Simple Solutions

Agitating action Problem: Chemical or other types of storage vats often need continual agitation of the contents to prevent settling. Is there an easy, economical approach to this problem? Solution: Consider a sparger tube. Drill dozens of tiny holes along the length of the tubing, which has a capped end.

05/01/2001


Agitating action

Problem: Chemical or other types of storage vats often need continual agitation of the contents to prevent settling. Is there an easy, economical approach to this problem?




Solution: Consider a sparger tube. Drill dozens of tiny holes along the length of the tubing, which has a capped end. Place the sparger tube at the bottom of the vat and apply air from a compressor. The bubbles exiting from the many holes stream upward toward the top of the vat and keep the liquid contents agitated.

Contributor: Ralph Dewey, Solvay Polymers, Deer Park, TX

Collecting condensate

Problem: It is often necessary to collect a sample, such as condensate, from a vacuum system. Is there an easy way to get this sample from the line without disrupting the system's operation?




Solution: Add a sample line off the main condensate run. To collect the sample, close valve B and open valve A. The sample will accumulate between the two valves. Drain the sample from the line by closing valve A and opening valve B.

Contributor: Leroy Williams, Senior Process Engineer, IMC, Trona, CA

Vibrating removal

Problem: Removing a broken screw or small tap is often a very difficult task. Is there a way to get them out?

Solution: Borrow or buy a vibrating engraver. Use a counterclockwise push with the point of the engraver to back the screw or tap out. The vibration created by the engraver makes this procedure quick and easy.

Contributor: Bob Focht, Mitsubishi America, Leetonia, OH



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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