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.

Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
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.
October 2018
Tools vs. sensors, functional safety, compressor rental, an operational network of maintenance and safety
September 2018
2018 Engineering Leaders under 40, Women in Engineering, Six ways to reduce waste in manufacturing, and Four robot implementation challenges.
GAMS preview, 2018 Mid-Year Report, EAM and Safety
October 2018
2018 Product of the Year; Subsurface data methodologies; Digital twins; Well lifecycle data
August 2018
SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
October 2018
Complex upgrades for system integrators; Process control safety and compliance
September 2018
Effective process analytics; Four reasons why LTE networks are not IIoT ready

Annual Salary Survey

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

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

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.

Read more: 2017 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.
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Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
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Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
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