washer that fits on the shaft.

By Staff
Power Systems July 14, 2003

Electrical – 2003-07-14

Products Small terminals Small Hydent small-terminal product line offers ring and fork tongue terminals, flag-style and quick disconnects, and splices. The expanded product line also includes installation tools. Most connectors are UL and CSA listed, and are available in vinyl, nylon, and polyvinylidene-insulated, as well as noninsulated, versions. FCI-BURNDY Products Write 324 on PE card Softstarters for low-voltage motors PST series softstarters are available for operating voltages from 208 to 690-Vac and full-load line currents of 30_ 1050 A.

By Staff
Power Systems May 6, 2003

Convergence, transparency seen as leading trends in electrical systems

PLANT ENGINEERING recently met with Jean-Pascal Tricoire, executive vice president, Schneider Electric International Div., and Chris C. Richardson, president and CEO, Schneider Electric - North American Div., to discuss trends in industry. Following are some highlights from that interview. Tricoire and Richardson see the convergence between automation and power as a major trend.

By Staff
Power Systems April 28, 2003

Wiring system design: Cable tray vs. conduit

To be useful, electrical wiring must get from one place to another. Distribution is a necessary phase of system wiring design in order to get power or impulse signals to their final destinations. Historically, wires and cables have been pulled through conduit.

By Jack Smith, Senior Editor, Plant Engineering magazine
Power Systems March 15, 2003

An Introduction to Predictive Maintenance

The second edition of R. Keith Mobley's An Introduction to Predictive Maintenance is a welcome addition to the numerous books available on the subject. Mobley has taken his first edition, published in 1990, and thoroughly updated and expanded it. The current volume includes six new chapters. Although the book includes discussions of all the latest technologies, it's not a technical book so mu...

By Reviewed by Richard L. Dunn, editor, Plant Engineering
Power Systems January 15, 2003

Industry margins fall below average

Inflationary pressures for manufacturers of factory operating materials and supplies are on the rise. The problem is that costs are high while the ability to hike prices has been weak. End result: industry margins for 70% of the industries in our marketbasket are below average. Consider the industry that makes metal fasteners like bolts, nuts, rivets, and washers.

By Staff
Power Systems September 15, 2002


Maintenance program A nationwide program for power system maintenance called PowerCare Advantage has been introduced. Sponsored by an integrated power system manufacturer, it is designed to ensure the reliability of all brands of onsite power systems. Cummins Power Generation Write 323 on PE card Safety monitor The Safe 4 series of safety relays is designed to monitor emergency stop and safety gate applications.

By Staff
Power Systems June 15, 2002

Is project management software right for you?

Small or large, projects require discipline in planning and execution. The success or failure of a project depends on the skill and expertise with which it is managed. Although it cannot replace the intelligence that envisions and implements all of a project's phases, project management software can save plant engineers time and promote effective management by providing tools to simplify comple...

By Jack Smith, Senior Editor, PLANT ENGINEERING magazine
Power Systems May 13, 2002

CMMS/EAM industry directions at the National Plant Engineering Show

Some industries are recession proof. But the application software industry is definitely not one of them. A software vendor's sales-lead pipeline usually starts to dry up at the first hint of an economic downturn. Unfortunately, software vendors have little choice but to ride out a downturn. There is only so much belt-tightening a vendor can do and still hope to be in a competitive position whe...

By Tom Singer Contributing Editor, Principal, Tompkins Associates, Oak Brook, IL
Power Systems February 15, 2002


Winner of the 2001 "Maintenance Tip of the Year" is Brian Berg, Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co., Wausau, WI. He received $1000 for his suggestion on how to filter dirty air in a work area. Runners-up were Robert Hans, Sonoco-U.S. Mills, Inc., Menasha, WI, and Monte Hyler, ABB Automation, Analytical Div.

By Joe Foszcz, Senior Editor, Plant Engineering Magazine
Power Systems February 15, 2002

How Serial Ports Work

The serial port has been an integral part of most computers for more than 20 years. Serial ports provide a standard connector and protocol to let you attach devices, such as modems, to your computer.All computer operating systems in use today support serial ports. Parallel ports are a more recent invention and are much faster than serial ports.

