Author Archive | Jane Alexander

36

7:14 pm
February 22, 2017
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MindShare Design Acquires CMMS Provider WorkStraight

Screen Shot 2017-02-22 at 12.56.44 PMMindShare Design, Inc., (Oakland, CA) has announced the acquisition of WorkStraight (Newport Beach, CA), a growing player in the computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) arena.

Screen Shot 2017-02-22 at 12.45.44 PMWorkStraight’s software solutions are used in a wide range of operations to manage, monitor, and control maintenance operations, resources, field marketing, construction, and more. Its web-based, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution can be accessed on PCs, smartphones, tablets, and other browser-based devices.

According to the two companies, MindShare Design’s suite of business-acceleration tools, software, and data expertise combined with WorkStraight’s work-order management product represents a critical convergence in the marketing and ultimate delivery of solutions that ensure uptime and maximize return on assets for maintenance and operations managers.

For more information on Mindshare Design, CLICK HERE.

To learn more about WorkStraight’s solutions, CLICK HERE.

 

136

6:58 pm
February 10, 2017
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Obsolete Inventory? Deal with It.

randmObsolete. Everyone who has ever purchased a computer knows what that means. It describes your computer within a month or so of your purchase.

When the discussion turns to a plant’s MRO inventory, Roger Corley of Life Cycle Engineering (LCE.com) says it’s an entirely different type of conversation. That’s because some items are never used, yet continue to collect dust and take up valuable storeroom real estate. He has some tips for dealing with this obsolescence, starting with how to identify it.

Identifying obsolete MRO inventory, in Corley’s opinion, is the easy part, especially if a good set of parameters has been established. Most large storerooms, he says, apply these factors:

• items with movement (receipts or issues) in 3+years

• items that aren’t identified as critical spares

• items that aren’t on an active asset’s BOM (optional).

Up-front planning can ease your site’s identification and disposal of obsolete MRO items.

Up-front planning can ease your site’s identification and disposal of obsolete MRO items.

With these parameters in place, most inventory systems can quickly generate a list of obsolete items—something that should be done annually to make it easier to manage the following years’ lists.

According to Corley, the more difficult (politically charged) challenge associated with obsolete MRO items is their disposal. That’s why storeroom managers must be involved in a site’s budget-preparation process. For one thing, there will need to be a line item in the budget for disposal of inventory. In addition, since writing off unused inventory can be damaging to a company’s bottom line, it’s crucial to prepare (and obtain approval) for doing so ahead of time.

Another issue involves disposing of what personnel believe “belongs” to them. As Corley put it, “I’ve seen maintenance supervisors and managers dig in their heels when a storeroom manager begins removing what they think of as ‘their’ MRO items.” His advice to storeroom managers is to take great care to ensure important items that might have been left off the list of critical spares aren’t eliminated from inventory. Some front-end work on the part of storeroom managers can smooth the process. Such work includes:

• investigating the history of the proposed item considered for disposal

• grouping items into specific operating areas on site and scheduling meetings to review (tip: buy lunch to get participation)

• allowing area managers to present a case for inclusion of a critical spare and being prepared to offer solutions such as vendor-stored inventory.

Once a list is developed and agreement among stakeholders reached, the obsolete items must be removed from inventory and disposed of. Corley notes that this phase will be less painful in plants that have investment-recovery departments. Smaller operations will sometimes list the obsolete inventory on bidding sites or, in the case of metals, recover money by scrapping items.

“Either way,” he cautioned, “sites shouldn’t expect to get anywhere near what the initial investment was when the items were purchased. In the case of scrap, they’ll recover pennies on the dollar. As for companies with multiple plants, it’s important for sites to check with other locations regarding possible use of obsolete items before disposing of them.”

To Corley’s way of thinking, dealing with obsolete MRO inventory, including identifying and disposing of it, needn’t be viewed as a daunting task. “That is,” he said, “if the process is managed properly and homework is done before the items are removed.”  MT

—Jane Alexander, Managing Editor

Roger Corley is a Materials Management subject-matter expert with Life Cycle Engineering, Charleston, SC, and a certified facilitator for Maintenance Planning and Scheduling with the Life Cycle Institute. For more information, email rcorley@LCE.com and/or visit LCE.com.

36

9:28 pm
February 9, 2017
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Ensure Clean, Dry Compressed Air

randmWhen it comes to compressed-air systems, equipment performance is only as good as the quality of the air itself. Unfortunately, the high-pressure air that these systems produce is wet and dirty. Air dryers and filters keep a compressed-air system operating efficiently, but only if they are properly maintained.

All atmospheric air contains some moisture and dirt. No matter how small the amount of contaminants initially, they are concentrated when the air is compressed. As the air heats up, its ability to hold water vapor increases. When the air begins to cool as it travels downstream, the vapor condenses into liquid.

Possible consequences of that condensation include, among other things, leaking seals, rusty or scaling pipelines, premature wear of moving components, and similar problems that can lead to subpar operation, equipment failure, and even damaged finished product. Plant personnel can prevent many of these headaches by selecting the right types of air dryers and filters to remove the liquid and particles and by performing regular maintenance on these
components.

