One of my favorite quotes is attributed to Marco Polo, the merchant traveller from Venice. His only published work is titled “Book of the Marvels of the World,” which runs about 350 pages and describes Polo’s travels through Asia between 1271 and 1295, and his experiences at the court of Kublai Khan.
This article is part of our monthly From the Editor column. Read more from Thomas Wilk.
There were plenty of skeptics who challenged Polo’s account, but on his deathbed, despite 24 years of travel through areas of the globe new to both he and his readers, Polo is claimed to have said: “I have not told half of what I saw.”
The December issue of Plant Services has become an opportunity for the editors to take stock of the preceding 12 months, to reflect on what we’ve published, where we’ve travelled, who we’ve met, and what we’ve heard and experienced. This year we set aside 11 pages for the annual recap, and it still wasn’t enough room to share with you all of the ideas and events that comprised Plant Services’ year in maintenance and reliability. (Watch for at least one more event recap next issue, as well as an article on my hands-on crash course in pump sealing basics.)
However there is one element of Plant Services that finally took shape in 2021: our original podcast, The Tool Belt, premiered in January and just hit episode #31, with several more episodes scheduled to go live this month. It had been a long-time goal to launch a podcast and sustain it over time, one that would be able to cover topics related to managing, maintaining, and automating your facility. We keep the conversations short, with most running under 30 minutes, and each is designed as a tool that you can use as needed to improve asset management.
As wide as the intended podcast scope was, it was both surprising and exciting to discover the directions we would go. For example, our initial plan included a four-part series on the hidden costs of compressed air, and all four of those episodes went as planned and are available to listen.
However, I was surprised to connect with Peter Christian, a former executive director at the Crayola Corporation, and talk about the efforts involved in improving reliability on their crayon molding machines. I was honored to speak with Michele McManamon and Dr. Kim Bynum of Operation New Uniform, about the work they are doing to help veterans transition into careers in industry. It was an education to talk with entrepreneur Haven Allen, CEO and co-founder of mHUB, on the impact of digitalization on the next generation of workers. And it was terrific to catch up with reliability expert Mike Macsisak to get a sense of what industry’s new pandemic-normal looks like, as we move out of crisis mode and into the long phase of managing the situation.
All episodes are available at https://plnt.sv/TOOLBELT. I hope you have a great holiday season, and see you in 2022!
This story originally appeared in the December 2021 issue of Plant Services. Subscribe to Plant Services here.