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
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
ABB and Microsoft partner to drive digital industrial transformation
How the NRC’s Nuclear Maintenance Rule shapes today's best practices
Just putting a chain together is a laughably massive project when that chain has to hoist a 30-ton anchor into the air
The Nimitz, deployed in 1975, is the oldest U.S. Navy aircraft carrier in service today. Just keeping a small boat alive in salt water that long takes some work, but when the ship is over 1,000 feet long the scale of maintained projects is just incredible.
This clip from the show Dry Dock takes us through just a few elements of a year-long maintenance regiment that the U.S.S. Nimitz was put through a few years ago before returning to duty. When it is active, the ship is home to over 3,000 servicemen and women and some 60 aircraft.
See images and watch the video.
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…
Next-gen subsea compressors to reduce size, weight by 50%
How to achieve PdM success: Be like Mike
Study: 67% of manufacturers to increase big data investments
Meet General Electric, the 124-year-old software startup
Top 5 challenges to implementing an IIoT system
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…
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
Trelleborg launches online sealing technology resource center
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
Machine learning software to transform ship maintenance
Researchers from the University of Southampton are to develop software that can monitor the equipment, fuel and energy performance of a ship at sea, and applying novel machine learning techniques to a domain that has largely been data poor
Researchers from the University of Southampton are to develop software that can monitor the equipment, fuel and energy performance of a ship at sea.
The University is part of the Ship Energy Assessment – Condition Optimisation & Routing Enhancement System (SEA-CORES) consortium, which provides a live model of ship performance on global operations. The development of the software is led by BAE Systems and is sponsored by Innovate UK.
BAE Systems is developing and testing SEA-CORES, which is able to correlate variables that could affect a ship's performance, such as energy consumption and different weather conditions. Using genetic algorithms to track and capture the live data, SEA-CORES provides those on board with a greater…
Army reaches $1 billion in energy-saving projects with private sector
How to perform smarter motor maintenance
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
DIY compressed air audits: 8 things you need to know
ABB and Huawei announce IIoT collaboration
ABB’s strength in robotics to foster integration of advanced industrial and collaborative robots into Huawei’s manufacturing and development.
Industry 4.0 is slowly becoming a visible reality as more manufacturers team up with IT and data processing companies in an effort to realize the production lines of tomorrow.
The latest example is a recent agreement between ABB Group and Huawei. Under the agreement, ABB will have access to Huawei’s OneAir@Smart X, allowing facility-wide wireless communication between machinery, workers and a central database, each connecting on a different wireless spectrum to alleviate bandwidth issues on a single network. This network would allow for support of multiple services, including supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), automatic control, data transmission for smart meters and sensors, video surveillance, broadband access and…
Interview: Don’t blame the robots!
New safety practices and design adopted with collaborative robots
Perspective: Robots with grit will redefine manufacturing
Rockwell Automation expands PartnerNetwork program
Manufacturers find niche in New York City
Food sector leads way as small firms leverage local talent and growth; pricey space a problem
New York City’s abundance of entrepreneurs, its spirited culture of so-called makers turning crafts into cash and its strong attraction for prospective employees made it a clear choice when Shapeways Inc. was deciding to move to the U.S.
But the 3-D printing services company also wanted to prove another point.
“You can make manufacturing local again,” said Pete Weijmarshausen, chief executive of the company, which was founded in the Netherlands and now has its headquarters in Manhattan and a factory in Long Island City, Queens.
Shapeways, which employs about 70 people at its factory, exemplifies the nature of New York City manufacturing today, where jobs have steadily been added over the past five years after a long slide.
Is digital photography the future of small-scale manufacturing?
Perspective: What GE's acquisition of Meridium shows us
GE to invest $1.4B to acquire additive manufacturing companies Arcam and SLM
ABB and Microsoft Corp. have announced a strategic partnership to help industrial customers create new value with digital solutions. Customers will benefit from the unique combination of the Microsoft Azure intelligent cloud and ABB’s deep domain knowledge and extensive portfolio of industrial solutions.
