Archive | April


11:46 pm
May 28, 2012
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Viewpoint: Questions and Answers — Are you Reliable Enough?

0412viewpointWhen I say “reliable,” what do I really mean? A dictionary will define the word as “capable of being dependable.” Synonyms include terms like “trustworthy” and “responsible.” With this in mind, I ask the following question: “Are you reliable?” Or, better yet, “Are you reliable enough?” Your answer will tell how much you care about the concept of complete reliability.

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11:46 pm
May 28, 2012
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Capacity Assurance Marketplace

0412mplaceballuffExplosion-Proof Linear Transducer

 Balluff’s Micropulse TA12 is a non-contact linear position sensor with a compact, explosion-proof housing. It is specifically designed for continuous feedback on hydraulically and pneumatically actuated valves for oil and gas refining, storage, transport and handling. The transducer now has a IECEx hazardous-area approval rating, in addition to existing ATEX and North American approvals, expanding its acceptability for use in applications where hazardous gases and/or dusts are present.

Balluff, Inc.
Florence, KY

For more info, enter 30 at
0412mplacecolfaxEnergy-Efficient Progressing Cavity Pumps

 Allweiler All-Optiflow® progressing cavity pumps from Colfax offer up to twice the flow of standard pumps for applications up to 6 bar (87 PSI). Capable of moving any type of liquid, including fibrous and solid materials, they’re well suited to waste, wastewater-treatment and paper-manufacturing applications. According to the company, the pumps feature high power density that helps reduce energy consumption by up to 15%, when compared to standard progressive cavity pumps.

Colfax Fluid Handling
A business of Colfax Corp.
Monroe, NC

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Convert To Oil-Free Compressed Air 

 BOGE notes that its BC line of converter products offers new possibilities for pro-ducing environmentally friendly compressed air according to quality Class 0 (ISO 8573-0). They incorporate an innovative catalyst system that splits long hydrocarbon chains of residual oil in compressed air into carbon dioxide and water. The technology circulates compressed air around a receiver containing granulated, catalyst material, simultaneously cracking oil droplets and oil vapors. This results in oil-free compressed air and ultra-clean condensate.

BOGE Americas, Inc.
Powder Springs, GA

For more info, enter 32 at

0412mplacegeIntelligent And Portable Condition Monitoring

 SCOUT, part of GE’s Bently Nevada product line, is an intelligent suite of portable vibration monitoring and analysis instruments suited for the oil, gas and power-gen industries. The series offers fully integrated, single-provider solutions that support all plant-condition monitoring needs, including dual- or four-channel measurement and dual-plane balancing. The instruments’ field-proven Ascent® software can be programmed with thousands of separate machine definitions covering a number of route choices.

GE Measurement & Control
A part of GE Oil & Gas
Minden, NV

For more info, enter 33 at

0412mplacemooreEasily Programmed Alarm Trip

 Moore Industries’ STA Safety Trip Alarm provides more than a standard alarm trip, monitoring potentially hazardous events and initiating emergency shutdown procedures or alerting personnel of unsafe process conditions. The company says it performs some of the same functions as other safety PLCs, but is easier to program. Process alarm trips and analog outputs are user-configurable via front-panel push buttons. Configurations can be downloaded to multiple STA units with free software.

Moore Industries-International, Inc.
North Hills, CA

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0412mplacemtlSurge Protection For AC Mains And Branches

 MTL’s ZoneMaster PRO Type 1 allows users to install UL1449 3rd Edition-listed premium surge protection before or after the main building disconnect. Listed at 20kA in level, it can be installed in UL96A-certified lighting-protection systems. Its versatility makes it appropriate for switchgear, distribution and branch panels in a range of applications. Featuring replaceable, bolt-in modules, the product offers enhanced redundancy, thermal and short-circuit fusing and low let-through with high current impulses.

