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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Root Cause Analysis (RCA): A Silver Bullet or Just Plain Coveralls

April 15, 2008 1:17 pm

Successful RCA initiatives have common threads for accomplishment. The management maintains an active role in the RCA effort. They take the responsibility to set up the support systems that will encourage the employees to go after and solve chronic issues that affect the bottom line. (See figure 1) Figure 1 - Click to expand Executive management decides the company will incorporate an RCA initiative and provide funding to create the environment needed for success.

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Backup Power: "Back" To The Basics

March 24, 2008 11:42 am | by Bill Brown, P.E., Lead Engineer, Critical Power Consulting, Square D & Critical Power Competency Center/Schneider Electric

In today’s business climate, reliability requirements force the consideration of backup power when power from the electric utility is unavailable. But what type of backup power should you be considering? With the number of available solutions on the market today, the issue of just what solution fits a particular facility’s needs should be considered before making such a crucial and potentially costly investment.

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Old Dog, New Tricks

March 24, 2008 11:30 am | by Welch Goggins, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cleaver-Brooks Inc.; Chairman of the ABMA

About 80,000 boilers aged 30 years or older operate in U.S. facilities today. The older the boiler, the less efficiently it runs, and the more unsafe and unreliable it may be. But don’t just accept these drawbacks as inevitable. With the technological advances we’ve seen in the past few years, companies can achieve energy savings of 10 to 20 percent— without purchasing a new system.

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Improve Your Vision

March 24, 2008 11:18 am | by David Simon, CEO, Evergreen Energy Solutions

One of the major opportunities for fast-payback electrical savings in industrial facilities is lighting. Lighting can account for up to 30 percent of a facility’s electric bill. The obvious first step is to replace incandescent with fluorescent lighting, and many plants have already taken this step– but that’s just the first.

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Know Your Stuff

March 24, 2008 11:03 am

Find out which specification of lift truck would best suit your particular handling needs: What is the maximum weight the truck will need to lift? What lift height is required? Are there any height/width restrictions? Choose a power type, but remember, engine powered trucks are normally only used outdoors.

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Leveraging A Lubrication Provider

March 24, 2008 10:49 am

In a global marketplace, local regulatory issues can impact the sale of your product. This is one of the reasons it is important to understand the safety profile of your products and the chemicals that go into them, as well as how local regulations may affect sales.

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Bearing Secrets: Extending Intervals With Lubrication

March 24, 2008 10:44 am | by Dave Garner, Strategic Marketing Manager for Lubricants & Industrial Sealants, Dow Corning Molykote

At the heart of almost every industrial facility are electric motors, which can render equipment inoperative should their rolling element bearings fail. This is an occurrence more common than necessary due to strain resulting from improper lubrication.

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Automation Solves Welder Shortage Issue For NPK

March 24, 2008 10:23 am

NPK Construction Equipment Inc. (NPK), based in Walton Hills, OH, manufactures attachments for heavy machinery equipment. In the past few years, sales and production have grown exponentially, and the company's manual welding process was experiencing growing pains.

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Cumberland Eliminates Spillage And Dust Problems

March 24, 2008 10:20 am

Cumberland Pencil Co. (located in Borrowdale, in England’s picturesque Lake District), started as a cottage industry in the mid-19th century to make pencils from locally mined graphite. The company now produces some 750,000 fine art and graphic pencils per week, sold worldwide under the brand name of Derwent.

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Q & A With Barry Jaruzelski, Booz Allen Hamilton

March 24, 2008 10:11 am

Jaruzelski : On balance, 2007 was a solid year for industrial manufacturers, despite a slowing U.S. economy in the second half and fear of a 2008 recession. As of late November, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index had both gone up four percent. Unfilled orders for U.

Wanted: Emotional Intelligence

March 24, 2008 10:01 am | by Mike Collins

h4 { font: bold 14px Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000; } .byline { font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 4px; } .caption { font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; margin: 4px; } .sup { position: relative; bottom: 2px; font-size: smaller;" } Many of today’s management are having trouble leading their company through the battlefields of globalization In his 35 years in manufacturing, Mike Collins has helped companies make the transition from being defenders-focused on process change and cost-cutting-to prospectors-focused on finding new markets and profitable growth.

