Keeping the power on is a critical task for an industrial facility’s electrical maintenance personnel because a loss of power could result in lost production, translating to unhappy customers and deflated profit margins. However, there are other reasons why the power needs to stay on. An unplanned loss of power could result in a safety hazard in certain industrial processes, like chemical production, or worse, could occur at the same time the plant needs to be evacuated due to an emergency such as a fire.
At Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation’s preprint facility in Jacksonville, FL, Production Supervisor Craig Schuster has seen many changes on the plant floor during his 11 years with the company. One major change involves a material handling solution that now, more than two years after its implementation, has saved the company time and money while protecting employees from on-the-job injuries.
One of the greatest challenges facing building owners and facility professionals today is finding ways to reduce energy costs. The challenge can be even greater in industrial facilities filled with production equipment.
Founded in 1975, Digital Monitoring Products (DMP)is a recognized leader in network solutions for fast, cost-effective, centralized security monitoring in applications of every size. The company was at the forefront of digital communications in the security industry, and today continues to set standards with its networked intrusion, fire and access control products.
When SelectCrete, Inc., was faced with a new customer mandate, there were myriad details to consider. This Bakersfield, Calif.-based manufacturer specializes in cement backerboard, a mix of cement aggregate and fiberglass which is used as a water-resistant subsurface for tiling in commercial and residential building applications. In late summer 2006, a few weeks after the company had formed and before it had even started formal production, SelectCrete got a mandate from its primary customer, a Japanese firm, to place variable-data codes on the back of cement backerboard pieces.
Main Steel Polishing Company, Inc., a New Jersey-based metals processor, has been serving numerous markets for the last 50 years. Main Steel operates ten processing facilities throughout the U.S. and Mexico, and proudly states that it neither buys nor sells any of the hundreds of million pounds of metal it processes.
A look at the growing interest in utilizing matter on a molecular level. Nanotechnology is, at its most basic, the science of utilizing matter on a molecular level. When it comes to nanotechnology, there are several upcoming applications that move this emerging science beyond a laboratory and into the manufacturing environment.
Root Cause Analysis (RCA), a process used to identify the root causes of problems or events, is arguably the most powerful piece of equipment available in the proactive maintenance “toolbox.” RCA is designed to discover not only what or how something happened, but why it happened, and also determines the underlying causes of an event so proper corrective measures can be implemented to prevent any reoccurrences.
The now bygone era of inexpensive energy has been replaced by a new reality – steady, steep and continued rises in fuel prices. This has sent plant managers on a frantic search to find new ways of cutting costs in virtually every phase of the manufacturing process, but one area they may have been overlooking is steam generation.
Regenerative blower technology as a solution to reduce energy and maintenance costs, improve productivity and “go green”. Pressures remain high for plants to reduce energy and maintenance costs, improve productivity and “go green”. In response to these needs, some have looked to regenerative blower technology as a solution.
In the world of pressure sensitive adhesives or PSA’s, you will find no shortage of physical property data. Peel strength, shear strength, loop tack and temperature information are all readily available. The question is: How useful is all of this data? As a provider of PSA solutions, we spend countless hours coaching our salespeople to understand the application and the conditions to which the PSA is subjected before we can select a pressure sensitive adhesive tape product.
As far as day-to-day burdens go, this one has blossomed from a regular headache into a migraine: many plant managers will tell you that it’s finding and retaining qualified welders that is keeping them up at night. Luckily, industry experts and manufacturers are busy identifying the root of the shortage, and applying efforts to help save this trade from being torched.
I am not going to list a bunch of safety tips (70 can be found at www.wrighttool.com, our safety video, and many other places). However, wrench breakage and the associated hazards, costs and lost time can be greatly reduced by better understanding its root causes and possible corrective measures.
According to a recent Raymond press release, the $750,000 contract begins in 2007, where Raymond’s Greene, NY facility will become a “living lab,” with hydrogen fuel cell powered Raymond forklifts in the facility. Raymond will also develop the necessary infrastructure for indoor fast-fill hydrogen refueling systems, which represents new technology, since refueling systems up to this point have typically been installed outdoors.
Everyone knows there's only one constant in the technology world, and that's change. This is especially evident in the evolution of Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) and their varied applications. From their introduction more than 30 years ago, PLCs have become the cornerstone of hundreds of thousands of control systems in a wide range of industries.
Pull-out box Seal it tight. Know consumption and emergency rates. Schedule delivery time. Implement FIFO. Maintain condition of your storage facility. Rotate according to shelf life. Regulate temperature and humidity. Store lubricants indoor. Put a label on it. Shake up stored lubricants. Routinely analyze new oils.
From conveying items in production, to palletizing them on the way to the dock door, manufacturers are searching for automated material handling systems to boost their bottom line. Where speeds are low, depalletizing and palletizing operations can be done manually.
Keeping the line moving at the tool crib has always been a problem. Without an efficient method for handling the congestion of workers waiting for the tools they need, it’s easy for employees to spend more time in that line than the company might like.
Application and operators: These are the two things that should drive the decision of purchasing a lift truck, not acquisition cost. You need to know how well potential trucks are designed for your application. And you need to know how well they’re designed for operator confidence, productivity and safety. With the appropriate truck in the hands of a confident operator, productivity is optimized. And when that machine is built to last, you get the winning combination of high productivity, safety and low total cost of ownership.
Materials management is essential to better supply-chain performance. One way to improve the flow of product all along the supply chain is to use plastic reusable packaging. World-class companies like Ford, John Deere, Harley-Davidson, Tyson and others have already recognized the value of reusable packaging in moving their product faster, better, safer and more cost-effectively. A study conducted by Michigan State University, for example, noted that one U.S. automaker saved $10.9 million a year over a four-year period after a $16.3 million investment in reusable packaging.
For maintenance and plant operations, one device that can often represent significant cost is the sensor, particularly in harsh applications such as chemical and petrochemical processing. Often exposed to or immersed in highly corrosive solutions and subjected to extremely high operating temperatures and other severe conditions, pH sensors are the critical front-line probes that gather and deliver key data.
Investments in infrared thermography will return handsomely when used as part of a well-planned maintenance program. Unfortunately, many companies don't get those returns. In fact, thermography all too often becomes a burdensome expense, and the program is eventually abandoned. One reason this happens is because managers fail to understand the basics of the technology and the needs of their staff who use it.
What do safety, health, productivity and floor-cleaning schedules have in common? All of these aspects of your plant can be improved by making optimal use of modern floor-mat options. And mats available from textile service companies offer customization options and features that surpass those you’re likely to find in a standard industrial catalog.
When compression packing fails, the consequences can be devastating. Packing failure can cause pump damage, pump failure and unscheduled plant shutdowns, not to mention the cleanup effort. Considering the potential cost impact, keeping compression packing functioning properly may well be the most critical factor ensuring that the pump keeps working.
While plant managers and other decision-makers are often surprised with the many developments in loading-dock doors, the selection process need not be challenging or time consuming. Here are five steps to help guide the door selection process, based on the goals of improved safety, increased productivity, lower maintenance costs and overall satisfaction.