Perspective: The case for moving to predictive maintenance
Preventive programs have become standard, but may miss variations in real-time conditions
Chances are, many facility managers have been running on a preventive maintenance (PM) program for years now and they feel generally comfortable with the results. Routine inspections have caught a decent amount of problems before they were critical, such as cracked belts or worn gears, but operations still suffer from downtime due to other, harder-to-see issues.
Facility managers have also likely heard of predictive maintenance (PdM), but the associated costs may have kept them from digging too deep. With recent developments in PdM technology, however, it may be time to reconsider.
Once upon a time, PdM was a technology reserved for only those with the deepest of pockets — to install sensors and monitoring equipment was a timely and…
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Des-Case parent company acquired by private equity firm
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IIoT platform helps logistics firm dip into predictive maintenance
As Navy faces $848M O&M shortfall, picking what maintenance to skip is full of risk
Lake Superior College to graduate its first wave of aviation maintenance students
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Nail down these necessities to get and keep your process pumps up and running smoothly
A facility's maintenance team is at the leading edge when it comes to ensuring that processes are being run efficiently, effectively, and safely. Utmost care must be taken in all aspects of industrial maintenance; work on process pumps and equipment is no exception. The following best practices, when consistently followed, can help keep your plant running smoothly.
1. Remember to wear your PPE (personal protective equipment) whenever you are working around or maintaining a process pump. This includes safety glasses, gloves, hearing protection, and a respirator if necessary.
2. Check the MSDS sheet prior to working on a pump unit. These sheets are required for every chemical being used. The sheets include the chemical makeup…
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BRC publishes revised global standard for storage and distribution
Third issue of internationally recognized BRC Global Standard for Storage and Distribution was published on 1 August 2016, and audits against Issue 3 will begin on 1 February 2017
BRC Global Standards has published the third issue of its internationally recognized BRC Global Standard for Storage and Distribution on 1 August 2016, and audits against Issue 3 will begin on 1 February 2017.
Originally introduced in 2006, the BRC Global Standard for Storage and Distribution was developed by a multi-stakeholder group including industry representatives, certification bodies and retailers, to provide the essential certification link between the range of BRC manufacturing standards and the end users; retailers and food service companies.
The standard is designed to ensure best practice in handling, storage and distribution of products and promotes continuous improvement in operating practices to ensure product safety,…
Manufacturing tech orders up in December, down in 2015
Roomba developer discusses the billion-dollar industry of robots for warehousing
Army reaches $1 billion in energy-saving projects with private sector
Under latest contract, Alabama Power is providing $20.8 million to fund new high-efficiency chillers, a new compressed air plant, and new heating systems at Anniston Army Depot
In less than five years, the Army has engaged in 127 energy-saving projects with the private sector that now exceed $1 billion in investments, announced Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning.
The 127 projects have been undertaken at 52 installations. The $1 billion milestone was surpassed with a contract signed, Aug. 11, by Anniston Army Depot and its utility company.
Under the Anniston contract, Alabama Power is providing $20.8 million to fund new high-efficiency chillers, a new compressed air plant and new heating systems at the installation, along with other initiatives that include high-efficiency lighting, a water conservation project, new ventilation fans and decentralization of the depot's steam system.
"This is a case where public…
How to perform smarter motor maintenance
Avoiding unplanned downtime from motor and drive faults
Compressed air controls: Don't misuse and mismanage your compressed air system
How to use controls and storage to improve energy efficiency in a compressed air system.
Process plants use compressed air for several different purposes including conveying, process controls and actuators, process gas compressing, etc. Interestingly, compressed air is probably the most expensive utility stream in the industry on a per unit basis. In addition, it is the most misused, mismanaged and unaccounted (wasted) utility from an overall usage perspective. So, I compared the energy used in pumping systems versus compressed air and was very surprised at the results. The chemicals sector (NAICS 325) uses a slightly higher amount of energy in producing compressed air (160 TBtu/yr) than pumping systems (151 TBtu/yr). More importantly, though, the compressed air system energy efficiency is only 11%, which means 89% of the…
DIY compressed air audits: 8 things you need to know
Serious air: How to get the right data when upgrading your plant's compressed air system
5 tips for getting the most out of your air compressor
Where to understand and apply machine vision’s many uses
The use of machine vision systems results in higher quality products across industry, from construction to food and beverages and the vehicles we drive
You and your team are designing a new camera that will capture images in an existing machine vision system and improve readability. You have the technical know-how to make it happen, but getting traction in a crowded marketplace is daunting.
