Drones Fly Beyond Inspections

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Unmanned-aircraft systems are excellent and safe inspectors, but the future is in analyzing the data they collect.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Efficient Plant Magazine

They can be as small as a pizza or as large as a picnic table. With the help of a licensed pilot, they can fly over and around heavy equipment. They can hover high above facilities and gather data from areas that would require scaffolding and cranes for humans to reach. They can maneuver into tight, hard-to-reach spots, such as industrial piping. Most important, they safely collect valuable data in record time and with minimal risk of unnecessary shutdowns or need for excessive manpower. To read the full article, please follow this link.

Combine Hard & Soft Skills for Effective Energy Management Program

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By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Pump Engineer and ValveWorld

Bill Allemon is an electrical engineer with an MBA, and has found a niche using both his engineering and business skills. He develops and implements strategic energy management plans leveraging Operational Excellence tools. He said that throughout his career, he has found himself somewhere between the C-Suite and field operations, communicating strategic concepts and nebulous goals into effective strategies that deliver value for his clients. Please follow this link to read the full article.

Additive Technology Can Improve Performance

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Companies can produce more reliable and efficient components faster and with fewer resources using 3D-printing technology. 

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Efficient Plant Magazine

Ryan Hooley vividly remembers when General Electric’s (GE) aviation department manufactured a fuel-nozzle component using 3D-printing technology. Traditionally, the component was made of many smaller components. It required welding and assembly—processes that needed time, energy, and materials. But GE found a way to produce a fuel nozzle using additive manufacturing—specifically, 3D printing.  “They were able to make it in one shot, one part,” said Hooley, general manager of product management for GE’s Power Services business in the B/E class fleets. “But additive manufacturing is not just looking at the value propositions like assembly, cost, and cycle. Now we can look at actually improving performance. When people hear 3D printing, I wonder if they realize how it’s being used today. It seems very futuristic. This upgrade is evidence that additive manufacturing is here today. It’s relevant, and it delivers value. Additive manufacturing is fundamentally changing what we can do. It’s not 10 years away. It’s here.” Follow this link to read the full story.

For Problem Solving Pumps & Valves, Look at the System as a Whole

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Abhijit Ray Chauduri has been associated with pump and valve selection, evaluation, procurement, and operation supervision for nearly 34 years. Currently based in Kolkata, India, he is the head of the Pumping Systems Group inside the VA TECH WABAG organization. He oversees the selection, procurement, and operational issues related to pumps, valves, and the associated electrical and mechanical equipment. 

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Pump Engineer and Valve World

Many years ago, Abhijit Ray Chaudhuri had the opportunity to listen to a lecture by I. J. Karassik, a Russian-American engineer known for his pioneering work with pumps, He wrote over 1,100 technical articles and papers on pump use and maintenance, as well as several books, including Centrifugal Pump Selection, Operation and MaintenanceEngineers' Guide to Centrifugal Pumps, and Centrifugal Pump Clinic. He also co-wrote Pump Questions and Answers, and co-edited the Pump Handbook. The lecture inspired Abhijit to forge a similar career path. “Karassik was the grand old man of the pumping industry and I heard him in a seminar at Delhi while in my final year of mechanical engineering in college,” Abhijit said. “Inspired, I joined Worthington Corporation in India as a graduate engineer trainee. I learned the basics there during my tenure, especially about chemical process pumps as well as pumps for water services. Since valves are an integral part of any pumping system, I picked up working knowledge of them.” To read the full article, please follow this link. 

Engineering At Sea and On Land

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Running the engineering department on an aircraft carrier during the first Gulf War prepared Bruce Ames for a lifelong career that kept him busy in all types of industries—paper, power, trucking, and more. Now, a lubrication engineer with ExxonMobil, he uses his diverse skills to develop programs to help his customers save money, energy, and time.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Pump Engineer, Valve World and Valve World Americas

Bruce Ames’s family genes are deep in two things—engineering and the Navy. His engineer father and brother-in-law were Navy, and this family history inspired him to pursue and earn a four-year scholarship to Maine Maritime Academy. This is where he received a degree in marine engineering technology and acquired a Coast Guard license. He was commissioned by his Naval officer brother on graduation day, and shipped off to a three-year duty aboard the USS Forrestal

The 1,100-foot aircraft carrier was made famous when it caught on fire in July of 1967, triggering a chain-reaction of explosions that killed 134 sailors and injured 161. At the time, Forrestal was engaged in combat operations in the Gulf of Tonkin, during the Vietnam War. The ship survived, but with damage exceeding US$72 million, not including the damage to aircraft. Future United States Senator John McCain and future four-star admiral and U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Ronald J. Zlatoper were among the survivors. Ames served his time on the Forrestal from 1989 to 1992, more than two decades later, but some of the explosion damage left challenges for the future engineers and operators. Read the full story by following this link. 

