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.

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.
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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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