Archive | December, 2013


8:54 pm
December 19, 2013
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Asset Performance Marketplace

1213mpfranklinEnergy-Saving Motor Soft-Starter

Franklin Control Systems, formerly Cerus Industrial, has released the IMS-RV (Industrial Motor Starter – Reduced Voltage) energy-saving soft-starter. It features proprietary Starter Control Module (SCM) technology, which provides protection and utility-grade power monitoring, while saving as much as 50-75% of installation and component costs compared to traditional motor starters. Start-up current limit is adjustable, as is the initial voltage and start time, and additional features include multiple starting modes such as voltage ramp, current limited start and torque boost.

Franklin Control Systems
Hillsboro, OR

1213mpcognexEnhanced Security For Vision Systems

Cognex Directory Server (CDS) software version 1.0, for the company’s line of In-Sight® vision systems, centralizes authorization and authentication control for all users network-wide. CDS leverages industry-standard IT infrastructure and protocols such as LDAP, SSL and HTTPS for network security. Credentials are passed to CDS for authentication when someone initiates a log-in to an In-Sight Camera. User-specific permissions are then transferred back to the camera. Permissions can be set for each user and access can be customized by job parameters, camera settings, In-Sight Explorer maintenance functions and more. 

Cognex Corp.
Natick, MA

1213mpabbLarge Industrial-Robot Family 

ABB Robotics has introduced the IRB 6700 robot family, its seventh generation of large industrial robots.  The IRB 6700 is available in payloads from 331 to 661 lb. (150 to 300 kg), reaches from 8.5 to 10.5 ft. (2.6 to 3.2 m), and is designed for spot welding, material handling and machine tending. According to the company, power consumption has been lowered by 15 percent, total cost of ownership has been reduced by up to 20 percent compared to previous models, and maintenance has been optimized, doubling the time between service intervals. Access to motors has also been improved and technical documentation for maintenance has become easier to read and understand through the use of improved graphics and 3D simulations called “Simstructions.” The new model is available with LeanID, an Integrated Dressing (ID) designed for easier programming and a smaller footprint. It has also been built to withstand harsh working environments and is available with ABB’s ultimate Foundry Plus 2 protection system. 

ABB Robotics
Auburn Hills, MI

1213mpskfCustom Seals For Hydropower Service

SKF has introduced a comprehensive range of custom-machined sealing solutions exclusively engineered for applications in the hydropower industry. The company can supply virtually any kind of seal for any application and in any quantity, dimension and profile. All can be manufactured from a proprietary self-lubricated cast polyurethane material blend that, according to the company, offers up to four times the service life of conventional seal materials. Additional material options are also available to meet specific application demands.

Lansdale, PA

1213mphelwigShaft Grounding System

Helwig Carbon’s new line of shaft grounding systems can help protect motors from bearing failure, a major cause of motor downtime. The stock kits fit most motors and various shaft sizes, and are easy to install, maintain and work effectively in contaminated environments. The grounding assemblies divert static and induced electrical currents in the motor shafts away from the bearings, protecting them from pitting and potential damage. 

Helwig Carbon, Inc.
Milwauke, WI

Busway For IT And Data Centers

Schneider Electric’s Powerbus™ Busway is rated to 400A at 600V and designed for IT and data-center infrastructures. The product replaces traditional centralized cable distribution runs with a more flexible method of power distribution above the equipment, easing energy monitoring and reducing energy losses without adding to the unit’s footprint. It also offers high plug-in unit density, with up to 20 openings every 10 feet. New 240V and 480V tap-off boxes can accommodate up to three circuit drops per plug-in unit and rack-mounting kits ease installation by directly mounting the busway to APC™ brand racks.

Schneider Electric
Palatine, IL

1213mpschweitzerControl-System Power Management

SEL’s SEL-2245-4 AC Metering Module, available on the SEL-2240 Axion® Distributed Control and Integration Platform, integrates accurate voltage and current measurement with high-speed sampling for event recording. The AC Metering Module includes four ac voltage inputs and four ac current inputs, with event reports sampled at rates ranging from 1–24 kHz with an rms accuracy of 0.1 percent. The Axion’s rugged design and operational environmental ratings are well suited for demanding control and monitoring applications.

