Blog: The quality you don't see via PdM
Do higher levels of predictive achievement get substantially lesser amounts of attention than reactive work?
As a career manufacturing engineer, I’ve seen my fair share of different operations’ inner workings. Like any job, there were parts I loved and parts I hated, but when it was all said and done, some of my proudest life moments have been spent with my coworkers on a factory floor.
Within the operations disciplines, we are often measured and judged by our ability to react. In any company I’ve ever been, it’s usually pretty easy to pick out the “core” — those vital few folks who are the ones everyone turns to when things just aren’t going right.
These are the manufacturing engineers who, like the urban legend says, can walk up to a broken machine and place an “X” on the problem area within minutes of investigating. They…
Blog: Move beyond the process historian via IT-OT convergence
Perspective: The case for moving to predictive maintenance
5 ways oil & gas companies control costs with asset management software
Process pumps and equipment: 8 quick tips to increase uptime
PdM words of wisdom from the experts
Top tips from Plant Services' series on how to restart a stalled predictive maintenance program.
Does this story sound familiar? You design and implement a predictive maintenance program with the best of intentions, nudging your team away from their reactive comfort zone to embrace a more proactive mindset, but after several months your team's forward motion grinds to a halt.
In a series of recent articles, contributing editor Sheila Kennedy sought out maintenance and reliability experts who have learned, sometimes through failure, what it takes to keep a PdM program alive and how to restart a program that has been unsuccessful. Below are notable quotes from this series:
“I have witnessed a few failures and walked into plants that have remnants of what was once a good program. Usually it was due to a combination of three things:…
7 critical success factors that keep strong PdM programs on track
PdM pitfalls and how to avoid them
Video: The scale of aircraft carrier maintenance is ridiculous
How the NRC’s Nuclear Maintenance Rule shapes today's best practices
How to clean steam turbines both online and offline
Fouling of steam turbine blades and vanes is a common problem, and online cleaning is possible that doesn’t require dismantling although the results are not guaranteed.
Fouling of steam turbine blades and vanes is a common problem. A complete and thorough cleaning would require stoppage and opening up the turbine, which may mean shutting down a profitable process. Online cleaning is possible that doesn’t require dismantling although the results are not guaranteed.
This article features excerpts from a case study, “Successful Online and Offline Cleaning of Steam Turbines With and Without Disassembly” by Bladimir Gomez Supervisor of PDVSA and Barry Snider of Small Hammer Inc. at the 43rd Turbomachinery Symposium held in Houston in 2013.
At a facility, the steam turbines driving critical compressors were losing power and speed. The governor/steam valve was unable to maintain desired rpm. Unit…
What's holding back predictive maintenance in rail?
Study: 67% of manufacturers to increase big data investments
Meet General Electric, the 124-year-old software startup
Parker Hannifin acquires Clarcor for $4.3 billion
Deal enhances Parker's filtration portfolio
Parker Hannifin Corp., which makes motion-control technology, agreed to acquire filtration-products manufacturer Clarcor Inc. for about $4.3 billion, including the assumption of net debt.
Clarcor makes filters for automotive and heavy industrial applications and reported $1.5 billion in sales for the fiscal year through November 2015. The deal adds an array of industrial air and liquid filtration technologies to Parker’s filtration portfolio, according to the statement.
Read the full story at industryweek.com.
How to realize the benefits of preventive maintenance for hydraulic valves
7 steps to quash carbon buildup
Don't light my fire: Keep flammable vapors at bay
OSHA announces Top 10 violations for 2016
List presented at 2016 NSC Congress & Expo
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the preliminary Top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety violations for fiscal year 2016. Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA's Directorate of Enforcement Programs, presented the Top 10 on the Expo floor as part of the 2016 NSC Congress & Expo, the world's largest gathering of safety professionals.
