So many sites, so little time...

As anyone who has ever surfed the web can attest, finding the right information when you need it is an ongoing challenge. New web sites are being launched every day and the volume of information offered continues to explode.


As anyone who has ever surfed the web can attest, finding the right information when you need it is an ongoing challenge. New web sites are being launched every day and the volume of information offered continues to explode.

Recently, we asked readers to tell us about sites they have found to be particularly useful in their work. We plan to share this information periodically in this column and on our web site. Here are a few favorites that you might want to visit and bookmark.


  • This search engine is about information. Designed to make obtaining information easy, it finds information based on natural language entries and guides users through simple searches, power searches, business searches, and more. Search resources include a special collection of more than 6900 full-text publications organized into custom search folders to tailor results more precisely. ( Thanks to Ray Arguello for submitting this site. )


      • Many manufacturing facilities are finding the Thomas Regional Directories to be as useful as the Thomas Register. This large industrial database of local services and suppliers can be searched by product, service, company name, or brand name. Users have access to more than 520,000 distributors, manufacturers, and service companies. Or they may browse any of 6000 product/service categories. ( Thanks to Joe Goldian for suggesting this site. )


          • This electrical industry search engine is extremely fast, powerful, and industry specific. It gives users access to trade products and tools not typically stocked locally and helps find all kinds of electrical industry information. The site anticipates adding search engines for other industries in the months ahead. ( Thanks to John Hoeschele for letting us know about this site. )


              • Site designed with the busy executive in mind includes links to all sorts of business information.


                  • Environmental compliance portal now includes e-business HVAC solutions through a recent agreement with HVAC/R commerce site (

                    • Facilities education alert

                      • Facilities America 2000 is an event plant engineers can ill afford to miss. The Association for Facilities Engineering hosts its national conference and exposition October 14-18 in St. Louis. Highlights include opportunities to study for and earn Certified Plant Engineer (CPE) and Certified Plant Maintenance Manager (CPMM) credentials. Also on the agenda are a keynote address by Marshall Brain ( and indepth educational sessions. Registration information and program details are available by calling 513-489-2473 or visiting the AFE web site (


                          • The Chicago chapter of AFE has compiled a comprehensive collection of helpful links of all types ( ).

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.
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
June 2018
2018 Lubrication Guide, Motor and maintenance management, Control system migration
August 2018
SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
August 2018
Choosing an automation controller, Lean manufacturing
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.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Material Handling
This digital report explains how everything from conveyors and robots to automatic picking systems and digital orders have evolved to keep pace with the speed of change in the supply chain.
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.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Design of Safe and Reliable Hydraulic Systems for Subsea Applications
This eGuide explains how the operation of hydraulic systems for subsea applications requires the user to consider additional aspects because of the unique conditions that apply to the setting
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