Automation Accelerates Beer Production

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Automation and a focus on reliable processes are at the core of a craft-beer business that grew from a hobby to a full-time pursuit in less than 10 years.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Efficient Plant Magazine

Jason Roeper grew up watching and learning from his uncle, a hobbyist home brewer. The day he turned 21, Roeper went to his uncle’s house and brewed his first batch of beer. He honed his craft and, in 2007, submitted his unblended Elderberry Lambic, “Straight Up,” to the Sam Adams Longshot Competition. He was named a finalist, which inspired him to pursue his dream of becoming a craft-beer brewer. In 2009, after being laid off from a corporate job, Roeper translated his longtime vision into a business plan and began the Rivertown Brewing Company in Lockland, OH. In 2017, he expanded to a larger space in Monroe, OH, and rebranded the business Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House (rivertownbrewery.com), which now covers 31,000 sq. ft., including the manufacturing facility and a barbeque restaurant and pub. With a 417-barrel fleet, the company produces 28,000 barrels of beer in 28 flavor varieties annually, and distributes in 37 U.S. states. Follow this link to read the full story. 

The Importance of Training

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Interview with Adolfo Gomez, Pump & Seal Trainer and Instructor

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Pump Engineer, Valve World, and Valve World Americas

Adolfo Gomez began his career working with agricultural irrigation. This led to hands-on work for chemical processing plants and oil refineries. His diverse experience developed into a passion for teaching and training young end users and sharing his more than three decades of knowledge and experience. Read the full story by following this link. 

Tomorrow's Plant in Action Today

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Using 3D laser scanning and rapid prototyping, Festo created its Scharnhausen Technology Plant with Industry 4.0 and complete communication at its core.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Efficient Plant Magazine

Thanks to progressive and innovative methods and a focus on Industry 4.0, Festo (festo.com) has designed and built a facility in which employees safely interact with a flexible robot that takes over assembly tasks ergonomically disadvantageous for humans. An energy transparency system allows all energy flow and consumption to be tracked in the future. Tablets, with interactive apps, have become the primary working tool to detect and rectify machine faults quickly and directly on site. The Scharnhausen Technology Plant in Ostfildern/Stuttgart, Germany, is at the forefront of automation’s future. To read the full story, please follow this link. 

Energy Efficient Engineering

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When it comes to working with customers to solve lubrication and engineering problems, Adam McMurtrey relies on a lifetime of experience that goes all the way back to his childhood. For ExxonMobil’s Mobil Serv program, he works closely with industries ranging from lead mines to chicken rendering plants—always with energy efficient lubrication at the forefront of every solution. 

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for ValveWorld, ValveWorld Americas, and Pump Engineer

Adam McMurtrey has a simple but effective process. “When I go to a customer in any type of manufacturing, I tell them that I do three things,” said McMurtrey, an industrial sales engineer for ExxonMobil Fuels & Lubricants Company. “I use the acronym ACE. I’ll analyze the operation. I’ll try to consolidate the lubricants and greases that they use to help avoid contamination and to simplify their process. And then I try to enhance their operation either by extending the life of the equipment, extending mean time between failures or time between overhaul or by extending the life of the oil.” Follow this link to read the full story. 