The two partners are committed to empowering digital transformation in customer segments such as robotics, marine and ports, electric vehicles and renewable energy. By selecting Microsoft Azure as the cloud for its integrated connectivity platform, ABB’s customers will now have access to an enterprise-grade cloud infrastructure that benefits from billions of dollars of ongoing investment.
“Together with ABB, we are providing…
Plant Services CMMS/EAM Software Review
Read David Berger's column, Asset Manager
Blog: The hard road from IIoT connectivity to productivity
On the marketing track, IIoT has been in the golden phase, but on the parallel implementation track, the wheels are just creaking into motion
IIoT has developed along two parallel tracks over the past several years. On the marketing track, IIoT has been in the golden phase where its promised benefits are infinite, anything is possible and everything can be measured.
But on the parallel implementation track, the wheels are just creaking into motion. Most of the focus among IIoT technology suppliers has been on connectivity: connecting machines and collecting the data.
One of manufacturing’s virtues is its practicality. For industry, the acid test of new technology is simple: does it increase your productivity? Industrial companies have quickly discovered that getting all their manufacturing data together by itself doesn’t solve any problems. The challenge is making sense…
Blog: What EHS managers need to know about digital transformation
Trends are telling: Detecting and learning from patterns and trends in data
Blog: Attractive options in connecting to the IIoT
In the future, IIoT will separate the more traditional-minded companies from those willing to embrace new technologies and more importantly, new ways of thinking
As the utilities industry transitions from an industry defined by a lack of connectivity to one of distributed energy systems connected through networks and sensors, the importance of embracing the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) becomes more apparent. Whether coming from legacy systems or newer technologies, critical data exists and has the potential to predict and prevent failure situations so maintenance teams don't have to.
Today, nearly every utilities' operation, whether it be a large-scale electrical plant or a wind turbine, contains sensors that notify cognizant personnel of problem conditions or of failures when they occur, in real-time. These sensors provide the necessary insight into what is happening, what did happen…
How to improve the safety of your motor control centers
Need to know: New changes to the NEC
Study: Clean Power Plan could drive $442 billion in energy savings over 15 years
Your energy strategy needs updating
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
Don’t leave home without them: Why assessments are key to reliability success
SAP and UPS launched a website today that they hope will attract other companies into a partner program to test new industrial 3D printing methods
SAP and UPS launched a website today that they hope will attract other companies into a partner program to test new industrial 3D printing methods.
Specifically, SAP is opening up its distributed manufacturing initiative and expanding a previous collaboration with UPS in an effort to broaden the number of co-innovation partners working to test, validate, and improve upon new methods for supply chain production and management.
The collaboration with UPS integrates SAP's platform for supply chain and Internet of Things with the UPS additive manufacturing and logistics network. According to SAP, co-innovation partners will help uncover ways to streamline supply chains and get products to market faster.
"SAP Distributed Manufacturing can…
OSHA finds sawmill's safety failures led to worker's death
Hankins Lumber Co. faces serious violations, $80K in penalties
An employer that fails to follow safety standards leaves workers like Charlie Cummins, Jr. to suffer the consequences.
On May 4, 2016, the saw operator with more than 20 years with Hankins Lumber Co. was attempting to adjust a pin stuck in the up position on an infeed table of a gang saw. Suddenly, unguarded sprocket on a rotating shaft entangled his clothes, leaving him pinned against the equipment and unable to breathe fully. Cummins then lost consciousness. Taken to a local hospital after others freed him, the 56-year-old man later died of his injuries.
OSHA investigated and found his employer failed to ensure proper machine guards and emergency shut-off procedures were in place. The agency issued 12 serious and three…
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…
Is augmented reality a breakthrough for field service teams?
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
New resources expand proven automation solutions, products and system integration
Rockwell Automation has grown its PartnerNetwork program with 14 new members and four expansions among existing members.
The PartnerNetwork program is designed to help industrial companies better solve their manufacturing and automation challenges with an expansive ecosystem of leading suppliers, distributors, system integrators, and machine and equipment builders.
