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 ( ).

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

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
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 Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
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