Archive | May


12:01 am
May 29, 2012
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Viewpoint: Simplify, Simplify, Simplify (Your Support Experience)

0512viewpointLike their colleagues in other departments, those responsible for equipment maintenance have felt the reality of a declining engineering and manufacturing workforce. And when that shrinking workforce meets budget cuts, many manufacturers decide to focus on efficiency improvements—in their production infrastructure, in their workforce or in their supply chain—as a means to improve uptime and reduce costs short-term without negatively impacting their long-term strategic direction. When identifying and implementing these operational efficiencies, however, manufacturers should also consider their plant maintenance efforts.

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12:00 am
May 29, 2012
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Capacity Assurance Marketplace

Durable, Industrial-Grade Fans

 The Powerfoil X2.0 ceiling fan from Big Ass Fans features a patented airfoil system that combines airfoils and winglets with the company’s AirFences™ to increase overall coverage. The winglet improves airfoil effectiveness by eliminating turbulence at the tip, while the AirFences capture air that would otherwise slip off the end of the airfoil. Completely enclosed electronics and the NitroSeal™ custom gearbox help ensure the fan’s durability.

Big Ass Fans
Lexington, KY

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On-Line Electrical-System Condition Assessment 

CableWISE®, a service of UtilX, is a unique, non-destructive on-line electrical system assessment technology that can evaluate the condition of cable systems, transformers and switchgear without them having to be shut down. Knowing a cable system’s weaknesses allows owners, asset managers and reliability engineers to be proactive in identifying and repairing problems before they cause outages. The CableWISE technology can detect the deterioration in cables, splices and terminations on both new and aged cable systems. Developed for the utilities industry, it’s now available for commercial and industrial customers.


UtilX Corp.
Kent, WA

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0512mplacecatMid-Size, Energy-Efficient, Low-Emission Lift Trucks

 Cat Lift Trucks’ 2EPC5000 – 2EP6500 Series is a line of electric pneumatic tire lift trucks with a capacity of 5000–6500 lbs. According to the manufacturer, these 80V units deliver performance comparable to internal combustion models, but reduce overall maintenance costs and cut emission levels to almost zero. Offering a 10% increase in energy efficiency over the previous generation, they also let operators run up to two shifts per one battery charge in most applications.

Cat Lift Trucks
Houston, TX

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High-Clarity IR Camera

 FLIR’s T440 infrared camera offers sharp thermal resolution at 76,800 pixels (320×240) and the company’s exclusive MSX™ Multi-Spectral Dynamic Imaging. MSX adds the detail of real-time visible spectrum images captured by the built-in digital camera to thermal spectrum images, providing high sharpness, contrast and clarity. Other capabilities include scalable picture-in-picture and thermal fusion for easier image identification and added context. Users can add voice and text comments to images and sketch right on the screen.

FLIR Systems
Portland, OR

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Easy, Less-Messy Oil-Sampling

 According to JLM Systems, the Pass-Thru technology on its recently introduced OILMISER™ Pass-Thru Sampling Valve (SV-PT) is a game changer for oil sampling. Designed with a plated steel body and Hex cap with chain tether, the device’s Pass-Thru feature allows a ¼” OD plastic tube or the OILMISER™ pass-through pitot tube to be inserted from the outside into the machine from which oil is being sampled. A tube seal/wiper strips surface oil from the sampling tube. The new SV-PT is available with a ¼”, 3/8”, ½” or ¾” NPT male pipe thread.

JLM Systems Ltd.
Richmond, BC, Canada

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0512mplaceglacierWater-Resistant Computer Terminal


The Everest S9000 stainless-steel computer terminal from Glacier Computer is suitable for conditions that require water resistance, such as food processing, outdoor kiosks, clean rooms and some marine applications. The unit provides a NEMA4/IP65 power supply and I/O, with the AC power supply, I/O connectors and cables available with a NEMA4/IP65 rating. The terminal utilizes the INTEL Atom N270 1.6 GHz processor with a 2.5” SATA HDD, Internal 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual internal antennas and 12” and 15” displays.

Glacier Computer
New Milford, CT

For more info, enter 35 at

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11:57 pm
May 28, 2012
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Technology Showcase: MRO Equipment & Supplies

0512techshowcaseWelding Gloves For A Range Of Applications


West Chester Holdings’ new IRONCAT® line of welding gloves is designed for the unique heat-shielding, dexterity and protection demands of Stick, MIG and TIG welding applications.

IRONCAT Stick-welding gloves incorporate thick materials to withstand the higher heat of this process. Their 14” length protects forearms, while welts protect finger seams against sparks and abrasion.

IRONCAT MIG-welding gloves allow for maximum dexterity with an unlined palm, while foam insulation on the back of the hand provides increased heat protection. Wing thumb designs for open-handed work are available, as are straight thumb designs for better grip. A reinforced thumb strap increases durability in high-wear areas.

IRONCAT TIG-welding gloves are made of light-weight, unlined materials for maximum dexterity. Goatskin models offer durability and comfort, while the kidskin gloves aid ease of movement. For softer feel and comfort, deerskin gloves are available. 

