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. 

Be Aware of Wear Before Failure

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A chemical-pump expert shows how preventive maintenance can ensure chemical pumping performance.

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

Understanding that flow components such as diaphragms and check valves will start to show wear before they fail can be strong motivation to incorporate an effective preventive-maintenance program for chemical-processing equipment, according to metering-pump expert Jim Holts, senior technical sales manager, dosing pump line, Grundfos Pumps Corp. (us.grundfos.com, Downers Grove, IL). “It is very common in this industry to say, ‘I’m going to wait until something fails, and then fix it,’” Holts explained. “Proactive maintenance is the key. When the components start to wear, you will start to lose the accuracy of your pump, which is one of the reasons you bought a metering pump to begin with—for it’s high, repeatable accuracy. And since we may classify metering pumps more on the instrumentation side, just remember that you are paying for something you are not getting if you are not doing proper maintenance.” To read the full story, please follow this link. 

Solution Seeking vs. Problem Solving

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For four decades, Stephen Matthews has been helping facility personnel improve reliability with a “boots on the ground” approach.

By Michelle Segrest - Reporting for Efficient Plant Magazine

You won’t find Stephen Matthews sitting in an office, and you won’t see him wearing a coat and tie. “I am totally embedded on the shop floor—100% of the time,” the veteran reliability consultant said. “Whether it’s in operations or in maintenance, I firmly believe that the shop floor is where everything happens. I also work on all shifts, and that is where you really see what is going on. I look like one of the guys, and I ask questions.” Matthews uses his 39 years of engineering, maintenance, operations, and reliability experience to work with companies on various projects in many types of asset-intensive industries. He is based in Montréal, but works with companies all over Canada, the United States, and even travels as far as Siberia, Russia, to help companies with various reliability-improvement programs. He evaluates work management, supply-chain management, and reliability engineering practices, in addition to identifying performance gaps and recommending short-, medium-, and long-term solutions. To read the full story, please follow this link. 

PdM Keeps Coating Company Operating

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Weekly planned maintenance and continuous improvement drive reliability for a finishing company that works on an extraordinarily tight schedule.

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

Situated in the middle of the production process for its customers, Linetec, based in Wausau, WI, relies on critical processes, complex scheduling, and all systems working in sync to get products in and out of its finishing facility at lightning speed. To make this happen, production keeps moving at all times. The clock only stops one line at a time—in 12-hour weekly increments—for critical preventive maintenance. “The important story that we have to tell is one of reliability,” said Andy Joswiak, Linetec’s vice president of engineering and technical services and a 28-year company veteran. “We are right in the center of our customers’ business. We need to be reliable, and we need to be up. We have a maintenance staff that runs all the time with multiple and creative schedules.” Read the full article. 

Avoid Common Pump Spec Mistakes

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When it comes to keeping food and beverage pumps running efficiently, a pump expert identifies errors you should avoid.

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

For the past 30 years, Jim McCormick has been solving problems for his sanitary- and process-equipment customers. Most of the time, he says, these problems could have been avoided. “There are a lot of things I’ve learned over the years as far as things that can go wrong and why pumps fail,” said McCormick, director of sales and corporate development applications and technical sales engineer for SANI-PUMP Inc., Sanitary Pumps and Equipment (sani-pump.com, Chattanooga, TN).  “I’ve made a list of some of the reasons this happens. I work closely with my customers to hopefully avoid these common mistakes.” To read the full story, please follow this link. 

Integrating Automation into Manufacturing

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Draper Inc. experiences a century-long evolution of product diversity and manufacturing transitions while holding firm to its family-owned foundation. 

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

A few things have changed in the 115 years since fifth-generation, family-owned Draper Inc. opened its doors for business in the small town of Spiceland, IN, in 1902. There were no phones, no cars, and no computers. Less than 20 years ago, operators still used bulky, 5-lb. scissors to hand cut fabric shades and projection screens, and a seamstress would sit at a table and operate a traditional sewing machine with a foot pedal. Today, following a focus on lean manufacturing that began in 2000, automated machines do the cutting and sewing and much of the other manufacturing for the company that is located just 40 miles east of Indianapolis. Read the full story. 

Filling the Skills Gap

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This maintenance and reliability leader builds successful programs while leveraging key skills and making sure all bases are covered.

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

George Parada has a knack for filling the gap.  While building expertise in development and change management, he began to also develop a sixth sense about what was missing. “When you think about implementing reliability, change management is so important,” said Parada, CMRP and the maintenance and reliability leader for Cargill Salt Inc., Newark, CA. “You have to know how you are going to manage your stakeholders and understand what is the communication plan for each individual."  Please follow this link to read the full story. 

Bionics Drive Future Factories

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Festo’s Bionic Learning Network studies the movement and behavior of animals in nature to inspire interactive, intelligent technology and machines that stretch the boundaries of factory automation.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content - Reporting for Maintenance Technology Magazine

Walk through Festo’s headquarters in Esslingen, Germany, and you’ll witness what appears to be science fiction. Artificial intelligence and energy efficiency are deeply imbedded into its bionic robots. The engineers at Festo believe that by turning to nature to study the behavior, movement, and communication techniques of mammals, insects, and reptiles, you can build a smart factory with advanced automation. In fact, you can build the factory of the future. Please follow this link to read the full story. 