MTL Instruments
A business unit of Cooper Crouse-Hinds
Houston, TX

For more info, enter 35 at

Next-Generation Motor Analyzers

According to SKF, its Static Motor Analyzer – Baker DX models perform motor and generator analysis faster and more accurately than previous-generation surge test analyzers. They now include low-voltage inductance, impedance, phase angle and capacitance, coil and DC step voltage tests in a smaller, lighter-weight portable unit. Like their predecessors, the analyzers also conduct winding resistance, megohm, DC HiPot, surge tests and DC bar-to-bar armature tests. All units come with a touch-screen graphical user interface and can be ordered in an array of configurations.

SKF CMC-Fort Collins
Part of the SKF Group
Fort Collins, CO

For more info, enter 36 at

0412mplacesupplyproSmart Shop-Floor Management Of Consumable And Returnable Items

SupplyPro’s SmartDrawer™ has introduced the concept of individual compartment control for shop-floor cabinets at the point of use. This versatile, plug-&-go solution allows users to choose the best level of access control and accountability for each application. SmartDrawer lids can be set to provide Absolute Control® for single-item dispense and return, or part-number-level control for higher-density management. Available for new shop-floor cabinets or as a retrofit for existing cabinets, drawer by drawer, it can be used as a stand-alone unit, or combined with other SupplyPro devices. SmartDrawer comes with access to the manufacturer’s SupplyPort data-management offering, as well as with full implementation and on-call support services.


San Diego, CA

For more info, enter 37 at


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11:44 pm
May 28, 2012
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Technology Showcase: Information Technology

0412techshowmapconWeb-Based, Full-Featured SaaS CMMS

 Mapcon’s On-Demand™ uses SaaS (software-as-a-service) technology to provide comprehensive maintenance management, including work orders and preventive maintenance scheduling, at a lower cost than similar software applications. The product’s Java Swing™ technology delivers a fast, comprehensive CMMS directly over the Web, eliminating any slowdown associated with browsers. The system can be easily set up by non-IT personnel with basic PC skills and includes free technical support. On-Demand offers all features of Mapcon’s Enterprise software, including mobile capabilities. Being Web-based, however, it can operate in several environments (Windows, Apple OSX, Linux), connect to various databases (Oracle, SQL Server, Interbase) and communicate with other software packages. Because the service is billed on a monthly basis, without an annual contact, users can upgrade or downgrade on the fly without penalties.

Mapcon Technologies, Inc.
Des Moines, IA

For more info, enter 05 at
0412techshowpanasonicRobust, Professional-Grade Tablet Computers

 Panasonic’s Toughpad™ A1 is a professional-grade 10” Android™-powered tablet suited for mobile outdoor workers and where exposure to extreme environments is a possibility. Designed to meet many of the same durability standards as Panasonic’s Toughbook PC product line, this new device has MIL-STD-810G ratings for drops, as well as ingress protection ratings for resistance to dust and water. It’s also rated for use across a wide range of temperatures. Besides having access to the selection of existing Android Market™ apps, the product is supported by the Business AppPortal™, an enterprise-focused app store offering market-specific solutions and applications addressing broad enterprise concerns, including Mobile Device Management, security and virtualization. This secure, cloud-based user storefront lets IT Managers and developers store, download and test apps for their Toughpad devices. Panasonic will also offer private application stores within the Business AppPortal, which businesses can customize to meet their specific needs.

Panasonic Solutions Co.
A division of Panasonic Corp. of North America
Secaucus, NJ

For more info, enter 06 at
0412techshowmobiusIOS Vibration Analysis App

 The Mobius iVibe™ from the Mobius Institute is an application for Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch that provides a virtual vibration analysis expert. While diagnosing machine faults, iVibe provides an easy way to look up machine fault conditions based on spectrum symptoms and machine types. The application provides sample spectra, explanations of faults and explanations of how to diagnose fault conditions. Users can select from a list of symptoms, machine types and fault types before drilling down for more information on each topic. The application also includes a gallery with 80 spectral images. Upon seeing a spectrum, users can swipe up and down to see other similar spectra, or swipe left and right to see a page of details, diagnostic information and suggested additional tests to help confirm a diagnosis as correct. iVibe is available for purchase through Apple’s App Store.


