View All Lighting
Luminaires can reduce food processing plant downtime
Sealed luminaires meet standards, address myriad challenges
Three ways LED lighting solves safety concerns for shale gas operations
LED lighting can improve shale gas operations by providing better illumination for routine maintenance, improve overall visibility, and reduce exposure to dangerous materials.
The fight against Legionella
How keeping Legionella out of water systems can reduce the risk of infection.
Screwdriver with LED lights
The 2-Position Ratcheting Screwdriver with LED light technology has two LED lights and a 45-tooth ratcheting mechanism with forward, reverse and locked positions to quickly tighten or loosen fasteners
PM optimization as a routine
Without routines, you run the risk of causing undue suffering on the machinery parts or end up with a monumental mess to clean up.
Use infrared imaging for energy auditing
With training, you can do it yourself
Troubleshooting your piping integrity takes a joint effort
A robust maintenance plan will expand life expectancy of nonmetallic expansion joints
Georgia Tech study: Sales, Lean, skilled worker help needed
Re-shoring on the rise in the state, according to a Georgia Tech study report
Manufacturing Day: An open house for manufacturing
The SME Education Foundation will support Manufacturing Day on Oct. 5, 2012.
A bright future for LEDs equals an educated consumer
Education is the key to getting the general consumer to learn about and ultimately understand what LEDs can do for them.
CMMS takes the guesswork out of safety inspections
If you want to score points with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) auditor next time he pays a surprise visit to inspect your plant, show him an on-demand preventive maintenance (PM) report from your computer maintenance management system (CMMS) and watch the corners of his mouth turn slightly upward.
IMS Research cuts 2012 MOCVD forecast from 342 to 281
IMS Research has cut its forecast for 2012 GaN MOCVD shipments to 281, according to the second quarter 2012 MOCVD update of its GaN LED Quarterly Supply and Demand report.
Tell the world about your world-class products
How can we define manufacturing in the U.S. and globally in the world we live in today?
Light and Building 2012 – LEDs need to evolve from the next greatest gadget into a light bulb
Each new LED lamp with its own placard expressing, with great enthusiasm, its features such as dimmability, total lumens and lm/W or claiming it to be the perfect replacement for “fill in the blank here”!
Measurement and verification panelboards (MVP)
Facility relocates to accommodate growth
Vecoplan Midwest more than doubles its space to accommodate growth as sales of existing products increase and product offerings expand.
Grainger CEO: Productivity improvement a critical issue
More than 5,000 customers, 2,200 suppliers attend 2012 Grainger Show
The 2012 AHR Expo took place Jan. 23-25, 2012 in Chicago. Among the new products introduced at the show were:
Automated orbital welding systems streamline in-process inspections
Passing in-process inspections for orbital welding projects is critical, as a failure can lead to costly rework, project delays, and system downtime.
Six fast ways to improve operational efficiency
Find hidden lighting, energy management cost savings
LED work light WorkStar2000
Maxxeon Inc.'s third-generation WorkStar light includes a belt clip, a 12-volt charger, a 110-volt charger, and has a run time of up to 10 hours.
Capacity expansion of specialty quartz manufacturing plant
Quartz and Ceramics Division of Momentive Performance Materials has started the capacity expansion of its specialty quartz manufacturing plant located in Hebron, Ohio.
Earthquake batters manufacturing industries
Japan’s earthquake and tsunami also wreaked havoc on a broad swath of manufacturing facilities in the Tohoku region, one of Japan’s industrial hubs.
Harrington Hoists honored for green manufacturing excellence
Green Global Award presented to company for excellence in environmentally-sound practices.
2010 POY Finalists: Lighting
Plant Engineering's 2010 Product of the Year finalists featured in the Lighting category.
Writing a new book on quality
Bob Vavra comments on Toyota crisis and the impact on manufacturers
Who will write the new book on quality?
They literally wrote the book on quality management – and more than 50 other books have been written about their quality system. Toyota and quality have been synonymous for three decades around the world – much to the chagrin of American-based automakers. Then stories began to emerge in January and February about millions of recalled Toyota cars and trucks after problems with a gas ...
Siemens to lead sustainability conference
D.C. area event is March 23-24
Is ‘more training’ the solution to human error?
When something goes wrong in your organization, is human error often the identified cause? Is “more (task-related) training” for the people involved often the designated solution? As a result, have employees in your organization reluctantly endured many kinds of training – often referred to as “flavor of the month?”
Identify the opportunities for perfection
For people of a certain age, there was a certain way we learned how to do everything. To learn how to field ground balls and fly balls, I caught a lot of ground balls and fly balls. To learn to do multiplication, I ran down the multiplication tables. To spell, I got up in front of the class to participate in the spelling bee.
The AVR series of advanced vandal-resistant luminaires is constructed of heavy gauge extruded aluminum with cast aluminum end caps, which envelope the extruded polycarbonate linear-ribbed clear diffuser. The lens is retained by recessed tamper-resistant set screws. The luminaires are available in 2- to 4-foot lengths, and can accommodate up to three T5 or T8 lamps.
A light at the end of the tunnel
Just as people are not numbers, numbers are not people. Perhaps in no year since we’ve been doing the PLANT ENGINEERING Salary Survey has that been more apparent. The 2009 version of the Salary Survey was focused not just on how last year affected their wallets, but also on how last year affected their workplaces.
PEERS program stimulates retrofits of lighting systems
Manufacturing has yet to reap many benefits from the $780 billion stimulus package, but an industry economist has uncovered a program that delivers both financial rewards and environmental benefits for the sector.
An end in sight?
There’s a light at the end of manufacturing’s long, dark tunnel. How well you can see it largely depends on where you are standing right now. For the first time, the most compelling statistic that came out of Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey had nothing to do with salaries. The manufacturing recession was the topic that generated the most interesting response in this y...
Communications option provides submetering parameters
This communication option provides up to 40 submetering data parameters for building automation and control connectivity.
2009 Product of the Year finalists announced
The best in innovation on display for the top prize in manufacturing.
Siemens extends 3-year warranty on power product lines
Lighting panels, busways, switchboards covered in new guarantee
Ten common errors when relocating a plant
Keep the move on target and on budget by managing the process and the people
Let’s reach for the higher-hanging fruit
Whenever we talk about solutions to our manufacturing problems – productivity gains, energy savings, process improvements and equipment reliability – the phrase that often gets used to describe quick returns on those solutions is “low-hanging fruit.” And it seems like such a good idea in theory.
Robust reliability and maintainability process reduces costs
A more robust and understood reliability and maintainability process can reduce costs and improve competitiveness in companies of all types. With only 38% of companies doing business using RandM specifications, it’s a good indication of how much these methodologies are actually being used. As shown in Fig.
The GuardShield Safe 4 safety light curtain is equipped with an integrated laser alignment system, which allows simplified setup and installation. Users can activate or deactivate two visible laser elements located at the top and bottom of the safety light curtain by touching the transmitting element for faster and easier light curtain alignment.
Diode, disconnect, LED terminal blocks
Disconnect, diode and LED terminal blocks are being added to the TOPJOBS terminal block line.
Siemens exec: Product focus is on innovation, energy
Control Engineering editorial director David Greenfield had an exclusive interview with Klaus Helmrich, CEO, Drives Technologies Division, Siemens. Siemens highlights new control unit, industrial PC, and fail-safe software controller.
Fluorescent U-bent lamps
Energy efficient and containing only 3 mg of mercury per lamp, fluorescent T8 U-bent lamps are suitable for 2X2 fixtures within a range of applications.
High-dynamic range camera
The AD-081CL high dynamic range (HDR) camera features a dual-CCD design with two standard ICX204AL 1/3-inch monochrome progressive scan sensors mounted to a custom-designed optical prism.
The HiSpec low-light high-speed camera has a monochrome ASA rating of 2,500 and can capture images in detail without requiring high-intensity lighting.
Pelican acquires Hardigg Industries
Protective case manufacturer Pelican Products Inc. has acquired its competitor, Hardigg Industries, which manufactures roto-molded protective cases. Private equity group Behrman Capital supported the transaction, which is valued at approximately $200 million. Collectively the new entity will employ more than 1,500 employees.
‘Predictive Maintenance Technologies’ is topic for new LCE course
Learn how to overcome inefficient maintenance management
Retirement plan: Gerber Scientific shores up aftermarket service, addresses staff issues using Axeda software platform
Gerber Scientific will use Axeda ServiceLink to drive its next-generation service delivery model. Gerber Technology , a business unit of Gerber Scientific, will be the first to offer the GERBERconnect remote service solution, initially rolling out the offering to customers of their GERBERcutter XLc7000 and Z7 automated cutting machines.With Axeda ServiceLink, Gerber Scientific is taking control of three primary pieces of the aftermarket service puzzle: increasing customer satisfaction through proactive support, optimizing spare parts inventory across global distribution centers, and preparing the succession of a highly skilled workforce approaching retirement age."Our field service team supports a very large and globally dispersed customer base," says Mark Hessinger, executive director worldwide customer service for Gerber Scientific. "The Axeda solution allows us to extend the reach and expertise of our technicians to manufacturing facilities in more than 120 countries, for faster and more accurate resolution to product issues.
Mold protection solution
Designed to help prevent damage from sticky slides and molded parts that are not ejected properly during injection molding processes, the Sentinel mold protection solution comprises cameras, infrared LED lighting and lens, software, and components that interface with the mold press.
ASHRAE conference blows into the Windy City
Held partly in conjunction with AHR Expo, ASHRAE hosts its 2009 Winter Conference Jan. 24-28 in Chicago.
New insight: Quality management application sets up visual cues for improving processes
When Power-One agreed to be a beta tester for the Process Flow Visualization quality management application, the results were surprising. That’s because the solution offers new insight to production operations by collecting data on each part as it passes through the production process, and converting the data into charts and graphs that point out underlying causes of product quality issues.
Solid-state motor starter functionality
This compact solid state device performs four motor starter functions and has a life expectancy up to 10 times that of traditional contactors.
2008 Top Plant
The two plants chosen as Plant Engineering's 2008 Top Plant award winners are quite different in the size of their facilities and their product offerings. However, both plants practice Lean manufacturing, work at making their plants sustainable and are committed to their workers in ways that stretch the time clock.
Top Plant winners focus on thriving, not surviving
The show, “Survivor” is a reality TV game. It's not, however, real. “Reality television” is the greatest oxymoron ever created, easily outdistancing “jumbo shrimp” and “congressional oversight.” Nothing on television is real, so winning a show called “Survivor” is not really like having survived anything but being really dirty for a few weeks. Manufacturing's current challenges are many and daunting, but when I saw recently that one manufacturing plant was honored as “Survivor of the Year,” I was a little surprised.
Vertical bypass, isolation switch
Combination automatic transfer-bypass/isolation switches for loads up to 3,000 A are designed to reduce the unit's footprint by nearly 50% by locating the bypass/isolation switch above the transfer switch.
Lighting power packs
The BZ-50 and BZ-150 high-output, universal-voltage, plenum-rated, RoHS-compliant power packs use zero-crossing to switch line voltage loads and provide 24 Vdc to power occupancy sensors or other devices.
exiderdome tour of Charlotte put on hold
Siemens' event delayed over legal issues; company plans to restart in Orlando in February
Lighting control system – 2008-11-04
This lighting control system is compatible with DALI ballasts and is design within a low-profile housing.
Human capital: Mercer issues compensation module for manufacturing industry
Mercer , a global provider of consulting, outsourcing, and investment services for helping clients solve complex benefit and human capital issues, has released its Manufacturing module of the 2008 US Mercer Benchmark Database , which provides an overview of pay levels, trends, and practices for jobs in the manufacturing industry.The Manufacturing module includes responses from more than 730 organizations reporting on compensation for more than 80,390 employees in 202 positions. The positions range from top-level executives to assemblers and technicians.According to the findings, 2008 median total cash compensation (base pay plus short-term incentives) for top corporate manufacturing executive is $256,000. The median total cash compensation for some of the other highly populated positions in the module is as follows:• Engineering Manager: $114,500• Plant Manager (single facility): $138,000• Production Manager: $80,700• Maintenance Supervisor: $66,600• Senior Machine Operator: $39,800The US Mercer Benchmark Database consists of 13 modules with positions in 16 functional areas, including administration, communication, corporate affairs, customer service, engineering, knowledge management, finance, human resources, information technology, manufacturing, marketing, quality, research and development, sales, supply and logistics, and top management.
