The best of the best: The top 15 stories of 2017

Plant Engineering’s top stories for 2017 covered preventive vs predictive maintenance, IIoT, electric motor maintenance, and much more.

12/19/2017


Plant Engineering's Top 15 Stories of 2017Plant Engineering’s top stories for 2017 covered everything from maintenance to magnets and electric power to arc welding. Here’s a look at the stories most often referenced by readers around the world in the past 12 months:

1. Bring the heat to avoid six common welding errors

Avoiding six common welding mistakes such as improper gas pressure, poor material fit-up, and overlooking preventive maintenance can reduce costs, improve productivity.

2. Five tips for better electric motor maintenance

It is essential to perform preventive maintenance (PM) checks on electric motors as a part of managing facility assets because they have a massive impact on a business' productivity and profit. Consider the five tips highlighted below.

3. The path to prescriptive maintenance

Three steps to drive reliability while preparing for IIoT.

4. Build a maintenance schedule in six steps

Manufacturers should build a weekly maintenance schedule that addresses potential conflicts and address overdue preventive maintenance (PM) tasks.

5. Understanding permanent magnet motors

A permanent magnet (PM) motor is an ac motor that uses magnets imbedded into or attached to the surface of the motor’s rotor. This article provides an elementary understanding behind the terminology, concepts, theory, and physics behind PM motors.

6. Predictive, preventive, and breakdown maintenance tips

Predictive, preventive, and breakdown maintenance are common maintenance programs that provide their own unique benefits and plant managers should know when to employ them.

7. Predictive vs. preventive: The debate—and the future

Though they have similarities, preventive maintenance (PM) and predictive maintenance (PdM) significantly differ in their execution.

8. Prepare your maintenance program for the IIoT

Companies looking to implement the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) into their maintenance program need to understand its benefits and how they can take advantage of its potential by implementing reliability-centered maintenance (RCM) and condition-based maintenance (CBM).

9. Manage materials with vending programs

Vending programs can manage materials and provide workers with better access.

10. Improving power factor to reduce energy demand charges, increase capacity

Low power is not only inefficient, but can also be expensive over the life of an electrical system. Improved power factor will increase the distribution system’s efficiency and reduce energy costs associated with low power factor penalties.

11. Manufacturing’s melting pot focuses on people

Manufacturing is a land of opportunity and its greatest asset is an engaged workforce. The best companies have a culture of respect for people.

12. The two most common methods of motor testing

Regular testing of the electrical motors provides many benefits, including financial savings, energy conservation, improved safety and increased uptime.

13. Causes of arc flash and arc flash blast incidents

Arc flash incidents are common causes of injury in a facility and knowing how and why they occur is a good strategy to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

14. Eight steps to creating a continuous improvement team

Each member of a continuous improvement team should represent a function or process within the company so everyone is included.

15. Top seven 2017 NEC changes you need to know

The 2017 edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC) includes many changes covering traditional and alternative sources of electrical power.

This list was compiled by Sierra Grayson, Production Coordinator, CFE Media.



Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
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.
May 2018
Electrical standards, robots and Lean manufacturing, and how an aluminum packaging plant is helping community growth.
April 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
March 2018
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
December 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards

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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This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
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