Compressed-air experts at Mazeppa, MN-based La-Man Corp. (laman.com) offer several tips regarding air dryers and filters. Keep them in mind.

—Jane Alexander, Managing Editor

Types of dryers

Most compressors incorporate an aftercooler to reduce the temperature of the compressed air. Air dryers are often installed to further reduce the moisture content. There are four major types of air dryers:

• refrigerated

• chemical or deliquescent

• regenerative or desiccant

• membrane or mechanical.

Condensation in compressed-air systems can lead to a multitude of ills, including equipment failure and damaged finished product.

Condensation in compressed-air systems can lead to a multitude of ills, including equipment failure and damaged finished product.

The simplest, most economical dryer is the membrane or mechanical type. It uses a textile filter made up of thousands of individual fibers to trap large particles and cause moisture to form large droplets (coalesce). These particles and droplets collect at the filter’s base and are drained off. Water vapor passes through the filter to a sweep chamber, where it is vented.

Mechanical systems are typically installed at the point of use (unlike desiccant-type dryers that are placed near the air compressor to capture water vapor). At this point, air temperature has cooled sufficiently to permit water droplets to form and be captured by the system.

Impact of air filters

Mechanical filters work with compressed-air dryers to remove water and other contaminants from the compressed air and prevent component contamination. Three types of filters are typically used:

• particulate

• coalescing

• adsorption.

Particulate filters are typically made of a fine mesh glass fiber, plastic fiber, or woven wire cloth. They remove large particles using centrifugal force, while smaller particles are strained out. The filter is rated by the largest-size particle it will allow to pass. These types of filters work hand in hand with coalescing filters.

Coalescing filters are high-efficiency filters that use a fine stainless-steel mesh or woven fiber cloth (such as a cotton co-knit) to remove water and lubricants from the compressed air. They are often installed downstream of a particulate filter.

Adsorption filters use activated carbon to remove gaseous contaminants from compressed air. They adsorb the oil vapor into the pores of the carbon granules and must be replaced once saturated with collected oil. They are point-of-use filters, which should be supported upstream by a coalescing filter. Typical uses for adsorption filters include sanitary environments, such as paint spray booths, clean rooms, and food and beverage manufacturing.

Bottom line: Using—and maintaining—filters dramatically improves the performance and extends the life of compressed air systems. MT

For more information on solutions that remove water, oil, and contaminates from compressed air systems, visit La-Man Corp. at laman.com.

41

9:01 pm
February 9, 2017
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On The Floor: Real-World Views on ISO 55001

By Jane Alexander, Managing Editor

Has your organization adopted the ISO 55001 Asset Management Standard, and why or why not?

Has your organization adopted the ISO 55001 Asset Management Standard, and why or why not?

Inquiring minds want to know: This month we wanted to gauge the impact that the ISO 55000 Asset Management Standard (specifically ISO 55001) is having on MT Reader Panelist’s operations (or the operations of their clients/customers). Despite the buzz about this Standard (including regular information in our pages), our Panelists’ responses reflect a mixed bag of awareness and adoption. We asked them to reply in detail to these questions:

• Were they and their organizations (or their clients/customers) aware of ISO 55001 and did they expect the organizations to adopt this Standard?

• Pursuant to ISO 55001, did everyone (all departments) in their organizations (or those of their clients/customers) understand the role of Maintenance and vice versa, as well as understand how they should all work with each other?

Here, edited for brevity and clarity, are several responses we received.

College Electrical Lab, Manager/Instructor, West…

We have reviewed ISO 55000 (55001, 55002) for possible adoption. The system we use for asset management is part of our CMMS program. We might not adopt ISO 55000 until we complete a full ROI evaluation. Weighting the costs against the benefits is a big issue with us. Will this ISO Standard add to our bottom line, customer service, product quality, and employee benefits? An evaluation team is working on it now.

Our maintenance departments are considered a profit center for the overall organization. A maintenance representative attends all meetings (executive, customer, engineering, sales, planning, etc.). Any maintenance person can add input to support our growth and quality of operations.  The ISO 55000 Standards are said to improve planning, support risk management, align the processes, and improve cross-disciplinary teamwork.  If they are highly usable, we will adopt.

Industry Consultant, West…

None of my current clients have any interest in ISO 55001. Some know a bit about it, but they aren’t interested in moving forward. When ISO 55000 was first introduced, one client thought it [the company] would want to be on the leading edge of the movement [to adopt the Standard], but was never able to obtain the funding or boardroom support to take it on.

Engineer, Process Industries, Southeast…

There is very little or no awareness of ISO 55001 [at our site], and there’s been no discussion about it. We are ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified, and these Standards seem to draw all of our attention and resources.

Our departments, for the most part, work well with each other and understand their own roles and those of others. But there’s still a tendency to ask Maintenance to do everything that Production or other departments cannot or will not do.

Industry Consultant, International…

The ISO 55000, 1 and 2 series of Standards are relatively new, say compared to the ISO 9000 or ISO 14000. As a consultant, I know my clients are aware of the ISO 55000 series, but they’re still trying to implement maintenance and reliability best practices on lubrication, planning, work control, OEE (overall equipment effectiveness), etc.

