Pulling wire over ceiling tile

Problem : When installing a sound system in an existing room with a dropped ceiling, wires must be pulled from one side of the room to the other. Is there an easy way to do this without disturbing the tiles?

Solution : Most rooms don't have a diagonal measurement greater than 30 ft. Remove the ceiling tiles from both ends of the wire path. Use a 50-ft tape measure with a wide blade. Extend the tape, attach the wires to it, and retract the blade.

Contributor: Ralph Bauer, Sewing Technician, JM Originals, Ellenville, NY.

Divide equally

Problem: Sometimes there is a need to divide a sheet of material into equal strips where size is not important. How can the material be easily marked without using a measurement?

Solution: Take a straightedge that is longer than the sheet is wide and mark it off with equal segments for the number of strips required. Lay it on the material at a diagonal with the first mark at one edge and the last mark at the other. Make a set of marks on the sheet. Repeat the process at another location. Draw lines through the marks. Now the material is equally divided no matter what the width is.

Contributor: Steve Deren, Engineering Associate, KSM Shelburne Mfg., Shelburne, Ontario.

Clean solution

Problem: Foot-operated hand washbasins have valves that frequently wear out and have to be replaced. Is there an easy way to replace them and eliminate the problem?

Solution: Eliminate the foot-operated mechanism by mounting a motion sensor about five feet above the basin in an enclosure with a hole in the bottom. Wire the motion sensor contacts to a water solenoid valve. Now repairs should be easy.

Contributor: Jose Govinden, Maintenance Mechanic, Sandmeyer Steel Co., Philadelphia, PA.

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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.

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