Educating Work-Ready Students

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Oakland University program works closely with local manufacturers to create a program that provides experienced workers based on industry needs.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Efficient Plant Magazine

In Southeast Michigan, within a 60-mi. radius of the Oakland Univ. Rochester, MI, campus, there are thousands of major manufacturing companies representing automotive, metals, machinery, food and beverage, plastics, rubber, bioscience, furniture, chemical products, energy, computer and electronics, and defense. These companies need industrial and systems engineers who are ready to go to work right out of college. Oakland’s Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISE) Department is giving them what they need.  “Our program is all about educating engineers for a lifetime,” said Robert Van Til, Ph.D., the school’s Chair and Pawley Professor of Lean Studies, Industrial & Systems Engineering Department (oakland.edu/ise). “It’s not about training someone to be super productive one day on the job. We are preparing engineers to be work ready right out of college.” Follow this link to read the full story. 

Isolate the Problem to Solve the Problem

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A small company president’s role involves much more than sitting in a corner office. Jody Millsap gets his hands dirty. “My personality is not that I can be content sitting in an office,” he said. “I like to interact with the customers, help with sales calls, and getting my hands on the equipment. President is just a title. You have to be a jack of all trades. I like to be out doing stuff and staying busy.”

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Valve World, Valve World Americas, and Pump Engineer

Solving problems for his customers is what sets Jody Millsap apart from the pack. “I love to investigate a problem and find a solution,” the 50-year-old president and owner of Water Solutions Engineering said. “This is what I really enjoy. This is one reason why I like to do consulting in addition to our regular work. The customer I started consulting with in 2012 had a 15-year-old problem. It was water related and we were able to solve it. This is what I really love to do—go in and help a customer solve an issue—to show what the problem was and show how we solved it. The gratification of doing that means the world to me.” To read the full story, please follow this link. 

Bourbon Boom Drives Distillery Expansion

Historic Kentucky spirits manufacturer doubles production capacity with minimal increase in physical space.
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By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Efficient Plant Magazine

Nestled on the scenic Salt River in Lawrenceburg, KY, sits a unique distillery with Spanish mission-style architecture. Four Roses Distillery began producing bourbon on this site in 1910. Bottling and single-story rack warehousing are handled at a second facility at nearby Cox’s Creek.  Rich in tradition and history, Four Roses handcrafts 10 distinct bourbon recipes and is one of the largest bourbon manufacturers in Kentucky, a state that produces 95% of the world’s supply. Managers at the 130-yr.-old company decided, in 2015, to embark on a plant expansion that would double its yearly capacity from 4-million to 8-million proof gallons. The decision to expand was based on increasing and projected industry growth, but the plans included only a limited increase in square footage. Strategic space planning became an essential element. Follow this link to read the full story. 

Precise Calculation Leads to High Performance Equipment

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Johan Meijer has spent the past four decades solving engineering problems related to pumping system design—working closely with valves, pumps, and hoses. His experience and knowledge became so deep he developed a powerful and strategic calculation program for high pressure peristaltic pumps that is provided free to end users. 

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Valve World, Pump Engineer, Hose+Coupling World

Seven years ago, Meijer and his wife decided to make a lifestyle change and moved to southern Spain, where he started his own business. The business began with wastewater treatment consultancy, working on polymer dosing systems, and foamed concrete systems for the pre-fab construction industry. In addition to all these activities Meijer continued to develop a program for calculating the most effective pump sizes of high pressure peristaltic pumping systems. 

To read the full story, please follow this link. 

Motor Repair Anywhere, Anytime

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A family-owned motor repair and service company uses a never-say-no attitude to tackle challenging projects of any size. 

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Efficient Plant Magazine

Instinct and guts drove Higinio “Tico” Rodriguez to leave Cuba when Fidel Castro came to power in 1959. “He wasn’t sure why at the time, but he just knew he had to get out of there,” said his son, Victor Rodriguez. “He knew that something just wasn’t quite right.” With five dollars in his pocket and an 8th-grade education, Tico Rodriguez left his homeland and never looked back. Two decades later, in 1978, it was the same instinct and guts that drove him to start his own motor-repair shop in Pensacola, FL. To read the full story, please follow this link. 

Tribology Program Fills Skills Gap

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A one-of-a-kind program at Auburn is helping develop manufacturing engineers with hands-on experience that translates directly to real-world jobs. 