The Top 10 for FY2016 are:
1. Fall Protection, 1926.501(C) (6,929)2. Hazard Communication, 1910.1200 (5,677)3. Scaffolds, 1926.451(C) (3,906)4. Respiratory Protection, 1910.134 (3,585)5. Lockout/Tagout, 1910.147 (3,414)6. Powered Industrial Trucks, 1910.178 (2,860)7. Ladders, 1926.1053(C) (2,639)8. Machine Guarding, 1910.212 (2,451)9. Electrical Wiring, 1910.305…
Bosch & GE team up for IIoT interoperability
SAP, UPS work to attract partners to distributed manufacturing initiative
New tool helps manufacturers search for obscure parts
Interview: How drones can help improve manufacturing, supply chain capabilities
The basics of variable-frequency drive installation
Here's what you need to know and do to realize the potential benefits of a VFD
The VFD, often called an ac drive or inverter, takes a single- or three-phase signal and varies the speed of a three-phase ac induction motor. This is its main benefit. Running a motor more slowly can save significant energy, and speed changes may be useful to the application. Another big benefit is adjustable acceleration and deceleration. Less acceleration can soften the mechanical forces at motor start and reduce inrush current. The VFD also has built-in overload protection and motor start/stop control functions.
There are both physical and electrical installation basics to be aware of when using a VFD. When mounting the VFD on a back panel, be sure to check the specifications. It is common for multiple devices to be installed in one…
Monitor electric motor vibration, or optimize bearing lubrication?
Avoid unplanned motor downtime with the right equipment and processes
Machine learning software to transform ship maintenance
Next-gen subsea compressors to reduce size, weight by 50%
Aker Solutions and MAN Diesel & Turbo partnership expects to reduce the size and weight of future compressor systems by at least half, greatly lowering investment and installation costs
Aker Solutions and MAN Diesel & Turbo teamed up in October 2015 to build on their joint experience from Åsgard and their extensive oil and gas industry expertise. The partnership expects to reduce the size and weight of future systems by at least half, greatly lowering investment and installation costs.
The Åsgard system, which has been running with practically no stops or interruptions in its first year, will help recover an additional 306 million barrels of oil equivalents more cost-effectively, safely and with a smaller environmental footprint than a traditional platform.
Aker Solutions delivered the system in close collaboration with partners including MAN and the operator Statoil. “We’re proud to have played a leading part…
Compressed-air savings to blow your mind
Compressed air controls: Don't misuse and mismanage your compressed air system
Army reaches $1 billion in energy-saving projects with private sector
DIY compressed air audits: 8 things you need to know
United Technologies CEO says Trump deal will yield more automation, fewer jobs
Hayes emphasizes plans to keep engineering jobs in U.S.
Carrier said last month that it would keep more than 1,000 jobs across two locations in Indiana, following pressure from President-elect Donald Trump. The decision was touted as a win for the incoming president, who had pledged keep the jobs from moving to Mexico.
In a wide-ranging interview with CNBC's "Mad Money with Jim Cramer" that aired Monday, CEO Greg Hayes set out the comparative advantages of moving to jobs to Mexico, the motivation behind his decision to keep those jobs in Indiana, and the ultimate outcome of the deal: There will be fewer manufacturing jobs in Indiana.
Read the full story on businessinsider.com.
Report: Majority of employers believe automation will create more jobs than it will replace
How automation is opening new doors for Wisconsin manufacturers
Tesla shows what its self-driving cars see while on the road
NIST: Closing tech gaps can fortify advanced manufacturing, save $100 billion
Manufacturers take a page from Mother Nature
As manufacturers find inspiration in natural forms, sales of 3D metal printing systems surge
When designers at Airbus Group SE and Autodesk Inc. sat down to re-engineer a divider for jetliner cabins, they found inspiration at low altitude: slime molds and animal bones.
The European aviation giant wanted a lighter, 3D-printed version of a partition mounted to a curved cabin wall that supports fold-down seats for flight attendants. The efficient way simple slime molds spread to seek food in forests and other places inspired designers, who eventually created a complex lattice of more than 60,000 tiny metal bars using a structure based on mammal bones.
Big manufacturers including Airbus, Boeing Co., General Electric Co., Daimler AG and Siemens AG are already 3D-printing metal parts, many with forms inspired by nature.
Read the full…
Manufacturers find niche in New York City
Is digital photography the future of small-scale manufacturing?
How to manage land with your CMMS
David Berger says keep track of who’s doing what where on your plant's property.
Land is a physical asset that must be managed like any other asset. So which technologies are your best options for land management? You have a few options. Specialized software applications that support land acquisition and management exist, but…
Future of work: Internet-connected overalls
Plant Services CMMS/EAM Software Review
Read David Berger's column, Asset Manager
Perspective: Why does the U.S. lose more manufacturing jobs than Germany?
Short-term vs. long-term focus hurts U.S. competitiveness
Why aren’t televisions made in the U.S. anymore? Why can’t Amazon make a Kindle in the U.S. even if it wanted to, since the technology involved was almost all invented here?
