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…
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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…
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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.
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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…
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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…
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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.
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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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Democratization and glorious data: The future of American manufacturing
U.S., Italian leaders from industry and academia call for shaking up manufacturing with more production flexibility, better collaboration
What will define the future for American (and global) manufacturing? To start, more-flexible production lines, a more-democratized environment for product development, and a rethinking of workforce roles as automation advances, according to several U.S. and Italian leaders of industry and academia speaking in Chicago this week.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and top players from businesses and institutions such as Italian machine tooler Galdabini, TeleRobotLabs, and Chicago's DMDII advanced manufacturing institute talked trade and manufacturing trends on Wednesday at Impact. Innovate. Integrate, an event sponsored by the Italian Trade Agency.
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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…
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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…
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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…
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Google parent company's next big thing: Building a smart city
Alphabet eyes designing efficiency into urban areas
Google parent Alphabet Inc. has legions of Web developers. Soon it might be in need of real-estate developers.
In coming weeks, top executives at the Mountain View, Calif., technology giant are set to weigh a pitch from Alphabet’s urban technology-focused subsidiary, Sidewalk Labs, on a plan to delve into an ambitious new arena: city building.
The aim is to create proving grounds for cities of the future, providing a demonstration area for ideas ranging from self-driving cars to more efficient infrastructure for electricity and water delivery, these people said.
Read the full story at wsj.com.
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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.
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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…
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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.
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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…
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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…
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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.
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House votes to let manufacturers seek lower import tariffs
Vote seen as trade boost in a time of stalemate
The House voted to let US manufacturers seek lower tariffs on some imported materials they use in their products — a boost at a time when much of the congressional trade agenda is on hold.
The measure would let companies ask the International Trade Commission to reduce or suspend tariffs on chemicals or other items that generally aren’t available in the United States. Since 2013, companies have paid about $2.5 billion in higher taxes on such imports, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.
Read the full story on bostonglobe.com.
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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.
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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…
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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…
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Putting students in the driver's seat of a manufacturing career
Illinois college's $1.5 million new metal fabrication lab looks to prepare students for lifelong careers and help employers meet critical skilled-labor needs
Shortly after Dr. Kenneth Ender arrived as president of Harper College in July 2009, he was told that a group of area tool-and-die makers wanted to talk to him about how the college could help prepare local students for manufacturing careers. Ender accepted the request, expecting a small discussion with a handful of business leaders.
"Young people are drawn to opportunities to try out something," Harper College President Dr. Kenneth Ender said at the school's open house for its new FMA Metal Fabrication Lab.
Instead, he said at an open house this week for Harper's new $1.5 million metal fabrication lab, 23 regional CEOs and owners showed up seeking a dialogue about the critical workforce issues they were facing. "They desperately needed…
In Kentucky, a new lab trains students for the manufacturing workforce
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Training and Career Development
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Event designed to show off students' STEM work and encourage interest in manufacturing careers
By bringing together the world of education and work, schools can find out what employers want, and students can learn how their classes provide job skills, said Janice Stoettner of the Illinois State Board of Education's Career Prep Network.
Suburban Chicago high school students recently exhibited their talents to area companies during the first-ever SouthWorks Engineering and Robotics Showcase at Prairie State College. "Manufacturers need to play a part in our school systems," OAI Inc.'s Molly Dowling told a crowd at the event.
Read the full story at chicagotribune.com.
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U.S. manufacturing sector’s woes pose wider dangers
It’s easy for candidates to talk about bringing jobs back from China, but making factories the centerpiece of the U.S. economy is another matter
At least one political subject inevitably demands attention from both sides in an election—and in 2016, that’s American manufacturing. Democrats and Republicans seem to share the belief that America was better off when its citizens could count on a factory job as a reliable escalator into the middle class. Every candidate has a plan to revitalize U.S. industry; Trump alone promised to bring steel back to Pittsburgh and Carrier back to Indiana.
Given that the image of the factory worker is so closely linked to America’s 20th-century rise, one can understand this desire to turn back the clock. But would such a restoration be viable?
The truth is, even if China blinked out of existence tomorrow, there just wouldn’t be a need for…
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