Simple Solutions

Greasing bearings Staff Problem: Hand packing ball or roller bearings is a messy job.


&HEADLINE>Greasing bearings&/HEADLINE>



Problem: Hand packing ball or roller bearings is a messy job. And what happens if you don't have an expensive bearing packer? Is there a cheap, easy way to do the job?

Solution: Take a Zip-Lok clear plastic bag of sufficient size to hold the bearing. Add grease in one corner and lower the bearing into it. Massage the grease around and into the bearing (add more grease if necessary). Remove as much air out of the bag as possible.

Give the corner of the bag a couple of twists to form a pouch so that the bearing is completely sealed and enclosed by the grease. Massage the pouch 15-30 sec to work the grease into the bearing. Remove the bearing from the pouch, wipe the excess grease off, return the lubricant to the pouch, and seal the bag for the next packing job. Use a marker to write the grease name on the bag.

Contributor: Peter Yan, Easton Sports, Inc., Van Nuys, CA


&HEADLINE>Finding suction side air leaks&/HEADLINE>



Problem: Maintenance technicians working on enclosed, self-contained pressure systems with source pumps often have a problem determining a leak location. The pressure side rarely presents a problem. Spouting fluid is a sure sign.

However, the suction side is another story. There is rarely any visible leakage, especially if the sump or tank is lower than the pump. However, there might be some slight cavitation. Is there an easy way to find the suction side leak?

Solution: Soak a rag or cloth with a fluid compatible for the job (water for water systems, oil for oil systems, etc.). Matching the two is important to prevent system contamination. The rag or cloth should have good wicking properties and be formable.

Wrap the soaked rag around the suspect fitting while the pump is running. Any change in sound from the pump indicates a leaking joint.

Contributor: Steven C. Everett, Mechanical Engineering Technician, Magee Rieter Automotive System, Bloomsburg, PA


&HEADLINE>Hanging light fixtures&/HEADLINE>



Problem: An electrician often has to hang a light fixture on the wall. It is often a two-man job because of the fixture's weight and size. Can the workload be made easier?

Solution: Determine the tap drill size of the hole and insert two bits into the top holes (#21 bit for 10-32, #7 for 1/4-20). Most electricians carry an assortment of drill bits of the appropriate size in their toolbox, while they might not have access to all thread rod sizes. "Hang" the fixture off the studs and start the bottom screws. Then remove the drill bit studs and put the top screw into the mounting holes.

This method can also be used to "hang" even larger equipment, such as a gearbox.

Contributor: Pete Daly, Maintenance, GE Appliance Park, Louisville, KY

Top Plant
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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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