While ISO 55000 is built around Asset Management principles, in answer to the first question, my clients aren’t ready to adopt something that doesn’t show a solid ROI on the initial costs. The process is quite rigorous.

As for the second question, I’ve noticed that Maintenance often isn’t fully aware of production requirements and, with regard to other departments, tends to work in a “silo.” Goals are frequently short-term and counter-productive in nature.

I’ve also noted that equipment “ownership” by Production operators supports Maintenance in routine work such as basic lube, minor adjustments, and inspections. I’ve even seen Operator nameplates on equipment showing the pride that the “owners” of units take in their machines or processes. Some operators will also include a mechanic or electrician as “Co-Owner.” These owners are very proud of their equipment’s performance, uptime, and machine condition. (One of my clients took this concept to very high level and generated excellent results in productivity, safety, and cost control.)

In my opinion, since Asset Management is a key to economics and bottom-line improvements. ISO 55000, 1 and 2, will eventually be adopted by more organizations. However, as with ISO 9000, Quality Measurement, it will require a bit more time and training [for ISO 55000] to take hold.

Plant Engineer, Institutional Facilities, Midwest…

Personally, I’m not particularly familiar with ISO 55001 and not sure if any of our senior managers know about it.

Regarding the second question, our institution has always held meetings with all maintenance and management departments to keep everyone involved with any ongoing, new, or future projects. Each department has its own type of maintenance, and the type used depends greatly on cost, man/woman power, and order of importance.

Reliability Specialist, Power Sector, Midwest…

Yes, our organization is fully aware of ISO 55001. As with most organizations in the power industry, we are heavily regulated by the PSC, NREC, FERC, insurance carriers, and other entities. Until one of them mandates compliance to ISO 55001, most organizations won’t make the investment.

All departments in our organization understand their own roles and their responsibilities to each other. Each department has its own mission statement, and partnership agreements have been formed and documented with one another.

Maintenance & Reliability Specialist, Engineering Services Provider, South…

My company is very aware of ISO 55001 and in fact had a representative on the team that developed the Standard. Our [my particular] customer is only aware of it through discussions with us. As this client is a government agency that hasn’t been required to adopt ISO 55001, at this point, I don’t believe it will do so in the near future. Due to a tight budget, I don’t believe the client sees the value in adopting a new ISO standard, since it already is involved with ISO 9001.

Given the fact that we are a maintenance and operations service provider, I believe that all departments within our organization understand the role of Maintenance. We have made a concerted effort to have as many people as possible take the CMRP exam after completing our introductory asset-management course. This ensures that we can all talk the same language and equally understand our customers’ needs in the maintenance arena. MT

About The MT Reader Panel

The Maintenance Technology Reader Panel included approximately 100 reliability and maintenance professionals and suppliers to industry who have volunteered to answer monthly questions prepared by our editorial staff. Panelist identities are not revealed and their responses are not necessarily projectable. Our panel welcomes new members. To be considered, email your name and contact information to jalexander@maintenancetechnology.com with “Reader Panel” in the subject line. All panelists are automatically included in an annual cash-prize drawing after one year of active participation.

99

11:34 pm
February 8, 2017
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Emerson Introduces ‘Industry First’ WirelessHART Power Meter

Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 4.31.12 PMEmerson (Mansfield, OH) has introduced what it says is “industry’s first” WirelessHART Power Meter. Part of the company’s pervasive-sensing portfolio, the device provides electrical demand- and consumption-measurement through a secure and reliable network for a range of applications, including, those found in processing, industrial, cold-chain storage facilities, and data centers, among others.

Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 4.31.31 PMHow It Works
Incorporating WirelessHART technology in a revenue-grade wireless power meter, the new product is said to be capable of delivering a unique measurement solution that will greatly improve energy efficiency and sustainability.

WirelessHART technology, coupled with the power meter’s small physical footprint, simplifies and speeds installation of the unit and allows sites to monitor voltage, current, power, energy, and other electrical parameters on single- and three-phase electrical systems in real-time with revenue-grade accuracy. Real-time monitoring of electricity consumption and instantaneous demand enables more granular energy management and effective equipment monitoring, securely and reliably.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

 

 

66

10:41 pm
February 7, 2017
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AutomationDirect Grows IronHorse Premium Efficiency Motor Lineup

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 4.22.03 PMThe IronHorse line of general-purpose, three-phase AC motors from AutomationDirect (Cumming, GA) now includes MTRP-series 56HC-frame premium efficiency units. Available in sizes from 1 hp to 3 hp, these rolled steel motors come in 1800 and 3600 rpm models that feature 4:1 constant- and 10:1 variable-torque speed ranges, TEFC frames, cast-aluminum end bells, and removable mounting bases.

MTRP-series IronHorse motors meet RoHS and Low Voltage Directives, and are CSA and EU approved. Available accessories include bases, junction boxes, fans, and fan shrouds.

For more information about AutomationDirect’s motor offerings, CLICK HERE.

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