Rollin’ with the changes: reliability rocks
Have you ever had one of those days when you get a few bars of a song in your head and you just can't get it to go away? For me, it seems the older I get, the more often this happens. Must be some message there. As lead guitarist in a rock band in a previous life, music came easily for me; it was remembering all those song lyrics that was tough.
Inspection lighting equipment
A series of inspection lighting fixtures and carts is specifically designed for use in hazardous, industrial and commercial work areas.
Look, Ma, no batteries. Switches use self-powered wireless technology to control electrical circuits.
Gaining closure: SAP to shut down TomorrowNow subsidiary by October’s end
SAP plans to close its TomorrowNow software maintenance subsidiary by Oct. 31, having failed to find a buyer for the company. It will help TomorrowNow's 225 customers to find new support providers before the company closes its doors, it announced Monday.TomorrowNow built a business selling third-party support for PeopleSoft and JD Edwards applications at around half the price charged by the original software vendors, later adding support for Siebel and Baan software to its range.SAP bought TomorrowNow in February 2005: the company offered a convenient way for SAP to get closer to customers of its arch-rival Oracle, which had acquired PeopleSoft and JD Edwards in 2004, and later snapped up Siebel too.However, in March 2007 Oracle filed suit against TomorrowNow and SAP, alleging that they had gotten a little too close.
The 8LT Series three-phase synchronous motors are virtually maintenance-free and help eliminate the need for angular gears. The synchronous motors are available in two sizes with self-cooled and externally cooled options. The supply voltage of the high-torque motors ranges from 400-480 Vac, with a rated power of 0.
Education: the way out of U.S. manufacturing’s decline
Author Dick Longworth starts his presentation with a story that might be a joke in other times. The devil, it seems, came to the mayor of Flint, MI about 80 years ago and made a deal that his city would enjoy 60 years of economic prosperity unrivaled in American history. At the time, that seemed like a good deal to the mayor on behalf of his community, and so he took the deal.
The 240V NQ panel-boards simplify installation and provide flexible interior circuit counts of up to 84 circuits.
Timers control motors and lights
This timer line includes mechanical and digital models that can handle multiple lighting types as well as motor loads.
Boeing brings efficiency to outsourced plants
New leadership provided by Boeing at two outsourced plants results in higher efficiency and timely delivery of fuselage parts.
Commonwealth Edison and Ameren are about to kick off an ambitious energy-conservation program for commercial and industrial customers of electricity.
The Sunlite GX1 Class 1, Division 1, rechargeable lantern provides 12 hours of continuous illumination for users working in hazardous environments.
Industrial system planning helps map out the future
The Automation and Control Life Planning Process from Schneider Electric is designed to provide its customers with a structure and framework for making industrial system planning decisions consistent with a manufacturer’s intentions for the future.
A family of digital addressable controllable fluorescent lamp ballasts has been expanded to include a new one-lamp model for T5 fluorescent applications as well as one- and two-lamp models to support T8 fluorescent applications in a variety of professional settings.
Interaction is key highlight of “Unconference”
A new approach by SME at its upcoming annual meeting and conference aims to involve attendees in new ways, with new, engaging attractions.
Nerlite LT430 backlights provide high image processing contrast for inspecting the contours, edges or openings of a component.
Permeable parking lot surface can help green facilities
Combining prefabricated pavement bricks and ground asphalt, paving system makes parking lots less of an environmental albatross and more a tool of sustainability.
2008 Top Plant Application Information
The PLANT ENGINEERING TOP PLANT awards recognize industrial plants that achieve outstanding operational results through application of engineering disciplines.
Alison Smith: Strategy versus compensation in the search for manufacturing excellence
Manufacturers sorting out their five-year strategic manufacturing architectures have come to realize that strategic vision—while vital to the future—isn't going anywhere until the fires in the plants are put out. Just ask the business owners: Investments in fundamentals are desperately needed.
Fluid analysis service optimizes filtration processes
Targeted for industrial applications, a new contamination control solution provides a snapshot of what is happening inside a piece of equipment. Users can gauge the condition of lubricant and identify component wear and contamination in virtually any industrial application.
Hands-on mentoring program propels students’ pursuit of engineering
At a time when workforce development is of paramount interest to manufacturers, an Atlanta-based company is continuing its effort to help high school students find their way into engineering careers.
Condition monitoring system
The HOBO remote monitoring system provides instant access to energy and HVAC/R systems data via the Internet. The system combines data logging hardware with built-in GSM cellular communications and HOBOlink, a web-enabled software platform that allows users to access current and historical data, set alarm notifications and relay activations and more.
ASHRAE updates energy efficiency standard
ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1 gets a bit of makeover for 2007, adding efficiency requirements for lighting, façade and mechanical systems in buildings except low-rise residentials.
Newer, flexible MES systems make plant floor adoption easier
The age old proverb “There’s more than one way to skin a cat” certainly applies to manufacturing. New techniques and methods of various processes continuously emerge, often labeled as “technology.” However, many technological developments simply don’t pay off. For those that gain common use as a manufacturing process, relative longevity is nearly assured.
Cargill executive to keynote Ultrasound World IV
The fourth annual Ultrasound World conference is Jan. 27-30, 2008, at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort in Clearwater Beach, FL, and features Timothy Goshert as keynote speaker.
Electrical products catalog for petrochemical industry
A 48-page color catalog highlights electrical products and an educational overview for the petrochemical industry.
Area lighting panels
Clipsal area lighting panels can be set up as a stand-alone system or connected as part of a network. A CAT-5 cable connection gives the pre-engineered, enclosed panels the ability to integrate light level detection, occupancy detection keypads and switching. Options include a four-channel relay output package, an eight-channel relay output package and four-channel relay and four-channel, 0-10-...
Power supply – 2007-11-15
The F-Bay modular power supply option facilitates maintenance with external fixture access. Access to individual fixtures’ power supplies allows servicing without disabling all fixtures. With the unit’s plug-in power connection, individual lamps or reflectors don’t have to be removed to disconnect fixture power.
Image-based inspection sensor
The Checker 200 series image-based sensor inspects more than 6,000 ppm. It inspects multiple features, overcomes varying part position and detects parts by finding actual features. The sensor features built-in lighting, variable working distance and high-speed inspection capability. It can deliver precisely-timed pass/fail results and does not require additional sensors to determine if a part i...
Where we’ve been, where we’re at and
In the years between World Wars I and II, the power needs of industry changed drastically as electricity and steam usage soared. Much of the needed utilities were generated onsite, and the person responsible for operating and managing these power plants were served by a magazine called Power Plant Engineering, which had been started in 1896 under the name The Practical Engineer.
The Vb7 vibration analyzer is designed for use in predictive maintenance operations. The device features a 6,400-line FFT resolution, a 40-kHz Fmax and 1 GB of memory. Designed for left- and right-handed operation, it’s equipped with a high-resolution 480 by 320 screen with a white LED backlight and offers a measurement range of 1,000 g, 25,000 mm/s, 2,500 mm, cross-channel phase analysis...
The ALTO II is a second-generation, low-mercury T8 fluorescent lamp. The design cuts the lamp's mercury content to 1.7 milligrams, a reduction of 50% from previous levels. Designed for energy efficiency and long life, the lamps come in Wattages of 17, 25, 28, 30 and 32 and range from 1,400 to 3,100 initial lumens, depending on the model.
OSHA issues new combustible dust instruction
The new safety and health instruction details policies and procedures for inspecting workplaces that handle combustible dusts and that may have the potential for a dust explosion.
Lighting control system – 2007-10-26
The Vari-Ballast Control (VBC) lighting control system maintains energy efficiency by utilizing a built-in scheduler, timer, relay, dimmer and a photocell that facilitates automatic daylight harvesting. The system features microprocessors that regulate current flow, dimming and timing controls with thermal monitoring and it provides universal input voltages ranging from 90 to 300 V, along with ...
The All-Environment blower enclosure is designed to reduce noise below OSHA standard 26 CFR 1910.95(a), to levels as low as 75 db. The enclosure incorporates gasket seams to prevent water or contaminant intrusion and is adaptable to most vertical centrifugal blowers with a 145T-284T motor frame for NEMA or IEC configurations.
NC State biomanufacturing center using ABB technology
Students being trained in microbial fermentation and cell structure biotechnology
Plant Engineering to mark 60 years, look at the future at NMW gala
National Manufacturing Week is always a special time for PLANT ENGINEERING magazine. After all, the event and the magazine grew up together throughout the 1950s. On the occasion of the magazine’s 60th anniversary, PLANT ENGINEERING has several major events planned for this year’s NMW, to be held Sept.
Cooper Lighting acquires io Lighting
Cooper Lighting has acquired LED lighting fixture company io Lighting, expanding its portfolio of energy efficient LED products.
‘Combined capabilities’ of IBM, MRO on display at Maximo World
If attendees at this year's Maximo World event in Orlando came with doubt about IBM's intentions for Maximo and MRO Software, which IBM acquired in 2006, they were quickly swept away by Al Zollar's opening presentation at Maximo World's opening session. “We've combined our capabilities,” said Zollar of the IBM acquisition of MRO.
Metal Industries joins U.S. Green Building Council
In line with its history of operating its manufacturing facilities with an eye towards the recycling of materials, Metal Industries, Inc. has joined the U.S. Green Building Council.
HVAC controls market poised to grow
ARC study: Global expansion, energy efficiency will push HVAC up 30% by 2011
New lubrication site
UNIST, Inc. recently launched its new Website, the first phase in the expansion of the company’s Internet activities. The new site, located at www.unist.com, provides a single resource for UNIST product information, the development and use of lubrication technology in metals manufacturing, company news and coverage by industry media.
A new plant management structure for a new ‘world economy’ – in 1985
“We are in a world economy that puts new competition in front of companies who never dreamed they could have competition. Companies are being driven to a least-cost-producer mentality with a focus on new ways of using capital and a just-in-time inventory approach.” If Michael Hora had offered that view of the world last month, he would be right in line with most of the conventional ...
U.S. manufacturers failing to maximize returns from investments in emerging markets
The value of emerging economies isn't found simply in cheap labor, but in emerging product markets. But to be successful, U.S. manufacturers have to do more than simply export the prevailing business models used in developed markets. So says a new study by New York-based Deloitte Global Manufacturing Industry Group, whereby only half of companies that are tapping emerging markets view themselve...
New AAM study looks at effects of product dumping on manufacturing
'Enforcing the Rules' study available in book and video form
Closing the gap on MES maintenance
PROFIBUS International has released the “PROFINET and MES Maintenance Operations” guideline, which describes interface functions that support MES maintenance systems. According to an article from PROFINET International titled “PROFINET and MES: Closing The Communication Gap,” the guideline facilitates consistent communication with PROFINET from the field level to top management, making it easier to switch from predictive maintenance to condition monitoring in machines and systems. For more information and links, click here .
MicroLens technology brings molded-in optics, higher brightness levels, a thinner construction and a scalable design to LCD illumination. Designed for LCDs ranging from less than 1 inch to more than 50 inches diagonal, the technology uses high-brightness LEDs as the light source. MicroLens molded light guides enable edge-lit backlighting performance.
Home PLANT KNOWLEDGE Automation Engineering Mechanical Engineering Electrical Engineering Maintenance & Management AppliedAutomation Plant Engineering Archives NEWSLETTERS Subscribe PlantMail HotWire HotWire on Automation HotWire on MES Maintenance Connection PurePower BLOGS Five Past Things All Blogs EVENTS All Events Trade Shows Show Previews Show Reviews PLANT LIVE Upcoming Webcasts Webcast Archives Podcasts RESOURCES Hot Products White Papers Case Studies Free Literature Plant Supplier Search Jobs RSS USEFUL SITES.
The LS-101daylight controller is a single-zone controller designed to switch lights off and on when light levels detected by the unit’s internal light sensor fall above or below user-defined setpoints. Featuring a digital display, it requires minimal adjustment at startup. During startup, the user can see the current light level displayed in footcandles and can establish on/off setpoints.
Cordless die grinders
Designed and engineered for automotive and maintenance professionals, cordless grinders add to the IQV Series cordless tools. Leveraging IQVbattery compatibility and flexibility, the IQVSeries includes 19 different tool models, six battery models, a universal battery charger, a battery analyzer and a selection of accessories. The grinders offer microprocessor-controlled protection that monitors tool operation and motor temperature, warning the user by‘pulsing’ the motor on and off continuously if the tool begins to overheat.
