Know Your Equipment

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

George Corfield is a professional maintenance and operations manager and mining engineer, with more than 20 years of experience in operations, equipment repair and overhaul, maintenance, and engineering functions for diversified industrial and mining organizations. His expertise lies in problem solving, operations, cost analysis, communicating vision, and strategic planning. Retired since 2014, Corfield works from his Mesa, Arizona, USA office and uses his skills and experience to consult companies in organizing and coaching teams to affect solutions and solve complex problems in maintenance, equipment rebuilding, mineral and chemical processing, and asset management. When working with valves and pumps, it’s important to know your equipment, according to George Corfield, a mining engineer and maintenance manager with more than 20 years of experience working with valves and pumps. Click here to read the full article. 

How a Female Engineer Dredges the Deep Seabed

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Half the year, she lives and works on a 100-meter offshore vessel tracking underwater bombs, creating nautical charts, and building islands. When the work ends and all the men onboard go home to dry land, she moves to her floating home—a 12.5-meter sailboat—on which she and her husband sail the world. Last year, Emeline Veit spent only 10 days on dry land. She wouldn’t have it any other way. 

By Michelle Segrest - Reporting for World Pumps Magazine

The 26-year old engineer/hydrographic surveyor grew up in the south of France, in Sumene, a small village north of Montpellier. She spent her summers in Brittany with her parents and younger brother and knew she wanted live and work near the sea. “I always I wanted to do something with the ocean,” she said. “I chose an engineering school in Brest because all the engineering specialties they were offering were linked to the ocean.”

Sometimes Veit is the only woman on board her office—a 35-crew offshore vessel. Her role is significant. While in the North Sea, it is her job to find unexploded ordinance (UXOs), which are explosive weapons like bombs, shells, grenades, land mines, naval mines, cluster munition, etc., that did not explode when they were employed and still pose a risk of detonation, sometimes many decades after they were used or discarded. To read the full story, follow this link.

Remove Risk from Full-Scale Projects

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Pilot plants demonstrate the feasibility of proposed process technologies for real-world operations.

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

De-risking has always been the driving force behind pilot plants and that force is as strong, if not stronger, in today’s environment of ever-shorter product life cycles. For example, when a company’s research and development group has an idea for a new process technology, testing may be performed at a “glass scale.“

“This can mean making only one liter of a certain chemical, similar to the type of tests you do in a high school chemistry class,” according to John Schott P.E., president of EPIC Systems Inc., St. Louis (epicsysinc.com), a manufacturing and service company that designs, integrates, and builds pilot-plant solutions for manufacturers worldwide. “Let’s say all goes well. The tests show the technology works at that scale. But are they convinced enough to take the risk to build a plant for $150 million that produces 10,000 pounds of the material each day? In most cases, it’s just too big a jump to spend that kind of money and hope a plant works.” A pilot plant is meant to show that a process technology can be made at a smaller industrial scale, or perhaps two evolutions of that scale, before a larger, full-scale production plant is built. Click here to reqd full article.

Building Projects from Scratch that Make an Impact

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For more than 30 years, Steve Tourigny has been involved in the design, development, and management of many products, processes, plants, and businesses. Through his experience, he gained expertise with startups, helping companies get key projects off the ground. With extensive engineering, operations and partnering experience, he now works has an independent consultant servicing a variety of industries in an advisory capacity. 

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

Steve Tourigny typically works with small- to medium-sized companies helping them work through new products or processes. They all want two things—low cost and fast results.  “They are all trying to find the ‘best of breed’ solutions,” he said. “They are all extremely cost and schedule conscious and are continuously evaluating their core competencies versus what should be farmed out to partners. I use my extensive experience and network of contacts to guide them in specific areas.” Follow this link to read the full article.

Create Action from Data Analysis

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Manufacturers are finding ways to gather, analyze, and use data analytics to solve problems before they happen and drive upgrades in uptime and quality.