Water & Wastewater Pumping Solutions

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Advancements in water treatment and plant modernization drive growth in the water and wastewater pumping industry.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content - Reporting for Maintenance Technology Magazine

While new construction in the municipal water-treatment market has remained relatively flat, growth in the industrial water-treatment market has increased—driven largely by modernization efforts that seem to be pervasive across the power-generation segment, according to Charles P. Crowley Company (CPC, Baldwin Park, CA, cpcrowley.com) managing director Jon Crowley. One trend that Crowley sees throughout the industry is modernization through “repowering.”

Read the full article by following this link. 

Highly Charged Reliability

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Bill Myers spearheads an Electrical Maintenance Program that helps AstraZeneca’s West Chester, OH, facility become safe and reliable.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content - Reporting for Maintenance Technology Magazine

Bill Myers learned the hard way that sometimes we are taught more by our mistakes than our successes. In the end, he was able to learn from both. “Ten years ago, a small mistake was made with an electrical connection, and it turned into a big issue,” said Myers, AstraZeneca’s senior engineering technician at the West Chester, OH, facility. “In this line of work, mistakes are dangerous. You must learn from them, and quickly.” To read the full story and learn Bill's Top 5 Reliability Tips, follow this link. 

Reliable Security Depends on Reliable Operations

A focus on PM optimization, culture change, sustainable processes, and employee empowerment drives reliability efforts at the Y-12 National Security Complex mini city.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content - Reporting for Maintenance Technology Magazine

Spanning 2.5 miles between its east and west boundaries, the 74-yr.-old Y-12 National Security Complex is a “mini city” inside the city of Oak Ridge, TN. Within its secure borders, are 379 buildings of manufacturing, production, laboratory, support, and research and development areas managed by Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC (CNS) under contract for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). To read the full story, please follow this link. 

Powering Auto Production

A highly sophisticated electrical protection-and-control system helps Mercedes-Benz keep the power running and its people and equipment safe.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content - Reporting for Maintenance Technology Magazine

When electric current flows through an air gap between conductors, it creates an arc flash. Sparks fly, equipment can explode, and anyone who happens to be nearby can be injured—or even killed. 

To read the full story and to view informative videos, please follow this link. 

A Targeted Focus Leads to Reliability

Working in various locations around the globe, KRATON’s Ron Bitely keeps all focus pointed at a target that never moves.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Maintenance Technology Magazine

Ron Bitely believes that everyone needs to have a North Star. “We should all have direction in whatever we are doing,” he said. “I don’t like to use the word ‘vision’ because many people consider this just another buzz word that has little meaning. But people can relate to following a North Star that remains constant. Targets move. People need direction so they can make decisions that will create value for their company.” To read the full story, please follow this link. 

Redefining Reliability

Biopharmaceutical manufacturing company AstraZeneca leverages an advanced reliability program to streamline more-effective maintenance processes.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Maintenance Technology Magazine

Even though the AstraZeneca manufacturing facility in Mt. Vernon, IN, looks like a hospital surgical unit—with key equipment separated into concentrated clean rooms—for years it operated like an emergency room. When an equipment breakdown occurred, personnel jumped into action, triaging the issue and not always looking into the true symptoms to prevent future occurrences. Follow this link to read the full story. 

 

Training, Automation, Innovation Drive Reliability

German-based Aquatherm provides reliable, sustainable pipe production as a result of advanced technology, automation, and in-house design and innovation.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Reporting for Maintenance Technology Magazine

As one of the first three companies in the European market to manufacture under-floor heating systems, Attendorn, Germany-based Aquatherm has come a long way since the company was founded 44 years ago. It now leverages state-of-the-art automation and innovative energy-saving systems to drive its reliability and sustainability programs. For the full article and more, please follow this link.

Lubrication Best Practices from a Hoarder of Information

When it comes to lubrication, Scott Arrington relies on 34 years of information gathering to ensure he always has the correct answer for his customers.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Reporting for Maintenance Technology Magazine

Scott Arrington is a hoarder—a self-described hoarder of information, that is. The World Wide Web is not big enough to hold all the information upon which he relies. In fact, he has so many manuals, binders, and oil samples, he needs two offices—one to work in, and another to contain all the valuable records, documentation, and research he will never throw away. 

To read the full story, please follow this link. 

Reliability Changes Lives

Using skilled technicians and advanced technology, Eli Lilly and Company creates life-saving medicines and devices worldwide. 

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc., Reporting for Maintenance Technology Magazine

At Eli Lillythe motivation to improve production reliability is not just something that is tracked on graphs and charts for upper management to review. In fact, for maintenance and reliability engineer Carrie Krodel, it’s personal. Krodel, who is responsible for maintenance strategies at the Eli Lilly Indianapolis facility’s division that handles Parenteral Device Assembly and Packaging (PDAP), has a family member who uses the company’s insulin. “I come to work every day to save his life,” she said. To read the full story, please follow this link.