Industry experts sound off on PdM survey results
Six leaders share their thoughts on program spending, technologies, and satisfaction.
As part of our 2016 predictive maintenance survey, Plant Services engaged with six industry leaders to get their thoughts on whether the trends identified from 2014 to 2016 were fair predictors of the future, as well as what new insights the data were turning up. Their comments focused on two key areas of the survey: explaining the trend of increased PdM investment yet reduced program satisfaction and the impact that technology innovation (especially the Industrial Internet of Things) is having on PdM adoption. Read on for a cross-section of responses from the experts.
PdM program investment and satisfaction
These conversations started with a question that to us was the most difficult to answer, at least on the surface: Why would PdM…
Trelleborg launches online sealing technology resource center
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Get your alignment in line: Don't jiggle while you work
In this installment of What Works, the J.M. Smucker Co. slashes downtime by getting its pulleys straight.
Like a lot of reliability engineers, Joe Anderson, former reliability manager at the J.M. Smucker Co., appreciated – in theory – that precise pulley alignment is critical to preventing vibration problems and ensuring successful operations.
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Context-aware tech, part 2: Who’s leading the charge?
Thermography heats up
Use thermography to diagnose electrical problems
IR technology offers a tool with multiple applications
USAF: IoT can help with fighter jet maintenance
A tale of 2 industrial plants
Regulate water temperature
Welding QC simple with real-time temperature readings
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How to maximize your resources using remote analysis
Looking for a low-risk way to move from reactive to proactive maintenance? Consider a remote monitoring program for your plant.
Organizations are spending more money than ever to collect and store data. While collecting data from equipment and processes is nothing new, what has changed is the accessibility of data. Because the Internet is everywhere, more plants are connected than ever before. Plants that used to be considered too remote to manage are now participating in organizational asset monitoring and are constantly collecting data on the status and condition of their equipment.
What’s more, sensing technology has come down in price dramatically. It is now no longer cost prohibitive to put sensors on devices that in the past would have been left unmonitored. Coupled with the surge in cloud computing and a steep drop in data storage costs, this increase in…
Remote monitoring through turbine retrofit
Work with IT to foster remote monitoring
FAA orders 'urgent' repairs to some GE engines on Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets
Engine failure at 20,000 feet prompts order
Airlines flying Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliner jets with the latest General Electric Co. engines were ordered to repair them, or swap out at least one with an older model, in an urgent safety directive issued after an in-flight failure.
A GEnx-1B PIP2, part of a family of engines plagued by issues related to icing, suffered “substantial damage” in the Jan. 29 incident, when ice on the fan blades broke loose, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said in an order published Friday in the Federal Register.
“The potential for common cause failure of both engines in flight is an urgent safety issue,” the FAA said in its order.
Read the full story on bloomberg.com.
How context-aware technology will help you see the future
Context-aware tech, part 1: What does it look like, and what's it worth to my company?
Site content is targeted toward engineers, and includes technical articles and white papers
Trelleborg Sealing Solutions announces a new information hub, www.knowledgecenter.trelleborg.com, which showcases best practices in sealing technology.
The hub was developed to bridge the gap between design engineers’ needs and standard technology documentation, bringing useful information together as part of one digital portal.
It is aimed at design engineers working in industries that require sealing technology, including fluid power, the chemical processing industry, oil and gas, automotive design and life sciences.
Examples of industry-specific content include an overview of NORSOK standards for engineers working in the oil and gas industry as well as articles, including "Shortening the Design Process through FEA" and "Matching…
Perspective: Too many standards up project cost when oil prices are crashing
Fluid handling tools you can use
Handle fluid with care
Pumps in peril?
Manufacturing tech orders up in December, down in 2015
Close the book on a disappointing year for manufacturing technology orders, down more than 17% from December 2014
New manufacturing technology orders jumped more than 20% in December, though still less than the recent average for that month, and an overall disappointing year came to a close, according to a new report from the Association for Manufacturing Technology.
The calendar year wrapped up with order values growing 20.4% in December, just below the 22.4% average growth for that month the last five years. That marked the second-highest monthly orders total in 2015, behind only March. Overall, orders dropped 17.4% year-over-year.
