When the recession hit, industrial distributor W.W. Grainger had two things its competitors didn't: cash and a vision. Here's how the $4.8 billion dollar company is restructuring to improve customer service, gain market share, and create the "perfect order." Ask president and chief operating officer, Wesley M.
When it comes to lubricating rotary-screw air compressors, a unique set of circumstances can make the process difficult. This is because in most lubricant applications, oxygen, heat and moisture are not continually combined. Two of these three factors are often combined, but not all three. In a rotary screw air compressor, the lubricant is constantly injected into the compressor air end along with the intake air, and both are moved through the compressor chamber.
At the Lyondell-Citgo petroleum refinery in Houston, TX, a decision was made some years ago to replace manually operated wedge-plug isolation and switch valves on the coker drums with motor operated, metal-seated ball valves. The change was expected to improve efficiency of these valve operations, critical to the refining process.
The Maryland World Class Manufacturing Consortium has been helping state manufacturers become world-class competitors since 1996. Lean, Kaizen, Six Sigma and other strategies are part of a program that guarantees its members will improve. If someone told you they would help your manufacturing operation achieve world-class standards, pay half the cost of high-level consultants, and help you network with other manufacturers _ all for a nominal annual fee _ you would probably question their credibility.
Paul Smith was only trying to be helpful. As he finished loading engine fasteners from the bustling and noisy work floor to an awaiting hoist, he stood next to a railing and placed his hand atop the load in an effort to balance it and prevent it from moving. He had done this many times before. At the same time, the hoist operator thought he heard someone tell him to pick up, and he began to lift the load.
Perkin Elmer Corp. is a Norwalk, CT-based manufacturer of life-science systems and analytical instruments. Among other products, the company's Optoelectronics business produces thyratrons, fast acting, high-energy switches capable of operations up to 20 kA and 75 kV. They are typically used in applications such as gas laser, radar, and other modulator applications.
Dangerous jobs challenge safety experts in extraordinary ways. Here's how professionals in some of the nation's most dangerous jobs keep the focus on safety in their daily routines. Safety experts stress that accidents are not random occurrences. They happen for a reason, usually resulting from interactions among people, machines and their environments.
Used in both industrial and commercial facilities, cord grips provide the means for passing cord or cable into an enclosure, through a bulkhead, or into a control device such as a switch. Grips prevent cable pull-out or premature fatigue because they secure the cable where it enters the enclosure, or where it terminates into a hardwired application.
When Forbes Chocolate introduced an automated bulk-bag discharger at its Cleveland, OH-based plant, it was able to introduce into three ribbon blenders up to one-third more cocoa powder per shift than previous manual dumping of 50-lb. bags. The change, enabled by equipment purchased from Flexicon Corp.
As budgets shrink in both manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors, facility maintenance professionals have found new ways to cope. Do more with less. That theme has been echoing across the business world for some time now, and it's particularly resounding for facility managers. But as budget belts tighten, requirements and requests for high-quality maintenance remain.
With the help of company veterans like Dave Rosenthal and others, the Philadelphia-based maker of specialty chemicals has embarked on a manufacturing-excellence initiative tailored to the unique needs of its worldwide businesses. Credited for increasing capacity and reducing costs, it has helped transform a solid, old-line company into a streamlined, world-class supplier.
Pressure gauges have been a reliable source of accurate pressure measurement for more than 100 years. The operation and design of pressure gauges dates back to the mid 1800s when Eugene Bourdon invented the Bourdon tube. This same principle is used today, albeit with enhancements to last longer and resist corrosion.
In the food industry, moisture and harsh cleaning solutions are part of everyday life, and corrosion is a production manager's nightmare. It can cause bearing failure, necessitate unplanned maintenance and, depending on where the failure occurs, shut down an entire line, resulting in costly downtime and serious disruptions to operations.
Unplanned shutdowns and downtime continue to be among the largest avoidable costs to manufacturing. In process industries, downtime frequently leaves material useless when the production process is shut down mid-stream. These shutdowns may never be completely avoidable, but new technologies can help minimize their occurrence and their impact on manufacturing.
As power interruption becomes less tolerable to manufacturers, the option of generating efficient back-up power at the point of use begins to make sense. The benefits are many. Industry's electric-power needs are not as simple as they once were. In today's manufacturing and processing plants, where systems are almost completely operated by computers, plant managers face more complex concerns regarding the power that fuels their facilities.