Simple Solutions

Making connections Problem: Pushing a male air line quick-connect into its mate can be difficult using only finger friction on the air hose, especially when the hose or hands are oily. Is there a way to make this connection? Solution: Before installing the quick-connect on the hose, place an appropriate sized washer on the hose behind the fitting and clamp.


Making connections

Problem: Pushing a male air line quick-connect into its mate can be difficult using only finger friction on the air hose, especially when the hose or hands are oily. Is there a way to make this connection?

Solution: Before installing the quick-connect on the hose, place an appropriate sized washer on the hose behind the fitting and clamp. A "fender" washer is ideal because of its large surface area, although the hole in the washer may need some enlarging. When the hose is clamped on the fitting, the swelling captures the washer, if the fit is snug. The washer provides a generous surface to push against and overcome the spring tension in the female connector.

On hoses with pipe thread fittings, the washer can be captured between the pipe nipple threads and the male disconnect fitting. Use a washer that fits snugly over the threads.

Contributor: Rob Herklotz, Mechanical Technologist, Saturn Corp., G.M.C., Spring Hill, TN

Removing oil seals

Problem: How is a pressed-in oil seal easily removed from a gearbox or housing, with or without the shaft installed, when it is inaccessible from the backside?

Solution: Carefully center punch the seal at the 3:00, 6:00, 9:00, 12:00 o'clock positions. Drill small holes through the seal at each location. Using an automotive slide hammer (dent puller with a small screw on the tip), pull the seal out slowly and squarely, alternating between all four holes.

Be careful not to drill too deeply or screw the tip in too far since either case will damage the shaft, housing, or bearing. Also remember to thoroughly clean up the drill chips and shavings prior to reassembly.

Contributor: Tim Mostowy, Ervin Industries, Tecumseh, MI

Combining wire nuts and tape

Problem: Electrical connections with wire nuts sometime loosen, get hot, or lose contact over time. Is there a way — short of soldering the wires together — to keep them tight, yet easily taken apart when necessary?

Solution: First, make sure the wires are secure by using the proper size wire nut. After tightening, cover the wire nut with a couple wraps of electrical tape installed in the same direction as the nut was tightened. Extend the tape down and around the connected wires.

This approach keeps the wires tight, better insulated, troublefree, and easily removed when time to take them apart.

Contributor: Phil Bard, Parker Hannifin, Albion, IN

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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