11 way to make PdM more doable
Strategize to overcome these top implementation and execution challenges.
Companies implementing predictive maintenance (PdM) face a variety of challenges. Though the technical aspects will garner the most attention, human nature plays a strong role in the program’s success. Recent discussions with practitioners and…
Green greases that work great? Yes
The ongoing journey toward lubrication perfection
In pursuit of lubrication perfection
Lubrication plays a major role in Turkey’s energy production
GE announces co-development project for new asset performance management software solution
Choose the right tool for vibration analysis
Combine vibration monitoring and ultrasound for more cost-effective predictive maintenance
Use vibration monitoring to improve PdM and prevent failures before they occur
Simple steps to accurate alignment
How vibration analysis can detect alignment problems
Thermal growth and alignment
How to use ultrasound to improve lubrication practices
How ultrasound technicians are improving reliability at your plant
Thermography heats up
Use thermography to diagnose electrical problems
IR technology offers a tool with multiple applications
A tale of 2 industrial plants
Regulate water temperature
Welding QC simple with real-time temperature readings
Reduce corrosion costs
Combat corrosive conditions with prevention and early detection
Perform system maintenance to slow degradation of rotating equipment
Prepare for smart machines to run the world
GE Power & Water unveils the Digital Power Plant
New technologies help avoid machine faults
Internet of Things? Here's Cisco's Internet of robots, pipelines, and power grids
Remote monitoring through turbine retrofit
Work with IT to foster remote monitoring
Reaping the benefits of SCADA and the Industrial Internet of Things
Bentley announces finalists in 2015 Be Inspired Awards program
Is a centrifugal pump right for you?
Follow these guidelines to improve pump selection.
Centrifugal pumps usually handle most liquid pumping services at plants. Indeed, the pumps, which come in vertical and horizontal configurations, are ubiquitous at most sites. However, such pumps do not suit highly viscous liquids; these liquids require positive displacement pumps. Unfortunately, some engineers still specify positive displacement pumps for many water services and some medium viscosity liquids in the hope of, say, greater flexibility or operational advantages. In most such cases, though, variable-speed centrifugal pumps are better choices.
Ordinary centrifugal pumps usually can tolerate solids’ levels up to around 7% — with appropriate corrections on the pump curves. Specially designed centrifugal pumps can handle up to…
TEES Turbo Lab hosts 44th Turbomachinery & 31st Pump Symposia
Fluid handling tools you can use
Handle fluid with care
Pumps in peril?
Robot safety: Who is most likely to get injured?
Accidents usually occur during non-routine activities, especially maintenance and troubleshooting
The use of industrial robots is widespread as evidenced by new sales records. In the first half of 2015, a record 14,232 robots worth over $ 840 million were ordered from North American robotics companies, according to the Robotic Industries Association (RIA).
Serious and fatal injuries, while few in number, are most likely to happen to the skilled workers and others that do work outside of normal production. The unfortunate death that occurred at a Volkswagen plant in Germany in July 2015 is rare and illustrates the time when extra precautions must be taken.
OSHA claims that robot accidents are most likely to occur “during non-routine operating conditions, such as programming, maintenance, testing, setup, or adjustment. During many of…
Omnify Software announces strategic partnership with Octopart
Material handling meets energy efficiency
Big data in the material handling industry: From supply chain to fulfillment
Blog: Why Clean Power Plan 2015 will not deliver 2ºC goal
What does a 32% reduction in power plant CO2 emissions by 2030 really mean?
Does a 32% reduction in electricity production by 2030 get us to a 2ºC/450ppm target by 2050? No one is asking this question.
The 2005 reference value for Electricity Production is 2416Mt. Therefore, a 32% reduction would mean a target of 1643Mt by 2030. (Mt) is the abbreviation for million metric tonnes (2416Mt = 2.416Gt).
The short answer is that 32% by 2030 is a start, but these actions alone and their simple extensions are not nearly good enough.