Two new companies have joined the Solution Partner program from the North American region. Solution Partners are qualified system integrators that demonstrate the highest level of commitment to Rockwell Automation technologies and relationships within their specialized services or solutions. New Solution Partners include the following:
JMP Engineering Inc. (North America)…
Blog: Automation markets poised to recover in 2017
Rockwell Automation acquires Automation Control Products
Google’s Project Jacquard to turn clothes into an extension of smart devices
Blog: What do you mean by "analytics"?
IIC publishes Industrial Internet security framework
Upjohn Institute senior economist Susan Houseman argues that without the computer industry, productivity growth is no higher in manufacturing than in the economy overall
JB: This election has clearly elevated the view that our manufacturing sector, and the families and communities that have historically depended on it, has been hurt by trade. A countervailing view says it’s not trade, it’s automation that’s responsible for large-scale job losses. You’ve recently updated your very important work on this question. Does productivity in the manufacturing sector support the automation story?
SH: No, it doesn’t. To see why, consider where that story comes from. The simple automation story says that U.S. manufacturing is doing well and automation is behind the large job losses. At first blush, government data seem to support that story. Manufacturing output growth, adjusted for inflation, has been…
3 industry groups join forces to work on IIoT standards
Two industry heavyweights to work on open source, cross-platform compatibility
Industry heavyweights GE and Bosch are working together to further the growth of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
GE Digital and Bosch Software Innovations have signed a memorandum of understanding focusing on technology interoperability and platform integration through GE’s Predix operating systems and Bosch’s IoT Suite.
Both companies will create software that is interoperable with each other’s cloud platforms, with the aim of enhancing the overall value of each platform and providing solutions to a wider customer base.
GE and Bosch are aiming to establish an IoT core based on open source technologies and to foster an ecosystem around this technology base. Both companies are members of the major open source software…
IIoT viewed as critical to the future-proofed mining plant
GE plans software platform for creating 'digital twins'
Girls dig into engineering potential at Caterpillar
About 80 seventh-grade girls from Decatur public schools visit facility for "Introduce a Girl to STEM Day" to learn more about their potential in science and technology
Johns Hill Magnet School students Lydia Knuffman and Claire Peters and other seventh-grade girls were given an assignment: assemble a set of gears, wheels and other pieces creating a mechanism that moved freely.
"I saw it like a puzzle,” Peters said. “But those are easier because they are made for kids. This was harder.”
Knuffman and Peters quickly found they were given a faulty project. “It was just rolling weird and skipping everything,” Knuffman said.
The project was facilitated by Rich Eirhart, a Caterpillar manufacturing engineer. With Eirhart's help the group learned a simple solution. “To make it work better, one of the gears needed to be bigger,” Peters said.
Eirhart and more than 40 other Decatur Caterpillar…
Government workers in US now outnumber manufacturing workers by almost 10 million
Perspective: Why we desperately need to bring back vocational training in schools
RIT commemorates Manufacturing Day with Corvette engine build and demonstrations
SMRP Announces 2016 CMRP of the Year Awards Winners
How to attract women to industrial careers
Simulating their way to success
Perkins Career and Tech Ed law reauthorization passed by US House
How to effectively manage the 4 generations in today's workforce
It is important for managers to understand the traits of each generation and use that information as it applies to the people they lead.
Exciting times are just around the corner for the food and beverage industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs in the industry is expected to grow 10 percent between 2014 and 2024. This increase in the number of jobs will result in a tremendous influx of new employees into the food and beverage workforce.
The surge of new employees will further complicate a workplace that is more complex than ever due to the number of generations working together at the same time. Advances in medical care leading to longer life spans, delayed retirement plans for many Americans due to the sharp decrease in pension plans and concerns about health care created a perfect storm forcing employers and employees to attempt to…
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
Study: One in five NY manufacturers are hiring fewer people because of Obamacare
Perspective: Why the US pines for manufacturing
How to be a macro-manager: Know the true condition of the plant without micro-managing your workers
Real talk about finding, keeping a manufacturing job today
Work backward to move forward