Economists often suggest that the loss of jobs in U.S. manufacturing is simply the result of lower-wage labor in other countries and the inexorable impetus of automation as it eliminates employment in manufacturing just as it did a hundred years ago in agriculture. Nothing we can do. It’s just economics.
The inconvenient truth here is that not all countries have been equally affected by automation and global wage disparities.
Read the full perspective on forbes.com.
Data-driven maintenance leads to cost savings, new research indicates
Emerson Network Power rebrands as Vertiv
Interview: Building the IIoT step by step
IIC releases new IIoT reference document focused on business strategy
Veteran tech executive Rob Johnson to lead new standalone company as CEO, following sale to Platinum Equity
The business now formerly known as Emerson Network Power today announced the appointment of Rob Johnson as CEO and officially commenced a campaign to rebrand the standalone company as Vertiv.
Vertiv is a global provider of mission-critical infrastructure technologies for vital applications in data centers, communication networks, and commercial and industrial environments. The company, which is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio (USA), has more than 20,000 employees and more than 25 manufacturing and assembly facilities worldwide.
Platinum Equity acquired the business today from Emerson in a transaction valued in excess of $4 billion. Emerson also retained a minority interest in the company.
Mr. Johnson, most recently an operating partner…
Rockwell Automation launches FactoryTalk TeamONE app to speed plant diagnostics, collaboration
How the IoT can keep your buildings more comfortable, cost-efficient, and secure
Sheila Kennedy explores the future of smart environment controls.
Intelligent building systems and smart environment controls are among the greatest representations of the internet of things (IoT). Integrating all of the automated technologies used to manage temperature and humidity, light, water, energy, air…
Perspective: IIoT lies at heart of GE's acquisition strategy
Tesla says new cars will boast 40 times the computing power of the previous generation
In October, Tesla announced that all of its new cars would be outfitted with equipment that would allow them to drive on their own, and released a video showing off the technology. Now, the company has released some additional footage, showing what the car itself sees as it drives without human input.
In addition to the view from the car’s interior, the video shows off what the car’s left rear, medium range, and right rear cameras are seeing. The video is set to the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black."
Read the full story and watch the video at theverge.com.
Maximizing safety in real time
How to improve the safety of your motor control centers
Fundamental change is taking place on the world’s energy scene. Are you ready?
Peter Garforth explores embracing the grand energy transition.
Since the start of the global Industrial Revolution in the late 1700s, primary energy use has inexorably grown along with economic growth. We have become so used to this linkage that it’s almost impossible to conceive of GDP growth unlinked to the…
Study: Clean Power Plan could drive $442 billion in energy savings over 15 years
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
Marathon sues BP, claiming shoddy maintenance at refinery
Blog: How to execute an IREA to drive effective purchasing
“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…
DMDII announces second 2016 project call for advanced manufacturing R&D projects
Steam savings for the long haul
How to monitor day-to-day cooling tower performance
Proposed ASHRAE/ACCA standard for energy audits open for public comment
HVACR contractors share chiller maintenance best practices
Johnson Controls and Tyco announce merger
Don't sweat your heating bill
In Minnesota, helping manufacturers strategize to grow revenue
Enterprise Minnesota looks to help manufacturers unlock four keys to manufacturing success
Manufacturing executives looking to boost productivity, while increasing their customer base, with the goal of growing revenue, don’t have to struggle with putting together a puzzle of multiple moving pieces.
Enterprise Minnesota, a consulting organization, sees the puzzle as containing only four pieces. And the ideal way to ensure those four pieces remain connected is through strategy. For about the past 18 months, Enterprise Minnesota has been using the image of four interlocked puzzle pieces — strategy, talent, ISO management system, and continuous improvement — to help small and medium-size manufacturers be more competitive.
Read the full story on crowrivermedia.com.
New partnership with university aims to crank up Utah's manufacturing sector
Perspective: Why U.S. manufacturing is now bigger than ever before
Blog: What EHS managers need to know about digital transformation
U.S. manufacturing crushed expectations in November
Texas manufacturers see brighter future postelection
American manufacturing groups push Trump to rethink trade threats
OSHA anti-retaliation rules survive challenge, now in effect
Employers must inform workers about their right to report workplace injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation
A federal judge decided not to stop a new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) record-keeping rule's anti-retaliation provisions from taking effect on Dec. 1.