Small Town Workin'

March 24, 2008 9:57 am

h4 { font: bold 14px Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000; } .byline { font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 4px; } .caption { font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; margin: 4px; } .sup { position: relative; bottom: 2px; font-size: smaller;" } ATP crosses industrial manufacturing tracks using technological and time-saving tactics to cut costs, raise quality, and head into a new marketplace By David Mantey Operations Manager John Jones (left) and Vice President and General Manager Bernie Stritzke (right) of ATP Engineered Rubber & Plastics.

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The OEE Deficit

February 28, 2008 6:19 am

The paper is based on manufacturers’ experiences and research conducted by Activplant Chief Product Strategist Dennis Cocco. In this body of work, Cocco introduces an evolution in thinking: the most efficient way to increase productivity is to focus on product flow through the process.

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Automated Warehouse Handles Increased Volume For FUJIFILM

February 21, 2008 5:43 am

FUJIFILM U.S.A., Inc., began manufacturing operations at the 500-acre Greenwood, SC campus in 1988, when the company announced the construction of its first U.S. factory for the production of pre-sensitized plates for the graphic arts market. The manufacturing complex is currently comprised of five high-tech manufacturing plants, as well as the Greenwood Research Laboratories, and the largest FUJIFILM distribution center in the world.

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Polaris Faces Flooring Challenge

February 21, 2008 5:28 am

Roseau, MN is the birthplace of Polaris, and the sport of snowmobiling. Polaris’ Roseau facility houses both its high-tech product testing lab and manufacturing operations for its ATVs, snowmobiles and Ranger UTVs. The state-of-the-art testing lab in Roseau is a series of glass-walled rooms where engineers can re-create real-life stresses on engines to study their effects on components. While Polaris parts have proven to stand up to virtually any adverse condition, the lab’s flooring, ironically, has repeatedly failed the stress test.

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Contouring Lighting Control

February 20, 2008 12:34 pm | by Scott Jordan, Product Manager, Commercial Lighting Control, Square D/Schneider Electric

Increasing energy efficiency and cost savings in an industrial facility often comes down to a keen understanding of the manufacturing process, and contouring an appropriate strategy to maximize available opportunities. Case in point is the Menasha, WI, facility of Albany International Corp., a worldwide manufacturer of paper machine clothing, where a unique lighting control strategy was implemented in 2002 during a lighting retrofit.

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Never Fear Change

February 20, 2008 12:10 pm

h4 { font: bold 14px Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000; } .byline { font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 4px; } .caption { font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; margin: 4px; } .sup { position: relative; bottom: 2px; font-size: smaller;" } Two-time AME award winner, Batesville Casket, Manchester, TN, finds consistency in change.

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Consistent Efforts, Consistent Results

February 20, 2008 11:53 am

h4 { font: bold 14px Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000; } .byline { font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 4px; } .caption { font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; margin: 4px; } .sup { position: relative; bottom: 2px; font-size: smaller;" } AME President Ralph Keller outlines the path to award success AME president Ralph Keller sees the annual Manufacturing Excellence Award as a recognition for long term, continuous improvement that is rooted in company culture.

Stuck On Stick?

February 20, 2008 11:34 am | by Mike Crawford, Stick Electrodes Product Manager, Hobart Brothers

Because variables such as storage techniques, electrode diameter, and flux composition all contribute to stick electrode selection and performance, arming yourself with some basic knowledge can help you minimize confusion and better ensure stick-welding success.

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Practical Growth: The Quad Plan

February 20, 2008 9:59 am

h4 { font: bold 14px Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000; } .byline { font-style: italic; margin-bottom: 4px; } .caption { font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; margin: 4px; } .sup { position: relative; bottom: 2px; font-size: smaller;" } A planning process designed specifically for small and mid-sized manufacturers In his 35 years in manufacturing, Mike Collins has helped companies make the transition from being defenders-focused on process change and cost-cutting-to prospectors-focused on finding new markets and profitable growth.

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