NEMA publishes ballast standard
NEMA has published a new standard that provides specifications for and operating characteristics of low frequency square wave electronic ballasts for metal halide lamps. Published on behalf of the American National Standard Lighting Group (ANSLG), it is titled “ANSI_ANSLG C82.14-2006, American National Standard for Lamp Ballasts—Low-Frequency Square Wave Electronic Ballasts—for Metal Halide Lamps.” Electronic ballasts are devices that use semiconductors to control lamp starting and operation. The ballasts operate from multiple supply sources of 600 V maximum at 60 Hz.
Light level switching
Ballastar T5 ballasts are for use with F28T5 lamps and provide an increase in efficiency of nearly 8% more than standard T5 ballasts. A single control lead allows the user to switch from full light output to 50% power level with a standard wall switch or lighting relay. The Ballastar light-level switching ballast is available with a ballast factor of 0.
ASHRAE receives recognition for sustainability efforts
ASHRAE was recognized with a Best Sustainable Practice Award last week by the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council for its educational efforts related to sustainability. The award recognizes the best products, processes, educational tools and outreach initiatives. The award centered on the presidential challenge, issued by Terry Townsend, of ASHRAE’s promise for a sustainable future. To fulfill that challenge, ASHRAE is using its expertise and tools to provide solutions in designing, operating and maintaining energy efficient and sustainable buildings. "The sustainability initiative is stimulating conversation inside ASHRAE about what it means to be sustainable and the importance of protecting today’s natural resources for future generations," Townsend said.
Survey: Outsourcing is the ‘in’ thing
Facility managers remain confident in the ability to save money and improve quality through the use of outsourcing, according to “An Inside Look at FM Outsourcing,” a new research report from the International Facility Management Association. Companies are outsourcing with greater frequency today.
Following the 2003 Columbia space shuttle disaster, NASA was looking for a way to measure post-liftoff damage to the shuttle's heat shields while in space. That started NASA on a project to use infrared thermography on future space missions. The NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA considered thermal imaging as a solution to inspect and report damages to the heat shield.
A new family of digital multimeters includes the 117 electricians’ multimeter with noncontact voltage detection and the 116 HVAC multimeter with temperature and microamp capability. The family of true rms meters comprises four models, each designed to meet the requirements of specific application needs. The 117 electrician’s multimeter is suitable for use in commercial settings such as buildings, hospitals and schools.
New Blog! Plant Manufacturing Now!
An introduction: In 32 years in the publishing business, I’ve been a columnist, a commentator, a reporter, a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king. (Sorry. Lapsed into Frank Sinatra’s ‘That’s Life' there for a second).
Shift to full-service, facility-related outsourcing steadily increasing, survey finds
Facility managers remain confident in the ability to save money and improve quality through the use of outsourcing, according to “An Inside Look at FM Outsourcing,” a new research report from the International Facility Management Association. Companies are outsourcing with greater frequency today, hiring full-service vendors to provide many functions. Fifteen percent of the respondents’ companies now outsource, up from 3% in 1993. Two in five companies have brought services back in-house after outsourcing the service.
The AccuVision MiniCam CMOS camera and decoder has a read rate of 99%, is quick to set up and requires little maintenance. Equipped with a large sensor, it has a small footprint allowing it to fit on production lines. It provides a wide field of vision, has integrated LED illumination and flexible connectivity to host systems.
Emergency lighting control
The ELCU-100 emergency lighting control unit guarantees that emergency lighting stays on when power to the device is lost and eliminates the energy waste of 'always on' emergency lighting. The control features an integral push-to-test button; control device or shunt operation; local single-circuit power failure sensing; zero-cross switching technology; and use with lighting control devices such...
New NAM chairman
Charles E. (Chuck) Bunch, chairman and CEO of of Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries, Inc. will serve as chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers. Bunch's two-year term begins Jan. 1, 2007. PPG is a global supplier of coatings, chemicals, optical products glass and fiber glass, with 110 manufacturing facilities and affiliates in more than 20 countries.
Web-enabled lighting controller
Powerlink NF3000G3C lighting controller features an embedded Web server, facilitating Web-enabled lighting control for industrial facilities while maximizing cost savings. It allows facility managers to make system changes using a common Web browser, without the need of a dedicated workstation or proprietary software.
APQC conducts benchmarking study on equipment maintenance management
The APQC, a non-profit business research association, is conducting a custom benchmarking study focusing specifically on equipment maintenance management. The primary objective of the study is to gather metrics that will facilitate comparisons of cost effectiveness of production equipment maintenance to that of other organizations. Participants will receive a custom metrics report comparing their cost performance to that of other, similar organizations.
MAPI Analysis: U.S. seeks global reach for manufacturing talent
The United States, for years the leader in providing a college education to foreign students, is finding that fewer are taking advantage of the opportunity, opting instead to receive their education either in their home countries or in other countries.ects. In “Recapturing the Best and Brightest (LAR-479e),”MAPI attorney and report author Jane E. Wishneff discusses why and to what extent the U.S. relies on talent in the science and engineering fields from abroad and analyzes the recent drop-off in foreign student admissions at American colleges and universities. After a steady growth of international students enrolling in American institutions during the past 50 years, the U.S.
Fluorescent family expanded
TCP, Inc. introduced its expanded line of linear fluorescent lighting products, offering even more energy efficient fixtures and lamps as an alternative to traditional HID and incandescent systems in high bay and open ceiling applications. The company’s high-bay lighting system gives facility owners and managers an easier solution for switching, dimming and emergency lighting, while offering a safe, flexible alternative to HID luminaires. When used in place of HID systems, high-bay luminaires can lower lighting energy costs by 50% or more, provide better lumen maintenance (94% at 40% rated life or design lumens), better light uniformity and longer lamp life (24,000 hours). With the‘stay light’ feature, if one lamp goes out, the remaining lamps stay lit, providing uninterrupted light performance while helping to reduce costs associated with routine maintenance.
The paint finishing line is designed especially for architectural panels and assemblies. The line can handle component sizes up to 3x8x24 feet and is automated with integral parts dry-off and curing ovens. Lead times can be reduced as painting capacity more than doubles and material doesn’t have to be shuttled between facilities, the company claims.
The OMEGA CL3512A handheld calibrator is two meters in one. It is a temperature calibrator, or thermocouple calibrator, that simulates type J/K/T/E thermocouple signals. Each signal is adjustable by using the coarse and fine dials.
GE invests $100 million to grow LED lighting business; forms strategic alliance
The General Electric Company, through its Consumer & Industrial business, and the Nichia Corporation announced recently a strategic alliance agreement to support Cleveland-based GELcore, LLC. GELcore, formed in 1999, was previously a joint venture between GE and the Emcore Corporation of Somerset, NJ. GE purchased Emcore's 49 percent interest in the joint venture for $100 million, demonstrating its ongoing commitment to invest in LED technology and the future of lighting. The alliance combines GELcore’s LED system strengths in the transportation, signage, specialty illumination and general illumination segments with Nichia’s phosphor and optoelectronics products, such as LEDs. "This agreement is a true win-win outcome for both parties and clearly demonstrates GE's commitment to solid state lighting technology.
Metal halide lighting
TCP introduces a complete line of energy efficient metal halide lighting products. The Pulse Start Pulse Plus metal halide lamps are available in 50 Watts through 450 Watts and last up to 20,000 hours. These lamps are useful for high bays, parking lots, wall packs and indoor and outdoor applications.
We've compiled a few of the best Siemens Westinghouse Power Corporation Best practice maintenance with SIMATIC IT Maintegrity Plant floor, enterprise intersect at‘manufacturing intelligence’ COLLABORATIVE MANUFACTURING EXPLAINED Rockwell Automation batch processing solution reduces project implementation time by 15% - Increased market penetration is targeted Nissan North America, Inc. Designed for Success.
AHR Expo adds IAQA as endorsing association
Reflecting its ongoing commitment to improving indoor air quality, the Indoor Air Quality Association has announced its endorsement of the AHR Expo. IAQA is the 26th organization to endorse the HVAC/R industry-leading event. "By endorsing the AHR Expo, IAQA hopes to attract more of its members to the [show], where they can learn about the latest in IAQ product development, attend educational sessions and network," said Glenn Fellman, executive director, IAQA. According to Fellman, a number of new products have been developed with a greater emphasis on air cleaning and filtration markets. Other advances that have led to the IAQ boom include increased efficiency HVAC filters, UV lights, anti-microbial products and technology to determine sources of indoor air pollution. "Our attendees have always had an interest in learning more about improving Indoor Air Quality," said Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Company, show producers and managers.
Phoenix Contact USA celebrates 25th anniversary, breaks ground for expansion
Celebrating the past while looking toward the future, Phoenix Contact officials from Germany and the U.S. marked 25 years of U.S. operations by breaking ground for a $12 million expansion project at the company’s U.S.
A ‘living’ RCM program requires continuing measurement
The RCM process steps are one-shot efforts that essentially provide a baseline definition of the PM program for the system in question. However, we need to recognize three technical factors where some continuing RCM program activity is required in order to continuously harvest the full potential of the RCM process: A fourth and equally important factor is to measure actual versus planned improv...
Roller Chain Catalog available
Renold Jeffrey has published a new Roller Chain Catalog featuring detailed product and engineering information for its full line of precision roller chains. It features the company’s latest innovation, the Renold Roller chain with end-softened pins that can be cut to length in the field. The more than 150-page catalog also includes complete dimensional information for products such as the long-lasting Synergy, the maintenance-free Syno and the corrosion-resistant Hydro-Service products.
CMMS seminar presented by University of Wisconsin-Madison
A three-day seminar titled “Evaluating, Implementing and Optimizing Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) is scheduled for April 26-28 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Business. Kris Bagadia, president of PEAK Industrial Solutions, Brookfield, WI, will demonstrate how to use CMMS to control maintenance costs, increase equipment uptime, maintain production schedules and improve customer service. For more information, visit https://uwexeced.com/maintenance/cmms.htm.
Activplant names Williams CEO
Performance management solution company Activplant has named Ted Williams as the company's new chief executive officer. Williams joins Activplant from Computer Associates and worked at MRO Software for 11 years, will lead the company's strategic direction and business growth effective immediately, the company said in a statement.
RCM systems analysis process requires step-by-step effort
The systems analysis process is used to implement the four basic features which define and characterize RCM. This process is comprised of seven steps that have been developed from experience as a most convenient way to systematically delineate the required information: Step 1:System selection and information collection.
NMW speakers emphasize common ground with China
The role of a growing global economy was on the minds of attendees at the 16th National Manufacturing Week keynotes this week in Rosemont, IL. The topic was also the topic of three addresses by leaders from industry and government. Caterpillar chairman and CEO Jim Owens called on policymakers focus on keeping U.
PLANT ENGINEERING appoints Campbell, Bonfante to editorial posts
PLANT ENGINEERING magazine has named Kevin Campbell as senior editor, with responsibility for covering mechanical, maintenance and management news and issues. Senior editor Jack Smith will continue to cover the automation and electrical sections of the magazine. "The addition of Kevin to our editorial team allows us to continue to serve our readers at the highest level," said PLANT ENGINEERING ...
enLux Lighting's new 6K Series LED OutdoorArea Light features excellent heat dissipation, which enables it to have an operating range of some 50,000 hours. The enLux 6K Series OutdoorArea Light uses patented Chip-On-Board technology developed by enLux engineers. It is available in a variety of lumen outputs, including 1200 lm, 1800 lm, 2400 lm, 3000 lm, 3600 lm, 4200 lm, and 4800 lm, three whit...
Astronauts to headline SME events
Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin will headline The Total Manufacturing Experience at the Los Angeles Convention Center on March 27. An SME member, Aldrin will present an award to the winning team of the WESTEC Manufacturing Challenge. At the subsequent "Sky's the Limit" reception, Aldrin will talk about his passion for space and NASA's new technologies. Astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, will appear at the Educator Summit VIP Dinner on Wednesday, March 29.
NGLIA launches new Website
The Next Generation Lighting Industry Alliance has launched a new Website, www.nglia.com, to provide professionals, government officials and the public with information about the latest developments in the solid state lighting systems industry. NGLIA, which has also adopted a new logo, promotes the understanding, implementation, and use of semiconductor light sources in specialty and general li...