Or you’re an end user and you’re looking for a camera that’s a better fit for your system than what you currently have. The systems integrator you’re working with seems reliable and has product ideas, but you’d feel better if you could get a second opinion. Online research itself means filtering out lots of questionable information. How do you find a manufacturer that will give you the best value possible?
Making connections with potential customers or suppliers is a painstaking task if…
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Diamond specialist uses 3D printing for machine development
De Beers senior mechanical engineer: "We are now designing parts purely to take advantage of 3D printing, and forgetting the restrictions that conventional processes such as machining or casting bring.”
3D printing is helping De Beers Technologies push past the barriers set by traditional machine processes, allowing their designers to enter new territory.
The company has invested in the Stratasys Fortus 360mc professional grade 3D printer to create R&D and production parts at their state-of the art facility in Berkshire. This decision has amounted to a dramatic reduction in cost compared other industrial processes, and has also persuaded the company to invest in a second printer, the Stratasys Dimension 1200es.
“Until recently we did all of our 3D printing through a bureau service,” explains Technical Manager Trevor Poulter. “However, we soon discovered that the amount of printing we were doing would soon justify buying a 3D…
How Chicago's aiming to position itself as an advanced manufacturing hub
U.S. Air Force researching advanced manufacturing techniques for replacement parts
3D printing now good enough for final and spare car parts
Navy sailors take troubleshooting to new heights with 3D printing
IIoT viewed as critical to the future-proofed mining plant
The external factors that affect mining are volatile, so organizations are starting to leverage the Industrial Internet to future-proof mining plants with modern process automation at their core
Globalization, competition, material and resource pricings, aging workforce, and regulatory pressures are just some of the challenges facing Australian mining companies. Some of these challenges grow more daunting by the day. But Australia has always been an innovative force in making the best of difficult situations, particularly in the mining sector.
The external factors that affect mining are so volatile that it is difficult to pin down with absolute certainty what the industry will look like in a year – let alone five years or a decade. To combat these unknowns mining companies are using Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies to more effectively control their own assets and in-turn, creating future-proof mining plants with…
Huawei and GE partner on industrial IoT
Plant Services CMMS/EAM Software Review
Read David Berger's column, Asset Manager
Massive plant IIoT connectivity requires robust infrastructure
As the Industrial Internet expands, creating a world where data connectivity is ubiquitous, it is vital to have standards and infrastructure in place to ensure that the data flows safely and efficiently
IoT applications come in many forms and as such, so do their corresponding network needs. Significant strides in carrier infrastructure will need to be made to address the differing requirements as they relate to the sheer number of devices accessing the network plus their associated bandwidth requirements.
Some M2M communications will require high bandwidth / low latency – like M2M communications in assembly and manufacturing facilities – while devices like field sensors require low bandwidth / high latency to maximize battery life.
The challenge is ensuring that wireless networks are capable of providing the service without interruption or signal degradation. Whether the solution is a distributed antenna system (DAS), small cell…
Perspective: On the road to digital ops in manufacturing
Aligning for interoperability
Smart, software-defined, autonomous assets gain ground in asset performance management
Proposed ASHRAE/ACCA standard for energy audits open for public comment
Tesla's future hinges on reinventing auto manufacturing. Can it pull it off?
Perspective: Should older manufacturing plants repair, replace, or re-invent?
How Kentucky manufacturers are adapting to industry challenges
Getting schooled on energy savings
Perspective: Green building industry's next frontier is manufacturing
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…
Adding a VFD? How to treat it like a VIP
Perspective: Ethane as primary fuel for gas turbines?
