Unresolved resolutions

I'm not really into New Year's resolutions anymore. I decided a number of years ago that I was just setting myself up for failure, since I never really kept any of them. But I am into New Year's reflections a little bit. You know, the annual taking stock of where you are and where you're headed? Anyway, here are some of the more-or-less random thoughts I've contemplated lately that I want to re...

01/10/2004


I'm not really into New Year's resolutions anymore. I decided a number of years ago that I was just setting myself up for failure, since I never really kept any of them.

But I am into New Year's reflections a little bit. You know, the annual taking stock of where you are and where you're headed?

Anyway, here are some of the more-or-less random thoughts I've contemplated lately that I want to revisit throughout this year. Maybe you'll want to join me in some of them.

  • In any improvement process, there is a point of diminishing returns — even an endpoint at which no further benefits can be attained with the current process. This is when you have to abandon the current course, if you're going to progress. You have to go back to the beginning, start anew, and reinvent. At some point, you have to say, "I don't need a better buggy whip; I need something different to do what a buggy whip does."

    • Question: Do I have any projects that need an entirely new approach?

      • "A man is loved not for how tall he stands, but for how often he bends to help, comfort, and teach" (from a Hallmark card). Standing tall, leading, and setting an example are all important. But we should also frequently remind ourselves of the flip side. Our jobs as managers and supervisors are not only to direct but also to enable.

        • Of course, seeking to be loved is not in a leader's job description. Indeed, many effective leaders are not even well-liked. Nevertheless, every great leader recognizes that those he/she leads must also be served by helping them progress; by providing some sense of security, acceptance, and understanding; and by teaching them the skills they need to be successful.

          Question: How can I enhance the career of someone else?

          • Sometimes, helping others is the best way to help yourself. Corollary: The best way to deal with your own problems may be to help others deal with theirs. Chances are, your work problems are somehow related to problems others are having. When their problems are solved, yours go away, or you discover a solution.

            • Question: Who among my peers or subordinates has a problem I can help them overcome?

              • We have to encourage people to think on their own. Farming for ideas is not easy, yet we have to find ways to consistently bring out the creativity in others. And we have to find ways to use those ideas so that we don't stifle the independent thinking we're trying to develop.



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.
February 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.
Jan/Feb 2018
Welding ergonomics, 2017 Salary Survey, and surge protection
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
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards
December 2017
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

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
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 Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Maintenance & Safety
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Industrial Analytics
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
IIoT: Operations & IT
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me