Thermostat collections increase
The Thermostat Recycling Corp. (TRC) recovered nearly 88,000 thermostats containing more than 819 pounds of mercury in 2005.
Optimism, salaries grow at a steady rate
Consistent salary growth and healthy optimism about the future of manufacturing are the highlights of the 2005 PLANT ENGINEERING Salary Survey. Readers were asked about their compensation levels in every manufacturing discipline and from every part of the country. The results show an industry in transition as to how it compensates its managers, and yet one where salary increases were the norm ...
Machine tool consumption still on the rise
October U.S. machine tool consumption totaled $277.53 million, according to the Association For Manufacturing Technology, and the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association. This total was down 5.2% from September but up 25.4% from the total of $221.31 million reported for October 2004. With a year-to-date total of $2,549.
Paper still popular in a paperless age
The future is a wonderful thing. The only problem is it never arrives. As we arrive in 2006, we have all of these wonderful gizmos and gadgets to make our lives easier and more efficient. Which is why, if you're like me, you're busier than ever. Yet we try to innovate, and you're seeing some of that innovation at PLANT ENGINEERING this January.
Machine tool consumption continues rise
October U.S. machine tool consumption totaled $277.53 million, according to the Association For Manufacturing Technology, and the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association. This total was down 5.2% from September but up 25.4% from the total of $221.31 million reported for October 2004.
Grainger signs on as NMW sponsor
W.W. Grainger Inc., North America's leading distributor of facilities maintenance supplies, will be a sponsor and participate in the 2006 National Manufacturing Week, to be held March 20 through March 23 in Rosemont, IL. "We couldn't be more thrilled to have Grainger as a participant, corporate sponsor and educational session leader at this upcoming National Manufacturing Week," said Kel Marsd...
NTS expands testing capabilities
National Technical Systems, Inc., a provider of quality and conformance testing and managed services, announced certification of four wireless reference products as ZigBee Compliant Platforms. The testing and certification were conducted in accordance with the recently completed and Alliance-member ratified ZigBee Compliant Platform certification program. NTS is a charter member of the ZigBee Alliance along with manufacturers including Motorola, Honeywell, Samsung Electronics, Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Philips and Ember Corp.
2006 Media Kit
2006 Media Kit PLANT ENGINEERING is the proven leader in the lucrative plant engineering marketplace, offering market reach and editorial influence unparalleled in the industry. It is a problem-solving resource for plant engineers who specify, integrate, and maintain plant facilities, equipment, and systems. The 2006 Media Kit is now online. Complete information on the the plant engineering market and circulation; the PLANT ENGINEERING editorial calendar; advertising opportunities, rates, and material requirements; and more are included. Who We Are Contact the Sales Staff Contact the Editorial Staff Click here to download PLANT ENGINEERING's BPA Circulation Statement. 2006 Media Kit To request2006 Media Kit,please e-mail Trudy Kelly at TKelly@cfemedia.com Click here to view the Editorial calendar Editorial connection Electronic connection Circulation connection Top 200 subscribers Marketing connection Custom connection Rates, specifications, & mechanical requirements Staff Exclusive Reports Exclusive Guide to Interchangeable Lubricants (Sept.
Quick start ballast for longer lamp life
UltraStart programmed start ballasts for T8 and T5 fluorescent lamps offer longer lamp life in frequently switched applications (five or more switches per day), energy savings, simple installation and multi-voltage technology. The ballasts lower maintenance costs with parallel mode operation, and are RoHS compliant.
Full spectrum lamp can be dimmed
MP 350W Natural White quartz metal halide lamp is designed for use with the high frequency electronic ballast. It features 90+ CRI and a color temperature of 5,000 K. Designed for applications where continuous deep dimming is desired, lamps can be dimmed down to 35% of lamp power when operated with approved electronic ballasts.
Longer life T12 cuts maintenance costs
Long Life 34-W T12 fluorescent lamp is a new version of the 34-W T12 fluorescent tube. Lamp offers 20% more life than previous 34WT12 lamps, which could translate into one additional year of lamp life, which reduces maintenance costs significantly. The lamp provides a retrofit solution that operates on existing ballasts and maintains reduced mercury content.
Fluorescent luminaire replaces HID
APEX fluorescent low-bay luminaire is an energy saving replacement for 400W metal halide luminaires. It features 4, 80-W long twin-tube fluorescent lamps, designed with separate lamp and ballast components for maximum performance. Other features include instant on, multilevel switching for lighting control, dimming option, 90% lumen maintenance and 55 C ambient temperature rating.
Develop good strategies for effective preventive maintenance
Experience has clearly shown that some confusion does exist over just what people mean when they use the term preventive maintenance. One significant factor stems from the evidence that a vast majority of our industrial plants and facilities have been operating for extended periods, years in many cases, in a reactive maintenance mode.
The Microstar family of lighting solutions from Universal Lighting Technologies makes it practical to use electronic ballasts in applications where magnetic ballasts are traditionally installed. The line includes ballasts for 7 to 26 Watt CFL lamps and 8 to 28 Watt linear T5 lamps. Metal can construction allows for cool operation and for case temperatures up to 85C.
Making the connection
We live in a plug-and-play world. That world has moved to the plant floor, where it's plug-and-work. This month's cover story begins a three-month journey through the world of Ethernet — its history, its uses, its potential to connect the plant floor in new ways, as well as its challenges. It is appropriate — and not at all accidental — that the topic of Ethernet is the cover ...
Inflation in softwood slows (a bit), but others pick up the slack
Like a summer heat wave that just won't break, inflation in construction and maintenance supplies shows little sign of abating. Today price inflation is accelerating in 16 of 21 industries from the PLANT ENGINEERING construction and maintenance supplies index. Three months ago that number was 17 because softwood plywood was still speeding out of control.
Honeywell acquires InterCorr
Honeywell announced June 15 it will acquire Houston-based InterCorr International, Inc., which specializes in corrosion monitoring instrumentation, testing and consulting services and predictive software and corrosion research. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Honeywell officials said InterCorr's SmartCET technology will be integrated with Honeywell's Experion Process Knowledge Sys...
Wood-related industries chop prices
At last, some construction costs are coming down. Running full throttle, as we wrote three months ago, higher prices have flattened many a factory repair and maintenance budget. This month, finally, we see five industries in the PLANT ENGINEERING construction index that are reporting declines in manufacturing costs.
Solutions – 2005-01-10
Taking down lamps Problem : Large high-pressure sodium lamps and other lamps are hard to grasp. Is there an easy way to grab them for removal? Solution : Take an old leather welding sleeve, remove the metal snaps and buckles, and slip it over the lamp. The sleeve provides a good grip for removal and minimizes the chance for injury if the lamp breaks. This tip was originally published in September 1997. Checking rotation Problem : You have installed a new ventilation blower and forgotten to check it for rotation.
Making up for lost raises
After several years of unimpressive increases (in fact, overall average income dropped slightly from 2001 to 2002), average compensation for plant engineers jumped sharply in 2004. Both salaries and bonuses showed nice progress. Average total compensation was up by 12.6% ($9706) over 2003. Average salary increased 5.
Human side – 2005-01-10
Cash or check Can management switch how you're paid? As far back as most employees could recall, they had received their compensation in cash. When Plant Engineer Sam Lipsky voiced the opinion that the policy of paying wages in cash was behind the times, the general manager agreed. A notice was posted on the bulletin board that effective the following month, employees would receive their wages by check. The announcement was greeted by a storm of protest. Unit Representative Mark Bluestein appeared at Maintenance Foreman Tony Gambino's desk to voice his objection. Echoing the feelings of the workforce, Gambino claimed that the long-established cash payment policy was as much a protected benefit as the coffee break or parking privilege. Bluestein disagreed.
Human Side – 2004-11-10
Good people keep quitting What can management do to address it? Gazing at the latest Manpower Status Report on his desk, Maintenance Foreman Donald Fritchie was disturbed by the figures. Voluntary resignations of qualified employees during the past six months had exceeded the number of departmental discharges for cause or failure to satisfactorily complete the probationary period. More and more of the good guys were quitting, and they were getting tougher and tougher to replace. Fritchie conceded he was not employed by a notoriously high paying plant.
Solutions – 2004-11-10
Full or empty? Problem : It is often difficult to tell if a tubular sight glass is completely full or completely empty of clear liquid. Is there a quick and easy way to make this determination? Solution : Place a long object, such as a finger or pencil, behind the sight glass. If the object looks normal, there is no liquid in the glass.
Inflation now taking hold
Inflation is running full throttle now as evidenced by the PLANT ENGINEERING construction and maintenance indexes. In the 12-month period ending August 2004, our price index increased 7%, which is up from a meager 0.8% inflation rate in 2003 and 0.1% in 2002. Higher prices are boosting margins for only five supplying industries.
A status report
Back in January of 1990, we had the audacity to declare the 90s as "the decade of plant engineering." Were we right? Well, yes and no. Much of what we predicted has come to pass — or at least we've made progress in those directions. Back then, we said that plant engineering is key to better quality, higher productivity, increased profits, a cleaner environment, a safer workplace, and more...
Are you better off…
One of the big questions of this political season has been, "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" It's not a bad question to ask, even when it has nothing to do with politics. Each of us should periodically take stalk of where we are now versus some point in the past and ask, "Am I (or are we) better off?" Conducting such an exercise for your plant, for example, could be a quic...
Solutions – 2004-10-10
At a glance Problem : Checking liquid levels and sight gauges is not always easy because of location or lighting problems. How can a gauge be made easier to read? Solution : Use automotive pin striping to mark high/low or max/min locations on the indicator. A glance shows if the equipment is operating within acceptable parameters. This tip was originally published in January, 1998.
Analyzing true costs of galvanizing structural steel
One of the fundamental questions confronting plant maintenance engineers and managers is how much upfront investment in corrosion protection systems to make in order to minimize or even eliminate recurring maintenance.
Sweat the small stuff
Back in 1997 an inspirational book by Richard Carlson titled, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff: And It's All Small Stuff, became a bestseller. It's still very popular. Based on the idea that we can reduce stress and anxiety in our lives "if we learn not to worry about little things," Carlson provided a plethora of tips on how we can learn to deal with life's annoyances and enjoy "the magic and beaut...
Sustaining member total reaches 21 for SMRPCO
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Certifying Organization (SMRPCO) recently enrolled its 21st Sustaining Member. While exams are completed by individuals, companies can participate in the certification process by becoming Sustaining Members of the certification effort. Sustaining Member companies are highly committed to seeing SMRPCO's certification effort succeed and co...
The change triumvirate
It was almost a throw-away line — one of those comments that isn't expected to get much reaction. We were just finishing a nice lunch, about to say our goodbyes, when he dropped it on me. "He" is Bill Maggard, one of the pioneers in bringing total productive maintenance (TPM) to the U.S., an author (TPM That Works: The Theory and Design of Total Productive Maintenance), and frequent conf...
HVAC – 2004-08-09
HVAC seminars A summer and fall schedule is available for air conditioning and refrigeration, and heating and ventilating seminars. Hands-on exercises provide system and component familiarization; demonstrate pressure-temperature relationships, gauge attachment and removal, refrigerant recovery, charging a system with refrigerant, and more. National Technology Transfer, Inc. , nttinc.com , Write 312 on PE card Handy blowers A line of high-performance, portable venturi blowers offers the perfect solution for quickly and easily moving fumes that may be explosive, or hazardous.
Forum – 2004-07-08
NFPA 70E What you need to know I read with great interest the article that came out in Plant Engineering in regards to NFPA 70E (May 2004). The information was very informative. However, the picture in Figure 3 shows an electrician measuring for voltage on a rather large motor which would probably be 480 volt.
Survey indicates need for education
Motor Decisions Matter (MDM) commissioned a telephone survey of readers of PLANT ENGINEERING magazine in the summer of 2003. The survey was conducted to determine the awareness level among senior-level managers, corporate engineering staff, and facility managers in industrial companies of motor management and motor-related practices.
Construction materials carry higher price tags
Some key construction materials have seen some wicked price hikes in early 2004. Most notably, oriented-strand board (OSB), the structural wood panels that have been replacing more expensive plywood products, saw prices soar 47% from January to February 2004. The causes for price hikes like that have been due to the long-running hot housing market and increased demand from the U.