Learn the dos and don'ts of generator maintenance
GE Power & Water and Alstom Power combine to form GE Power
U.S. industrial output slips in May
Exxon feels the heat from some investors over climate change risks
DMDII announces second 2016 project call for advanced manufacturing R&D projects
Steam savings for the long haul
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Standard for Commercial Building Energy Audits is open for public comment from Aug. 5 until Sept. 19
A proposed joint standard from ASHRAE and ACCA that establishes consistent practices for conducting and reporting energy audits is open for a 45-day American National Standards Institute (ANSI) public review.
ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 211P, Standard for Commercial Building Energy Audits, is open for public comment from Aug. 5 until Sept. 19, 2016. To comment or learn more, visit www.ashrae.org/publicreviews.
Standard 211P defines the procedures required to perform ASHRAE Level 1, 2 and 3 Energy Audits and provide a common scope of work for these audit levels for use by building owners and others as well as establish standardized industry practices and minimum reporting requirements for the results.
An initial Advisory Public Review…
HVACR contractors share chiller maintenance best practices
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Maintenance worker treated for smoke inhalation after grain elevator fire
Fighting fakes: The scary truth about counterfeiting in manufacturing
The specter of counterfeiting’s safety and business threats is growing. Here’s how some companies are fighting back.
Counterfeit, fraudulent, and suspect items (CFSI) pose a serious threat to industry. Fake parts used in products such as pumps and turbomachinery threaten user safety and performance as well as the reputation and profitability of affected suppliers.
'Smart operations' new key to manufacturing excellence
Adidas expands manufacturing to U.S. via robot-staffed Atlanta factory
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Despite fears, Mexico's manufacturing boom is lifting U.S. workers
American goods help fuel factories south of the border
Mexico is in the throes of a manufacturing boom.
Exports from Mexican factories have jumped 13% since 2012. The country already ranks as the seventh-largest producer of cars in the world, and Chrysler, Honda and Volkswagen have major operations there. Over the next five years, another wave of big automakers, including Ford, Audi and Toyota, plan to bring new plants online.
But despite what you might have heard on the presidential campaign trail, Mexico’s manufacturing surge has not been an unalloyed disaster for American workers.
U.S. manufacturing production, it turns out, is rising as well. Factory output has nearly reached its all-time high this year, and is up more than 30% since 2009.
Read the full story at latimes.com.
At automotive research conference, an emphasis on connecting the 'factory floor with the top floor'
Perspective: Globalization isn't killing jobs. Trade is actually why manufacturing is up 40%
In Washington, statewide training for rural manufacturers advances
Plant safety: How much is a human life worth?
How do you include the cost of a work-related fatality in cost estimation?
How much is a human life worth? According to the 2014 edition of the National Safety Council’s (NSC) “Injury Facts,” the direct cost of a work-related death in the U.S. is about $1 million. As a rule of thumb, the indirect costs are four times the direct costs. Nowadays, such fatalities are rare.
Now, I ask you to consider an issue that’s not politically correct: how do you include the cost of a work-related fatality in cost estimation? Putting a price on human life isn’t a topic your college professor discussed in public. However, it can bolster the case for investing in safety, even though your boss probably won’t welcome such a discussion. Of course, you could forego such a talk to stay in your boss’s good graces. You…
Leak-detecting robots able to scour hull of heavy-lift hybrid airship
Is augmented reality a breakthrough for field service teams?
Caterpillar is experimenting with AR for portable generators. Could augmented reality aid your organization's field service work?
Augmented reality (AR) has been touted for many product development roles, from concept visualization to design reviews to immersive “brochures.”
To be clear, AR is not the same as virtual reality (VR). VR recreates a world in 3D and often requires such a high level of graphics processing that users must remain tethered to a workstation. AR is less demanding. It generates less imagery and superimposes this imagery onto a real-life view. It can be powered by as little as a smartphone. This makes AR much more accessible and economically viable for field service.
Read the full story on engineering.com.
