Power of the web

The Information Age has brought about changes in the way we do our jobs that many of us never could have predicted even 5-yr ago. Our reliance on the internet for information and communication purposes has entered the realm of everyday use.


The Information Age has brought about changes in the way we do our jobs that many of us never could have predicted even 5-yr ago. Our reliance on the internet for information and communication purposes has entered the realm of everyday use.

Sure, we have been sending e-mails for a long time now, but have you ever stopped to think of how integral the web has become in your efforts to find information and do your job? Today, it's almost second nature to turn to the web for help.

And in many cases, we're not dialing up our favorite URLs just to look at or for something, but to do something. Because the web's open platform allows developers to reach a larger audience, more and more interactive applications -- where you control what you see -- are moving from the PC to the web and, therefore, confirming its status as a true and valuable tool in the workplace.

This month's "Web Update" takes a look at some interactive applications to demonstrate how companies are putting the power of the web to work for you.

Does not compute

Have these three words -- or something worse -- ever entered your head after struggling with the tedious details of close-in calculations for bearings? Beemer Precision, Inc.'s bearing calculator (www.beemerprecision.com/asp/calculator.asp) can help you sort out the details. Enter the required variables, and Beemer's bearing calculator provides close-in values, PV, and more.

Need a tool to determine wire or conduit information for your motor application? Square D Co. has two motor data calculators (NEMA and IEC) that can help. The easiest route to these applications is to click on the site map link from their home page (www.squared.com), and then look for links to the calculators under the "Tools" heading.

And speaking of tools, Assembly magazine (www.assemblymag.com), a Manufacturing Marketplace partner site, has an entire toolbox of applications, including torque calculators for standard bolt series and bolts manufactured from nonferrous materials; and an adhesive selector guide that easily steps you through the factors necessary to find the appropriate product for your job.

Virtual show must go on

So you can't make it to the next big trade show? No problem. Honeywell, Inc., gives you a good taste of what the trade shows of the future may be like with their virtual application (www.honeywell.com/sensing/virtual/flashhome.stm). Guide yourself through their virtual show floor to product displays and interactive demonstrations and easily access technical information.

Help PE Online spread the word

We have uncovered just a few of the many interactive applications available on the web. Do you know other web-based applications of value to the plant engineer? Perhaps you have an idea for an application that could benefit plant engineers. Let us know and we'll be sure to spread the word. -- Len O'Neal, Web Editor, loneal@cahners.com

Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
May 2018
Electrical standards, robots and Lean manufacturing, and how an aluminum packaging plant is helping community growth.
April 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
March 2018
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
December 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

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