Modern Manufacturing (Volume 1) - Best Practices from Industry Champions

Modern Manufacturing (Volume 1)  - Best Practices from Industry Champions

Since 2008, Michelle Segrest has been touring manufacturing facilities worldwide for major industry trade publications. Each plant made a memorable impression. In this three-volume series about modern manufacturing, Michelle shares her first-hand experiences touring manufacturing factories worldwide, delivering the lessons learned from the best practices of industry champions. Each chapter is a detailed case study which can be easily read in one sitting and provides a comprehensive account of how these world-class facilities use game-changing methods to improve plant operations. Each case study also includes key tips and takeaways that can be used in any plant, in any industry.

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Tribology Program Fills Skills Gap

Tribology Program Fills Skills Gap

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

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How a Female Engineer Dredges the Deep Seabed

How a Female Engineer Dredges the Deep Seabed

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.

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Female Engineer Ignores the Glass Ceiling

Female Engineer Ignores the Glass Ceiling

Rendela Wenzel approaches each maintenance issue like a CSI investigator. “I love to understand how things work and explore the mystery behind equipment failures,” she said. “The main difference between a police detective and me is that I investigate and fix machines, not people.” A global consultant engineer, Wenzel uses every tool in her toolbox. However, her most effective tools are experience, analytical thinking, training, and a belief that every option should be exhausted.

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How Valves Can Help Drive the Factory of the Future

How Valves Can Help Drive the Factory of the Future

It’s exciting when valves and other equipment communicate with people—sending complex data through the air to predict maintenance, prevent failure through predictive analytics, and enhance performance. But the future of the IIoT involves an even more sophisticated evolution where devices communicate with each other to solve problems and even make decisions. The 4th industrial revolution will make history with the emergence of so-called “cyber-physical systems,” which enable the evolution of artificial intelligence.

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Maintenance Shop Talk Podcasts

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Industrial maintenance teams are always on the lookout for new strategies and helpful insights that can increase efficiency and improve their overall operations. Each month, host Michelle Segrest welcomes industry leaders and experts for roundtable-style discussions on a variety of lubricant-related topics. If you’re looking to further explore equipment maintenance and lubrication best practices, you’ve found the right podcast.

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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. 

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.