Benchmarking or performance measurement: Which is right for your plant?
Most companies today are looking for some parameter by which to measure their maintenance function. However, there is confusion about what the parameter should be. In addition, there is considerable confusion about the difference between a performance measure and a benchmark. To clearly understand the difference and how both should be used in an organization's effort to improve, it is necess...
There's something in human nature that pushes us to always want to know about the best. From the "Car of the Year" to the Oscars, from Consumer Reports to the Fortune 500, we just keep feeding this insatiable appetite for rating things. The winners in our own version, the PLANT ENGINEERING Product of the Year Awards, are presented in this issue along with FAME Award and Shingo Prize winners.
Solutions – 2004-04-08
Tach in time Problem : A critical motor tachometer coupling has failed and a replacement is not immediately available. How can the tachometer be put back in service until proper repairs can be made? Solution : Find a piece of rubber hose with the same ID as the tachometer and motor shafts. Use hose clamps to fasten the hose to both shafts.
Inflation trouble spots exist for hardwood logs, stumpage costs
The 19 industries in our Construction Materials and Supplies index make a diverse mix of products, so blanket statements about inflation trends are a tough sell. One thing we can say: industries that have managed to raise their prices in excess of the underlying rate manufacturing costs are few and far between.
Benchmarking maintenance organization effectiveness
At what level are the best maintenance organizations performing and how do they compare to the average maintenance operation . . . or to the worst? How well would your company score? These are the kinds of questions maintenance people ask themselves every day in plants across the country. The way to find the answers is to conduct a maintenance effectiveness assessment.
Steel pipe and tubes earn high grade
Every month this column presents a snapshot of the industries that provide key supplies to plant engineers. This issue, we examine a single one in depth: steel pipe and tubes (SIC 3317). This industry gets an A in the "margins grade" column as the typical supplier of pipes and tubes has seen the prices charged for his products rise faster than the cost of manufacturing.
Is one third of a CMMS enough?
Editor's note: This is the second of a two-part series. In the eyes of some employees, a CMMS is a source of extra work for maintenance staff that is already struggling to do more with less. That's why it is vital that the CMMS is portrayed, not as a source of additional tasks, but as an opportunity to increase job security while demonstrating the value of a strong maintenance team.
Manufacturing and skilled workers
I find the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) study quoted in your Column [Comment, June 2003, p15] to be hypocritical. Manufacturers whine about a lack of skilled workers, engineers, and managers, while at the same time either underutilizing or eliminating the talent they already have. Plant engineering is a classic example.
I told you so
There's a great deal of satisfaction in being able to say, "I told you so." I learned as a kid that it was seldom a good idea to actually say it out loud. But it still felt good just to think it. I guess it's human nature to feel just a little bit smug when you watch someone get into trouble or fall into a trap after you've warned them about what would happen.
Industries face low margins
Plant engineers who have to buy construction and maintenance supplies are facing a veritable minefield of negotiation problems. That's because a whopping seven industries are suffering under-record or near-record-low manufacturing margins, as evidenced by the F and F- grades in our margin table. Topping the list of troubled industries, the current-carrying wiring devices (SIC 3644) industry sa...
Atmel advances risk assessment
Two Atmel Corp. semiconductor manufacturing plants in Colorado Springs, CO, operate 24 hr/day, 7 days/week. Any interruption to the manufacturing process can cost from several hundred thousand to several million dollars in lost revenues. As a result, it is imperative that manufacturing support systems be fully functional with minimal downtime.
2002 Maintenance Tips & Tricks Winners
Winner of the 2002 'Maintenance Tip of the Year' is Steve Bailey, Honeywell, Conway, SC. He received $1000 for his suggestion on how to find and drill through the center of a piece of round stock. Runners-up are Frank Anderer, Bell & Gossett, Morton Grove, IL, and Ralph Dewey, BP Solvay Polyethylene North America, Deer Park, TX.
Human Side – 2003-01-15
Prohibited offenses: Must violation be on the list to warrant discipline? The plant's policy manual included a list of employee offenses likely to result in discipline up to and including termination. These included among others: Being under the influence of alcohol during working hours Theft of company property Assaulting or threatening to assault supervisors or coworkers Insubordination Violation of safety rules. Floyd McIntyre, a marginally performing welder, had been repeatedly and justifiably denied incremental wage increases over his 3 yr of employment. The worker was eloquently bitter on the subject. One day the company, in an effort to attract skilled personnel, participated in a Job Fair conducted at a nearby municipal facility. McIntyre showed up at the event and accosted several participants, sounding off on why his employer was the worst company in town to work for. When word of his action reached McIntyre's boss, Maintenance Foreman Harvey Chesnik, he promptly typed a termination notice spelling out the charge.
Life cycle maintenance requirements
Siemens Energy & Automation announced a reorganized and refocused national industrial services organization called Siemens Industrial Services. The new name replaces the former Siemens Westinghouse Technical Services and signifies a comprehensive service organization that will provide power distribution and maintenance technology, as well as automation and drives services.
Instruments and Controls – 2003-01-15
I/O interface BusWorks 900PB Series I/O Modules interface analog and discrete I/O signals directly to a Profibus-DP network. The twelve-channel I/O modules do not require a separate bus coupler like block I/O. Modules are only an inch wide for compact mounting on DIN-rails.
Lighting – 2002-12-15
Green slimlines added to family ALTO PLUS slimline T8 8-ft fluorescent lamps are low mercury and have a full rated life of up to 30,000 hr at 12 hr per start. The lamps deliver a high color rendering index (CRI) and 95% lumen maintenance over the life of the lamp, providing reduced total cost of ownership without sacrificing lumens, color rendering, or color temperature qualities. Philips Lighting Co.
Sticky problems: ASP can solve them
Located in Middletown, NY, tesa tape is a global leader in the manufacture and supply of pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes for industrial and commercial applications. The company was challenged to keep costs down while maintaining a high level of service delivery to customers. Problems The reliability of tesa's process line equipment needed to improve, which made its objectives difficult to a...
Model tells vastly different stories
A new cost model from Thinking Cap Solutions shows a distinct dichotomy has emerged in the industries that make plant construction and maintenance supplies. In the table on the right, we see nine industries with a bad grade (F- to D) and five with an A grade for industry margins. That means plant engineers will be facing two very different environments when time for negotiating a new deal arr...
Lighting – 2002-11-15
Click above to view 2002 Product of the Year finalists in this category.
Editorial Quality Audit / Participation form
Please print out this form, complete it, and FAX it to 847-390-2656. Yes, I would like to help evaluate the articles in PLANT ENGINEERING magazine by participating in the Editorial Quality Audit on a regular basis. Name: __________________________________________________ Job Title: ________________________________________________ Company: _______________________________________________ Division: _________________________________________________ Mail address: _____________________________________________ City: ___________________________________________ State: _________ Zip: _____________ Phone: _________________________________________ Fax: ___________________________ If you would like EQA materials mailed to your home, please provide the following: Home street address: _______________________________________ City: ___________________________________________ State: _________ Zip: _____________ ** Subscriber # or issue label (required): _____________________ Background Information Type of business (check only one): ( ) Food & kindred products( ) Leather, leather products( ) Tobacco( ) Stone, clay, glass products( ) Textile mill products( ) Primary metals( ) Apparel, other textile products( ) Fabricated metal products( ) Lumber & wood products( ) Machinery, except electrical( ) Furniture & fixtures( ) Electric & electronic equipment( ) Paper & allied products( ) Transportation equipment( ) Printing & publishing( ) Instruments & related products( ) Chemicals & allied products( ) Miscellaneous manufacturing( ) Petroleum & coal products( ) Nonmanufacturing( ) Rubber, plastic products Primary job responsibility (check only one): ( ) Manage all plant engineering and maintenance ( ) Manage plant engineering only (excluding maintenance) ( ) Manage maintenance only ( ) Supervise group within plant engineering and/or maintenance Please define:_________________________________________________ ( ) Provide staff services for plant engineering and/or maintenance ( ) Provide consulting services to plant engineering and/or maintenance ( ) Provide other services in addition to plant engineering and/or maintenance ( ) Other job function: Please define: Approximate number of employees at this plant (check one): ( ) 1-19( ) 50-99( ) 250-499( ) 1000 or more( ) 20-49( ) 100-249( ) 500-999 Number of full-time employees in plant engineering and maintenace at thisplant (circle one): ( ) 1-9( ) 25-49( ) 100-199( ) 10-24( ) 50-99( ) 200 or more Participation Agreement As a participant in the PLANT ENGINEERING Editorial Quality Audit, I understand that my opinions are important to the editors of PLANT ENGINEERING magazine. I will therefore make a concerted effort to evaluate articles as requested in a timely manner. Signature:________________________ Date:____________________________ Please print out this form, complete it, and FAX it to 630-320-7145.
Road to riches
A survey on predictive maintenance (PdM) discussed in the Plant Engineer's Handbook (2001, Butterworth-Heinemann, Woburn, MA. ISBN 0 7506 7328 1) makes PdM sound like a pot of gold. The survey included 500 plants in a wide variety of industries. Here are some of the benefits reported: "In all surveyed cases," the book reports, "the benefits derived from using condition-based management [PdM]...
Building up the price of materials
Spring has sprung, and producers of building materials are off and running. From January to February, 10 out of 19 industries in our plant construction and maintenance supplies group pushed through price hikes. Two that increased average product prices most dramatically included the softwood plywood industry, with a 4.
Philips Lighting Company Relamps a City Block in Berkeley, California as an Energy Blueprint for Nation
As more businesses focus on Corporate Social Responsibility, the idea of sustainability has become a hot topic. For example, finding sustainable solutions to last year's energy crisis was a necessity. Philips Lighting Company recognized the need for a long-term solution to this problem, and took action with The Philips Lighting Formula—An Energy Blueprint For the Nation.
Human Side of Engineering – 2002-04-15
New hires: Think twice before guaranteeing job security Maintenance Engineer was a key job on the plant engineering flow chart. When ill health forced M.E. Jeff Lyons to resign unexpectedly, it threw the department's management into a near panic. No one on hand was qualified to fill Lyons's shoes. An ad was placed in the local paper.
Saving energy through front end engineering
Energy conservation deserves to be carefully considered when considering revisions to process equipment. David J. Herron of Unified Theory, Inc. describes how evaluating two options for thermal oxidizers revealed that low first cost and low operating cost can both be achieved with careful engineering.
Whose right to know?
The attention to terrorism and possible attacks on industrial plants as well as public facilities has uncovered an interesting question: How much information about what goes on inside a plant is appropriate for public record?"Blatant examples of the problems associated with one of the nation's key right-to-know laws are everywhere," says Angela Logomasini, director of risk and environment...
Metal prices drop
Basic metal prices fell sharply in 2001. For example, average wholesale prices for U.S.-made steel fell 6.5%, U.S. copper tags declined 16% and domestic aluminum prices dropped 12.6%. But have plant engineers who buy metal products seen any of the deflation benefit? Not enough of it, for while materials costs have been falling, downstream metal producers have managed to pass along only a ...
Reader Forum – 2001-11-01
Product of the YearWelcome to our annual Product of the Year issue. This issue showcases 150 of the finest products from the last year. You, the reader, get to be a part of the competition. By using the ballot in this issue, you can vote for the best new product in each of our 15 categories. Your votes determine the winners of our Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Grand Awards.
Picking on paints
Deflation has a fairly strong grip on suppliers of construction materials. But plant engineers may not want to "settle" for just any price cut. Data from Thinking Cap Solutions' ICE model suggests that several industries share the following economic characteristics: (1) inflation-adjusted margins are above normal, (2) the cost of making a typical unit of output is falling, and (3) industr...
There was a time when the plant engineer might have been compared to Mighty Mouse. Remember his theme song? "Here I come to save the day!"And there was the firefighter analogy. In fact, it was so prevalent that what we now call "breakdown" or "emergency" maintenance was sometimes referred to as "firefighter" maintenance.
Trouble for wood buyers
Plant engineers may have noticed that their budget for wood products isn't buying as much as it used to. A trade dispute between the U.S. and Canada has tightened supplies of lumber. As a result, prices for some lumber products popped in May 2001. For example, compared to a year earlier, prices for southern CDX interior sheathing jumped 19.
Universal Lighting Technologies acquired by private investors
Company officials say Universal Lighting Technologies will continue to aggressively introduce new products and bring advanced lighting designs after being acquired by Littlejohn & Co., LLC.
