Simple Solutions


Belt check on the run

Problem: Belts should periodically be inspected. However, many times the equipment can't be shut down or your schedule keeps you away when the equipment is not running. How can belts be inspected while the equipment is running?

Solution: Find an area where the belt can be viewed through the guard. If the guard is solid, make a viewing window covered with a mesh screen. Use a stroboscope with a range that covers the speed of the equipment. Adjust the output of the strobe light to visually inspect the complete length of the belt.

Contributor: Dave Dyke, Maintenance Group Leader, Salinas, KS

Removing broken plastic pipe

Problem: PVC pipe often breaks off inside a coupling or tank connection. How can the broken-off piece be easily removed without damaging the threaded connector?

Solution: For an example, assume a 2 in. PVC pipe has broken off. A 1

Contributor: Kevin Ingram, Facilities Mechanic, Sumitomo Sitix Silicon, Inc., Maineville, OH

Lubricate buried parts

Problem: Lubricating with spray lubricants parts that are buried within machinery can be difficult if not impossible without disassembly. Is there an easy way to lubricate difficult-to-reach critical parts?

Solution: Push a length of plastic tubing onto the spray lubricant's existing tube to extend its effective reach. The inside diameter of 1/8-in. tubing provides the best fit for most spray tubes. A spray can will push lubricant several feet through tubing. If you can't get a snug fit, use adhesive in the existing tube. Tape a piece of welding rod to the tubing for rigidity.

Contributor: Robert Herklotz, Mechanical Technologist, Saturn Corp., GMC, Spring Hill, TN

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After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

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The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

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Randy Steele
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