The strong finish — though, again, not as strong as recent Decembers — does not change the AMT forecast for 2016, largely because orders rise at the end of the year as companies invest profits into new…
Roomba developer discusses the billion-dollar industry of robots for warehousing
Material handling meets energy efficiency
Big data in the material handling industry: From supply chain to fulfillment
Volkswagen reaches 'substantial' settlement to buy back, repair cars
Consumers to be allowed to sell back cars or get repairs
Volkswagen has reached a settlement in principle with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, California regulators, California attorney general's office and consumers over a plan to fix or buy back nearly half a million vehicles that violated emissions standards.
The deal includes "substantial compensation" for owners of cars powered by two-liter "clean diesel" engines that were fitted with software to cheat emissions tests, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said in a hearing from a courtroom in San Francisco.
Financial details of the offer, which is still being finalized, were not disclosed.
Read the full story on usatoday.com.
Volvo plans to test self-driving cars in China
Boost motor efficiency for a better payoff
Common sense management of EISA motor changes
5 tips for getting the most out of your air compressor
It comes down to proper equipment maintenance. Here's what that looks like.
Air compressors play a vital role in virtually every industrial operation today, as they offer a reliable, efficient source of power from a compact design.
In fact, they have a direct impact on the performance of your plant, so it’s important that you know how to properly protect air compressors for the long haul.
In large part, it comes down to equipment maintenance. Proper equipment maintenance helps your equipment perform at its best both by providing the equipment with the protection it needs in challenging industrial operating environments and by helping you identify performance challenges in a timely manner.
Here are five maintenance tips that, if followed correctly, can help you get the most out of your air compressor. Let’s…
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Compressed air system solutions for deep surface mining
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Fanuc announces a platform for downloadable robot apps
Company looks to gain revenue from software developers using the platform to build applications for robots
Japan-based robotics manufacturer Fanuc announced that it is releasing a new platform for customizing industrial robots with software applications.
Other robotics suppliers will be able to use the Fanuc Intelligent Edge Link and Drive (FIELD) System to download new applications on their robots in the field, much like downloading an app on a smartphone, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Read the full story on businessinsider.com.
Democratization and glorious data: The future of American manufacturing
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White House expands TechHire initiative
Manufacturers embrace automation to hedge against downturns
New York 3D printing company to outsource manufacturing jobs to China
Cost-cutting move said to help company 'compete more effectively in a global marketplace'
MakerBot, a Brooklyn-based 3D printing company that specializes in desktop 3D printers, announced on Monday that it is outsourcing its manufacturing jobs to China and laying off the majority of its factory workers from its New York headquarters.
The struggling startup, which last year saw its valuation dip by $100 million, has partnered with the international manufacturer Jabil and will transition to overseas production and assembly over the next six months. The announcement comes less than a year after MakerBot hosted a ribbon cutting at its newly expanded 170,000-square-foot Brooklyn factory space.
Read the full story on gothamist.com.
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Top 10 benefits of field service management software
Purpose-built FSM software can automate and streamline the complete service process while integrating with core EAM/ERP systems.
Inside the four walls of a plant, maintenance management processes are well suited to standard asset management (EAM/CMMS) software. But for geographically dispersed work, greater coordination, collaboration, and information mobility is required.
Most companies have at least a first-generation system in place to handle field service scheduling, dispatch, service parts management, and perhaps some degree of mobility. Others use EAM/ERP system extensions for more robust scheduling and dispatch capabilities. The worst-case scenario is management by spreadsheets and manual processes, which hamper productivity and drive excessive costs.
An increasingly popular solution is purpose-built field service management (FSM) software that automates and…
Plant Services CMMS/EAM Software Review
Read David Berger's column, Asset Manager
Subscribe to the Asset Management E-News
Sign up for the 2015 asset managment webcast
U.S. Air Force also focusing on challenges of local data processing while in flight, when there is minimal to no stable Internet connection
The U.S. Air Force believes that the Internet of Things (IoT) can help airmen of the future, offering up possibilities for pre-processing, filtering, data reduction and feature generation. It’s also interested in technology that can be used in both military and commercial contexts.