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc.
Pullman, WA

1213mplincolnAdvanced-Process Welding Module

Lincoln Electric’s Power Wave® advanced welding power module performs several welding processes: shielded metal arc, metal inert gas (MIG), pulsed MIG, tungsten-electrode inert gas (TIG) and Surface Tension Transfer® (STT®). The advanced module reduces burn-through and increases wire feed speed and cleaning compared to earlier products. STT is a controlled MIG short-circuit transfer process that uses current controls to adjust the heat independently of wire feed speed for good penetration, low heat input control and reduced spatter and fumes. With STT welding capability, the module can also help the welding of open root gaps with high-frequency inverter technology. Also, SST welding incorporates a high-frequency starting mode that can be controlled at the wire feeder or power source user interface. The careful use of high-frequency starting can improve the appearance of TIG welding arc starts and helps to reduce contamination caused by scratch start.

Lincoln Electric Co.
Cleveland, OH

1213mprockwellExpanded Industrial Network Product Line

Rockwell Automation is expanding its Allen-Bradley Stratix family of industrial switches and routers, as well as new wireless and security products designed to meet industrial networking requirements. Expansions include the Stratix 5700 managed industrial Ethernet switch with embedded Network Address Translation (NAT) for simplified integration of IP-address mapping; Stratix 5900 services router to provide routing and security for Layer 2 or Layer 3 networks; and new fiber and power over Ethernet (PoE) options for the Stratix 5700, Stratix 8000 and Stratix 8300 switches. New products coming in early 2014 include the Allen-Bradley ArmorStratix 5700 switch with IP67 protection, and Stratix 5100 wireless (802.11N), dual-band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz access point. The Stratix line uses the Cisco IOS to help ensure secure integration of business-critical services and support from operations to the enterprise. 

Rockwell Automation, Inc.
Milwaukee, WI

Smart Pressure Transmitter For Hazardous Environs

The 815PT Smart Pressure Transmitter from SOR is a stick form-factor smart pressure transmitter. Rated explosion-proof, the transmitter is suitable for hazardous locations and hostile environments. The 815PT’s circuiting is protected by a 316SS housing with 316SST and 17-4SST wetted-parts, and has hermetically sealed flying leads. In addition to such popular continuous outputs as 4-20 mA and 1-5 VDC, it also offers HART and Modbus RTU communications. As with most SOR products, the 815PT is custom-configured, built, calibrated and tested to customer specifications. The transmitter joins SOR’s 800 series of pressure devices, including the 805PT and 805QS.

SOR, Inc.
Lenexa, KS

1213mptimkenMetric Plummer Block Bearing Assemblies

The new line of Timken® SNT plummer block housed bearing assemblies includes metric-sized plummer block designs with high-performance spherical roller bearings. Shaft sizes range from 20 mm to 400 mm, for straight or tapered shafts. The Timken SNT plummer block housed unit features cast-iron housings and four sealing options to meet application and environmental demands. Assembly design and finish are designed to lower operating temperatures and increase load-carrying capabilities compared to traditional spherical roller bearings. Housings can also be ordered in cast steel or ductile iron for extremely demanding applications.

The Timken Co.
Canton, OH

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8:48 pm
December 19, 2013
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Viewpoint: A Contrarian View — Tradition Will Fail You

1213viewpointBy Heinz Bloch, Process Machinery Consulting

The recent Texas A&M University (TAMU) Turbomachinery and Pump Users Symposia (Sept. 30-Oct. 3, 2013, Houston, TX) were again structured to convey a technology status overview to attendees from industry. But there’s more to these symposia: Sitting in on discussion-group sessions allowed us to observe the level of understanding—and the knowledge gaps—that exist in operations today. Close to 400 companies were exhibiting at the Symposia, and dozens of relevant technical sessions were arranged for the estimated 5000 attendee/participants. 

TAMU has, for a number of decades, spearheaded highly effective discussion groups at its events. In these sessions, experienced leaders facilitate interaction between individuals who have questions and others who are willing to offer experience-based answers. As expected, questions came from audience members who varied greatly in age and experience. Not surprisingly, those questions and their answers also differed in relevance and complexity. Some questions could be answered in less than one minute; others, such as “when do I use a reciprocating compressor and when would it be best to use a centrifugal machine” would have required reams of data and several days to answer. 

