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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Arc Flash Safety Starts With Electrical Distribution Maintenance

April 21, 2008 9:47 am | by Joseph Weigel, Product Manager, Square D Services, Schneider Electric

The electricity that flows through the electrical distribution system of any industrial facility is the lifeblood of the entire operation. Production processes, environmental controls and security, lighting and safety systems all require a clean, reliable, and continuously available flow of power.

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Going Lean? Don't Forget IT

April 18, 2008 12:03 pm | by Diskeeper Corporation

In today’s manufacturing universe, cost-effectiveness is a constant battle. Every element from raw goods to worker efficiency, eliminating waste of time and material, streamlining processes, and even evaluating and improving supervisory expertise, is undergoing microscopic and expert examination so that companies can remain functional and profitable.

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Design, Operate, Maintain

April 18, 2008 11:47 am | by Anna Wells , Editor

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;" } How DOM can help improve communication between design and MRO teams Asset management can make or break an operation, but how can it remain manageable when systems become more multi-tiered and complex? IFS, a global enterprise applications company, is no stranger to the ERP (enterprise resource planning) market—and, says the company, more and more emphasis must be placed on implementing greater communication between the various entities of a facility—namely those designing it during the contract phase, and those working on the MRO side.

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Asset Tracking Optimized With RFID

April 18, 2008 11:33 am

Tracking indirect material is a challenge many industries face today. With the need for controlled environments on the rise, many companies wonder which process is best for gaining control and retaining a level of standardization.

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Itron Fights Static With Humidity

April 18, 2008 11:23 am

“Static electricity, and the potential for defects due to electrostatic discharge (ESD) is one of the biggest manufacturing headaches a board manufacturer can face,” says Itron’s Paul Anderson.

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Q & A With Dr. J Patrick Kennedy, OSIsoft

April 18, 2008 10:52 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;" } "We have built a company that is known for high levels of support; most of the questions we get on our support line are still answered by the person taking the call.

The E-Z Way Out

April 18, 2008 10:38 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director

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;" } An enthusiastic embrace of Lean Manufacturing initiatives has kept golf cart manufacturer E-Z-GO on par for success E-Z-GO golf car headquarters in Augusta, GA.

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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.

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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