Graham Grose, industry director of the IFS Aerospace & Defence Centre of Excellence, sees many benefits of air forces using IoT. In particular, he says it can help in maintaining fighter jets such as the F-35.
He said at the start of the year: ““The Internet of Things is now playing a big role in maintenance hangars. The next generation of warplane has arrived in the F-35, and military logistics needs to move with this.
“An F-35 jet has internal…
Cloud computing: We'll never be all in, say most companies
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Improve plant productivity with communication, data gathering, and analysis
Six life lessons my father taught me about reliability
Common sense and a commitment to continuous improvement and taking care of the details will go a long way
As I reflect back on my engineering career, I realize that my father taught me a lot about reliability engineering long before I thought about being an engineer. A lot of people, especially those with whom we work on a daily basis in plants, don’t understand what reliability engineering is. They tend to think it’s something complex that doesn’t involve them. I hope these lessons my father taught me will make this subject easier to understand.
My father was trained as a machinist, and in my early years, he worked in the cigar industry. When I was in elementary school, he became the production/maintenance manager of a small cigar factory. I remember that there were two shifts of production working five days a week when he took over…
How the Internet of Things might change your plant
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Bring-your-own-device policies put plant data in the palm of your hand
Chicago seeking 'smart-city' tech solutions to improve city life
'Array of Things' initiative comes with plenty of questions
Come late June, city electricians are expected to start strapping beehive-shaped sensor boxes to municipal light poles — environmental Fitbits for neighborhoods, essentially.
How's the air quality? Where does rainwater pool? Where do air temperatures spike?
The 14-inch-high cylinders filled with sensors and cameras — developed by computer scientists and designers at Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago — should shed light on stubborn urban problems — everything from asthma clusters and flood-prone intersections to so-called "heat islands," densely developed corners of the city that trap heat. Ultimately, the data should lead to affordable, energy-efficient…
Google parent company's next big thing: Building a smart city
Current, powered By GE, acquires Daintree Networks
Q&A with GE's Bernard Norris: Maintenance expertise moving outside the plant walls
Are you cyber-smart? Security risks for manufacturers grow as IoT proliferates
Low oil prices end 21st century gold rush
The era of “mom-and-pops” fueling the shale-oil boom is coming to a close
The 21st century version of the American gold rush is coming to a swift end.
A shakeout is sweeping through the U.S. oil and gas business, putting small-time petroleum prospectors who got rich off of shale energy out of business as rock-bottom oil prices reshape the sector despite the commodity's slight uptick in recent weeks.
The pain low oil prices have sparked has spread into other corners of the energy industry. This week, coal miner Peabody Energy warned that it may have to file for bankruptcy protection and SunEdison, a developer, installer and operator of alternative energy plants said it discovered problems in its accounting processes, the latest in a string of troubles for the company.
At least 48 North American oil and gas…
Saudi Electricity Company orders six more GE gas turbines
How to determine the best electrical safety practices for your plant
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Electrical safety experts answer your questions
Energy management: Let's not forget the buildings
Peter Garforth says don’t underestimate the size of the energy-efficiency opportunities in your facility.
In many industries, energy use in manufacturing processes far outweighs its use in powering offices and factory buildings. In others, real estate is a major portion of the energy use total. In still other industries, the separation between…
Energy management motivation: Fighting mixed signals, misaligned goals and unpredictable resources
Track energy costs like you would operating costs
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Perspective: Ethane as primary fuel for gas turbines?
Jeffrey Goldmeer and Scot Peever of GE Power argue the case for using ethane for power generation
The search for suitable alternatives included a variety of fuels and has led to projects that may operate on a variety of fuels, including lean methane, non-methane hydrocarbons, crude oil, and syngas. The category of non-methane hydrocarbons now includes ethane and propane, which are becoming available in suitable quantities due to shale gas production in the US.
