Best of Plant Services 2021: Part 1

Dec. 1, 2021
After a year of smoothing out bumps in the road, get ready to race into 2022.

It’s time once again for our annual roundup of insightful and inspired quotes from the pages of Plant Services magazine and PlantServices.com. 2021 was yet another difficult year for manufacturers. From pandemic variants and supply chain disruptions to semiconductor chip shortages and a lack of skilled workers, this year tested the strength of many industries and manufacturers. But hard work, combined with new tech, helped many overcome these seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

“These days infrared detectors are very affordable and can be used in measuring and tracking critical temperatures. More sophisticated, but affordable, low-cost IR cameras are available that give users a complete thermal image of operating equipment. The use of a camera can show how electrical components, compressor coolers, motors, and bearings are performing, all found with a quick glance at a thermal signature.”
Ron Marshall, Compressed Air Audit
Digital tools for compressed air system measuring and monitoring

“If every failed component identified is left unidentified, it will eventually schedule itself and cause unintended downtime to operations. Understanding this and having the documentation of the work identified is a key component to showing the value. We now should have a record of unintended consequences in the form of a corrective work order.
Rick Clonan, CMRP, RMIC, Eruditio
How to frame the value of PM and PdM

Ask the question, “What is the problem that I’d like to solve, as a result of implementing digital where any other solution couldn’t?” If you’re already on that journey, I would be looking back and reviewing and saying, “Does my digital solution so far answer the question? Is it solving the problem that I want to solve as a result of a digital solution?”
Ben Dickinson, ABB
Cybersecurity is still the #1 risk for manufacturers

“Even companies with established condition-based maintenance routines do not use condition-based maintenance for 100% of their plants’ assets. And every organization has to consider not just an asset’s lifespan but also the resources, including labor hours and parts, required to prevent failures. Just as an effective maintenance and reliability program uses a mix of condition-based, calendar-based, and reactive maintenance methods, the P-F curve can be most beneficial when its use relies on a combination of modalities.”
John Bernet, CMRP; Gregory Perry, CMRP, CRL; and Dries Van Loon, CRL, Fluke Corp.
Modalities impacting the P-F curve

“Deploying robots in an industrial setting requires a mobile robot management system to coordinate the numerous types of robots and applications. Information integration becomes very important in creating a common graphical interface that allows operators to view the actions and alerts from each robot and drone. Adding to the complexity of the integration task is the fact that some of this information must be sent to automation platforms and some to the asset management systems. The facility requires a platform to integrate and manage all this information effectively.”
Tom Fiske, Ph.D., and Penny Chen, Ph.D., Yokogawa
Industrial autonomy: How machines will perform their own maintenance

“The problem is, is when we go ask for permission most people shoot it down. Going out and taking action is a lot of self-leadership. The question is, how do you build the self-confidence and the competence to go out and do that? If you don’t know how to solve problems, and you don’t know how to remove obstacles and those types of things, you’re never going to have the confidence to walk into a facility and just say, This is what we’re doing.”
Joe Anderson, CMRP, CRL, CARO, ReliabilityX
3 tips to improve your leadership skills

“For end users, one value of ANSI/EASA AR100-2020 is that it concisely describes “good repair practices” in just 23 pages. Further, those who require service centers to comply with the recommended practices in AR100 can be sure repairs will conform to a recognized American National Standard. The result should be a “good practice repair,” i.e., a quality repair without shortcuts.”
Thomas H. Bishop, P.E.
What’s new in the ANSI/EASA AR100-2020 motor repair standard?

“I find tremendous benefit in leveraging RCM2 concepts as a framework for PM optimization. Before rolling your eyes and suggesting overkill, understand my logic. RCM2 is a process to define the necessary actions to cause the equipment to continue to do what its users want in its present operating context. Competency in the RCM methodology enables one to easily apply the concepts to a lesser approach, such as failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) or basic PM optimization. And using RCM concepts reduces the number of existing PMs frequently. For example, from an FMEA led by an individual competent in RCM concepts, more than 1,000 PMs generated over one year were eliminated across three packaging machines.”
Jeff Shiver, CMRP, CRL, People and Processes
Your 7-step guide to effective PM optimization

“When fostering your very own electrical safety culture, start by looking at two of the recurring top 10 most cited OSHA violations that are related to the control of hazardous energy and use of electrical work practices. These are covered under the OSHA regulations: (1) CFR 1910.147, which covers the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which the unexpected energization or startup of the machines or equipment, or release of stored energy, could harm personnel; and (2) CFR 1910.333, which covers the safety-related work practices to prevent electrical shock or other resulting injuries from direct or indirect electrical contact when work is performed around the electrical equipment and circuits.”
Nick Schiltz, Grace Technologies
Fostering an electrical safety culture