By Marshall Brain
Power Systems January 15, 2002

How Parallel Ports Work

The parallel port is the interface most used for printers. They are also used to connect a PC to scanners, CD-writers, external hard drives, Zip removable drives, network adapters, and tape backup drives.Parallel port basicsIBM originally developed parallel ports to connect PCs to Centronics printers.

By Marshall Brain
Power Systems December 1, 2001

Suggestions & Solutions – 2001-12-01

How clean I am How to Filter Compressed Air , Bulletin 120, is a free, 16-p booklet that uses text and illustrations to describe types of compressed air filters, guidelines for selecting the correct filter for a particular application, and other helpful information. Deltech Write 251 on PE card Gas engine reduces emissions Brochure introduces a line of lean-burn gas engine/generator sets for prime and peaking power applications. Sized form 334 kW to 1.75 MW, these generator sets are powered by fuel-efficient, spark-ignited engines that reduce NO x emissions. Cummins Power Generation Write 252 on PE card Pumps on CD-ROM A 2 CD-ROM set of the Goulds Pump Manual includes the 8thissue of the GPM catalog and the Goulds Pump Selection System. The set makes it possible to click-through the pump catalog, and make selections by the use of electronic tools. I TT Industries, Goulds Pumps Write 253 on PE card Recorders track overheating Temp-Plate irreversible temperature recorders provide a low-cost alternative to monitoring surface temperatures with sensors or probes.

By Staff
Power Systems November 1, 2001

Human Side of Engineering – 2001-11-01

Be careful what you ask in an interview Maintenance Supervisor Glen Gorsham had doubts about applicant Lou Polikoff sent to him from Personnel from the moment he set eyes on him. His application showed the experience required for the stockroom attendant's job. But for one thing, he struck Gorsham as shifty-eyed and somewhat sullen. For another, the guy walked with a severe limp which could slow him down on the job. Gorsham asked, "As a supervisor I'm obligated to inquire if you have any current or past medical problems that that could adversely affect your job performance?" The applicant's face flushed.

By Raymond Dreyfack Contributing Editor
Power Systems November 1, 2001

Harbec Chooses Microturbines for Prime Power

What does a company do when it can't afford a power outage? For instance, Harbec Plastics of Rochester, New York, produces highly engineered plastic parts with short lead times, using a computer numerical controlled (CNC) production process. A momentary power failure burdens Harbec with hours of reprogramming and production set up.

By Harbec Plastics
Power Systems November 1, 2001

Lighting – 2001-11-01

Click on the above link to see Product of the Year finalists in this category.

By Staff
Power Systems September 1, 2001

Reader Forum – 2001-09-01

Firing worker over cartoon too harshThis is in response to the Human Side of Engineering, the June 2001 issue in the special supplement. I was shocked at the answer to the first scenario with Bill Lapper, the cartoon-drawing mechanic. There is a bigger issue here, and that is the aftermath of firing someone for hanging a cartoon.

By Staff
Power Systems July 10, 2001

Computer simulation helps solve SO2 scrubber problem in primary aluminum smelter plant

Computer simulation helped to solve a challenging problem in scrubbers used to remove sulphur dioxide from gas in the production of aluminum at the Reynolds Metal Co.

By Plant Engineering Staff
Power Systems August 1, 2000

Exploring the world of ASPs: Software services, support for a monthly fee

Rent software by the month? Access software over the internet while a company somewhere-anywhere-in the world handles all the system administration, upgrades, and support? From The Wall Street Journal to Network World, business people and technologists are talking about application service providers (ASPs), the newest delivery model for distributing software applications. According to industry analysts, ASPs offer a win-win for users and application and network service vendors alike. Advantages for users include a 20-30% reduction in up-front IT costs, quicker software implementation, and an earlier return on investment. Application and network vendors benefit from greater customer exposure, ongoing revenue, and an ability to leverage competency in applications development expertise. Despite recent publicity, many people are still unaware of what an ASP is and what its potential service benefits are.

By Judy Johnson, FieldCentrix, Irvine, CA
Power Systems March 1, 2000

Sectional door

Workhorse sectional door minimizes maintenance costs, eliminates downtime, and reduces exposure to unsafe situations created by conventional sectional door damage.