The case for ethane is similar to propane, with supply increasing dramatically as natural gas liquids from shale gas in the United States have become more plentiful. However, ethane has traditionally been used exclusively as a feedstock for the petrochemical industry. With the increase in supply from unconventional gas production outpacing the current and potential future…
Learn the dos and don'ts of generator maintenance
GE Power & Water and Alstom Power combine to form GE Power
Operational benefits of power system upgrades
Proposed facility smart grid standard open for public review
In Wyoming, hard times return as energy prices slump
Tumbling oil and gas prices and coal industry bankruptcies are pummeling Wyoming's energy-dependent economy
For 17 years, Scott Pearce worked as a mechanic here in the Powder River Basin, a Saudi Arabia of Western coal deposits. But about a week ago, he became a casualty of the declining local economy, one of nearly 500 people laid off from the Black Thunder and North Antelope Rochelle mines. It was among the latest and worst rounds of job losses to hit Wyoming.
Elsewhere, the American economy is posting steady gains and adding jobs. But here in the nation’s least populated state, the recession is returning.
Hard times have come crashing back on energy-reliant towns like this one in northern Wyoming, where lives and fortunes hinge on the coal, oil and gas buried beneath the rolling plains.
Read the full story at nytimes.com.
Manufacturing activity ticks back up in Texas
The executives leaving oil and gas behind for jobs in clean energy
ABB to power the world’s most energy-efficient pulp mill
Steam savings for the long haul
In this installment of What Works, an OEM service partnership helps keep a historic paper maker up and running.
Modernization projects don't end once a new product is installed or a new service is implemented. Moreover, the ultimate success of modernization efforts rides on more than what happens in the first few weeks or months or even the first year after an installation or launch.
Edward Champagne, engineering manager at paper manufacturer Paperlogic in Turners Falls, MA, appreciates that the journey to plant modernization and better asset reliability is more of a marathon than a sprint. When it comes to his facility's generators, installed in place of 70-year-old boilers some time before Champagne joined the company in 2008, a dedicated preventive maintenance program coupled with ready expertise provided by the local vendor that made…
How to monitor day-to-day cooling tower performance
Drive down your energy costs with heat of compression recovery
Compressed air systems' waste heat improves plant economics
Heat recovery — Great in theory, tough in practice
Johnson Controls and Tyco announce merger
New company to combine advanced data and analytics services with connectivity solutions for homes, buildings, and cities
Johnson Controls and Tyco today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Johnson Controls, a global multi-industrial company, will combine with Tyco, a global fire and security provider.
The new company will combine innovation capabilities and pipelines involving new products, advanced solutions for smart buildings and cities, value-added services driven by advanced data and analytics and connectivity between buildings and energy storage through infrastructure integration. As a result, the new company will be able to better partner with its customers to help improve their overall performance and operations, enhancing the experience for their own customers in areas such as comfort, safety and…
Don't sweat your heating bill
How to achieve better HVAC and dust collection
Reduced HVAC energy waste
Heat recovery and energy efficiency go hand in hand
Automakers expect more scrutiny after emissions scandals
Under proposed rules, China will be the toughest regulatory regime over the next five years, Ford Motor CEO says in Beijing
Carmakers have to be clearer about the way they certify their fuel-economy and emission ratings as regulators ramp up scrutiny over the gap between laboratory results and on-road conditions, according to Daimler AG Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche.
“You can only be transparent and if there’s any shortfalls anywhere, fix them and move forward,” Zetsche told Bloomberg News ahead of the Beijing auto show opening this week.
Read the full story on industryweek.com.
How to take your plant one step closer to lean
Implementing lean operating systems
Lean manufacturing leads to production gains
Manufacturing momentum fades but export orders step up
Employment negative; dollar loses ground
The Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index eased to 50.8 in April from 51.8 in March, but it remained positive for a second straight month.
Employment was still negative, but in good news for U.S. manufacturing and corporate earnings, the dollar continues to lose ground. Also on an encouraging note, the export orders index picked up to 52.5 from 52.0, marking its best reading since November 2014.
Read the full story on investors.com.
Growth at American manufacturers cools as challenges persist
House votes to let manufacturers seek lower import tariffs
Toyota's supply-chain woes hold a lesson for all manufacturers
Cyber criminals target Wisconsin manufacturers
Require safety compliance in your supply chain
How to measure the safety of your plant
Safety is everyone's job
OSHA cites Wisconsin cannery after worker falls into sauerkraut vat
Electrical safety system should have been locked to prevent vat from starting, agency finds
An Outagamie County, WI, cannery faces up to $143,000 in fines after an employee fell 17 feet into an empty sauerkraut vat, breaking several bones.
