Simple Solutions

 SidebarSAFETY FIRSTIn all cases, even if not specifically mentioned in the writeups, verify that the tip does not violate any relevant code, standard, or practice. Always use the appropriate safety equipment and procedures when applying the maintenance tips.Pounding the unionProblem: Stubborn pipe unions occasionally leak or cannot be taken apart.

01/01/1970


Pounding the union

Problem: Stubborn pipe unions occasionally leak or cannot be taken apart. Using oversized pipe wrenches or a saw and cutting torch to disassemble the pieces can be strenuous and time consuming. How can I loosen the union nut?




Solution:
First, ensure that the system pressure is turned off and put on your safety glasses. Use a one-hand sledgehammer as an anvil, and a ballpeen hammer to pound away on the flat side of the union nut, opposite the "anvil." Go around, if there is room, to repeat this action on each of the four flat sides of the union nut. Make sure the "anvil" is always in contact with, and opposite, the hammered area.

The resulting shock waves loosen the union nut and allows its removal or retightening.

Contributor: Luc Raeckelboom, Curing Engineer, Michelin Tire Corp., Easley, SC

Full or empty?

Problem: It is often difficult to tell if a tubular sight glass is completely full or completely empty of clear liquid. Is there a quick and easy way to make this determination?

Solution: Place a long object, such as a finger or pencil, behind the sight glass. If the object looks normal, there is no liquid in the glass. If there is a distortion, the sight glass is full.




Contributor:
Joe Ivie, Maintenance Manager, Dynamic Foods, Lubbock, TX

Pushing tape through conduit

Problem: Pushing a standard steel fish tape through aluminum conduit is almost impossible if there are more than two 90-deg bends to negotiate. Is there a way to get "through" this problem?

Solution: Tie a string onto a1/4-in. nut and blow the assembly through the conduit with an air hose. Then use the string to pull the wire through the conduit. If the wire is too big to pull, use the string to move a pulling rope through the conduit.

Contributor: Dave White, Titan Wheel Corp. of Illinois, Quincy, IL



SAFETY FIRST

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

relevant code, standard, or practice. Always use the appropriate safety equipment and procedures when applying the maintenance tips.



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.
May 2018
Electrical standards, robots and Lean manufacturing, and how an aluminum packaging plant is helping community growth.
April 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.
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
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards

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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