Blog: IIoT expands the maintenance maturity model
Analytics, remote monitoring enabled by IIoT enable new, more effective maintenance strategies that move users from reactive or condition-based to predictive and prescriptive maintenance
With the emergence of Industrial IoT (IIoT), collecting data from equipment is moving from paper-based, manual inspections to automated systems. This improves both data quality and quantity.
IIoT-enabled remote asset monitoring also dramatically expands the number and variety of parameters that can be monitored cost effectively. Combined with today’s more advanced analytics, these data enable industrial organizations to implement new, more effective maintenance strategies to progress further along on the maturity continuum from reactive, to preventive, to condition-based, to predictive, and – ultimately – to prescriptive maintenance.
With higher maintenance maturity, comes broader business benefits that go beyond reducing…
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Here’s how facility managers and technicians can achieve and sustain healthy machines today and in the future by using continuous monitoring platforms
In their attempts to “guarantee” future uptime, facility managers have traditionally relied on preventive maintenance (PM) programs complete with rules and calendar-based methodologies derived from operating metrics. The combination, however, of (relatively) inexpensive machine sensors and cloud computing is giving way to new condition-based maintenance paradigms, enabling facility managers to detect machine malfunctions in real time.
In the past, PM was the only method used to reduce the chance of system failure — until the predictive maintenance (PdM) model appeared. Today, PdM technology provides early fault detection through testing, diagnostics and machine learning to identify and prevent equipment failures. It is also key to…
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A.C.T. up: Troubleshoot parallel-shaft drive systems
Your parallel-drive systems will thank you for a little extra TLC.
An effectively implemented, comprehensive preventive and predictive maintenance program for a parallel-drive system will reduce downtime, bring down costs, and create a safer working environment.
Parallel-shaft drive systems include v-belts, synchronous belt drives, conveyor systems, and chain drives. These power transmission systems are used for transmitting power and in some cases conveying product. Optimum performance and maximum service life can be achieved if the systems are correctly installed and properly maintained. All aspects of the inspection, installation, and maintenance process should be measured and documented in an organized and easily accessible manner.
The pie chart shown in Figure 1 depicts common problems in a parallel…
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As maintenance and reliability professionals, we must ensure that the assets that we are responsible for are operating as they were designed and installed to do. The hope is to move more toward predictive rather than reactive maintenance. It has…
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It's a lock: Secure your network
Sheila Kennedy says vendors are joining forces to offer more-robust industrial network security solutions.
Industrial networks are not what they used to be. These critical infrastructures now accommodate more systems, devices, and data than ever before, making security far more complex. The cloud, the internet of things (IoT), the convergence of…
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May River Capital, Hunt Valve Company acquire Precision Technology
Complementary electro-mechanical motion control technology broadens Hunt Valve Company’s engineered products, components, and services offering
May River Capital and Hunt Valve Company have broadened their engineered products portfolios, which primarily serves the attractive defense vertical, by purchasing the assets of Precision Technology, a severe duty, solutions-based designer, manufacturer and supplier of linear motion actuators for automation, machinery, material handling and positioning applications.
Precision Technology will be rebranded Hunt Valve Company - Actuator Division. This first add-on for the company complements Hunt Valve’s severe duty, fluid power engineering solutions for military and industrial customers.
Precision Technology specializes in electro-mechanical actuation with a wide range of rod-less and rod-style linear actuators, screw jacks, linear…
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Case study: Elevator-type conveyors optimize floor space, cleanliness for medical product packager
Conveyors run the bins across the building to the clean room, where another elevator works in reverse to move them down to the worker packing area
A production line centered around conveyors is helping one medical-device manufacturer boost production of sterile product.
CooperSurgical is a maker of diagnostic and therapeutic medical devices to women’s healthcare providers. Recently the manufacturer turned to QC Industries to set up a new production line that maintains the cleanliness required for packaging medical products, but with high throughput in a tight plant footprint.
Engineers from QC Industries worked closely with the CooperSurgical team to develop this system. Ultimately the engineers designed an installation that uses several QC Industries conveyors. Then CooperSurgical took the lead to design and build an automation system to make optimal use of the equipment.
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Learning to love our robot co-workers
"My big question is: Are we going to be happy? I get a lot of fulfillment from what I do. Will I have that if I work 20 hours a week?"
The robots were Joe McGillivray’s idea. The first one arrived at Dynamic Group in Ramsey, Minn., by pickup truck in two cardboard boxes. With a mixture of excitement and trepidation, McGillivray watched as a vendor unpacked two silver tubes, assorted blue-and-gray joints and a touch screen and put them all together. When he was finished 10 minutes later, McGillivray beheld an arm that, had its segments not all been able to swivel 360 degrees, might have belonged to a very large N.B.A. player or a fairly small giant.
McGillivray is the 38-year-old chief executive of Dynamic, a maker of molds for the mass production of small plastic and metal parts, from 3M Scotch-tape dispensers to bullets. As the manufacturing landscape changed in the…
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From prototyping to manufacturing: What is 3D printing being used for?
