Archive | July


2:43 pm
July 26, 2013
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Technology Showcase: Lubrication Solutions

0713techshow1Vibration Analysis & Lubrication: Natural Synergy

It’s difficult to argue against the importance of an effective lubrication program or the necessity of vibration analysis. Still, rarely do these two modalities actively work together. Instead, they’re often considered completely separate entities on a reliability flow chart. The good news is that an often-overlooked dynamic synergy can exist between a plant’s vibration and lubrication groups.

Here’s how
Vibration analysts are often troubled with a combination of too many pieces of equipment to check and too little time to do it. Lubrication groups, on the other hand, constantly struggle with proper lube techniques, how to correctly determine lubrication levels and when to schedule them.

An investment in acoustic lubrication and monitoring of bearings not only helps build an effective lube program, it also sets up a natural first line of defense against rotating equipment failure. The ability to discover equipment in the early stages of failures, between vibration analysis routes, can yield huge financial rewards. The acoustic lubrication method makes better use of a lube technician’s lubrication route—helping establish new routines that are based on time, but customized for each bearing’s actual lubrication requirement. 

 When vibration analysts begin to integrate lubrication technicians into their monitoring cycles, more rotating equipment is being monitored—more frequently. While the technology and procedures to acoustically monitor grease-lubricated bearings has been around for 20 years, it’s still a vastly underutilized method. A simple paradigm shift in the maintenance culture is usually all that’s necessary to begin taking advantage of two groups that already exist.

Industrial maintenance management is a daunting task, even in the best of times. Operations must continue to find creative ways to stay competitive while keeping costs down. Using existing manpower more effectively—with minimal investments in equipment and training—is a good economic move. Go ahead: Uncover an important natural synergy in your plant. Learn more about acoustic lubrication and bearing monitoring solutions at  MT

UVLM, Inc.
Centralia, WA

Feature-Rich Containment System Offers Drive-Through Capabilities

New Pig’s recently introduced PIG® Collapse-A-Tainer® Fail-Safe Containment System features end walls that can remain folded during normal use, but automatically rise and float with the liquid level should a leak or spill occur. The addition of floating walls allows the system to provide constant drive-through containment capability without the need to manually fold the sidewalls up or down each time a vehicle enters or exits the containment system. Heavy-duty hinges can be manually locked into place when snow, hoses or other heavy objects could prevent the flotation system from functioning. Made of tough XR-5 geomembrane, it’s suited for use under storage tanks, tote tanks, pillow tanks, pallets loaded with drums and more. Available in three variations with sump capacities from 748 to 5236 gallons, this containment system can be customized to fit the needs of any facility.

New Pig Corp.
Tipton, PA

0713techshow3Handy Lube Products For Trade and Industrial Pros

To serve the needs of today’s busy professionals throughout the trades and industry, WD-40® has announced the addition of three new products to its Specialist® lineup:

Dirt & Dust Resistant Dry Lube is a specially created, fast-drying formula that reduces friction and wear.  An NSF Category H2 product, it resists dirt, dust and oil, helps release molded parts and is suitable for lubricating slides, rollers and hinges.

Machine & Engine Degreaser, which can spray up to five feet, has a deep foaming penetrating action that quickly removes grease, oil, dirt and grime.  Authorized for use under NSF Category C1, it’s appropriate for use on engines, gears, chains, industrial machinery, power equipment and metal tools.

Electrical Contact Cleaner Spray, an NSF K2-registered product, is safe to use on plastic, rubber and metal surfaces.  Incorporating Smart Straw® technology, it can easily clean oil, dirt, flux residue and condensation from circuit boards, controls, switches, precision instruments and electrical panels.

These new products are available at select retailers and industrial distributors nationwide.

WD-40 Company
San Diego, CA

0713techshow2Clean And Protect Hot Line Tools 

CRC’s new dual-action, lint-free Hot Line Tool Cleaner & Protectant Wipes keep fiberglass hot line tools clean. These pre-moistened, easily disposable wipes are saturated with a special cleaner and protectant designed to effectively remove dirt, tar, sap and grease without harming the tool. According to the manufacturer, this unique formula won’t remove or adversely affect gloss finishes or build up on tools over time, nor will it harm lineman gloves, climbing gear or insulating blanket covers. OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1910.1200 requires the daily cleaning of hot line tools prior to use. CRC’s convenient 8” X 10.5” wipes allow for easy one-time use and eliminate the need for rags and storing of bulk chemicals.