The response to 98% of all questions, however, can be found in the literature to which we have access. And that observation brings me to the point: There aren’t many readers among the audiences we typically see at industry gatherings like the referenced TAMU Symposia. People seek to invest 60 seconds to get answers to 24-hour problems. Many still want to spend no more than $100 to get rid of a $1,000,000 issue. More than ever, budgets for entire grass-roots projects are now based on cost estimates reflecting the cheapest machines, unserviceable configurations and unrealistically low anticipated maintenance costs. 

Sadly, some reliability engineers insist on looking at old specifications and making them tighter. These tradition-bound individuals often do so in a misguided, ill-advised effort to just do something—anythingto improve equipment reliability. That kind of thinking leads to guesswork or blindly following stale anecdotes a doughnut-provider conveyed years ago. (Consider the Symposia attendee who related his determination to use shaft packing where his competitors had switched to mechanical seals four decades ago.)

Again, the fallacy of simply tightening a specification came to the fore more than once in Houston. Yet, it can be shown that tighter specifications do not automatically translate into smarter, more reliable and extended-life machinery. Instead, well-researched specifications increase safety, equipment reliability and bottom-line profits. 

We desperately need to infuse realism into the rungs of both management and their non-reading staffers. There is an obvious unbalance—a lack of thinking—in plants and facilities that tolerate repeat failures and refuse to acknowledge the link between failure events and safety incidents.

Industry has not achieved a reasonable balance in allocating training time and inculcating resourcefulness without allowing safety step-outs. Industry leaders should start by holding themselves accountable before pushing blame down to their employees. There are many books that show details, not consultant-conceived generalities, on how improvement was achieved by Best-of-Class performers. Such performers learned from others and learned from prior art. That learning started with reading and not by sticking to every old tradition. MT

The opinions expressed in this Viewpoint section are those of the author,
and don’t necessarily reflect those of the staff and management of Maintenance Technology magazine.

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6:14 pm
December 10, 2013
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Siemens Launches Managed Security Service

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Click here for an interview with Siemens’ Roger Hill on the new Managed Security Service.Siemens Industry has announced the roll-out of its Managed Security Service in the U.S., a new offering aimed at providing continuous protection to production environments. The offering includes assessment of security posture, implementation of recommended security measures and transitions into ongoing defense against rapidly evolving cyber security threats in Industrial Control System environments. The new offering will first be introduced in the U.S. followed by Europe and Asia.

The Industrial Security Services group expands on the existing Siemens security portfolio by providing holistic protection to manufacturing sites. Siemens’ approach is to partner with customers to help them build sustainable industrial security programs, by leveraging expertise in automation and industrial cyber security.

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8:47 pm
December 6, 2013
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ITT’s Goulds Pumps brand hosts third annual World of Pumps Quiz

ITT’s Goulds Pumps brand has launched the third annual World of Pumps Quiz, building on the success of the global pump industry challenge that last year attracted more than 15,000 participants from 151 countries. The quiz runs for 20 weeks, offering new sets of questions biweekly, and ends at midnight on March 30, 2014.

The third edition of the World of Pumps Quiz enables contestants to view questions from the first two editions. The latest version also features the advanced Expert Challenge level — a second set of questions for users who want to test their knowledge to a higher technical degree — and encourages players to submit their own questions to be considered for future inclusion.

The World of Pumps Quiz is the kick-off activity in an annual program leading to Pump Appreciation Day, initiated by ITT’s Goulds Pumps brand and celebrated the second Tuesday in April. Pump Appreciation Day celebrates pumps as “the heart of industry” and features awards for outstanding organizations and individuals in the field, as well as activities to promote heart health.

“Our Goulds Pumps brand represents a legacy of innovation and expertise, so we’re pleased to give pump industry professionals an opportunity to engage in an event that recognizes the fundamental role that pumps play in modern life and honors those who are making contributions to our industry,” said Robert J. Pagano Jr., president of ITT’s Industrial Process business, which includes the Goulds Pumps brand. “Last year’s quiz was a tremendous success, with an almost 40 percent increase in participants, and we look forward to continuing to build on that momentum in 2014.”

To enter, participants can go to Once they answer the basic question correctly, quiz-takers can sign up to receive automatic notifications when the next basic question is posted. Over the course of the quiz, participants can answer as many or as few questions as they like.

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