We may strive for the day in which it's possible to make an entire aircraft with 3D printing, but one-third of current additive manufacturing (AM) applications is for creating prototypes and visual models
Though we may strive for the day in which it's possible to make an entire aircraft with 3D printing, according to Wohlers Associates, about one-third of the reported additive manufacturing (AM) applications is for creating prototypes and visual models. The actual 3D printing of end parts may be on the rise, but there are applications that lay beyond the most exciting stories put forth by the media.
For example, to demonstrate the possibilities of 3D printing for large-scale tooling, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Boeing designed a specialty tool for Boeing's new aircraft, the 777X. The plane, to hit runways in 2020, will have a massive wingspan of 235 ft 5 in (71.8 m). In order to create tooling large enough to work on…
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Field services management software: What you don't know might hurt your bottom line
Survey reveals a disconnect between perceived need for better field services management and willingness to invest.
Many organizations are seeking a more flexible and scalable asset management solution they can use to better monitor assets and work in the field. Selecting the right solution can be a difficult task, however. Getting the right information to help make a decision is a crucial first step, so here are a few questions to consider:
What features and benefits are most important to me and my plant?
Should I invest in an EAM/ERP system extension or should I consider dedicated field services management (FSM) software?
What types of solution are similar plants using?
Plant Services recently partnered with IFS to conduct a survey exploring the degree to which organizations have embraced FSM solutions to manage workflow and drive revenue. Here are…
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5 lessons on how to build your IIoT strategy
Not everyone needs to build their own IIoT / digital platform, but these five lessons will help you develop an optimal IIoT platform strategy for your organization
Over the past three years, the emergence of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has led to an outpouring of technological cooperation, as more than 350 firms have joined various consortia to hammer out standards around open digital platforms. To achieve the optimal IIoT platform strategy we believe it is fruitful to study the recent history of platforms, which yield these five lessons:
Lesson #1: Outside hires and agile development cycles are required to deliver constant iteration.
Lesson #2: Leveraging B2B relationships are essential for incumbents to gain a fast foothold.
Lesson #3: Niche platforms can differentiate by focusing on critical customer-job-circumstance combinations
Find out lessons 4 and 5 and read more on each.
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Electrical maintenance for the win
Your electrical infrastructure is too important not to be a maintenance priority.
Nothing operates without electricity, so the health of the electrical infrastructure that works behind the scenes should be a vital concern to your plant. Like any engineered system, electrical power distribution systems cannot be designed and…
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How disruptive is distributed power generation?
The impact of distributed generation made waves at last month's bi-annual Combustion Turbine Operations Technical Forum (CTOTF)
Utilities and independent power producers are preparing for the coming storm — distributed generation (DG). The impact of DG was the biggest takeaway at the bi-annual Combustion Turbine Operations Technical Forum (CTOTF) that took place last month in St. Augustine, Florida.
The big theme this year was preparing for the coming storm due to disruptive technologies, in particular DG. And who better to talk about grid pattern changes than an independent system operator (ISO). Tag B. Short, Interim Director, South Region Operations, Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), detailed the big shifts affecting his region’s 180,000 MWs of capacity, 1,600 generating units and 66,000 miles of transmission.
“We anticipate the retirement…
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U.S. industrial production fell in November
Manufacturing output slips on decline in durable-goods production
Industrial production—measuring everything made by factories, mines and utilities—declined 0.4% in November, according to the Federal Reserve. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 0.2% drop.
Manufacturing output, the biggest component of industrial production, slipped 0.1% in November after rising in September and October. A drop in production of long-lasting durable goods, particularly motor vehicles and parts, drove the overall decline.
Read the full story on wsj.com.
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“Liberating” process data to enable enterprises to efficiently capitalize on the plant or shop floor information requires an overhaul of the data integration strategies
Although operations and maintenance groups generate vast quantities of data – both structured and unstructured – they can only leverage a small percentage of data to make better decisions.
For decades, much of the process data collected from real-time operational systems were “locked up” in process historians. The majority of these data was seldom used, except by engineers and maintenance and operations staffs that tend to use either basic visualization tools or somewhat more sophisticated, but usually difficult-to-use, historian tools to investigate operational situations.
But new technology approaches and technology convergence are changing this. Convergence is the gateway to optimizing plant performance through cloud-based…
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In a meeting with manufacturers, Trump also vows quick approvals for companies that want to build factories in the U.S.
U.S. President Donald Trump told leaders of companies ranging from defense manufacturer Lockheed Martin Corp to sportswear apparel maker Under Armour Inc. on Monday that he believed his administration could cut U.S. regulations governing companies by 75 percent or more.
"When you want to expand your plant, or when Mark wants to come in and build a big massive plant, or when Dell wants to come in and do something monstrous and special – you're going to have your approvals really fast,” Trump said, referring to Mark Fields, CEO of Ford, who sat around the boardroom-style table in the Roosevelt Room.
(Developing story. See reuters.com for more.)
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What role should government and other institutions have as technology hastens major changes in the job market?