Read more on why Pete Baldwin thinks that, in order to achieve a 2ºC/450ppm 2050 goal, industry must address emissions from Natural Gas Combined Cycle (NGCC) power plants.
NASA successfully tests engine for future Mars mission
Boost motor efficiency for a better payoff
Common sense management of EISA motor changes
Throwback Thursday: From Plant Services' October 1965 issue
Take a look at what made headlines in Plant Services 50 years ago
We're fortunate at Plant Services to have a rich library of back issues. (We've been doing this for more than 50 years, after all!) It's great to take a look at what has changed—and what hasn't—over the decades.
Here's what was featured in Plant Services' September/October 1965 issue...
*Radio-controlled cranes for speed, economy, efficiency ("Converting cab-driven cranes to wireless radio remote control operation has streamlined production techniques, trimmed fabrication costs and alleviated several knotty problems at plant of New England manufacturer of large electrical equipment.")
*How to solve in-plant voltage fluctuation problems ("Electronic-magnetic" voltage regulators to the rescue)
*Air dryer improves compressor repair…
GE plans app store for gears of industry
What is your compressed air survey ROI?
Compressed air system solutions for deep surface mining
Back to basics: Getting to the bottom of leaks in your compressed air system
Partnership with Fanuc looks to help manufacturers avoid robot downtime
Cisco has extended its internet-of-things portfolio with a set of packages aimed at manufacturing, transportation, utilities, and oil and gas businesses, including one automotive robotics monitoring project that has saved $38m in downtime costs in six months.
The networking giant has been working with industrial robot maker Fanuc on its zero-downtime project to monitor how its robots are performing in factories and then to use that data to spot when robots are likely to break down.
Read the full story on ZDNet.com.
Manufacturing Day highlights opportunities to bolster US manufacturing
Made in the USA: Robotics lead reshoring efforts
How end-of-arm-tooling for robots gives manufacturers a competitive edge
Why 3D printing is the future of manufacturing, not just a cool gimmick
The next phase for 3D printing: Coming out of rapid prototyping and moving into the assembly line for end-use production.
New 3D printing processes have reduced the time it takes for designers and engineers to conceptualize, create, and test prototypes. But for 3D printing to catch on the rapidly changing manufacturing industry, it will have to be seen by companies less as a fascinating technological upgrade and more as an everyday business decision.
That’s the conclusion from a report published in August by Stratasys Direct Manufacturing.
Read the full story at fortune.com.
Does digital manufacturing matter outside of design?
2016 International Additive Manufacturing Award competition launches
Is manufacturing really new?
Real optimization in a virtual factory
Airbus opens U.S. manufacturing facility
$600-million Mobile, Alabama manufacturing facility will produce between 40 and 50 A320 family aircraft per year.
Airbus and the newest members of its global team are “getting to work … together” as the company officially inaugurated its first U.S. manufacturing facility: an A320 family final assembly line in Mobile, AL.
“We are just getting started,” explained Tom Enders, chief executive officer of the company’s Airbus Group parent corporation. “Let’s bring the best products to the world’s biggest market. Let’s work together. Let’s win by combining talent and tenacity.”
Read the full story at onlineamd.com.
Obama announces $175 million in apprenticeship grants
ABB reduces downtime for Ecuador’s state oil company
Mechanical or electrical trip system testing?
Lessons learned from an international CMMS implementation
In this installment of What Works, a strategic plant design results in optimized efficiency for New Zealand dairy exporter.
It’s an international asset monitoring success story: A U.S. software company helps a New Zealand dairy specialist seamlessly manage production of items developed for the Chinese market.
Some background: Back in 2013, New Zealand-based dairy exporter Oceania Dairy was purchased by Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group (Yili), China’s largest dairy company. After buying Oceania, Yili commissioned development of a new, $236 million processing plant in New Zealand. The plant, Yili’s first outside of China, produces milk powder products that are shipped back to China, where they are then used to make finished products ranging from infant formula to ice cream.
