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. 

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. 

Creative Craftsmanship

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Kreinik continues to invent new ways to breathe life into old machinery.

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

If Martin Ankrom has a super power, it is in breathing new life into old equipment. Similar to how he keeps his 1950 Ford pickup truck running like new, he finds a way to resuscitate old machinery every day as the maintenance engineer at Kreinik Manufacturing Co. Inc., in Parkersburg, WV. “If you have the ability to look inside the equipment and see that it’s jammed, or old, or deviated, there is always a way to fix it,” Ankrom said. “You can never give up on it or it will beat you.” Ankrom works like a modern-day Dr. Frankenstein. He throws nothing away and has a large warehouse full of spare parts from microwaves, old motors, broken computers, and even pencil sharpeners. It’s his “Spare Parts Mall,” and he goes shopping every day. To read the full story, 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. 

Top Wastewater Trends of 2017

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Key players in the municipal processing market share expert insight from the WEFTEC 2017 showroom floor. 

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

Advancements in equipment and hydraulic technology took a back seat to the power of digitalization and highly-intelligent communication systems at WEFTEC 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. "One of the fast moving trends right now is the use of data to optimize water networks,” said Kelly McAndrew, Xylem’s vice president of global public affairs. With plant efficiency as the ultimate goal, digitalization and optimization of data collection and analysis is driving all technology, according to Siemens Senior Market Development Manager Alfred Kennedy. Major players in the industry helped to identify and explain solutions for the Top 3 water and wastewater industry trends. Follow this link to read the full article. 

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. 

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. 

Remote Problem Solving

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For Randy Estep, the bottom line is designing a safe, cost effective and reliable solution for the application— getting the right pump with the right seal to move a specific fluid for a specific reason. 

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content - Reporting for Pump Engineer

Randy Estep’s experience is deep and diverse. For nearly four decades he has done everything from designing, installing, maintaining and troubleshooting equipment to ordering parts, analyzing bids and working directly with manufacturers and suppliers. This depth of experience prepared him to troubleshoot and make process and equipment improvements every day for Dow Chemical. “To be an expert, in my opinion, you need a wide range of experience combining both field support and project support,” he says. “Understanding the engineering fundamentals is very important. The value I bring to capital projects and designing new equipment is because I have experience on both sides of the fence.”  Read the full story. 

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.