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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Bolt-On Jackets Can Boost Valve Reliability

May 12, 2004 5:28 am | by Henry Gaines, P.E., Controls Southeast, Inc.

In all process industries, valve failures due to improper, welded valve jacketing occur regularly. Their annual costs in lost production, spare parts and maintenance overtime can run into millions of dollars. How can such losses be avoided? It's simple: Avoid welding jackets for valves. Instead, use bolt-on jacketing to effectively provide thermal maintenance for valves.


Putting Metrics to Work

May 11, 2004 1:28 pm | by David Cochran and Kerry Stone, Contributors

An experimentation method known as Multivariable Testing analyzes statistical test results to solve problems, boost efficiency and cut costs. Nearly 10 years ago, maintenance engineers at DuPont's Agricultural Products Division in LaPorte, TX, had a near-crisis on their hands. Pumps used in the manufacture of a key herbicide were failing at an alarming rate, shutting down the production line and resulting in losses mounting to $750 million a year.


An Enterprise Energy Management System Can Reduce Your Energy Risk

April 7, 2004 7:31 am | by Rudi Carolsfeld, Business Development Manager, Power Measurement

Whether the need is to reduce costs or improve yields, increase uptime or improve customer satisfaction, the top priority for any facility manager is always a question of risk. The supply of reliable, clean and cost effective energy is mission-critical, yet this continues to be one of the least carefully managed inputs to a business, and this translates to poorly managed risk.


Sun Power: A Guide to Industrial Solar Options

April 7, 2004 7:26 am | by Gregory Kerwin, Contributor

Long-term warranties, improved products and growing incentives mean the time has never been better to consider solar power for your plant or facility. A 4.0 kw photovoltaic system atop a San Francisco duplex provides 85% of the building's power. Similar systems can be used to augment power in industry.


Aftermarket Inkjet Nozzle Reduces Packager's Maintenance, Production Costs

April 7, 2004 7:11 am

Toll Packaging is a Gibson, IL-based co-packer of pet foods and other specialty products. The company sets high standards for itself and suppliers, including. InkJet, Inc. (IJI), an Elk Grove Village, IL-based provider of low-cost, high-quality inks, replacements parts and service to the coding and marking industry.

Check Roof Openings for OSHA Compliance

March 12, 2004 6:43 am | by Michael Toohey, Marketing Manager, The Bilco Co.

Roof openings are present in virtually all non-residential buildings. Several types of products can be used to cover them, which serve a variety of purposes. These include providing ventilation or additional light, smoke venting, and/or allowing maintenance workers roof access. Regardless of the openings' function, however, failure to protect workers from the hazards these openings present can have far-reaching consequences.


Vinyl Curtains Help Manufacturer Split the Difference in Shared Space

March 12, 2004 6:41 am

As a leading designer and manufacturer of hydraulic motion control systems, the Power-Packer division of Milwaukee, WI-based Actuant Corp. has changed location to accommodate its business and size. Recently, the company expanded some of its manufacturing to a facility in Glendale, WI, that it would share with another Actuant division, Gardner Bender, a maker of electrical tools and supplies.


Best Practices: Naturally Vitamins, Inc.<br> Lean and Green

March 12, 2004 6:40 am | by Rick Carter, Editor-in-Chief

This company's Arizona-based manufacturing facility represents the owner's belief that environmental responsibility and the production of nutraceuticals go hand in hand. Manufacturing quality takes on a new meaning when the product being made is for human consumption. This is true in any food industry, but it's especially true in the world of nutraceuticals, where products are designed to provide medical or health benefits.


Join the World Class

February 12, 2004 9:59 am | by Nancy Syverson, Managing Editor

Above: Members of the Boeing Airlift and Tanker Program celebrate winning an AQP award last year. At left is Clarke American Checks' 2003 Baldrige award. Applying for awards like the Baldrige and the Shingo offer manufacturers a chance for feedback about their systems and, upon winning, a way to earn the world's respect.


Filter Maintenance Tips and Techniques

February 12, 2004 9:23 am | by Stephanie Earley, Market Manager, Kimberly-Clark, Filtration Products

Air filters are found in many industrial applications, from HVAC and industrial-process air systems to paint-spray booths. Filtration is at the heart of indoor air quality (IAQ), keeping production environments clean and free from the dust and particulates that may reduce product yields. But while filters keep air breathable and processes clean, they only perform when they are maintained correctly.