CRC Industries, Inc.
Warminster, PA



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2:32 pm
July 26, 2013
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Capacity Assurance Marketplace

0713mplacebadgerSmart And Analog Valve Positioners

Badger Meter says the smart valve positioners in its new Research Control SRD series deliver the type of robust, actionable diagnostics that can help facilities comply with recent fugitive emissions regs. The company has also released a Research Control SRI series of analog positioners: The SRD 960 (explosion-proof) and SRD 991 (intrinsically safe) digital models offer economical, user-friendly solutions for a wide range of process applications. An optional base model, the fast-acting analog SRI 990, incorporates control boards that can be swapped out to upgrade to an SRD. Products in both series are compatible with other Research Control products, as well as with most other pneumatically actuated valves. According to the manufacturer, SRD/SRI units are well-suited for new installations and retrofitting existing valves.

Badger Meter
Milwaukee, WI

Productivity-Enhancing VPN Software

Mobility XE® mobile Virtual Private Network (VPN) software maximizes productivity by maintaining and securing data connections as field workers move in and out of wireless coverage areas and roam between networks. Designed for wireless environments, Mobility XE provides IT managers with the security and centralized control needed to effectively manage mobile deployment. The service keeps applications alive and stable through any disruption.

NetMotion Wireless, Inc.
Seattle, WA

0713mplacehyattWireless Laser Shaft-Alignment 

The S-660T is an entry-level shaft-alignment laser system manufactured by Hamar Laser. Its Couple6 shaft-alignment software runs on a next-generation industrial tablet using Windows 7. Its Dual-Fan™ Measurement Technology enables accurate measurement of offset and angle simultaneously using two laser fans and two PSDs. The unit’s internal Bluetooth® transmitter, sealed in IP67 housing, has a range of up to 33’.

Hyatt Industries Ltd.
Vancouver, BC, Canada

0713mplacebigassCeiling Fan With Integrated LED

According to Big Ass Fan, it has introduced the world’s first LED-equipped industrial ceiling fan. The company says its new, all-in-one-package Powerfoil X LED delivers as much light as a 400W metal halide, covering the entire diameter of the fan, yet uses less than 175W. Incorporating a tempered-glass lens that minimizes glare, the light ties directly into an existing lighting grid for simple control.

Big Ass Fan Co.
Lexington, KY

0713marketplacebaldorLong-Life ER-Style Ball Bearings

Baldor’s line of Baldor·Dodge® ER-Style ball bearings is available in two shaft-attachment methods: The set-screw version has a 65-degree set-screw angle for maximum shaft grip, while the D-Lok™ product offers a clamp collar grip for maximum concentricity to minimize vibration. Both employ snap-ring retention to securely fit the cylindrical outer diameter into equipment. They both incorporate the Dodge ProGuard™ seal and flinger package to prevent contamination and maximize component life. Modifications to the seal package are available.

Baldor Electric Co.
Fort Smith, AR

0713mplacemeggerInsulation And Continuity Testers

Megger’s MIT400 insulation and continuity testers conform to IEC1010-1 standards and are rated to CAT IV 600 V, providing greater user safety when testing in higher-voltage environments. The testers cover 20 GΩ to 200 GΩ and feature adjustable insulation test voltages from 250 V to 1000 V and 50 V to 1000 V. A special application instrument offers voltages from 10 V to 100 V in 1 V steps.

Megger Group Ltd.
Dallas, TX

0713mplacealfaTough, Low-Maintenance Heat Exchangers

According to Alfa Laval, the  Diabon S15 plate heat exchanger for highly corrosive fluids can more than double flow rates to maximize heat recovery, minimize downtime and lower operating costs. Diabon is a dense, synthetic resin-impregnated graphite suitable for use with corrosive media at temperatures up to 390 F (200 C). A special plate pattern in these exchangers reduces fouling. Accessibility to the plates eases cleaning.

Alfa Laval, Inc.
Richmond, VA

0713mplacesteuteInductive Sensors For Explosive Environs

Steute Xtreme has introduced a line of inductive sensors certified for use in Zone 0 and 20 explosive atmospheres and extreme environments. Units are available in M8, M12, M18 and M30 sizes with a cable or plug-in connector. Models are also available with IP68K or IP69K ratings and for temperatures of -40  to +248 F. Applications include conveyors, food processing, material handling and more.

