Tips & Tricks

Maintenance ideas that help save time, money, and aggravation.


Involve key staff in CMMS training

When implementing a CMMS, it is critical that the work order system is accurate in parts used, cause codes, work types, fault codes, and man hours. This cannot be achieved efficiently without the direct involvement of the maintenance personnel. The solution involves representing the department in the training process and code establishment. It is critical to train someone on each shift to lead the ongoing training required to implement the process. Do not give the training process any less than your best personnel. This will set the tone for the entire improvement process, and the historical information that you can gather in two years will also allow you to understand your MRO stores accurately.

Roger Harris CMRP CPMM, NYPRO Kentucky, Louisville KY

Anchoring machines to concrete:

In a company that’s staying competitive these days, machines come and go or get moved around quite a bit. The way we try to handle anchoring is to drill through the floor with a hammer drill. Our floors are 4 to 6 inches thick, so the drill bit must be long enough. I use a round brush to scrub the hole clean, then blow it out, either with compressed air, or with a short length of soft 1/4 inch tubing, around 3 feet long, using your lungs. A heavy mallet with a plastic face works best for driving the anchor home. When the anchor is no longer needed, it can be driven down into the hole, flush with the surface of the floor

Tom Lynn, TopFlite Golf Co., Chicopee, MA

Check internal assembly clearance:

Internal clearances between parts may be tricky to measure directly, but a little modeling clay help. Stick a ball of clay in a critical area, oil the clay in the area of likely contact, make a trial assembly, then pull it back apart. The clay thickness records the clearance.

Craig Cox, Project Engineer, Twin Disc, Inc., Racine, WI

Vacuum, don’t blow through transformers:

Vacuum, don’t blow transformers and switches. Part of any normal electrical preventative maintenance is the opening and cleaning of distribution switches and transformers. In many instances it is very tempting to take a compressed air hose and just blow off any dust or dirt that clings to the windings and switches. Especially the medium voltage [600v - 33kv] windings and switches since nobody wants arcing or discharge. Using a compressed air blow-off tends to drive dust and dirt into the windings, and any grit present in a high pressure air stream could embed in or scratch the primary [high voltage] windings which are normally on the outside of the secondary [low voltage] windings. In the worst case this can damage insulation and cause local corona discharge which can further damage insulation. Use an industrial vacuum to pull the dirt and grit off the windings and switchgear conductors. If there are areas that are really inaccessible, use the low pressure air from a vacuum or an inducer nozzle to avoid any insulation damage.

Gary Snead, Honeywell ACS

A smoother, more comfortable wire pull:

When pulling wire, rather than use commercial wire lubes, shaving cream works even better, and smells nice too! The foaming action coats the wire more uniformly, and it evaporates without residue.

Kevin L. Larkowski, Maintenance Supervisor, Omaha Standard, Council Bluffs, IA






The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 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.
Pipe fabrication and IIoT; 2017 Product of the Year finalists
The future of electrical safety; Four keys to RPM success; Picking the right weld fume option
A new approach to the Skills Gap; Community colleges may hold the key for manufacturing; 2017 Engineering Leaders Under 40
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
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
VFDs improving motion control applications; Powering automation and IIoT wirelessly; Connecting the dots
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

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.
click me