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Efficient Plant Magazine

Whether it’s an airport runway, a manufacturing robot, fluid couplings, power transmission, a tile floor, human-joint replacement, hard-drive technology, or biomedical equipment, surfaces are in constant contact with each other in the mechanical world. The result is friction and wear. In fact, one fourth of the world’s manmade energy is lost to friction. Tribology is used to maintain, control, monitor, and positively manipulate friction, and studying it has the potential to make innovative contributions to industry, society, and environmental conservation. “Friction is very complicated,” said Robert L. Jackson, Ph.D., professor and director of the Auburn Univ. Tribology Program, Auburn, AL (auburn.edu). “We teach our students to not oversimplify. Friction changes with elements like temperature, humidity, and the geometries of the surfaces. Everything affects it, and it’s difficult to predict. Part of what we teach is to know where to look. In engineering, we are teaching specifics, but we are also teaching the students where to look for solutions and how to solve problems.” To read the full story, please follow this link. 

Pump Industry Heroes

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The pump industry can never be accused of being a glamourous one. Nevertheless, individuals are often called on to perform vital and sometimes dramatic tasks in the midst of crisis and disaster – turning those participants into ‘unsung heroes.’

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for World Pumps Magazine

Super heroes come in all shapes and sizes. And even without the power of invisibility, they often go unnoticed. They don’t wear a cape or possess super strength, but when disaster strikes, they load up powerful pump equipment and throw themselves directly into the eye of the storm to help those in need. Whether providing clean water to communities that don’t have it, or removing excess floodwater after a natural disaster, these pump industry professionals became heroes to communities in crisis. Follow this link to read about a few examples:

Tips for Maintaining Brewery Equipment

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Justin Farmer has worked in food and beverage processing more than half his life. As a teenager, he learned from his father, who was a master electrician and an industrial maintenance manager and engineer. He started at the bottom, but quickly earned the experience and knowledge to work his way into a leadership role at Rhinegeist Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he is transforming the maintenance and reliability programs of the historic brewery.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Valve World and Pump Engineer

Justin Farmer has seen maintenance and reliability from every angle. While working with his father in the maintenance department at a tortilla plant in Northeast Georgia when he was 16 years old, Farmer had the opportunity to learn all about maintaining pumps and valves from senior mechanics. “They taught me the basics like motor replacement, gear replacement, and how to repair failed transfer systems,” the 35-year old Facilities and Maintenance Manager said. “There was a great amount of knowledge to be learned. Of course, I was one of the young ones, so I didn’t get a lot of the good jobs. I started at the bottom working in the water treatment pit. Most of my friends were out having fun, and I was working my tail off. But this was how I could spend time with my father.”  Follow this link to read the full story. 

Virtual Planning Results in Efficient Design

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In a huge expansion project, Uponor North America benefits from digital-twin technology and other tools to plan for current and future growth. 

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Efficient Plant Magazine

Jon Sillerud has spent half of his 30-yr. career managing new-growth projects for large manufacturing facilities. This experience has taught him valuable lessons about strategic planning. “Spending time in detailed planning is always time well spent,” said Sillerud, the vice president of operations for Uponor North America and executive leader for the biggest expansion project the company has ever undertaken. Follow this link to read the full article. 

Developing a Reliability Strategy

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Gina Kittle drives processes and programs for her company and SMRP.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Efficient Plant Magazine

As a young girl, Gina Hutto Kittle would sit in the garage with her father and grandfather and study their every movement. She watched her father—a mechanic—fix anything that the neighbors needed repaired. Her grandfather, Owen Ramsey, worked with Red Stone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL, where he was part of the core group that launched the first missile into space. Kittle would play with his drafting tools and ask hundreds of questions about how things worked and how to fix them when they broke. Even though she didn’t really know what engineers did, she knew she wanted to be one. Follow this link to read the full story. 

PM Helps Eliminate DM

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Michael Flint drives a preventive-maintenance strategy at Brown University to help direct wasted man-hours toward reducing a large and growing deferred-maintenance backlog.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Efficient Plant Magazine

Growing up on a dairy farm in western New York state, Michael Flint learned early the value of proper maintenance and the safe operation of equipment. He also learned the importance of properly caring for the livestock. Though he didn’t know it at the time, this experience prepared him for his current challenge—driving a seven-year program at Brown Univ., designed to redirect 57,000 work-process man-hours used to maintain 226 buildings covering 6.34-million sq. ft. at the Providence, RI, campus. Read the full article.