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

There was a time, not so long ago, when manufacturing companies had systems that were stuck in silos with little or no communication between humans and machines. Data was difficult to gather and shared only through spreadsheets and by word of mouth, making problems almost impossible to predict. Today, not only are humans and machines communicating, but machines are talking to each other. Massive amounts of raw data are flying through the air at warp speed revealing all kinds of intelligence. It’s one thing to have the data. It’s another to be able to analyze the data. But the secret sauce, according to Nathan Oostendorp, co-founder and chief technical officer of Sight Machine, San Francisco (sightmachine.com), is dissecting the data, identifying the right data, and then using the knowledge gained in a meaningful way to create actionable results. Follow this link to read the full article.

Manufacturers Leverage IIoT Data

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As companies make digital transformations using IIoT data, they see immediate results that save time and money.

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

A plastics manufacturer had a major piece of equipment that was frequently breaking down with no warning. It was a $40-million problem every time it happened. By incorporating a digital-transformation strategy, the company was able to predict the problem five days in advance.  “This is the power of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT),” said Robert Golightly, senior manager, Product Manufacturing at AspenTech, Bedford, MA (aspentech.com), a supplier of software that optimizes asset performance. “When a machine fails, companies generally wait until the machine is fixed, and when the process is running again, they go back to work. They are forced to do this because there is not enough time to do anything else. But when you have a few more days or even weeks to think about it, suddenly there are all kinds of options. You can use the time to build inventory or reschedule production. There are half-dozen smart business decisions we could make if we had enough time.” 

IIoT is having a profound effect on the way companies collect, manage, and analyze data. Click here to read the full article.

Solve Pump & Valve Problems in Various Industries

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A customer-oriented approach combined with experience in a variety of industries has helped Tolga Arslan become an expert in maintaining and servicing a variety of pumps and valves and other hydraulic equipment. 

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

When it comes to solving problems with pumps and valves, it’s important to consider the industry and the type of pump. For Tolga Arslan, his varied experience in various industries has helped him to understand the specifics of pump and valve maintenance and reliability. For example, in the chemical industry, the focus may not be on the valve or the pump at all. When challenges present themselves, perhaps an examination of the mechanical seal is in order. “Especially in the chemical industry, transferring some chemicals can be difficult and dangerous,” he said. “Most companies prefer pumps with mechanical seals. The most common problem with mechanical seals are problems with the seal’s tightness. This is why I like to solve this problem by recommending and using magnetic coupling pumps.” Read the full article by following this link.

Augmented Reality Accelerates Manufacturing Efficiency

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Connecting humans and machines through augmented reality is changing the face of industrial manufacturing. 

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

When digital content is overlaid on a piece of machinery, the equipment comes to life. Detailed instructions pop into focus to guide the operator, helping him/her to identify and fix any problems. Animated 3D renderings, in exact proportion, explode into view and visually show the operator how to repair and maintain the machinery through step-by-step visual aides. Like something from “The Terminator” or “Minority Report” movies, the operator can instantly see the digital content directly in front of him. This is one example of how augmented reality (AR) is revolutionizing the efficiency of industrial operations. Thanks to this technology, paper manuals will soon be as ancient and obsolete as a rotary phone mounted on a wall. No longer will operators need to search and research to find answers to technical questions. With AR technology, solutions to their problems literally appear before their eyes.  Follow this link for the full story!

Identifying and Solving Technical Issues During Commissioning

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Interview with Kirill Zimin, Inside Sales Engineer, Ruhrpumpen Global

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc.

As a senior inside sales engineer, Kirill Zimin is in charge of sizing pumps and selecting  and acquiring quotes of its accessories. This requires meeting with customers as a technical expert. Working closely with the sales force at Ruhrpumpen Global, his team must accurately transfer orders to the manufacturing business unit in the oil and gas, power, chemical, metallurgy, and water industries.  Focusing mostly on the oil and gas market, Kirill has deep knowledge and experience. Project-to-project, he must meet customer needs while also resolving new design issues. Follow this link to read the full article.

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.