Avoiding electrical hazards: Stay safe, not sorry - Part 3: How context-aware technology is helping protect workers
Avoiding electrical hazards: Stay safe, not sorry - Part 2: How the IIoT is changing electrical safety
Avoiding electrical hazards: Stay safe, not sorry - Part 1: Compelled to stay safe in confined spaces
Safety and maintenance concerns prompt officials to consider shutting down DC Metro
This month’s three-story package covers electrical safety developments you need to know about, from OSHA updates to the impact of the IIoT.
Read Part 1: Compelled to stay safe in confined spaces
Read Part 2: How the IIoT is changing electrical safety
Improved worker safety is touted as one of the leading benefits of using context-aware technologies. But how exactly can context-aware…
Safety on a larger scale: Honeywell integrates protective solutions offerings
US Labor Dept.: Manufacturing workplace fatalities increased in 2014
4 ways in which today's HMIs are better than ever: Part 2
4 ways in which today's HMIs are better than ever: Part 1
Report: Robots eye jobs in manufacturing, welding
A snapshot of automation investment in U.S. manufacturing
Achieve success with your system integrator
When LOTO isn’t the only answer
GE ad featured during Olympics focuses on changes in manufacturing
GE plans software platform for creating 'digital twins'
Rockwell Automation announces leadership changes
Rockwell Automation expands motion control business
Perspective: Don't fear global trade
How (and why) to train operators on maintenance
Give your first line of defense against equipment failures the tools they need to keep equipment up and running.
Although some maintenance activities require formal classroom training, many routine tasks can be taught to equipment operators internally using manufacturers’ instruction manuals and in-house subject-matter experts. Maintenance craftspeople are…
Women at the forefront of reliability
Looking for work? Know someone who is? The automotive industry is stretched to find skilled computer systems software engineers
Brian Griffin is like a lot of people in the auto supply chain looking for engineers these days: He’s searching for new ways to find talent.
The vice president of human resources at Cooper-Standard Automotive, which supplies sealing and anti-vibration systems to automakers around the world, says the industry is unprepared after it downsized at the start of the Great Recession. Now, employers can’t afford to be picky, he said, so Cooper-Standard restructured itself to fill more jobs with young engineers.
Since 2014, auto suppliers’ most-advertised U.S. auto manufacturing job has been computer systems software engineer, according to global job site aggregator Indeed.com. The position remained on top while its number of postings rose…
Study: Skills gap for US manufacturing workers mostly a myth
Pa. manufacturers voice concern about skilled-labor shortages
Niagara U. program promotes STEM careers among female students
Exoskeleton technology shows kids the future of manufacturing
Highlighting digital and industrial sides of manufacturing, GE looks to inform, reassure prospective workforce
An advertising campaign that has held the attention of Olympics viewers longer than almost any other spot on television does not feature athletes, or their parents, or cars.
It’s set on a factory floor.
But the latest campaign by General Electric cuts to the heart of a crucial issue for companies and their workers today: the changing nature of manufacturing. The GE ads, which appeared on more than 100 million screens over two weeks, show a woman named Sarah building a jet engine. In one version, she explains to a touring family that GE can be “digital and industrial”: It builds machines that talk to each other, but people program those robots.
Read the full story on expressnews.com.
Bringing back manufacturing jobs would be harder than it sounds
Study: One in five NY manufacturers are hiring fewer people because of Obamacare
20.9% of manufacturing firms in the state said they were employing fewer workers because of the Affordable Care Act, while 16.8% of respondents in the service sector said the same
According to a new survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 20.9% of manufacturing firms in the state said they were employing fewer workers because of the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare law known as Obamacare, while 16.8% of respondents in the service sector said the same.
As the New York Fed noted, this still leaves a vast majority of businesses unaffected, but even a one-in-five change is significant.
"The vast majority of respondents in both surveys said they were not changing the proportion of part-time workers or the amount of work outsourced to other firms," the New York Fed report said.
"Most respondents also said wage and salary compensation and other benefits were not being affected by the ACA, though more…
Perspective: Why the US pines for manufacturing
Low oil prices end 21st century gold rush
White House expands TechHire initiative
How automation is changing the jobs outlook: An educator's perspective