By Staff
Power Systems March 1, 2000

Roof cooling systems

Color brochure illustrates applications and benefits of roof cooling systems that lower roof temperatures 60-80 deg F, and internal temperatures 6-10 deg F. The systems use PC/PLC-based control technologies and freeze-resistant sprayheads.

By Staff
Power Systems March 1, 2000

Vertical carousels

Brochure explains how the Industriever vertical carousel system can increase productivity in high throughput situations as much as 125% compared to standard storage systems.

By Staff
Power Systems February 1, 2000

Basics of plant radio systems

Wireless communications have become so commonplace in industrial plants that they are often taken for granted. But rapid advances in technologies and capabilities make periodic reviews of radio systems a smart move.

By Richard L. Dunn
Power Systems February 1, 2000

Rooftop duct furnaces

New 4-p color brochure features the complete line of WeatherHawk rooftop duct furnaces. The units operate on natural or propane gas and are certified for location upstream or downstream from cooling coils.

By Staff
Power Systems February 1, 2000

Fire suppression system uses water mist

Micromist is a cost effective, self-contained, skid mounted, single fluid, pre-engineered, water mist fire suppression system for the protection of machinery. The system is available in 70 and 107-gal. configurations, and protects spaces up to 9175 cu ft.

By Staff
Power Systems February 1, 2000

Making the right sensor choice

From proximity sensors to limit switches and from photoelectric sensors to machine vision sensors, an almost overwhelming array of sensors is available for a variety of plant applications.

By Mike Frey
Power Systems February 1, 2000

Hot cable connection

Information in the Electrical Heat Tracing Systems Design Guide allows a user to design, specify, and select a complete bill of materials for applications such as freeze protection and process temperature maintenance.

By Staff
Power Systems February 1, 2000

Self-contained air conditioning systems

A 10-p brochure explains how a self-contained, indoor vertical air conditioning system offers flexibility for new and renovation building projects. Sized from 15-145 tons, the system offers a wide range of cabinet sizes, features, and options.

By Staff
Power Systems January 1, 2000

Electronic harassment

You don't have to insult a person to her face or before others to trigger humiliation and grief.

By Raymond Dreyfack
Power Systems January 1, 2000

UPS has high efficiency

Axxium TriStar double-conversion, three-phase uninterruptible power system (UPS) has a range from 10-40 kVA for the protection of midrange computers, factory automation systems, and building management and security systems.

By Staff
Power Systems January 1, 2000

Do employees have to take vacation while on layoff?

The plant was going full blast from April through December. January through March was the slack time of the year. During this period, a third of the work force was laid off.

By Raymond Dreyfack
Power Systems January 1, 2000

Framing system eliminates field welds

Long Bay System (LBS) is an innovative framing system that combines the best of conventional construction with metal building system design.

By Staff
Power Systems December 1, 1999

Service computer with screwdriver

PL-X900 Series touch operated panel computer is the first industrial personal computer available where all major working and moving parts are serviced in the field by using a small screwdriver. Users do not have to worry about voiding the warranty.

By Staff
Power Systems December 1, 1999

Effective power management

Recent advances in both microprocessor-based monitoring and control devices and computer networking have expanded the range of power monitoring equipment available and improved the functional capabilities of these devices.

By Daniel L. Steiner and William Whitehead
Power Systems December 1, 1999

Designing a block stacking storage layout

Block stacking of unit loads is the optimal storage philosophy in many facilities. This concept stacks unit loads on top of each other and places them on the floor in storage lanes (blocks), generally 2-10 loads deep.

By Christopher Barnes,
Power Systems December 1, 1999

Handheld IR system

PM 595 IR camera makes predictive and preventive maintenance inspections easier, faster, and more accurate. An 8-p brochure details specif- ications, applications, report generation capabilities, image and trending software, and more.

By Staff
Power Systems November 1, 1999

System monitors vibration and temperature

Model 4100 RF SmartSensor wireless condition monitoring system checks equipment vibration and temperature. The sensor is mounted at critical bearing locations to analyze the time waveform and spectral date to provide machinery condition assessment.

By Staff
Power Systems November 1, 1999

Clean generator produces chemical-free steam

Generator produces steam free of chemical contamination. Compact, vertical unit features a coiled tube heat exchanger bundle and bottom drop down arrangement for exchanger inspection.

