Simple Solutions


Making a substitute

Problem: If the appropriate size socket or nut driver isn't readily available, can a makeshift approach be used, rather than waiting for the right tool to arrive or taking time to run back to the storeroom to fetch it?

Solution: Create an impromptu substitute using the appropriate size socket head capscrew (SHCS). Lock a double nut on its threaded section for applying torque, and drive the bolt home.

Contributor: Roy Avery Machine Shop Supervisor, Kane Manufacturing Corp., Galeton, PA


Hanging tapes

Problem: Loose rolls of various types of electrical, duct, etc. tape are lying all over the storeroom or work place. Is there a way to organize this mess?

Solution: Hang them up. Take a piece of soft wire at least 4-ft long and add a hook or ring to each end. Hook one end to the wall, add the tape rolls, and hang up the string via the second hook on the other end of the wire. It's easy to remove a strip of tape or take off a whole roll, and simplifies inventory tracking.

Contributor: Craig Kennedy, Walnut Creek, CA


Installing conduit

Problem: Is there an easy way to install aluminum conduit without damaging it in the process?

Solution: Simply brush a little floor wax on the threads. This approach maintains the integrity of the threads, and makes it easy to screw the pipes completely together.

Contributor: Dave White, Titan Intl., Inc., Quincy, IL

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
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.
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Welding ergonomics, 2017 Salary Survey, and surge protection
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Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Setting internal automation standards
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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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