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. 

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. 

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. 

Designing to Meet Fluid Flow Challenges

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Special-project engineer Edward Hazinski has helped his Plast-O-Matic Valve customers solve reliability and efficiency issues for almost four decades.

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

Edward Hazinski vividly remembers the first time he walked into a manufacturing facility. “It was the late 1970s and it impressed me that there were dozens of operators turning handles, assembling parts, and cranking knobs on all the machinery,” he said. Now, after nearly four decades working in manufacturing as a design engineer, the general manufacturing plant looks much different. “Now you see a few guys sitting in a control room that looks something like a space ship,” he explained. “Everything is automated. Robotics are everywhere. Now, practically anything that is manufactured is controlled by computers.” To read the full story, please follow this link. 

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.