And so, we move on
I feel like an era has passed. Three longtime Plant Engineering editorial staff members have left our staff, and I am compelled to give public recognition to the tremendous contributions they have made to the magazine and to you, our readers. Cheryl Firestone, senior editor, was with PLANT ENGINEERING for 12 years.
Demand slows and bargains grow
The slowing economy is taking its toll on manufacturers and may be creating opportunities for plant engineers to bargain for better deals. All 19 industries that make factory construction and maintenance supplies are registering slowdowns in end-market growth. Most notably, in the 12-mo period ending February 2001, end markets that use products from sawmills fell 0.
Margin stress may mean higher prices
Plant engineers who are buying construction and maintenance supplies in the months ahead had better beware of some potentially grouchy suppliers.
Sharing Maintenance Tips & Tricks
Key concepts Participate in our 13th annual contest by submitting a tip no later than March 19 and you could win $1000.
2001 Media Kit / The $370 Billion Market You Can’t Afford To Miss
PLANT ENGINEERING is the proven leader in the lucrative plant engineering marketplace, offering market reach and editorial influence unparalleled in the industry. It is a problem-solving resource for plant engineers who specify, integrate, and maintain plant facilities, equipment, and systems. An exciting, updated, and improved version of our 2001 Media Kit is now on line. Complete information on the the plant engineering market and circulation; the PLANT ENGINEERING editorial calendar; advertising opportunities, rates, and material requirements; and more are included.
Simple Solutions – 2000-11-01
Heating and cooling Problem: A large bullgear (gear) pulley is stuck on the shaft and won't budge by regular means.
You have to know the existing culture before you can begin to change it," advises Bill Maggard. And failure to recognize this simple truth has been the downfall of many efforts to institute change.
Forum – 2000-09-01
"Cold hearted" advice? I always enjoy reading the "Human Side of Engineering." The topics covered are timely and the information is thought-provoking and helpful.
Why do maintenance departments resist mobile computing?
A couple of months ago, I visited the offices of Syclo, a developer of mobile computing solutions and supplier of mobile maintenance management packages for several CMMS vendors.
Maintenance Tips & Tricks – 2000 – #9
Leveling answerProblem: New machinery must be leveled. This action typically requires two levels positioned on the "x" and "y" axes. Since a level is a precise measuring tool, subjecting it to a machine shock load could cause damage.
Forum – 2000-08-01
Product of the Year deadline approaching The entry deadline for Plant Engineering's Product of the Year competition is quickly approaching. The deadline is 5:00 p.m. CDT, September 15, 2000.
Maintenance Tips & Tricks – 2000 – #14
Replacing lampsProblem: Incandescent panel indicator lamps burn out frequently, and operators and technicians do not know the status of the equipment. Unplanned maintenance work is necessary to replace indicator lights, exit sign lamps, and beacon lamps. Can this problem be minimized? Solution: Replace the incandescent lamps with LEDs, which are available in several bases, voltages, and colors.
Forum – 2000-07-01
In search of the perfect job? Plant Engineering magazine, the leading publication for industrial plant engineering and maintenance professionals, has an immediate opening on its staff for a Senior Editor, Electrical/Electronics. Here is a job description and a list of preferred credentials. Description: Work with authors to produce high-quality feature articles; research and write cover features; edit assigned departmental material; increase knowledge of business, industry, function, and technology; and plan and monitor coverage in assigned areas. Excellent opportunity for electrical/ electronics specialist who enjoys communications and working with a variety of people.
Human Side of Engineering – 2000-06-01 – 2000-06-01
Funeral leave pay: How long the entitlement? When Maintenance Mechanic Jim Russell returned to work Monday, having attended a relative's funeral on Saturday, he put in a claim for 3 days of funeral leave under the terms of the contract. "Sorry, Jim," Maintenance Supervisor Vince Regan told him, "I can only authorize this for Friday." "How come? The contract calls for 3 days." "Right. Three consecutive working days." "Hey, stop nitpicking. I was out 3 consecutive days: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday." "Saturday isn't a work day, neither is Sunday." "I'm still entitled to the money.
Forum – 2000-06-01
Simple solutions for converting C to F The March 2000 "Simple Solutions" column featured this method for converting Centigrade to Fahrenheit.
Must worker do a job he’s afraid is unsafe?
No way am I going to clean those tanks without special spiked shoes," declared Maintenance Department Utility Worker Jon Chan after being instructed by Foreman Bill Saunders to clean the sludge from two tanks in the lab.
Lamp has adjustable lighting patterns
High Bay (A Series) luminaires have a 16.4-in. diameter reflector and adjustable lamp socket to provide narrow- through-wide distribution patterns, effectively lighting both vertical and horizontal planes within open areas and aisles.
Temper out of control? Take a tip from the pros
Maintenance Supervisor Joe Farnum had just about had it with Harriett Bailey. Tightlipped and seething, he was fighting for control. Unfortunately for him, it was a losing battle.
Guide discusses how to improve facility lighting
The discipline of planned lighting management requires taking action to ensure that the lighting system consistently provides the most effective illumination at the lowest operating and maintenance cost.
Brochure describes a line of waterproof, tubular, fluorescent lighting designed for harsh machine lighting requirements. More than 60 different models are included, in sizes of 15-58-in. tube lengths, and a variety of wattages.
Roadmap to maintenance excellence
Using a fictional company called Beta Intl., this book illustrates the successes and failures of the world's premier manufacturers and reveals how to apply their experiences to increase profits and productivity in your manufacturing plant.
Common questions and answers about fiber glass insulation
- What factors should be evaluated before deciding to line or wrap air duct? If ductwork is located in a high traffic area where damage could occur easily, duct should be lined to protect the insulation.
Take care when offering advice
Maintenance department Group Leader Stanley Rausch was, to state the matter kindly, a "strange duck." He was so tagged by the entire department and employees in his own operation in particular.
Wobble Light portable light has a high-impact resistant body and counterweighted base that quickly returns the light upright if knocked over. The light is 36-in. tall and weighs just 20 lb. A 500-W halogen bulb produces 360-deg light.
Printer doubles output
The 580 pad printer meets high-volume needs by outputting quality marks at significantly higher speeds than comparable products. A solid-state, PLC-controlled system and enhanced air cylinders enable the printer to produce up to 60 parts/min.
Work light resists abuse
Work light has an impact-resistant body and counter-weighted, hemispherical base that quickly returns the product upright when knocked over. Protected by a floating shock system and bulletproof dome, the 500-W halogen bulb produces 360-deg light.
National Manufacturing Week is coming
The 10th annual National Manufacturing Week (NMW) Conference and Exhibition is scheduled for March 13-16 at McCormick Place in Chicago. Think of NMW as your first stop in building successful business relationships.
Overtime Saturday. Sorry, I can’t make it.
Most commonly, considering the premium pay for overtime work scheduled for weekends and holidays, it is aggressively sought, even battled over. But in some cases, employees may regard it as an inconvenience and turn it down. If they can.
Capabilities brochure discusses how building owners and facility managers can maximize the life of a roof through the care and maintenance of the entire building envelope.
Construction material costs soar
Plant managers may feel they are paying exorbitant prices for gypsum board and softwood plywood. Average prices for gypsum industry products jumped 16% in the 12-mo period ending November 1999. At the same time, softwood plywood prices soared nearly 19%.
If you snooze, do you lose?
It was 3:00 p.m., quitting time was 2-hr away. Maintenance employee George Hollow was feeling under the weather and yawning prodigiously. Aside from a queasy stomach, he felt beat from having stacked several cartons of supplies for the past 2 hr.
Do workers get holiday pay for Saturday?
A common greeting exchanged between employees arriving at work the first morning of year 2000 was, "Happy New Year!" But when workers received their paychecks on Wednesday, happiness did not reign supreme.
The results are in, again
We'd like to say a big "thank you" to everyone who participated in the second annual reader survey of Plant Engineering Online (www.plantengineering.com) conducted this past November and December.
Fluorescent lamp cover resists shattering
Cov-R-Guard shatter-resistant fluorescent lamps combine a high level of protection and light output with no compromise in performance. The lamps feature high-energy efficiencies. General Electric Co. www.ge.
Can a senior bump a junior to avoid layoff?
When Instrument Repairman Grade I Alan Glasner's name appeared on the layoff list, he made a beeline to his boss' desk. "As a senior employee," he told Maintenance Supervisor John Murtagh, "I have the right to bump a junior worker if I can do his job.
Buscoupler compatible with CANopen protocol
CANopen-compatible version of a RICOS system modular buscoupler is expandable through additional analog and digital I/O modules, including an RTD module which accepts PT-100 and PT-1000 sensors as well as a counter module.
Hair today, gone tomorrow
Maintenance Department Utility Worker Kenneth Kent completed his 30-day probationary period without mishap. He was thus shocked to receive a termination notice 2-mo later.
Is drinking in the parking lot a dischargeable offense?
The policy manual was clear that the penalty for the possession or drinking of alcoholic beverages on company premises was immediate dismissal.
Sexual harassment: Does a good record warrant a second chance?
Electrician First Grade Joel Crenshaw, a married man with three children, was in hot pursuit of Ella Greene, a supply room attendant.
Is inconsistency ever justified?
Harry Markham, a maintenance department painter, had been caught with a roll of tape in his lunch box, by the guard upon clocking out. When he appeared at the time clock the next day, he found his timecard missing.
Think twice before firing a disabled employee
Maintenance Foreman Ed Halley wished he had chosen a more peaceful career after being informed anonymously that Joe Spartan, an electrician, had AIDS. When confronted with the report Spartan reluctantly admitted he was stricken.
Is unwed employee entitled to maternity leave?
The term "big with child" didn't apply to maintenance department Supply Room Attendant Ann Clement. Her pregnancy barely showed. Ann was in no hurry to request maternity leave. She waited until the eighth month.
Don’t sit still for roughhousing
There are two kinds of macho: verbal and physical. The oral blusterer mouths off about his prowess and superiority, obnoxious but bearable. His physical counterpart engages in bully boy behavior with his fists, a weapon, or threats of violence.
New 568-p catalog offers product and technical information on lighting fixtures, poles, modular wiring, and controls. Thomas C&I Lightingwww.thomasc-
Low-wattage metal halide lamp saves energy
The 320-W ED37 Uni-Form pulse start lamp provides the same lumen output as traditional 400-W lamps while reducing energy requirements.
Photoelectric sensors reliable and easy to install
SM Series sensors use a microprocessor-controlled system called TargetLock to help users speed installation, improve sensor reliability, and eliminate unplanned downtime.
HPS lamp signals when it needs replacement
ALTO high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps with Prompter end-of-life indicators and lead-free bases provide the benefits of lead source reduction, increased disposal options, and reduced maintenance costs.
Dual technology lighting control self adjusts
Super Dual Tech Sensor uses both passive infrared and ultrasonic technologies to control lighting.
Add-on switches HID lamps between high and low
DM-100 works with 24-Vdc controlling devices, such as occu- pancy sensors, photocells, and timers, to switch HID lighting between high and low light levels. The device provides 24-Vdc power to the controlling device.
With the prominence of our Product of the Year Awards in this issue, it seems appropriate to tell you of some other awards that should be of interest.
Metal halide lamps provide more light for fewer watts
GE XHO Watt-Miser Multi-Vapor lamps provide nearly the same light as high-output metal halide lamps for 10% fewer watts. The new 360-W lamps replace 400-W lamps; 150-W units replace standard 175-W metal halide lamps.
Dimming system saves money on HID lighting
Dual-Level Lighting System uses infrared detectors to control lighting levels in warehouses and other areas where people are not always present.
Downsizing has its price
A 9-yr-old would understand that chopping workers from the payroll will save a company money. But he might not understand how it could cost a company money.
Hang ducting fast
Hang Fast Systems for industrial ventilation and HVAC ducting install in seconds and can be assembled without tools Significant productivity gains can be made versus traditional threaded rod and trapeze suspensions.
Hurt sliding into second: Is the injury compensable?
When Maintenance Department Mechanic George Huff tried to stretch a line drive to right field into a double, he fractured his leg sliding into second base. When the hospital bill came through, Huff submitted a compensation claim.