New Era of CNC Maintenance is PC-Based

February 12, 2004 9:23 am | by Nyles Priest, President, MachineMate, Inc.

When the first-shift supervisor for the strut-machining department arrives at his office each day, one of his first tasks is to check e-mail. Not only does he want to see if anyone in his building has sent something important to him, he wants to see if any of the machines in his department require attention.


Coating Products Extend Cooling-Pump Life at Power Plant

February 12, 2004 9:20 am

Brackish water does a number on metal. As it circulates through massive cooling pumps at the Brandon Shores Power Plant near Baltimore, MD, it erodes the cast-iron casings, impeller blades and other parts. Jeff Jensen is an engineering technician at the coal-powered facility, which is located on the Patapsco River and owned by Constellation Power Source Generation (formerly Baltimore Gas and Electric).


Ultrasonics Helps Imaging Service Find Air Leaks, Electrical Disturbances

February 12, 2004 9:20 am

The combination of rising energy costs, federal and state emissions regulations, and tight production schedules has turned growing numbers of facility managers to outside service providers for such tasks as periodic compressed-air surveys and inspections for electrical disturbances. American Thermal Imaging (ATI), Red Wing, MN, specializes in ultrasonic, infrared and compressed-air analyses for commercial and industrial applications.


Keep it Clean!

January 21, 2004 8:46 am | by Joy LePree, Contributing Editor

From advanced equipment to outsourcing options, plant managers are finding ways to clean their facilities faster, safer and more efficiently. Dust, fumes, grease, soot and oil, hazardous byproducts, metal shavings, wood scraps, plastic scraps, paper, cardboard. What isn't a continual challenge to keeping your plant clean? In the past, the job of keeping a manufacturing facility clean usually fell to an on-staff housekeeping crew.


Advanced AC Lift-Truck Motors Offer Powerful Alternative to Internal-Combustion Models

January 21, 2004 8:36 am | by Dirk von Holt, President Jungheinrich Lift Truck Corp.

For years the forklift, powered by an internal combustion (IC) engine has been the workhorse for industrial and commercial material handling of heavy loads. The noise, emissions and performance limitations of conventional forklifts was accepted as a necessary evil. However, one of the most significant trends in the forklift industry is the increased use of electric-powered forklifts.


Proper Cleaning of Powder-Paint Booths Improves Safety, Profits

January 21, 2004 8:32 am

The powder-paint coating process offers important advantages that make it the finish of choice among many manufacturers. But it also introduces health and safety issues that make cleanup of powder-coating booths a challenge. Potential hazards of the process include worker exposure to inhalable particles, the possibilities of powder combustion, and environmental damage.

Cut Costs With Automated Tank Cleaning

December 8, 2003 10:30 am

Automated tank-cleaning systems typically consist of a motorized tank washer, pump and process-control package that make efficient use of resources. Chances are, tank cleaning in your facility is a simple procedure. Workers physically rinse, wash and sanitize them. Or the tanks are rinsed, filled with cleaning solution and water, drained and rinsed again.


Best Practices: Baldor Electric Co.<br> Wired For Quality

December 8, 2003 10:27 am

In its 83rd year, the Arkansas-based electric-motor manufacturer continues to deliver high-quality products and customer-focused value through good times and bad. Randy Breaux, vice president of marketing (top) and Neil Condray, corporate quality manager. Behind them are views of Baldor's main manufacturing facility in Fort Smith, AR.


Consider 24V DC Control Voltage for Safety, Reliability

November 12, 2003 5:06 am | by Neil O'Shay, Product Manager/Solid State ControlEaton Electrical

There are two basic components to virtually every manufacturing process: motors and the devices that control them. Typically, control devices are large and operate on the same voltage used to power the motors. This results in large motor-control centers that may not provide maximum reliability.


Lighting Upgrade Reduces Textile-Mill Hazards, Improves Workspace

November 12, 2003 5:03 am

Safety is always a concern in a textile mill because of potential fire hazards. When Avondale Mills, based in Graniteville, SC, constructed a 217,000-sq.-ft. addition at its Horse Creek, SC, plant, the facility installed enclosed luminaires to both improve light and help eliminate lighting-related fire hazards.



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