Author Archive | Greg Pietras


7:30 pm
December 19, 2016
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MT Online Podcast: Cybersecurity with Saadi Kermani



Saadi Kermani

Cybersecurity is a vital and often overlooked aspect of today’s manufacturing environment. In this podcast, editorial director Gary L. Parr discusses various facets of manufacturing cybersecurity with Saadi Kermani, technology evangelist and business-development manager for the Industrial Information Management business at Schneider Electric. Topics include the greater cybersecurity picture, vulnerabilities that manufacturers may or may not realize they have, and how company cultures must change to integrate network/computer-security awareness.

In Saadi’s current role at Schneider electric, he enables industrial customers and partners to realize the benefits of lower operational costs, optimized assets and streamlined processes through the use of advanced analytics, KPIs, and real-time access to industrial process data delivered through a set of online managed services. Previously, he was the product manager for Wonderware SmartGlance and Wonderware Online, in addition to being a key contributor to the strategic definition and deployment of cloud hosted solutions for Wonderware. Prior to that role, he was stationed in Europe, providing strategic account management as a technical account manager for the Global Software Customer Support division.


5:47 pm
November 21, 2016
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IMVAC Wraps 2016 Conference, Announces 2017 Event In Australia

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-11-44-05-amThe International Machine Vibration Analysis Conference (IMVAC) has announced a revised schedule for 2017, adding a September event in Gold Coast, Australia. IMVAC is a professional development conference intended for vibration analysts, condition-monitoring technicians, condition-monitoring managers and reliability engineers.

The 2017 schedule will bring conferences to four venue locations worldwide: Dubai, UAE (April); Antwerp, Belgium (June); Gold Coast, Australia (September) and back to its inaugural venue in Orlando (November). The 2016 U.S. event was held Oct. 31 through Nov. 2, drawing attendees from 22 countries. According to the company, exit polling of attendees and sponsors indicated that 100% of would consider attending a future IMVAC.

For more information, visit the conference’s website at


4:50 pm
July 13, 2016
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Maintain Your Pumps on Schedule

Chemical plant for production of ammonia and nitrogen fertilization on night time.

randmTiming is everything, especially when it comes to pump maintenance. Not only will a well-maintained pump last longer, it will require fewer repairs over the course of its lifetime.

Keep in mind, rigorously following OEM-specified maintenance schedules and procedures for pumping systems is crucial to the reliability, safety, and efficiency of your plant’s fluid-handling processes. The best—and most logical—place to find this information is the “Instruction and Operation Manual” (IOM) for the equipment in question.

Although you will, of course, want to refer to and follow OEM-specified schedules for the particular pumping systems at your site, the one outlined here is a good example. It’s taken from the preventive-maintenance section of the applications guide for the 3196 i-Frame series from ITT Goulds Pumps, Seneca Falls, NY ( These ANSI units are typically used to handle hazardous fluids in challenging chemical-plant environments.

This straightforward schedule and the procedures associated with it, however, are not merely suggested or recommended. According to the company, adherence to the preventive-maintenance section of its applications guide is required to maintain the applicable ATEX classification of the equipment.

—Jane Alexander, managing editor

Routine maintenance

  • Lubricate bearings.
  • Inspect the seal.

Routine inspections

  • Check level and condition of oil through sight glass on bearing frame.
  • Check for unusual noise, vibration, and bearing temperatures.
  • Check pump and piping for leaks.
  • Analyze vibration.
  • Inspect discharge pressure.
  • Inspect temperature.
  • Check seal chamber and stuffing box       for leaks.
  • Ensure there are no leaks from the mechanical seal.
  • Adjust or replace stuffing-box packing if you notice excessive leaking.

Three-month inspections

  • Check that foundation and hold-down bolts are tight.
  • Check packing, if the pump has been left idle, and replace as required.
  • Change oil every three months (2,000 operating hours) at minimum.
  • Change oil more often if there are adverse atmospheric or other conditions that might contaminate or break down the oil.
  • Check shaft alignment and realign as required.

Annual inspections
Check the pump’s capacity, pressure, and power. If pump performance doesn’t satisfy your process requirements, and if the process requirements haven’t changed, the pump should be disassembled and inspected, and worn parts should be replaced. Otherwise, a system inspection should be done.

Inspection intervals
Shorten inspection intervals appropriately, if the pumped fluid is abrasive or corrosive, or if the environment is classified as potentially explosive. MT

For more information on a variety of pump issues and procedures, visit