By Staff
Power Systems November 1, 1999

Dual transducer design heightens sensor accuracy

Superprox Model CT1000 Series ultrasonic counting sensor features a dual-transducer design to eliminate miscounts caused by agitation, reversals, backups, and line stoppages.

By Staff
Power Systems November 1, 1999

Handheld IR camera meets any PdM program need

ThermaCAM PM 595 infrared camera is designed for predictive maintenance.

By Staff
Power Systems November 1, 1999

Software analyzes harmonic distortion problems

HI_Wave for Windows predicts distribution of harmonic voltages and currents throughout a power system.

By Staff
Power Systems October 1, 1999

Just the right temperature

New heating and cooling control system provides maximum occupant comfort in all types of applications.

By Staff
Power Systems September 1, 1999

Data acquisition recorder

Brochure describes the high-speed Dash 16u data acquisition recorder. The literature outlines features of the units, including a 10.4-in.

By Staff
Power Systems September 1, 1999

Avoiding bent lids

Problem: After repeatedly opening and closing a can that has a pry-off lid (such as plumber's putty or wood putty), the lid becomes dented and deformed and allows air to dry out the contents.

By Staff
Power Systems July 1, 1999

Thermal oxidation

A 4-p brochure describes a compact emission control system that makes regenerative thermal oxidation affordable for applications with low airflows.

By Staff
Power Systems July 1, 1999

Make allowance for anxiety activators

The news came to the maintenance crew as a bombshell. It was definitely scheduled. A date had been set. Some workers clustered in groups to gripe and grouse. Others hit the phones to call their spouses or sound out employment opportunities.

By Raymond Dreyfack
Power Systems July 1, 1999

Life safety systems

An 8-p brochure highlights life safety systems that use intelligence to provide protection against fire.

By Staff
Power Systems July 1, 1999

Software manages power remotely

Monitor-Pac software facilitates comprehensive 24 x 7 PC-based remote supervision and control of uninterruptible power supplies and other electrical equipment.

By Staff
Power Systems June 1, 1999

Liquid filtration

Features and benefits of the Max-Load high efficiency, liquid filtration system are presented in a 20-p brochure. The literature discusses the design features of cartridge and bag filters, and explains how they provide greater solids loading.

By Staff
Power Systems May 1, 1999

Protective relays

A colorful, illustrated folder with individual product specification sheets covers a fully modular line of protective relays. The relays depicted provide complete protection, monitoring, and control in a single chassis incorporating 12 panel meters.

By Staff
Power Systems April 1, 1999

Narrow aisle truck has four steering modes

MDR-55 narrow aisle reach truck features lift heights to 29 ft, 48-V ac power system for fast operation, and four steering modes for increased maneuverability.

By Staff
Power Systems April 1, 1999

Office building system lowers cost

Modular building system allows greater physical and aesthetic flexibility for indoor applications that do not require load-bearing capability at a 10% cost savings over previous systems. Extruded aluminum posts provide tight tolerances for exacting fits.

By Staff
Power Systems April 1, 1999

Stairwell light comes on when needed

StairLite self-contained, motion detector-equipped system satisfies all stairwell lighting requirements in one fixture. The surface-mounted luminaire features general and emergency lighting and battery backup.Cooper Lighting, www.cooperlighting.

By Staff
Power Systems April 1, 1999

Tools plus

Tools, testers, supplies, and equipment for assembling, testing, and repairing electronic equipment are the subject of a 292-p catalog.

By Staff
Power Systems April 1, 1999

It’s in the mail

If you have paid even the smallest amount of attention to the internet and world wide web in the last few years, you no doubt remember all of the hype about "push" technology, one of the many next-best internet developments guaranteed to change how we used the web. Well, years have passed and you would be hard-pressed to find someone eager to utter the infamous "push" word, let alone find a full-blown implementation of the concept at the level to which prognosticators claimed we would take this stupendous technology. Remember Microsoft Bob? This is not to say that "push" technology, or variations of the concept, is not in widespread use.

By Len O'Neal
Power Systems February 1, 1999

Photoelectric sensors operate up to 250 V

Q45 universal voltage photoelectric sensors operate at 25-250 Vac, 50/60 Hz, or 12-250 Vdc (1.5W max).

