Simple Solutions

Mounting blueprints Problem: Blueprints tend to be large and bulky, while many plant maintenance offices are small and cramped. In our case, we had ten 24-in. 3 34-in.


Mounting blueprints

Problem: Blueprints tend to be large and bulky, while many plant maintenance offices are small and cramped. In our case, we had ten 24-in. 3 34-in. blueprints and no place to store or easily read them. The only sizeable surface area available was the wall.

Solution: We mounted ten window shades on the wall, one below the other. The blueprints were then put on the shades. The shades are simply pulled down for immediate access when the blueprints are required. This storage method also ensures that the prints are not damaged or destroyed.

Contributor: Steve Morrison, Cimpl Meats, Yankton, SD


Mixing solutions

Problem: Cleaning solutions must usually be diluted with water at a minimum 1:1 ratio to work properly. Unfortunately, employees tend to think that the straight stuff cleans better and do not make the mixture. How can you get around this problem?

Solution: Buy the cleaning solution in large containers, but only fill them half full. I purchase 250-gal. reusable totes, but only 125-gal. of solution. The tote is topped off with water when it arrives. Cleaning is done more effectively at a lower cost.

Contributor: Dave McDonagu, Penn Color, Hatfield, PA


Saving money

Problem: Compressed air is a major energy source in the plant, and also a tremendous energy waster. Are they any tips that can cut down on compressed air costs?

Solution: There are a number of techniques that can be applied without investing big bucks.

  • Buy datalogging equipment with pressure and current sensors. Simultaneously log pressures in the plant and main header. Look for distribution problems. Watch load/unload cycle times. Do not cycle the compressor faster than 30 sec.


      • Consider adding a piping tee at the compressor's pressure sensor. From the tee, run a line to a point downstream of the dryers and filters. Pressure control is much smoother. Use reasonable caution and don't over amp the motor. Discuss this possibility with a compressor rep.


          • Work on a better compressor sequence. Try to establish the load and unload set points less than 10-psi apart. Multiple compressors can have overlapping pressure control bands. Use an hour meter and spreadsheet to monitor progress.


              • Consider existing building controls to monitor pressure at a central point and give load/unload commands to compressors.


                  • Look for at least three loaded hours for every unloaded hour. If there are fewer loaded than unloaded hours, consider a smaller compressor.

                    • Contributor: John Fiebich, Maintenance Engineer, Cessna Aircraft Co., Wichita, KS


                      SAFETY FIRST

                      In all cases, even if not specifically mentioned in the writeups, verify that the tip does not violate any

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

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Maintenance & Safety
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Industrial Analytics
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
IIoT: Operations & IT
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me