Reader response

Band control The solution submitted in the December issue titled "Band Control" is a good idea. US Patent # 4,746,011 was issued to me on May 24, 1988, for this safety problem solution. I'd like to point out that the idea that was submitted had been tried during development, but we found the results were still too chancy and it was difficult to use.


Band control

The solution submitted in the December issue titled "Band Control" is a good idea. US Patent # 4,746,011 was issued to me on May 24, 1988, for this safety problem solution. I'd like to point out that the idea that was submitted had been tried during development, but we found the results were still too chancy and it was difficult to use. I'd hate to see someone get hurt using something they think will protect them.

The patent covered a variety of designs, but what we finally settled on was a piece of moderate weight canvas drop cloth large enough to drape over all four edges of the package. We sewed a piece of light chain into a hem in the perimeter of the cloth. The chain made it easy to throw over a load (like casting a bait net) but still light and not too stiff to handle. The chain kept the cloth from slipping and was very effective at stopping the strap dead. It was considered a safety device and as such was kept stowed always conveniently close to where packages were opened. — Sam McNair

Data mining

I was very surprised at your December article about data mining as it applies to maintenance. The cost of implementing such a program would far outweigh the cost saving. Such a system is only as good as the data collected and then only as good as the person collecting the data. It's not a good idea to have valuable maintenance men going around collecting all day. It's hard enough making sure the work orders are being done and not being copied from last week's PM's. Besides, any good maintenance manager knows cost, when, and where his downtime is coming from. — Joseph J. Veverka

Pump reliability references

PLANT ENGINEERING neglected to include the following references with the December article on "Improving Pump Reliability."

1. Bloch, H.P. and Geitner, F.K., An Introduction to Machinery Reliability Assessment , 2nd ed., Gulf Publishing Co., Houston, TX (1994).

2. R. Barry Erickson, Eugene P. Sabini, Anthony Stavale, ITT Industries%%MDASSML%%Goulds Pumps, Hydraulic Selection to Minimize the Unscheduled Maintenance Portion of Life Cycle Cost , 1998

3. Dr. Lev Nelik, ITT Industries %%MDASSML%% Goulds Pumps, Bearing Life Extension and Reliability Features of Modern ANSI Pumps , The 2nd International Conference on Improving Reliability in Petroleum Refineries and Chemical and Natural Gas Plants, 1993.

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.
February 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.
Jan/Feb 2018
Welding ergonomics, 2017 Salary Survey, and surge protection
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
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards
December 2017
PID controllers, Solar-powered SCADA, Using 80 GHz radar sensors

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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