Maintenance Tips & Tricks – 1999 – #16
Inserts remove play Problem : Setscrews do not compensate for uneven wear on items such as machine ways. Solution : For a temporary fix until ways can be refinished, remove the setscrews and replace them with screws drilled to receive nylon rod inserts. The rods should fit loosely in the holes with only a slight projection. The inserts take up play in worn areas while yielding in unworn areas. Contributor : Douglas Bett, Ricoh Electronics, Inc., Irvine, CA List of Tips & Tricks Plant Engineering.
Warning light is eye catching
Safety Warning LED lamp protects equipment, prevents injury, and safeguards personnel by emitting a vivid glow when incorporated into standard industrial warning light fixtures and holders.
Enthusiasm beats logic
The preacher was sermonizing on evangelism. Between squirms to prevent dozing off, I was contemplating the state of the industrial maintenance profession.
Employee on family leave: Is it ok to moonlight?
Assistant Maintenance Supervisor Joe Roth approached his boss' desk shaking his head. "You won't believe it," he said. "I just learned Frank Simmons is working part time at Pete's Service Station on Collins Avenue.
Maintenance Tips & Tricks – 1999 – # 18
Checking rotation Problem : You have installed a new ventilation blower and forgotten to check it for rotation. You can’t easily get visual access. Solution : Don’t hold a strip of tissue near the duct outlet. You’ll be misled because a centrifugal blower moves air in the forward direction even when it’s rotating backwards.
Worker must get his due (whether he wants it or not)
The maintenance department was overloaded with work. Maintenance Foreman Mike Freylich approached Carpenter Grade I Floyd Tucker with a worried look on his face. "How's that shelving project coming along?
Is timecard abuse a dischargeable offense?
It should be if its motivation is to steal money for time not worked. No personnel or security manager would contest the rule specifying dismissal as a valid penalty for employee theft.
A clip in time
Pack and Pack, Jr. kits help solve virtually any maintenance or repair situation requiring retaining rings. The kits contain four clear plastic boxes with easy snap on/off lids in a portable carrying case.
High bay lighting
Perflector luminaire for high bays incorporates a ballast housing with different perforated patterns to create a transitional zone. This soft transition reduces contrast in brightness and glare.
Holiday pay: Does a bus strike “justify” absence?
Six employees griped to Maintenance Supervisor Bill Greco that Christmas holiday pay had been omitted from their checks. Mechanic Second Grade George Sipple took up their cause. "It's not our fault that we missed work the day after Christmas.
Machine tool, magnification, and specialty lighting products are featured in a colorful 36-p catalog.
Probationary employee: Must trial period be reasonable?
Larry Benson was unhappy at his job as an apprentice mechanic and started answering want ads. He clicked on his third interview and was hired by an automotive parts manufacturing company as a probationary employee subject to a 30-day trial period.
Voluntary overtime: Is it compensable?
The shelving job for the lab had a high priority. At least that was Carpenter Class I Alex Marley's impression. When the end of shift buzzer sounded at 4:55 p.m., Marley figured that if he kept going another 2-3 hr, the project would be completed.
Is breaching security to save a life a punishable offense?
Al Jones was in charge of Supply Room C. His responsibility was a critical one -- to dispense "controlled and protected" drugs when requisitions were properly authorized. Some drugs were rare and extremely pilferable.
Building goes up in a day
GB30 modular buildings offer many engineering and economic advantages such as standardization and reduced onsite construction time.
When is a disabled worker’s leave request unreasonable?
Senior Electrician George Foster had a circulation problem that affected his legs. He walked painfully with the aid of a cane and was classified as disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
A 224-p catalog offers spill-related products. Sections cover sorbents, spill maintenance, spill control, personal protection, and storage and handling. Colorful photos and detailed descriptions are presented for each product. Lab Safety Supply, Inc.
Can a supervisor bid for a bargaining unit job?
Assistant Maintenance Supervisor Harry Rowe was never crazy about overtime. He liked it even less when he wasn't paid for the extra hours worked.
Light the way to energy savings
Uni-Form Pulse Start System Retrofit Kit (BRKL Series) provides up to 25% annual energy savings and a 20% increase in maintained light levels.
Is vacation time deferrable?
Can an employee accumulate vacation time from one year to the next? It depends. Supply Room Attendant Barbara Cotrell approached her supervisor's desk. "Mike and I have decided to take an around-the-world cruise next year.
Sexual harassment: Is an after-the-fact complaint valid?
Maintenance Department Group Leader Al Lockhart possessed roving eyes and roving hands. Ann Callahan, a worker in his group, found his touching, rubbing, and suggestive remarks offensive, but didn't complain about it while employed.
Employee quits: Does he get vacation pay?
Good riddance, Maintenance Foreman George Vivaldo thought when informed by Utility Man Chuck Dedrick that he had decided to quit. To state the case euphemistically, Dedrick was no bargain.
Can you deny woman a job because she’s “puny?”
The want ad called for an experienced mechanic. Ella Smythe felt she was qualified and applied. Screened through to Maintenance, she was next interviewed by Foreman Harry Sylvester who hastily skimmed through her employment application.
New supervisor, but it’s the same old problem
Maintenance Supervisor Art Chisolm was liked by everyone, respected for his technical and supervisory savvy, as well as his age and experience. When he retired to move to Florida, his crew's disappointment was unanimous.
Rough service lighting
Lighting fixtures to withstand harsh environmental conditions and physical impact are the subject of an 8-p brochure. The literature details 15 products. Lithonia Lightingwww.lithonia.com
I-R camera senses small temperature differences
The digiCam*IR, Model 100P, infrared imaging camera for stationary objects offers precision, uncooled detector technology for cost-sensitive applications, such as predictive and preventive maintenance and quality control.
Reel in those cables
Cable reels catalog features complete information on manual, spring, and power rewind products for a variety of applications, such as hazmat operations, grounds maintenance/repair, video inspection, portable lighting, and hoist and crane operations.
A 12-p brochure provides schedules and descriptions for a variety of lighting courses. Offerings described range from fundamentals to lamps, ballasts, and controls. Most courses are two or three days long. Cooper Lighting, Inc. www.cooperlighting.
Good working definition
I'd like to congratulate the person who wrote this want ad that appeared in a Chicago paper recently: Plant Engineer You will support ongoing operation, troubleshoot, resolve emergencies, implement shutdowns, and support Y2K program.
Heavy compensation burden: Is he dischargable?
They called him Bad Luck Landers. Mechanic Al Landers had sustained 16 injuries over 12-yr of employment. It had cost the company a bundle in workmen's compensation payments.
Disabled while on probation
Two weeks before the end of his 60-day probationary period, Bill Fallon, a maintenance department trainee, learned he would have to undergo reconstructive knee surgery.
Pulse start HIDs
A comprehensive array of optimized metal halide HID lighting systems is presented in a 36-p catalog. The literature is devoted to pulse start products, including lamps, ballasts, and controls.
Daylighting systems upgrade the appearance of the facility while cutting lighting, HVAC, vandalism, and maintenance costs. Translucent insulated windows, walls, skylights, and overhead doors are used for retrofit and new construction.
Tests are fine if they test performance
When Grade I Electrician Art Roland opted for early retirement, Maintenance Supervisor Harry Crane pulled out the roster. Two names stood out as likely candidates for promotion from Grade II to Grade I: Pete Wilcox and George Johnson.
Line of products includes conduit bodies and boxes, junction boxes, plugs and receptacles, panelboards, lighting fixtures, unions, control stations, and connectors for hazardous and nonhazardous locations.EGS Electrical Group-Appletonwww.
Is “fooling around” just cause for discharge?
Maintenance Utility Man Tony Russo, age 40, is a hard, wiry little man who in his younger "glory days" was a ranking welterweight contender.
Can’t be reached by phone. Must you wire him not to show?
Maintenance Foreman Bob Dexter just barely restrained himself from blowing his top when the Acme truck arrived Friday morning minus a shipment of parts needed for a repair job. The work was scheduled for the swing shift.
Lighting for wet areas
Watertite portable hand lamps feature a NEMA 4X indoor rating, making them well suited for use in any wet application, including those with hose-directed washdowns. The lamps are UL-listed and CSA certified.Daniel Woodhead Co.
Long gone — Does he retain his seniority?
Except in special cases, no new hiring had occurred since the layoff of 26 people 2-yr ago. Then one day a big contract was landed which resulted in a recall notice to the laid-off employees. Of the original group, four workers returned.
A 28-p brochure provides detailed information on an integrated set of programs written for engineers who design and analyze light and heavy industrial and petrochemical facilities.
Carrying religious freedom a step too far
Supply Room Supervisor Harold Shea, a devout Catholic, was incensed by the Free Choice Movement and its stand on abortion.
Series 300 VisiGlow glow-in-the-dark stair nosings include a heavy-duty aluminum base and non-slip abrasive surface combined with an ultra-bright phosphorescent compound.
Pulse start provides light with less energy
The 320-W Uni-Form pulse start system provides better light output, longer performance life, and the same lumens/watt compared to traditional 400-W metal halide lamps, while saving 80 W of energy.
PC-based tracking system streamlines tool crib management
Tracking tools is a lot simpler for Caterpillar's Large Engine Center, Lafayette, IN, thanks to the recent installation of a PC-based bar code-driven system. Up until 1995, the plant had an open-door policy in its tool crib.
A 142-p catalog provides product specifications, dimensions and photometry diagram, and more for a variety of luminaires and accessories. Stonco Supply Div.www.stoncolighting.com
Can the union prevent a wage increase?
I'm worried," Maintenance Manager Mark Howard told Plant Engineer Phil Perkins. "What about?" "A rumor is circulating that Bill Simon is shopping around for another job.
When the snow hits the fan
Plants that don't put a high priority on maintaining their assets, even when times are tough, are taking a big risk.
Does Saturday qualify as an official “work day?”
The labor agreement stated that employees must work "a full day on the scheduled working day before and after a holiday to be eligible for holiday pay.
Is a mentally distressed employee liable for his actions?
Longtime Maintenance Department Electrician John Culler's personality and behavior changed drastically after his wife was severely injured in a car accident. Formerly mild-mannered and easygoing, he became angry, short tempered, and sometimes hostile.
Failed to report Saturday — no holiday pay Monday?
When Instrument Mechanic Doris Hill received her paycheck on Friday, she complained to her boss that holiday pay for Monday wasn't included. Maintenance Supervisor Ben Hadley replied, "Work was scheduled on Saturday; you didn't show up.
Ballast saves energy and cuts maintenance costs
Electro-Reg 2.0 ballast system requires 20%-30% fewer fixtures to achieve the same maintained light levels produced by standard peak lead (CWA) systems. The system lowers operating and maintenance costs. Hubbell Lighting, Inc. www.hubbell-ltg.
Is moonlighting a dischargeable offense?
When Jeff Merlin, a young engineer in the plant engineering department, made a serious error in a cost estimate report, his supervisor, Project Leader Don Graham, was about to call him on the carpet.
Can a sick worker lose his overtime priority?
Maintenance Mechanic George Halpern called his boss Friday morning. "My back's killing me. I won't be in today." "Thanks for calling,'' Maintenance Foreman Harry Cutler replied. "Rest up. I hope you feel better.
Alleged mistreatment no excuse for safety violation
Maintenance Utility Man Jess Hargreaves felt that his supervisor, Maintenance Foreman Cliff Thorne, was giving him a disproportionate amount of the undesirable assignments because his boss had a grudge against him.
Who pays for an insurance increase?
When Ed Hurley returned to work following a bout with pneumonia which had hospitalized him for six days, he complained to his boss he had been shortchanged on the amount of compensation received under the company's contributory health plan.
Water recycling system reduces maintenance
CLP-8000A wash-water recycling system automatically back washes filters, polishes standing water during the night, and eliminates sludge buildup.
Web-enabled system links CMMS to internet
MP2 WebLink web-enabled remote access work order and purchase order request system brings the power of internet technology to the MP2 line of maintenance software.
Disability discrimination: Is supervisor liable?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects disabled employees from discrimination in the workplace.
Steam trap management system promotes productive maintenance
TrapManager software and TM5 steam trap analyzer combine to create an energy conservation database management system for complete measurement of steam trap populations.
Halogen lamp offers longer life, more light
HIR/XL PAR lamp delivers up to 60% longer life (4000 hr) and 10% more light than competitive 60-W products.