GLK Foods was cited for several safety violations in the wake of the Oct. 19 incident.
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, GLK employees were standing on an overhead cabbage conveyor, making adjustments to the machinery, when it unexpectedly started, throwing one worker into the vat below. The conveyor's electrical system should have been locked to prevent it from starting, OSHA said.
Read the full story on jsonline.com.
GE and Imagine Nation unveil makerspace for early learners
Are new OSHA rules on electrical safety regular or supersize?
The history of electrical safety
Safety on a larger scale: Honeywell integrates protective solutions offerings
Related portfolio encompasses solutions for safety shutdown, process fire & gas detection, physical security, cybersecurity, and effective alarm management
Honeywell Process Solutions recently briefed ARC Advisory Group on the company's Integrated Protective Solutions offerings.
According to Honeywell, the company assembled this collection of offerings to address several needs in the market. What seems to be the most pressing market need is to create a safer and more secure environment with increased layers of protection. Key takeaways from this briefing include:
Honeywell has created an integrated and holistic approach to protect the plant, people, and environment to either avoid or enable faster and better response to abnormal situations.
The related portfolio encompasses solutions for safety shutdown, process fire & gas detection, physical security, cybersecurity, and effective…
US Labor Dept.: Manufacturing workplace fatalities increased in 2014
Got questions about arc flash? We've got answers.
Arc flash hazard experts answer your questions
Mitigate arc-flash risk
Rockwell Automation announces leadership changes
30-year veteran Blake Moret named president & CEO, Keith Nosbusch to remain Chairman
Rockwell Automation announced today that its board of directors has elected Blake D. Moret, a 30-year veteran of the Company, as president and chief executive officer, effective July 1, 2016.
At that time Keith D. Nosbusch, 65, who has been president and chief executive officer since 2004, will transition from those roles while continuing as chairman of the board. Moret, 53, is currently senior vice president of the Company’s Control Products & Solutions segment.
“It has been an honor and privilege to lead Rockwell Automation over the past 12 years," said Nosbusch. "While as a team we enjoyed tremendous success, I have no doubt that we are well positioned for an even greater future. Blake is the ideal executive to move Rockwell…
ABB shareholder hires consulting group to study potential company breakup
IFS acquires MainIoT Software Oy
U.S. offers supercomputing help to manufacturers
China killed 1 million U.S. jobs, but don't blame trade deals
Rockwell Automation expands motion control business
Perspective: Don't fear global trade
MAPI report identifies capital investment, educated labor as key U.S. manufacturing influencers
Manufacturing survey finds 'stigma' of blue-collar work a hurdle to attracting young people
“My mom was like, ‘You have to become a doctor or lawyer.’ ”
According to a recent survey conducted by the Minneapolis-based consulting firm Enterprise Minnesota, many parents and teachers are pushing young people to attend traditional 4-year universities in pursuit of professions that are generally considered more prestigious — despite the fact that many manufacturing workers are well-paid and in-demand.
“Over the last generation, manufacturing has not been appreciated for the kind of careers it creates for young people,” said Bob Kill, Enterprise Minnesota’s president and CEO. “There are good-paying jobs; there are great careers that people can have.”
Read the full story on minnpost.com.
Workforce retention: Should I stay or should I go?
Putting students in the driver's seat of a manufacturing career
In Kentucky, a new lab trains students for the manufacturing workforce
Training and Career Development
Training operators and maintenance staff with 3D visualization
Engineering showcase brings students, manufacturers together
Award-winning Sandia engineer traded tailoring for welding
Perspective: Closing the gender and skills gap in STEM
Perspective: Missing the point on U.S. manufacturing
How automation is changing the jobs outlook: An educator's perspective
GE’s move to Boston: Why it's so important for the cleantech sector
U.S. manufacturing sector’s woes pose wider dangers
Tom Moriarty considers the question, "Who’s most likely to be looking for the exit at your plant?" The answer may surprise you.
In 1981, The Clash had a hit with “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” In the workplace, people most often leave to get away from a boss they don’t like or respect. Sometimes they leave to have a better work-life balance, and sometimes they leave…