Oceania was looking for software tools that would help it optimize enterprise…
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
How artificial intelligence could lead to self-healing airplanes
Partnership looks to make practical use of burgeoning amount of aerospace data
A new partnership between Boeing and Carnegie Mellon University hints at the power of fields such as artificial intelligence and big data to transform huge, multibillion-dollar industries. As part of a $7.5-million deal that will establish a new Aerospace Data Analytics Lab, Boeing and the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science will work on a range of projects that will apply the principles of AI and big data to improving the quality of Boeing’s aerospace activities.
The goal of the new partnership is to make sense of the burgeoning amount of data in the aerospace industry. By applying principles of machine learning, it might be possible to optimize many aspects of Boeing’s operations — including those related to design,…
Big data in the material handling industry: The NIST project
Improve plant productivity with communication, data gathering, and analysis
New software platform to be installed in 16 Waukesha VHP gas engines at three compressor stations in the Marcellus Shale area of West Virginia
GE announces that Crestwood Midstream Partners LP is the co-development customer for its new Asset Performance Management (APM) software solution for Waukesha gas engines, powered by the Predix software platform. This APM solution offers the real-time intelligence customers need to optimize the availability, reliability, operating performance and maintenance effectiveness of their Waukesha gas engines and associated GE equipment.
Crestwood begins its pilot project with 16 of GE’s Waukesha VHP gas engines at three compressor stations located in the Marcellus Shale area of West Virginia, where Crestwood builds, owns and operates pipelines and compression stations, allowing the movement of gas to downstream segments.
How the Internet of Things might change your plant
6 mistakes to avoid with EAM software
Bring-your-own-device policies put plant data in the palm of your hand
How to determine the best electrical safety practices for your plant
Do capacitor systems really save energy?
Electrical safety experts answer your questions
Manufacturers save more than $2 billion in energy costs through Better Plants program
Cumulative energy savings over five years estimated at 450 trillion BTUs
As the U.S. Department of Energy prepares to kick off October’s National Energy Action Month, the department announced that manufacturers in its Better Buildings, Better Plants Program (Better Plants) have racked up an estimated $2.4 billion in cumulative energy cost savings over the last five years.
Close to 160 industrial organizations representing more than 2,400 facilities are partnering with the Energy Department through Better Plants.
Read the full news release at energy.gov.
Energy management motivation: Fighting mixed signals, misaligned goals and unpredictable resources
Track energy costs like you would operating costs
Establishing an energy management dashboard the right way
Operational benefits of power system upgrades
How to retrofit older equipment with modern components.
Modern power delivery system infrastructure contains technology that monitors and controls power, which improves data collection, communication, safety and reliability. These features let plant personnel improve operational efficiency by reducing the number of unplanned outage events and minimizing downtime if an event does occur.
In many older facilities, however, these capabilities do not exist, because legacy electrical switchgears, transformers, and other pieces of equipment that are long-wearing and expensive to replace are still in use. Fortunately, many cost-effective options exist to retrofit older equipment with modern components.
When preparing for system upgrades, vendor selection is crucial. Ideally, the vendor selected will…
Proposed facility smart grid standard open for public review
Your guide to better power quality
Mersen acquires ASP, a Chinese leader in overvoltage protection
Overcome potential problems with power quality
Secure, data-driven power generation estimated to deliver $75 billion in savings across power industry
GE announces its Digital Power Plant, a revolutionary software and hardware solution that creates a virtual ‘’Digital Twin’’ of an entire industrial power plant complex.
Powered by GE’s Predix platform, the operating system of the Industrial Internet, “Digital Twin” is a collection of physics-based methods and digital technologies that are used to model the present state of every asset in a Digital Power Plant or a Digital Wind Farm. This transformational technology lets utilities monitor and manage every aspect of the power generation ecosystem to generate electricity as cleanly, efficiently and securely as the global economy and environment now demand with unprecedented real-time control and precision.
"The world is…
Improving performance and uptime of heavy rotating equipment
Practical considerations for modern BFW pumps
Your machines are talking to you. Do you always understand what they are saying?
