July 2006 Issue


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  • Is effective change management really this simple?

    Change management should involve questioning those closest to the situation to determine the best plan for solving the problem. Then all management has to do is implement the recommendations. Is it really this simple?

  • Don't let your good work go unnoticed

    Do you feel like you’re hard work goes unnoticed? Are you putting in a lot of effort to gain more respect, but you feel ignored? How one man was inspired to revitalize other maintenance departments.

  • The seven deadly wastes

    Evaluate material handling systems to eliminate non-value-added costs. Knowing these seven deadly wastes will help you identify the best places in your plant to eliminate waste.

  • Ahead of China

    The prevailing notion in modern manufacturing is that China has passed the U.S. in many disciplines, but a recent study reveals the contrary. Managing Editor Ken Schnepf examines why the U.S. is ahead of China in six-sigma and lean practices, as well as a variety of other areas.

  • Wrench time

    Industry experts have for many years pointed to the low productivity levels in maintenance departments of most companies around the world. They cite anywhere from 30% to 50% as an average for “wrench time,” the productive time technicians spend actually repairing or replacing equipment, as opposed to walking to the job, receiving instructions, waiting for parts and other productive or non-productive activities.

  • Fieldbus improves control system reliability

    Profibus-PA and Foundation Fieldbus both reduce cabling cost by sharing wiring among several field instruments. They also save money by reducing the number of instrument interface cards required to connect field instruments to the control system. However, they all save money by being able to use the same field transmitter for a wide range of measured variables.

  • Safety is a matter of corporate ethics and responsibility

    There are numerous technologically advanced products in the plant that increase the safety of our workers. Editor in Chief Paul Studebaker laments the times when patents restrict the use of life-saving technology in his monthly column.

  • Transportation energy costs are a money pit

    It isn't unusual for plant managers to concentrate their energy savings plans on production processes and major commercial real estate, but it's the transportation energy costs that are probably higher than you think. Peter Garforth, in his monthly Energy Expert column, identifies the energy savings possible from better management of your fleet.

  • Waterworks saves energy

    Results from a continuing study by New York’s Monroe County Water Authority (MCWA) indicate that applying low-friction anti-corrosion coatings can restore pump efficiency to the manufacturer’s new-pump specifications.

  • In the Trenches: Dirty negotiation ends with mud on Acme's face

    After Acme lured away a capable maintenance manager with an overly generous offer, it tries to negotiate the deal half-way thru. When the manager refuses the renegotiation, Acme creates unreasonable goals for him and fires him for not meeting them and are saddled with a lawsuit. Find out what each could have done to avoid such a messy situation. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

  • Safety versus complexity and cost

    In this Web-exclusive sidebar, Martin Boyd, national product planning manager, Toyota Material Handling U.S.A., answers our questions about the real-world value of his company's patented lift truck stability control systems.

  • Piping for toxic and hazardous gases

    When processes change and manufacturing plants need to install any of several types of ultra-high-purity process gases, it’s the plant engineer who will be responsible for specifying an appropriate piping system. Learn about a sound system design that maximizes efficiency, purity and safety.