“An audit of your asset management function will determine the efficiency and effectiveness of your existing operations. This is accomplished through a variety of techniques including interviews with all levels of maintenance and operations personnel, and work sampling to determine maintenance worker utilization. Information flow and bottleneck analyses are used to identify organizational, process, and system strengths and weaknesses, from work requests to management reporting and follow-up.”
David Berger, P.E., Contributing Editor / Asset Manager
Asset management audit checklist: What condition is your CMMS in?

“Understanding failure is imperative to bring about future success. When it comes to digital transformation projects, failure is not hard to find. Somewhere between 65-percent and 85-percent of attempts fail, leading to substantial loss of time, money, and effort.”
Hanna Marcus, DO Supply, Inc.
6 steps to implementing an effective digital transformation strategy

“The advancements are an inevitable application of modern technological developments. Mobility and the IIoT are transforming how data is collected and applied. Open standards and cloud computing are driving unprecedented connectivity, interoperability, and data democratization. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are powering advanced analytics and data-driven maintenance. Each of these is influencing the previously staid practice of PM.”
Sheila Kennedy, CMRP, Contributing Editor / Tech Toolbox
Time for smarter PMs: How intelligent technologies are improving preventive maintenance routines

“I attended my first ARC Forum event, virtually, in February, and here I’ll talk about two sessions that I attended focused on using technology for operations and maintenance. A couple of themes ran throughout both presentations, despite the use case or the industry, from software solution providers to equipment manufacturers. Two things are most important: data and people. Does that seem counterintuitive? Do we use data to do the work of people? Or do they work together? Can the answer be both?”
Anna Townshend, Managing Editor
Digital technologies on the plant floor: Combining domain knowledge and the right data

“Last year, only about 1 in 3 respondents could say that there were no changes to their regular asset maintenance workload and headcount, and 13% of respondents admitted that they were reducing available maintenance resources due to furloughs and/or layoffs. To make matters worse, fully half of respondents last June said their plants were running at reduced capacity, and 6.5% said they were experiencing a full temporary shutdown. What a difference a year makes. More than 25% of respondents claim they are currently operating at higher / full capacity, and only one person said they were still under a full shutdown.”
Thomas Wilk, Editor In Chief
The impact of COVID-19: What's changed for maintenance and what's stayed the same

“Thermal stresses are due to thermal movements of piping and induced stresses by supports and by the surrounding facilities. Piping expands or contracts due to the extreme temperature of the fluid being transported, and due to the temperature difference imposed. This thermal movement creates high loads and moments on points with limited displacement, such as nozzles of the equipment, supports, or anchors, and this results in high stresses.”
Amin Almasi, P.E.
Factors to consider in a piping stress analysis

“Windage noise, which typically accounts for most of the noise from an electric motor, is most prevalent in high-speed (e.g., two- and four-pole) motors. Since it is caused by turbulent airflow at obstructions near the rotating part that moves air, the best way to reduce it is to minimize the obstructions. Windage noise differs from most motor noise sources because it originates in the airstream rather than in the motor parts. Usually, it is broadband noise (wide range of frequencies) with essentially no significant pure-tone (sinusoidal waveform) components.”
Tom Bishop, P.E.
Electric motor noise: How to identify the cause and implement a solution

“Many organizations are embracing data lake technologies to better communicate with the wide variety of OT systems and equipment. These provide flexible connectivity to leverage the organizations’ initial investment, enabling greater visibility across the enterprise. To implement the best data lake solution, organizations should focus on the way technology will help connect, collect, and contextualize the data they rely on for continued reliability and operational success.”
Vineesh Kapoor, Emerson
Data lake technologies: Bridging the gap between OT and IT

“At many ongoing plants, management has “sized” its current maintenance force over the years to be a somewhat profitable plant as evidenced by the fact that they are still in business. But management has fine-tuned the workforce size to a large degree in response to the operations group calling for maintenance. The louder and more frequently operators call, the easier it is to justify and hire more maintenance staff. Yet at times when operations is not particularly calling loudly, if maintenance persons retire or otherwise leave, management is not quick to replace them.”
Doc Palmer, P.E., CMRP, Contributing Editor
How many maintenance people do I need?

This story originally appeared in the December 2021 issue of Plant Services. Subscribe to Plant Services here.

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