Pulse-start family reducesballast losses
Pulse-start ballast family operates 175-400 W metal halide lamps. The system reduces ballast losses and decreases lamp warmup time. The lamps were designed without a starting electrode, allowing for higher lumens/watt and better lumen maintenance.
New hire: How much notice due before firing?
The job of Service Equipment Mechanic required a 2-mo probationary period for new employees. The policy manual also specified a supervisory progress report during this time to let new hires know how they were doing.
Lighting system delivers higher lumens/watt
Uni-Form Pulse Start System offers higher lumens/ watt, improved color uniformity, increased lumen maintenance, and longer life. The 320-W metal halide lamp/ballast/control system has an initial lumen range of 31,000-34,000. Venture Lighting Intl.
Diagnostic system immediately flags any deviation
Ultraphonic Deviation Analysis Solution enables the user to collect acoustical signatures and archive baselines. Any deviation in ultrasound is immediately flagged to alert the operator that action must be taken.
Predictive Maintenance Tool Reduces Downtime
ExpertALERT for Voyager expert automated diagnostic software is a fully-integrated predictive maintenance tool to reduce operating downtime and control maintenance costs.
Mounting ring uses 2-12 luminaires
Highmast Lighting System uses a mounting ring that allows 2-12 area lighting luminaires to be operated at heights up to 150 ft. The outdoor system requires fewer poles and allows the luminaires to be lowered to the ground for maintenance.
Cooling tower requires no field assembly
Premier induced-draft counterflow cooling tower is available in seven models with 250-500 tons of capacity. The polyethylene shells are corrosion proof, maintenance free, and rotationally molded in a one-piece seamless structure.
How should you deal with a worker allergic to cigarette smoke?
Lathe operator Frank Symond was hypersensitive to cigarette smoke. His severe reaction consisted of eye, nose, and throat irritation, accompanied by headaches and nausea.
Glow for safety
Permalight safety markings show their message in daylight and darkness. A glowing background keeps directions visible and leads people safely outside when the lights fail.
Can you fire a worker who is moonlighting for a competitor?
You've gotta be kidding me!" That was Maintenance Foreman Pete Maddock's reaction upon learning that Mechanic First Grade Mel Jarmon was employed part time by one of the company's competitors across town.
Lamps signal end of life
Alto high-pressure sodium lamps feature an end-of-life indicator and lead-free bases to bring end users the benefits of mercury and lead source reduction, increased disposal options, and reduced maintenance costs.
A 36-p catalog lists a collection of publication resources related to illumination. Pamphlets, bulletins, videos, and books are offered.
Subject changes to the reasonableness test
"It's not fair," Union Delegate Bill Southern protested to Maintenance Supervisor Jim Handy. "Coffee breaks on the honor system have been the policy here for as far back as I can remember.
Can you force an employee to take a promotion?
Maintenance Foreman Fred Messner stuck out his hand. "Congratulations, Bill. I'm promoting you to group leader." Bill Hasting returned the handshake, but to Messner's surprise, the promotion didn't excite him.
Can a privacy claim be carried too far?
Utility Man Grade II Jerry Parsons smelled like a brewery. Maintenance Supervisor Harry Cochran suspected him of drinking on the job, which was prohibited by a strict company rule. But Cochran couldn't nail him on smell alone. He had to have evidence.
Our biggest challenge
Every time I talk for very long with a plant engineer, it seems, the conversation turns to the problem of skilled workers -- and the lack thereof. In every survey we conduct about the problems of plant engineers, training is at or near the top.
Can you change incentive rates unilaterally?
A selective group of electricians at a Boston plant whose assignments were highly repetitive had been working for years under an incentive plan.
An 80-p catalog details a line of electromagnetic ballasts for linear fluorescent service. Ballasts are organized by lamp application, and all specification and selection data, wiring diagrams, and dimension drawings for each ballast are on one page.
Don’t like applicant’s looks? Think twice
When Peter Wu answered a want ad for an experienced electrician, Personnel Manager Ann Grissom passed him through to be interviewed by Maintenance Foreman John Groat.
HID lighting system dims 50% when unoccupied
Bi-Level lighting system handles 175-400 W high-intensity discharge lamps and retrofits to existing fixtures. A passive infrared sensor activated by body heat dims lighting by 50% when no one is present.
Receptacle operates in hazardous locations
MD2SR factory-sealed, dead-front, interlocked receptacle brings flexibility to MRO engineers working in Class I and II hazardous locations.
Track and maintain
Comprehensive maintenance workbook tracks and maintains any number of roofs. Easy-to-use worksheets record roofing locations, types, square footage, dates installed, current condition, and dates of modifications or repairs. Sarnafil, Inc.
Can a worker’s seniority be taken away?
When Pipefitter Grade I Pete Harshorn requested a 3-wk leave of absence to tour the United States with his family, it was denied on the grounds that he couldn't be spared.
Metal halide light increases output 40%
Uni-Form Pulse Start System provides 40% higher maintained light output in the vertical burning position, when compared to existing 400-W standard metal halide lamps.
Effectiveness impaired by health: What to do?
When Instrument Repairman Frank Nelson lost an eye in a car accident, it created work problems in addition to the physical and psychological trauma. A competent employee before the accident, Nelson's performance was adversely affected.
Job vacancies: Do laid-off employees come first?
When an instrument repairman's job opening developed, Maintenance Manager Elliot Abbott had Personnel place a help wanted ad in the local newspaper. Applicants were interviewed and Bill Cochran, an experienced candidate, was hired.
Can a job applicant withhold educational information?
After a college degree and 2 yr of graduate work in corporate law, George Robison concluded he wasn't cut out to be a lawyer.
How do you handle firing a “hopeless case”?
Maintenance Foreman George Copley hired utility worker Ben Raines against his better judgment. But Raines was a minority member and the company was making a concentrated effort to bring the plant work force into better racial and ethnic balance.
Is it fair to eliminate an obsoleted job classification?
Jim Algorth was the last of a breed. On his retirement, the classification of Service Equipment Mechanic became obsolete in this small to mid-size plant.
Can you bypass a senior employee and hire from outside?
When management posted notice of a Mechanic Grade I vacancy in Maintenance, five employees put in bids for the job. After being interviewed by Maintenance Foreman Clint Fiske, four conceded they weren't sufficiently qualified.
Must you give an “embarrassed” employee a transfer?
Emma Goldsmith was finding it increasingly uncomfortable to work in the maintenance department. Her discomfort stemmed from unwanted sexual advances made by Assistant Maintenance Supervisor Harry Force a few months back.
Put some light on the subject
An Introduction to Lighting is a computer-based CD-ROM tutorial that provides an excellent overview of the basics of lighting and ballasts.
Directory of Cylinder Retest Facilities lists 57 companies, along with their fees, services, contact information, and sizes handled. The 12-p publication lists companies nationwide that provide retest services for refrigerant recovering cylinders.
Can you lay off a marginal worker out of seniority?
A hiring clause in the labor agreement was firm on company adherence to the seniority requirement in filling job vacancies. However, no mention was made of limitations so far as promotions, work assignments, or layoffs were concerned.
A 20-p brochure presents advanced systems for lighting control in offices, meeting and conference rooms, and lobbies. The literature explains how the systems allow computer control of various kinds of light sources.
How many temporary workers can you hire?
For several years, the company maintained a relatively stable crew of maintenance employees. However, during the past year, thanks to innovative technology, a new business unit called Special Projects Section was formed.
Lighting fixture serves harsh environments
Kemlux II KS/KH series lighting fixture meets a variety of wet, harsh, and hazardous needs. The die-cast, copper-free, aluminum housing provides corrosion resistance, low operating temperature, and improved photometrics. Hubbell Lighting, Inc. www.
When is a longtime past practice not binding?
In 1986 management eliminated vending machines in the cafeteria as "inefficient and uneconomical" after they had been in existence 3 yr. "They shouldn't have been installed in the first place," the plant manager said.
Be wary of service that can backfire
It's a good policy and good business to serve others, employees included. Good for morale, good for employee relations. Service almost always pays off. Almost. But some kinds of service, however well intentioned, can be ill advised.
Can you bypass a qualified bidder for promotion?
When a Grade I Electrician's vacancy occurred, Grade II applicant Phil Standish assumed he was first in line for the job.
A 6-p brochure presents information about a new line of temporary power and lighting systems. The publication explains construction features of the 3R enclosed power units, as well as integral GFCI and overload protection.
Is there such a thing as borderline sexual harassment?
When Millie Cochran, a clerical employee in the maintenance department, irately charged Assistant Supervisor Gerard Anker with sexual harassment, an investigation was launched.
Occupancy sensor eliminates false signals
CX-100 occupancy sensor cuts energy waste from lighting up to 60%, while passive infrared technology provides accurate and reliable occupancy detection.
Assault with wrench: Automatic grounds for dismissal?
Virtually every rule has its exception. In addition, exception is hard to accept when the rule of discipline applies to violent misconduct.
Luminaires brighten aisles and warehouses
Multi-Bay 16 and 25-in. Glo Bay/ Prism Bay fixtures with high pressure sodium and metal halide lamps illuminate aisles, corridors, warehouses, and stockrooms.
Do you have an equitable personal leave policy?
Smith has been under the weather and requests a 3-mo personal leave without pay. Klein feels burned out and says he needs a leave to recharge his batteries. Jones wants a 6-mo leave to stay home with her problematical teen-age daughter.
Is a procedural short cut punishable?
On the one hand, procedures are set up to be followed. On the other, employees should be encouraged to use their imagination and initiative.
Remote tester checks emergency systems
Direct Access Remote Tester is an easy-to-use, wireless transmitter for checking and maintaining emergency systems from up to 75-ft away. The product provides a visual test of lamp, battery, and transfer electronics for fire marshal documentation.
Should you accept applications for unavailable jobs?
Maintenance Foreman Ben Graff ran into a problem that was all too familiar. When Electrician Grade I Peter Rifkin unexpectedly opted for early retirement, giving his boss one week's notice, it put Graff in a spot.
Must a misfit be kept on the payroll?
Mechanic Grade II Tom Ketterman's work performance was rated satisfactory or better. This rating was more than could be said for his social performance. Ketterman was by far and away the most disliked man in the maintenance department.
An illustrated 142-p catalog covers a complete line of interior and exterior fixtures and accessories. Included are floodlights, area, industrial, and landscape lighting products; and vapor-tight fixtures, photocontrols, and motion detectors.
Is a single pregnant woman entitled to maternity leave?
When a supervisor bases human relations decisions on his own personal philosophies and beliefs instead of accepted policy and practice, personnel problems and court cases are almost sure to erupt.
Follow precedence when demoting an employee
Machine Repairman Grade II Ed Crowley was hired in June by Maintenance Supervisor Jack Andrews.
Boom, scissor, and pusharound lifts are self-propelled and suitable for nearly any maintenance task. A new platform series offers a quick-change option that permits switching in less than 60 sec. JLG Industries, Inc. www.jlg.com
An 8-p brochure details schedules and content for a 1998 series of lighting courses. Topics range from fundamentals of lighting to design and application. These courses include hands-on demonstrations and open discussions. Cooper Lighting www.
Log book helps maintain fire protection equipment
Fire Log Book 291 explains all fire protection and life safety equipment duties and helps keep accurate maintenance records.
A 208-p catalog contains specifications, product descriptions, and technical data on a wide range of lighting products. Ruud Lighting
Must an employee give notice when quitting?
When Pipefitter First Grade Chuck Dancer was hired by Maintenance Supervisor Bill Southern, he confided that a rotor cup condition limited shoulder movement, and that he also had a "tennis elbow" type arm problem.
When is “stretching” a holiday permissible?
The test of reasonableness must be applied to every rule and policy any time a question or dispute arises in connection with its enforcement.
Early jury duty release. Must he come to work?
Maintenance Supervisor Nat Marcus found himself in a scheduling bind the week Utility Worker Fred Knofler was on jury duty. With one man on vacation and another out sick, the work fell further and further behind.
Off-the-path, but not off-the-wall, websites
What's going on in the world of developing manufacturing technology, management programs, and just plain innovation? There are a lot of sites out there that can help inform you and interact with you to ensure your company is the best it can be.
Glass reflector luminaires
PGRL series of luminaires for HPS and metal halide light sources with remote ballasts is covered in a 4-p brochure. Nine optimized reflector sizes with prismatic glass reflectors provide lighting control without uncomfortable glare. Holophane