The controversial provisions will require employers to inform employees about their right to report workplace injuries and illnesses without facing retaliation. They will also restrict workplace safety incentives and drug-testing programs.
Several businesses and trade associations (ed.'s note: including the National Association of Manufacturers) challenged OSHA's authority to create these provisions in a lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
Read the full story on shrm.org.
Protect against overpressure: Know your PRVs
OSHA issues final rule updating walking-working surfaces standards, establishing personal fall protection systems requirements
OSHA: Man dies after being caught in machine at Kansas plant
In this installment of What Works, wireless test tools assist in high-voltage upgrades, data collection at Linamar plant.
Headquartered in Guelph, a small city just west of Toronto, Linamar is a multibillion dollar corporation and the second largest auto-parts maker in Canada. Linamar’s focus is precision machining, and among its many products are the engine blocks…
Need to know: New changes to the NEC
Is augmented reality a breakthrough for field service teams?
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…
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 on a larger scale: Honeywell integrates protective solutions offerings
Integrating workers into 'digital industrial context' for safety, efficiency in focus for GE Digital
A man dressed as a utility worker approaches an electrical panel. As he moves to touch the metal box, a light blinks. Sensors sewn into his overalls have cut the flow of electricity to the box. He can now work without the risk of electrocution.
"This is just one way technology can help workers do their jobs better and more safely," says Stephane Sireau of GE Digital. Long known primarily for making big-ticket hardware devices such as MRI machines and jet engines, General Electric is doubling down on software and IIoT.
Read the full story at usatoday.com.
And for more on context-aware technology, check out our April cover story.
The link between situational awareness and HMI design
Rockwell Automation expands PartnerNetwork program
Blog: Automation markets poised to recover in 2017
Perspective: Harley hogging the open road to top-speed manufacturing
Digital technology tools seen as delivering needed jump-start for productivity
Using 3D simulation, visual work instructions and other new techniques, Harley-Davidson Motor Corp. can now produce customized bikes — ready for delivery to the customer — in six hours, a process that used to take 21 days. Customers can configure their hogs in the morning and ride them home from the factory in the afternoon. This is the very definition of a productivity step change and should have a significant impact on Harley’s costs and profits going forward.
For too long, U.S. manufacturers have stayed within their comfort zone, using familiar productivity-improvement tools that no longer deliver the needed punch. If companies continue doing more of the same, they’ll pay a heavy price.
Read the full perspective on…
Expertise-sharing center looks to help companies boost productivity
After months of preparation, the University of Utah's College of Engineering launched a new expertise-sharing center Tuesday to assist the state's more than 3,000 manufacturing companies boost their productivity and expand jobs.
With 125,000-plus Utahns employed in the sector — 9.1 percent of the state's workforce — the U.'s new Manufacturing Extension Partnership, or MEP, has dramatic potential for improving the state's economy, officials said.
Read the full story at sltrib.com.
A single chart everybody needs to look at before Trump's big fight over bringing back American jobs
Perspective: Donald Trump will struggle to make manufacturing great again
Why Trump will struggle to bring back manual labor jobs
'American workers may be struggling, but American factories are not'
Quick, answer this: Does America make stuff anymore?
Anyone who listened during the presidential election may be inclined to think not. Both candidates decried the disappearance of good-paying manufacturing jobs. President-elect Donald Trump garnered votes with his promise to restore America’s manufacturing base to its former glory.
But keeping this promise will be difficult, as Mark Muro, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, recently argued. That’s because American workers may be struggling, but American factories are not.
This chart illustrates that stark reality (washingtonpost.com).
Study: Interest in STEM fuels growth in number of international students in United States
Girls dig into engineering potential at Caterpillar
Government workers in US now outnumber manufacturing workers by almost 10 million
Illinois loses 10,000 manufacturing jobs in past year
Carrier will receive $7 million in tax breaks to keep jobs in Indiana
Fact-check: Obama's record on manufacturing jobs
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…
Study: As older workers are edged out, productivity slows
GE to invest $1.4B to acquire additive manufacturing companies Arcam and SLM
Study: One in five NY manufacturers are hiring fewer people because of Obamacare
Perspective: Why the US pines for manufacturing
Why can’t I get my project approved?
How to lead employees who are less open to being led
How to effectively manage the 4 generations in today's workforce