Reaping the energy benefits of cogeneration, part 2
How to maximize power out of your gas turbine generator.
In Part 1 we talked about generating incremental steam using duct burners at extremely high thermal efficiencies for improved combined heat and power (CHP) systems. Now, let’s talk about trying to maximize power out of the gas turbine generator (GTG) with minimal parasitic spend. This is very important during peak demand periods and, coincidentally, also happens during the hottest time of the day (or year).
The GTG’s ISO-rated design is based on standard ambient air at 59°F, 60% relative humidity and 14.7 psia at sea level with no inlet and exhaust pressure drops. The GTG has an inlet air compressor that compresses ambient air before introducing it to the combustor. As the ambient temperature increases, the air density reduces…
Choosing the best boiler for your buck
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
Company expects its future profits to increasingly lie in aftermarket asset performance and maintenance services
General Electric has seen the future of manufacturing. It involves competing with some very big technology companies.
GE recently announced a push into computer-based services, connecting sensors that are on machines to distant computing centers where data will be scanned for insights around things like performance, maintenance and supplies. The company plans to spend about $500 million annually building the business, according to the executive in charge.
“We think it will change the industrial world,” said William Ruh, the head of GE’s software business. “We’re talking about where an industrial company goes to get its applications.”
While some of GE’s software revenue comes from moving existing practices into a new category,…
Context-aware technologies: The next frontier in mobile asset management
How to achieve better HVAC and dust collection
Reduced HVAC energy waste
Heat recovery and energy efficiency go hand in hand
Smartwatches help drive productivity, efficiency on the assembly line
How to take your plant one step closer to lean
Implementing lean operating systems
Lean manufacturing leads to production gains
U.S. manufacturing sector growth eases in September: ISM
Pace of growth is slowest since May 2013
The pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector slowed in September while remaining at its lowest level since May 2013, according to an industry report released on Thursday.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity fell to 50.2 from 51.1 the month before. The reading was shy of the expected 50.6, according to a Reuters poll of economists.
Read the full story on reuters.com.
Falling manufacturing costs sparking new interest in China?
Intergraph to acquire EcoSys, provider of enterprise project controls software
Can Walmart help bring Tonka truck manufacturing back to the U.S.?
Nike supplier to open first U.S. factory in Cincinnati
Volkswagen CEO resigns amid emissions scandal
Winterkorn says he accepted responsibility for the irregularities found but wasn’t aware of any wrongdoing on his part
Volkswagen AG Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn resigned Wednesday in the wake of a developing emissions scandal that has stunned the auto industry and slashed the car maker’s market value.
“Volkswagen needs a fresh start—also in terms of personnel,” Mr. Winterkorn said. “I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation.”
Read the full story on wsj.com.
Manufacturing hubs take U.S. policy to new level
Management of change
What you need to know before implementing change management
Eight common misperceptions of management of change
'Careers in 2 Years' aims to expand Pa. manufacturing workforce
Grappling with an aging workforce, Pa. manufacturers, economic development officials seek to win over Millennials
Many of today's manufacturing positions are not the same as the ones sought after by your grandparents' generation. Most require skills that may require technical training or attaining an associate degree.
With this skills gap in the current workforce in mind, the Greater Reading (Pa.) Economic Partnership its economic development partners created the Careers in 2 Years campaign, designed in part to raise the prestige associated with technical programs.
"For someone to go to a community college is no less viable than a four-year degree," GREP President and CEO Jon C. Scott said. "The reality is, someone who gets out of a trade school can immediately start making $50,000 a year, while someone graduating with a liberal arts degree may only…
Kentucky manufacturers work to expand apprenticeship-style education
Ten companies approved as SMRP Education Providers for reliability and physical asset management
How to plan for manufacturing success (hint: hire gamers)
Bumble Bee forced to pay $6M for maintenance worker cooked alive
Seven ways 3D printing is disrupting global manufacturing
The costs of additive manufacturing continue to drop, and quality is rising
For the last decade, 3D printing has been the playground of the maker community, while commercial applications have been limited to prototyping. But now, industrial 3D printing has reached its tipping point, and is about to go mainstream in a way that will revolutionize the economy. As costs continue to drop and quality rises, it will be impossible to put this genie back in the bottle.
