Web Update

New...and improved? On an almost daily basis, you're likely to see or hear a company raving about its new and improved product or service.


New...and improved?

On an almost daily basis, you're likely to see or hear a company raving about its new and improved product or service. And if you're like me, you think to yourself: How can something be improved if it's new? Isn't it an either-or situation?

This month, we attempt to avoid the gray area surrounding this debate by highlighting some new web sites and alerting you to some truly improved ones.

New to the net

Get wise about compressors by visiting CompressorWise.com (www.compressorwise.com). The goal of this new web site is to help you get the most from your compressed air system by putting you in touch with the best people and companies in the compressor industry. Topics include used compressors, cylinder repair, air system savings, compressor monitoring, and more. (This web site and other compressor-related resources can be found in the "Compressors" channel on Plant Engineering Online, www.plantengineering.com.)

Looking for an interactive fluid power technology resource? Fluid Power Technologies Intl. (www.fptintl.com) is a new web site that promises to be such a resource. The mission of this consulting and outsourcing operation is to empower manufacturers, distributors, and end users of fluid power components and systems. What appears to be a step in the right direction is their still-in-development Empowerment Zone, which when completed will feature an Ask the Expert section, Engineer's Encyclopedia, Excellence Institute (educational forum), Product Comparisons section, and more.

Not new, but improved

Plant Support and Evaluations, Inc., which can be accessed at www.plantsupport.com, has improved its approach to training with an online steam system examination. No more guessing where your skill level lies; simply take the no-obligation, online exam and receive feedback from Plant Support regarding your placement level. At the time of this writing, the training system was being updated to provide instantaneous feedback for each question of the exam.

Just in time for last month's National Manufacturing Week, our partner web site, Manufacturing.net (www.manufacturing.net) introduced an improved version of its web site. Still available-and improved-is a wealth of information for manufacturing professionals, including original editorial content, up-to-date product information, economic statistics, and industry-specific news and research. The major improvement comes in the pairing of this content with a new 1.8-million product catalog that provides detailed information on specifications, pricing, and availability. With this new SuperCatalog, manufacturing.net is transforming itself into the manufacturing e-marketplace on the web, free to all industrial buyers and specifiers. It is now a comprehensive site where you can learn, find, compare, and buy from suppliers you trust.

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

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The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
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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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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.
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