Mobius Institute
Brentwood, TN

For more info, enter 07 at
Cross-Platform Mobile Support For IBM Maximo

 Syclo’s SMART Mobile Suite For Maximo is now available for iPhone, iPad, Android smartphones and Android tablets. It’s been deployed for more than 400 IBM Maximo enterprise asset management software customers on Syclo’s Agentry Mobile Platform. According to the company, Syclo is the only vendor offering mobile solutions for IBM Maximo that work with all major devices, whether they’re online or not. Users get native applications without the need to maintain separate code sets for each device. Software designers get increased flexibility in configuring user interfaces to ensure that each application looks and behaves exactly as expected on each operating system. Syclo SMART Mobile Suite For Maximo works with IBM Maximo versions 4, 5, 6, 7 and 7.5.


Syclo, LLC
Hoffman Estates, IL

For more info, enter 08 at

This month’s Technology Showcase is brought to you by:

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11:44 pm
May 28, 2012
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Motor Doc's Hot Topics: Voltage Unbalance Impact On Motors

Voltage unbalance and its most severe form—single phasing—cause up to 14% of motor failures [1]. It’s important to understand that maximum current unbalance isn’t defined in standards for motors in the field. Voltage unbalance, which has direct impact on the operating life and characteristics of an electric motor, is defined.

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) standard MG-1 defines the maximum voltage unbalance to be applied to an electric motor as 5%, and notes that a derating factor must be applied to a motor operating with a voltage unbalance.


Voltage Unbalance Derating Factor

Voltage unbalance is relatively simple to calculate. It requires measurement of the phase-to-phase voltage of the supply to a three-phase motor. The first step is to take all three measured voltages, add them together and divide by three. This will be your Vave. Next, subtract the voltage furthest from the Vave, change it to a positive value, then divide by Vave and multiply by 100%.

For example, if you have Va-b = 465V, Va-c = 480V and Vb-c = 467V, then (465V + 480V + 467V)/3 = 471Vave.  Then ((480-471)/471) x 100% = 1.9%. Applied to the above chart, you would then multiply the horsepower or kilowatt rating of the motor times 0.95. In effect, a 10-hp motor would have to operate as a 9.5-hp motor.

If voltage unbalance is detected, you should identify the cause. If you see a current unbalance with a low-voltage unbalance, try rotating the phases, then recheck current. (Rotate phases by moving the lead from phase A to phase B, phase B to phase C and phase C to phase A. This doesn’t change the direction of rotation.) If, upon rechecking current, the unbalance moves, it’s motor-related. If the unbalance stays in the same location or disappears, it’s supply-related. MT

1. Cooper Bussman Corp., Motor Protection: Voltage Unbalance and Single-Phasing, 2003.

Dr. Howard Penrose is VP of Engineering and Reliability Services for Dreisilker, Webmaster of the IEEE Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society, and Director of Outreach of the Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals (SMRP).

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11:43 pm
May 28, 2012
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For On The Floor: Salary Satisfaction?

rick_carterGE’s Jack Welch is quoted as saying, “If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings and put compensation as a carrier behind it, you almost don’t have to manage them.” Most would agree, in principle if not always in practice. This month, our Reader Panelists report on how satisfied they are with their own compensation.

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11:42 pm
May 28, 2012
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Uptime: Learning From Sinking Ships And Aircraft Mishaps

bob_williamson_thumb_thumb“Human error” is an often-cited cause or contributing factor in accidents and failures. We routinely see this with our plant equipment. Without a structured process for identifying and quantifying the underlying human factors associated with specific incidents, however, eliminating human error can be quite challenging. Let’s look into a couple of historical examples for some valuable insight.

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