Here are seven ways that 3D printing production is already in use today and disrupting business as we know it:
1. True rapid prototyping. Recent breakthroughs in automation coupled with the entry of global distribution companies like UPS have changed everything, in some cases leading to same-day production and shipping, and these changes are dramatically…
Fuel sealing systems testing
Seven tips for picking an outside contractor
Offshoring and outsourcing
The benefits of maintenance outsourcing
US Labor Sec.: Workplace injuries still "unacceptably high"
Results from 2014 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries show the rate of fatal work injuries in 2014 was unchanged from 2013
Preliminary results from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries show the rate of fatal work injuries in 2014 was 3.3 per 100,000 full-time workers, the same as the final rate for 2013.
"Far too many people are still killed on the job," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez.
While the preliminary total of 4,679 fatal work injuries was an increase of 2 percent over the revised count of 4,585 in 2013, there was also an increase in hours worked in 2014.
For example, "preliminary results tell us 789 Hispanic workers died on the job in 2014, compared with 817 in 2013," Perez said. "While we were gratified by that drop, the number is still unacceptably high, and it is clear that there is still much more hard…
Require safety compliance in your supply chain
How to measure the safety of your plant
Safety is everyone's job
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
OSHA issues proposed rule to clarify employer record-keeping
A Bosch plant in Anderson SC is using smartwatches on select lines, helping improve operator response time to general machine faults
The Bosch Anderson plant in South Carolina is the first Bosch plant to successfully implement smartwatches on a manufacturing line for better operator efficiency and productivity.
Smartwatches are now used on select lines and have eliminated machine stoppages due to feeder jams and other specific faults. The smartwatches also improve operator response time to general machine faults, which results in a significant savings of time and money.
With the new system, the assembly line is able to communicate with Pebble Smartwatches worn by line operators. This allows the operators to know in almost real-time when and where a specific problem is about to occur. They can then act swiftly to correct the fault or jam, usually before the line ever…
Wonderware InTouch software wins 2015 UX design award
Get smart about energy management
Managing the complexities and challenges of IIoT
How will IIoT affect the future of manufacturing?
Building the Industrial Internet with GE
How soon will self-driving cars be part of our lives?
Will your wager on IIoT pay off?
VW case: Is your IoT device lying to you?
Volkswagen just opened up a new area of concern for Industrial IoT that may require verification of performance tests
Consider the revelation that Volkswagen created a software “switch” to detect when its diesel engine was in an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) test, and fake the test results.
This lie was discovered by the West Virginia University’s Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines & Emissions when comparing the EPA test results with real-world road tests.
Read highlights from the EPA’s Notice Of Violation.
Researcher hacks self-driving car via sensors
ARC: IoT changes logistics for the OEM spare parts supply chain
Understanding the possibilities of wireless
Monitoring automation made more affordable
Industrial energy management is primed for an information-based revolution.
The global industrial sector consumes about half of the world's total delivered energy, according to the U.S. Energy Information Association. The agency also estimates the industrial sector’s worldwide energy consumption will increase from 200…
Automation supplier revenues continue slide in Q2 2015
ABB acquires full ownership of CGM
Maintenance Close-Up: Tool box, electrical enclosure or filter housing
Maintenance Close-Up: Thermometer, enclosure heater or temperature transmitter
Manufacturing Day gives Chicago Public Schools students hands-on experience
Will you be working for a robot in the future?
How much do you know about robots?
Running robots mean flowing profits
Direct-drive technology outperforms traditional motion control systems
'The economy will always destroy jobs': Our future in an IT-driven world
To power sustained American industrial renewal, it will take a coordinated set of policies around the "4Ts": technology, tax, trade and talent
Manufacturing Day highlights opportunities to bolster US manufacturing
Stephen Ezell and Adams Nager, for The Hill
While U.S. manufacturing may have bounced back slightly from Great Recession-lows, the reality is that America's manufacturing recovery remains tenuous. On this National Manufacturing Day, policymakers can and should be doing much more to stimulate the growth and competitiveness of America's manufacturing economy.