West Chester Holdings, Inc.
Monroe, OH

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

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11:57 pm
May 28, 2012
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Gadget: Improved Cooling of Electrical Enclosures

0512gadgetEXAIR’s Dual High Temperature Cabinet Cooler® Systems purge and cool overheated electrical-control panels in harsh environments up to 200 F (93 C). Incorporating a vortex tube that cools ordinary compressed air to cold air without the use of refrigerants, they can be mounted through a standard electrical knockout while still maintaining the NEMA 12, 4 or 4X rating of the enclosure. Thermostat controls minimize compressed air use, keeping the enclosure at ± 2 F of the temperature setting. An automatic drain filter separator prevents moisture from passing into the enclosure. With no moving parts to wear out, maintenance issues are reduced. These new systems are available with cooling capacities of 4000, 4800 and 5600 Btu/hr, and are UL Listed and CE compliant. Applications include variable frequency drives, programmable controllers, industrial computers, motor controls, microprocessors and robotics.

Cincinnati, OH

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11:56 pm
May 28, 2012
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Electrical-Safety Sense: Elimination Of Risk

The practical side of electrical safety gets much easier when this one simple principle is embraced: elimination of risk.

The Risk Control Hierarchy in ANSI Z10 Standard explains that hazard prevention is much more effective than hazard protection.  Thus, a worker who is exposed to a hazard—and is protected accordingly—still is in significantly more danger than workers who have no exposure to a hazard. Preventing exposure, in electrical-safety terms, requires keeping workers away from voltage. 

Translation: Electrical panels should be designed to allow more tasks to be done without exposure to voltage. Thru-panel programming ports offer that type of solution. They allow workers to program a panel without opening the panel door.

PESDs: safety + compliance
An electrical-safety program is safer when workers can determine a zero electrical-energy state without any voltage exposure to themselves. Permanent Electrical Safety Devices (PESDs) allow for thru-door electrical safety and greater NFPA 70E/CSA Z462 compliance. That’s important for any safety-conscious company.

PESDs inherently enhance any mechanical or electrical lock-out/tag-out procedure because they allow for verification of electrical isolation from outside the panel—without exposing the worker to voltage.  An example of such a voltage indicator is a PESD that mounts outside the panel.  It is a hard-wired LED indicator permanently wired to the phase(s) and ground, and illuminates when 40VAC/30VDC or greater voltage differential exists between two lone inputs.

No question
Before PESDs, creating an electrically safe work condition depended solely on the portable multimeter. This tool is not just used in electrical safety:  Its features make it invaluable for other purposes, including electrical troubleshooting and diagnostics.

A PESD, however, leaves no question or confusion when a worker uses it in creating an electrically safe work condition. That’s because today’s PESDs have been designed, built and installed for a single purpose—voltage indication for electrical safety. MT

To learn more about specific recommendations and practices, email the author:

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11:55 pm
May 28, 2012
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Don't Procrastinate…Innovate! Practicality, Simplicity, Impact: The Win Was A SNAP

ken_bannister_thumb_thumbAt the recent 2012 Maintenance and Reliability Technology Summit (MARTS), Applied Technology Publications (ATP), parent company of both Maintenance Technology and Lubrication Management & Technology magazines, put a spotlight on the winners of its  “2011 Maintenance & Reliability Innovator of the Year Award.” In this launch of what will be an annual competition, readers were asked to submit their innovative gizmos, devices, gadgets, processes, procedures and use of third-party resources for improving maintenance.

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11:55 pm
May 28, 2012
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Boosting Your Bottom Line: Can VFDs Help Optimize Your Motor System?

motor-decisions-matter_thumbLooking for energy savings in your motor-driven systems? You can build on the motor management basics—like selecting premium-efficiency motors and best-practice repairs—to achieve even greater energy savings by using variable frequency drives (VFDs) [Ref. 1]. Interested? Check out these two examples of real-world success:

North Memorial
The North Memorial Robbinsdale Campus, located northwest of Minneapolis, has just over one million square feet of hospital, healthcare, office and data-center space. When a vortex damper failed in the facility’s air-handling ventilation systems, North Memorial took the opportunity for a system assessment and retrofitted with a VFD. By making use of additional VFDs throughout its air-handling system, the hospital was able to reduce energy use by 30%—and noticed energy and cost savings immediately. Overall, the system is now operating more efficiently and reducing wear on other equipment, which is expected to increase reliability. The North Memorial Robbinsdale site also qualified for rebates from its utility for the VFDs, resulting in a payback period of just over one year [Ref. 2].

MacKenzie Sawmill
MacKenzie Sawmill (MacKenzie), in Surrey, British Columbia, produces timber. Like most sawmills, almost everything in the facility, from loading logs to cutting them, is driven by a compressed air system. Working with its utility, MacKenzie identified 1.5 million kWh per year of potential savings from optimizing its compressed air system. With utility incentives, the payback for implementing the identified improvements was only one year. Another project replaced a 400 hp motor—which ran continuously, despite only intermittent need—with an SCR DC drive so that operation could vary appropriately with load. With incentives, an expected five-year payback shrank to just two years.

As these examples show, significant system savings can result from motor management, including applying VFDs to appropriate applications. VFDs control the speed of an induction motor by controlling the power (voltage and frequency) that supplies the motor. By reducing motor-speed to match the needs of the application, VFDs can use less energy to do the same or greater work, depending on your system. When it comes to assessing a system’s potential, you can find details on successful application of drives in NEMA’s Application Guide for AC Adjustable Speed Drive Systems (

To learn more about building on the basics of motor management with the help of VFDs, visit MDM’s VFD Resources Webpage ( MT 

1.Variable frequency drives (VFDs) are also referred to as variable speed drives (VSDs), adjustable speed drives (ASDs), or inverters.



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