Steute Xtreme
Ridgefield, CT

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6:08 pm
July 19, 2013
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Uptime: Thoughts On Maintenance Leadership And Teamwork

bob williamson thumb thumbBy Bob Williamson, Contributing Editor

“Our division director is deploying a self-managed team approach in maintenance much like a transition two years ago in the production department. Our maintenance workforce is mostly older, with nearly 20 to 30 years of service, and very traditionally craft-oriented. We’re also deploying a ‘maintenance best practice’ approach for job identification, planning, scheduling, execution, documentation and improvement. The new role of maintenance supervisors is unclear, but it will not be supervision. Are we heading down a slippery slope with these new self-managed teams?”

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6:05 pm
July 19, 2013
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Boosting Your Bottom Line: Three Cautions Regarding Drives

motor-decisions-matterOne common cause of wasted energy—and wasted money—around industrial facilities is the running of motor-driven equipment at full speed, regardless of the load. Installing an adjustable speed drive (ASD) can help by matching motor speed to application requirements. There are, however, some important exceptions. This article explores several situations where installing an ASD may warrant a second look. 

Where Can Drives Save Energy?
ASDs can save energy if they are used in appropriate applications, are installed properly and if potential harmonics issues are identified and addressed. Generally, ASDs are recommended for centrifugal loads such as fans, pumps and blowers that operate at least 2000 hours per year; in systems where flow varies over time; and where valves, throttles or dampers are used to regulate the flow and pressure. 

Where Are Drives Unlikely To Save Energy?
While ASD energy efficiency is typically high (approximately 97% at full load), they are less likely to save energy in applications where motor speed remains relatively constant over time. Below are a few more examples where ASDs are unlikely to save energy. 

1.High-static-pressure installations: A system that is static head-dominated (open loop) is one where the pump is working to overcome gravity or elevation. Examples of these applications include boiler-feed water pumps, submersible pumps, above-ground pumps that operate with a high static-dominated pressure level and pumps that lift water to fill a reservoir. In these applications, ASDs may not achieve overall energy savings as a control option; however, they may make sense where the ASD is used to address water-supply demand that modulates continuously.

2.Poor sequencing: Some motor-driven equipment is designed and installed with sequenc-ing in mind. For example, cooling towers or evaporator fans are often set up in lead-lag fashion, a good practice where each fan immediately turns on and off based upon demand. Adding an ASD to the existing lead-lag configuration may consume more energy because the drive programming algorithm could activate multiple fans to start earlier and operate longer at a higher energy-consumption level. 

3.ASD functioning as soft starter: An ASD used solely to eliminate equipment failure at startup, or to reduce demand charges by soft-starting motors does not necessarily save energy. Soft starters can provide this functionality. 

So What’s The Bottom Line?
In the right applications, drives can offer solid benefits. Be sure to ask your utility representative or a motor and drive expert about other application-specific considerations.

More information on motors and drives is available through the MDM campaign at MT

The Motor Decisions Matter (MDM) campaign is managed by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE), a North American nonprofit organization that promotes energy-saving products, equipment and technologies. For further information, contact MDM staff at or (617) 589-3949.

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6:02 pm
July 19, 2013
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Don’t Procrastinate…Innovate!: ‘If I Only Had Time. . .’

ken bannister thumb thumb thumbBy Ken Bannister, Contributing Editor

According to William Penn, Founding Fore-father of Pennsylvania, “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” He could have been referring to us: Of all the resources available to the maintenance department, time is the most precious, yet often the most squandered and undervalued. 

We have become a rather contradictory society—one that embraces time-saving devices and strategies, but rarely has time to reflect on their value and the results of our efforts. Most maintenance departments now utilize some form of computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) for directing and managing day-to-day work, yet few successfully use the reporting side of the management software to understand the value and effectiveness of the work performed so that maintenance practices can be validated or continuously improved.

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6:00 pm
July 19, 2013
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Automation Insider: Get The Most From HART

garymintchellBy Gary Mintchell, Contributing Editor

If you’re working in a process manufacturing facility, I’m willing to bet that you have instruments containing the HART communication protocol ( This is a fact of life, even if you’re not using it.

The most typical communication for transmitters to control is via the 4-20 mA analog signal. This signal only gives the variation of a value from a process sensor, such as pressure, temperature or flow. Through calibrations, the loop controller or DCS knows the value in real time of that process variable. HART was the first of the widely adopted digital networks. Its adoption was primarily due to its characteristics—the digital information flows over the analog wires.

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