There's no good reason why America can't become an industrial powerhouse again, or why the manufacturing sector can't support another 2 to 3 million more American jobs and increase its contribution to GDP from its 11 percent share today closer to Japan's 19 percent share, or even Germany's 22 percent share. To…
Mfg Day 2015: Tech trailer gives students unique look at potential careers in manufacturing
Women tech leaders: New perspectives, more-robust solutions
Training operators and maintenance staff with 3D visualization
Are engineering students prepared for the real working world?
Exploring the differing perspectives of industry and academia.
Education is important. The role of professors is to develop human resources, professional knowledge and infrastructure through which engineering can contribute to human welfare. Item 1: Developing human resources is more than just teaching the engineering sciences; it implies full-person preparation for career and life. To properly direct human development, teachers need to understand the practice context. Item 2: Developing professional knowledge is the creation of a body of knowledge, tools and procedures that are useful. Developing something useful requires application understanding, validation within context and creative exploration to unveil new and practicable. Item 3: Developing the infrastructure means creating instructional…
Three things you can do to (re-) engage an apathetic workforce
Why a domestic manufacturing renaissance won't be easy to pull off
Do you know what young engineers are looking for?
Is your plant suffering from poor engineering quality? You're not alone.
Women leaders cite two major challenges facing women in tech
Manufacturing Day tours: Student feedback shows huge impact
Has the bottom fallen out for manufacturing job growth?
Do recent manufacturing job losses spell trouble for U.S. competitiveness?
The recent job report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reported that the economy added 142,000 jobs in September, represented 60 straight months of positive job growth by the U.S. economy.
Despite this milestone, recent job reports have been lackluster. And the scariest aspect of recent job reports is that despite continued overall employment growth for the United States as a whole, manufacturing has lost 27,000 jobs in the past two months.
Read the full story on industryweek.com.
Future meets present on Manufacturing Day
About 50 high school students get a good look at industrial machines at event organized by World Business Chicago and UI Labs
Some Chicago Public Schools students got to learn a few things outside the classroom last week, and their study materials were a lot bigger than a stack of textbooks.
One thing they studied was a hulking box called the NZ-2000. It’s made by DMG Mori, a Japanese company. It boasts a 12-axis turn/mill system, and it’s designed for complex, high-precision mass manufacturing. It’s used in medical, aerospace and military technologies. In layman’s terms, it’s a machine for making things.
About 50 CPS high school students enrolled in manufacturing classes got a good look at the NZ-2000 and other industrial machines at Manufacturing Day, a local event organized by World Business Chicago and UI Labs.
“The image of manufacturing . . .
2 reasons why industry is driving wage growth
Training and Career Center
Takin' it to the bank: Nissan's diverse workplace
Energy, manufacturing drive Great Lakes economic revival
4 ways to conquer critical moments
Mayor: Small-business growth, advanced manufacturing helping to power New Orleans' comeback
Mitch Landrieu cites Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses initiative as turbocharging post-Katrina focus
Nearly 10 years ago, Hurricane Katrina shone a spotlight on the major challenges the greater New Orleans region had been facing for decades: high poverty, structural unemployment, major population declines, a non-diversified economy and migrating businesses. All this meant that in the 40 years preceding, the area had underperformed the national average in job creation by more than 40 percent.
Today, with our partners at GNO, Inc. and the NOLA Business Alliance, New Orleans is diversifying its economy, creating jobs in digital media and bioscience, and fostering an emerging environmental industry focused on coastal restoration and sustainability, all while sustaining foundational industries like energy, international trade, advanced…
Study: Work to reinvent post-Katrina New Orleans remains unfinished
U.S. futures signal big rebound on Wall Street
New report challenges government findings, claims U.S. manufacturing still hurting