It is uncertain how long it will take for driverless trucks and cars to take over the roads. For now, any so-called autonomous vehicle will require a driver, albeit one who is often passive. But the potential loss of millions of jobs is Exhibit A in a report issued by the outgoing U.S. administration in late December. Written by President Obama’s top economic and science advisers, “Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy” is a clear-eyed look at how fast-developing AI and automation technologies are affecting jobs, and it offers a litany of suggestions for how to deal with the upheaval.
The report notes that the imminent problem is not that robots will hasten the day when there is no need for human workers. Instead,…
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Perspective: Give manufacturers what they say they need
"Hopefully, lawmakers across the country will pay attention to what American manufacturers say they need, rather than simply responding to voter anger."
What's missing from the policy debate about U.S. manufacturing is talk of investing more in education. And that's a problem, since American workers aren't prepared for the jobs currently available, let alone the jobs of the future.
"We've literally got hundreds of thousands of jobs right now in manufacturing in the United States that remain unfilled because we don't have folks with the right skill set or the right technology background," National Association of Manufacturers President Jay Timmons said.
Hopefully, lawmakers across the country will pay attention to what American manufacturers say they need, rather than simply responding to voter anger.
Read the full column at houstonchronicle.com.
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How to improve the safety of your motor control centers
Implement a smart solution by integrating a low voltage motor overload relay with advanced protection and integrated arc-flash detection.
Low-voltage (LV) motor control centers (MCCs) are numerous in industrial power distribution systems. MCC are commonly a safety concern because operator and maintenance personnel have close interactions with the MCC. Also, the recognition of arc…
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Condition monitoring on the go
Sheila Kennedy says new portable solutions let you monitor machines from anywhere – even your couch.
Portable tools for condition data collection and monitoring provide an efficient and economical alternative to earlier approaches. Portability gives equipment-facing personnel in operations and maintenance an opportunity to capture and act on…
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Intel to add 3,000 jobs at factory in Arizona
$7 billion investment, announced at White House, illustrates company walking a fine line as it supports Trump administration on some initiatives while criticizing others
Intel, the world’s largest computer chip manufacturer, will invest $7 billion to finish a factory in Arizona, adding 3,000 jobs, the company’s chief executive said on Wednesday after meeting with President Trump at the White House.
The completion of the factory, which will complement two other Intel semiconductor plants in Chandler, Ariz., had been under consideration for several years.
Read the full story at nytimes.com.
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Erie County, Pennsylvania, has long been a manufacturing center, but jobs have been declining since the 1970s.
Says former ironworker Joe Orengia: "It seems like, about the last 15 years, things have really sucked, because a lot of people are leaving the area because the manufacturing jobs have left. There’s no work. And I used to see all these guys walking down the street with their lunch bucket in their hand going to work. Now you see them walking down the street with food stamps."
In collaboration with the NewsHour and Marketplace, Frontline offers a look at the hopes and hardships in regions that voted for President Trump. Jared Bernstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Douglas Holtz-Eakin of American Action…
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Boys and Girls Club teams up with Raytheon engineers to put young girls' science skills to the test
The Boys and Girls Club teamed up with a group of engineers from Raytheon Thursday night to put young girls' science skills to the test and encourage their involvement in science fields.
About 70 girls worked in teams to build a shock-absorbing system out of index cards, tape, and straws, for two marshmallow astronauts affectionately named after Sally Ride and Mae Jemison, the first American woman and African-American woman to travel in space.
The project was for Girl Day, a program sponsored by Raytheon that is part of national Engineers Week aimed at getting young people engaged in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning.
Although women make up about half of the work force, their representation in science and…
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Perspective: Don’t blame "skills gap" for lack of hiring in manufacturing
In an age of online job listings, automated résumé screenings, and increasing temporary and contract work, companies are posting more jobs than they ever expect to fill
Manufacturers posted 379,000 job openings in July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday. That’s up more than 280 percent — close to quadruple — since the recession ended more than seven years ago.
When it comes to actually filling those jobs, though, the rebound has been far more gradual. Hiring is up just 36 percent since the end of the recession and has been pretty much flat over the past year. Tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs are going unfilled.
However, according to a new paper by economists Andrew Weaver and Paul Osterman, three-quarters of manufacturers that Weaver and Osterman studied weren’t having trouble finding workers at all. One possibility is that what companies mean by an “opening” has…
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Only 44 percent of workers are sufficiently trained for high-demand skills-based jobs, but East Central College is trying to buck that trend
Computer technology, health care, construction and high-skill manufacturing account for nearly 54 percent of the American labor market, according to the National Skills Coalition. Unfortunately, only 44 percent of workers are sufficiently trained for those high-demand jobs.
East Central College (ECC) is trying to buck that trend. Thanks to an $87,000 grant from the Missouri Division of Workforce Development, the college will soon build an apprenticeship program.
Statewide in Missouri, there are nearly 6,500 manufacturing facilities that need highly skilled workers.
"We know employers in the area are faced with a skills gap," said Mardy Leathers, Workforce Development executive director. "We want to provide both the academic education…
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