Simple Solutions


Getting squared away

Problem: A square is needed to check several right angles on a layout but none is available. Is there a way to construct an accurate square in the field?

Solution: Nail together two straight pieces of 1 x 2 board to form an "L" as shown. Mark off a point 3-ft from the corner on one board. Mark off a point 4-ft from the corner on the other board. Cut another board 5 ft long, line it up with the points marked off and nail it in place. Note: These measurements can be doubled to make a larger square or halved to make a smaller square.

Contributor: Bill Berquist, General Dispatcher, Bethlehem Steel Corp., Chesterton, IN.

Beefing up thin-wall pipe

Problem: Old pipe often rusts in-place at the threads. If the pipe has a thin wall and has to be removed and replaced, is there a way to wrench it out with a minimum of damage?

Solution: Select a socket from a standard socket wrench set whose outside diameter is close to the pipe's inside diameter. Slip it into the pipe, which can then be wrenched out without collapsing or bending.

Contributor: Bob Dafter, Mechanic, Sandmeyer Steel Co., Philadelphia, PA.

Worktable goes up and down

Problem: In a production environment, frequent adjustment of a workbench height becomes necessary. Is there an inexpensive and fast way to do it?

Solution: Weld or fasten the end of a metal rod to the center of the workbench. Attach the other end to an automobile jack. For a permanent installation, secure the jack to the bench frame. The bench can safely rest on the jack, after the height adjustment has been made, by adding benchtop guides.

Contributor: David Glizman, Equipment Reliability Engineer, Sulzer Carbomedics, Inc., Austin, TX.

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 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.
Pipe fabrication and IIoT; 2017 Product of the Year finalists
The future of electrical safety; Four keys to RPM success; Picking the right weld fume option
A new approach to the Skills Gap; Community colleges may hold the key for manufacturing; 2017 Engineering Leaders Under 40
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
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
VFDs improving motion control applications; Powering automation and IIoT wirelessly; Connecting the dots
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

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

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
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The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
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This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
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This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
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