By Staff
Power Systems February 1, 1999

Lubrication program faster, easier to use

Lube-It 2.5 for Windows lubrication management software reduces the risks of equipment failure caused by inadequate lubrication by automatically routing and scheduling lubrication tasks.

By Staff
Power Systems January 1, 1999

Lubrication for everyone

Lube-It 2.5 reduces the risks of equipment failure due to inadequate lubrication by automatically routing and scheduling tasks.

By Staff
Power Systems December 1, 1998

Rewinding to factory specs

An onsite generator rewind program provides an insulation system equal to factory manufactured approaches, yet is field installed.

By Staff
Power Systems December 1, 1998

Band saw blades

A 50-p catalog offers band saw blades, plus fluids and lubrication systems. The literature explains how new generation blades last longer, cut faster, and leave a smoother finish.

By Staff
Power Systems December 1, 1998

Digital discussions

Since its earliest days, e-mail has always been valued as a quick and easy two-way communication tool.

By Len O'Neal
Power Systems December 1, 1998

Steam generators

A set of three 4-p brochures presents packaged steam generators and thermal fluid heaters. The literature includes operating overviews, component descriptions, illustrations, and technical specifications.

By Staff
Power Systems November 1, 1998

SCM System Connects People, Computer Systems

Numetrix/3 software solution is deployable across both the internet and intranet and serves to connect people as well as disparate computer systems within and between enterprises.

By Staff
Power Systems November 1, 1998

Software Simplifies Water Treatment System Selection

R.E.D. Line automatic sizing and application program lets an engineer design a water treatment system on his own computer.

By Staff
Power Systems November 1, 1998

One instrument performs three test functions

The 43 Power Quality Analyzer combines power quality analyzer, multimeter, and oscilloscope functions.

By Staff
Power Systems November 1, 1998

System identifies, organizes, and stores O-rings

O-ring Security System compresses the time it takes to positively identify a replacement from hours to a few seconds.

By Staff
Power Systems November 1, 1998

Evaluate outsourcing closely: Before going outside, develop your resources within

Outsourcing, in my opinion, is the single most compelling business issue facing the plant engineering and maintenance profession today. I agree that it is, as one advertisement suggests "inevitable.

By A.S. (Migs) Damiani
Power Systems November 1, 1998

Vortex system offers enhanced flow measurement

+GF+ Signet vortex system measures and transmits flow rates in a wide range of industrial environments. Features include an eight-digit totalizer and pushbutton programming for easy configuration and system setup.

By Staff
Power Systems October 1, 1998

Talk the same language

A glossary of uninterruptible power systems provides data on industry terms and definitions, company and industry abbreviations, and acronyms. A reference document explains the preparation and response to bid specifications. Best Power

By Staff
Power Systems September 1, 1998

Filter removes excess oil from airlines

Encapulator high efficiency filtration system is used in applications where there is an excessive amount of oil or other contaminants passing through compressed airlines.

By Staff
Power Systems September 1, 1998

Analytical services

A 6-p brochure describes analytical services offered in areas such as fitness for service assessments, condition monitoring systems, root cause failure investigations, component repair and replacement design, turbine generators, and engineering software.

By Staff
Power Systems September 1, 1998

Welder/generator controls dc output

Ranger 275 engine driven welder/generator with Chopper Technology controls the dc output to create an arc with improved welding performance. The unit supplies 275 amps of dc welding power at 100% duty cycle and 9000 W of ac auxiliary power.

By Staff
Power Systems September 1, 1998

Vibration system monitors and analyzes

ML4000 real-time synchronous vibration monitoring system also provides fault diagnosis of rotating equipment. The system has high-level analysis and monitoring capabilities with phase-synchronized vibration data for every measurement channel.

By Staff
Power Systems September 1, 1998

Uninterruptible power systems

An 8-p brochure plus two data sheets feature additions to a new line of UPSs. The literature covers both tower and rackmount models with ratings ranging from 750-2250 VA.

By Staff
Power Systems September 1, 1998

Dust monitor continuously measures filter emissions

Dust Detect 1000 triboelectric sensor continuously measures the flow of particulate emissions through an air filtration system. The alarm is switch selectable for instantaneous or 1-min averages.

