Simple Solutions


A long/short plumb bob

Problem: A piece of equipment must be aligned with a support bracket set 50-ft up on a balcony. Most string plumb bobs are not that long. How can I align the bracket accurately from that height?

Solution: Attach a key chain laser to 2-ft of string at the key ring. Tape the button down so the laser beam stays on. Hang the laser plumb bob and mark the spot on the floor below.

Contributor: Anthony Terry, Engineering, DHCompounding, Clinton, TN

Handy drill bit check

Problem: You need to drill a hole and discover the drill bit is dull and won't cut and you have no spare. How can you sharpen the drill bit by hand and be sure you have the correct angle and center flat?

Solution: Sharpen the drill, trying to get both flutes the same length. Get two hex nuts with flats the same length as the drill bit flutes. Hold the nuts together and set the drill bit into the V-shape. If the bit is ground correctly, it will fit exactly against the nuts and be centered between them.

Contributor: Steve Bailey, Maintenance Technician, Honeywell, Conway, SC.

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
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.
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
Welding ergonomics, 2017 Salary Survey, and surge protection
2017 Top Plant winner, Best practices, Plant Engineering at 70, Top 10 stories of 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Setting internal automation standards
Knowing how and when to use parallel generators
PID controllers, Solar-powered SCADA, Using 80 GHz radar sensors

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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