By Staff
Power Systems August 1, 1998

Audible signal devices

A new catalog covers transducers, indicators, and piezo sirens and backup alarms. The 68-p catalog includes a quick reference section, dimensional drawings, frequency characteristic charts, and specification charts for each type of device.

By Staff
Power Systems August 1, 1998

Don’t get caught with your UPS down

Runtime calculator software helps users determine the optimal configuration of their uninterruptible power system options and battery packs.

By Staff
Power Systems July 1, 1998


A 16-p catalog details ultrasonic fog generator humidification systems. The literature highlights microprocessor controls and all-stainless steel construction of the equipment.

By Staff
Power Systems July 1, 1998

Heat transfer fluid replaces glycol

GR-40 biodegradable heat transfer fluid can directly replace ethylene or propylene glycol without system modification in applications from -40-350 F. Heat transfer efficiency is 35-55% better than ethylene glycol and 60- 150% better than propylene glycol.

By Staff
Power Systems June 1, 1998

Vertical storage system has two-bay access

A dual-bay, automated, vertical storage and retrieval system provides more throughput and better accessibility than single-bay units. Both bays are serviced by one extractor operated by a single control system with PC interface.

By Staff
Power Systems June 1, 1998

Hey buddy…got an O-ring?

O-Ring Security System features three kits that organize 1613 O-rings into 77 easily verifiable sizes, sorted by cross-section with an ID range from 1/8-1 3/4 in., within a space less than 1 cu ft.

By Staff
Power Systems June 1, 1998

Compressed air piping system installs quickly

Transair provides an innovative way to install or modify a plant's compressed air piping system, which reduces downtime and increases efficiency compared to threaded steel, soldered copper, or glued plastic.

By Staff
Power Systems June 1, 1998

Harmonic filters

Active harmonic filters providing up to 200% more cancellation than passive harmonic products are presented in a 6-p brochure.

By Staff
Power Systems May 1, 1998

Battery serves UPS applications

Sprinter line of valve-regulated lead-acid batteries are used for high-rate uninterruptible power supply (UPS) applications. The batteries offer a high burst of energy for a short time when maintaining power is critical.

By Staff
Power Systems May 1, 1998

Valve design offers easy field conversion

Valve series offers simplicity and high sanitary performance, and is easy to assemble, disassemble, and convert in the field. The valve can be upgraded easily to proximity or micro switch position sensing.

By Staff
Power Systems May 1, 1998

Networking products

An industrial line of network products, fiber interfaces for various bus systems, and interconnections to cable systems and sensor/actuator devices is depicted in a 16-p brochure.

By Staff
Power Systems April 1, 1998

Machine monitoring

A 10-p brochure depicts a new generation of handheld data loggers incorporating three condition monitoring methods: shock pulse, vibration severity, and evaluated vibration analysis.

By Staff
Power Systems April 1, 1998


InConcert workflow software improves productivity and reduces costs by improving the efficiency of the processes.

By Staff
Power Systems April 1, 1998

Universal lift converts to eight configurations

Universal-Lift multi-purpose handling system takes on most work loads because of its versatile attachments.

By Staff
Power Systems April 1, 1998

Rotary UPS

An 8-p brochure explains a line of UPS systems based upon rotational energy storage. Basic flywheel-enhanced ride-through MG sets to advanced dynamic systems with diesel backup are discussed and illustrated. International Computer Power

By Staff
Power Systems April 1, 1998

Integrated Condition Assessment System (ICAS)

Integrated Condition Assessment System (ICAS) online integrated condition assessment and diagnostic monitoring system minimizes costs, optimizes availability, and improves productivity. System can be merged with plan DCS and CMMS systems. IDAX, Inc.; www.

By Staff
Power Systems March 1, 1998

Electric power seminars

A 12-p brochure describes five electric power system seminars and workshops that range from 1-2 1/2 days.

By Staff
Power Systems February 1, 1998

City that never sleeps

Here's a city you may not have visited yet. "HVAC-City was formed by Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) and Wrightsoft Corp. to provide an easy way for HVAC companies to have a presence on the Internet.

By Cathryn Hodson
Power Systems February 1, 1998

Communicate safely in hazardous locations

Contractor Kit is a confined space communication system configured specifically to increase overall safety and efficiency while working in tanks, towers, and other vessels.

By Staff