Archive | Homepage-Right-Side


9:40 pm
October 21, 2016
Print Friendly

Industry Heavyweights T.F. Hudgins and Allied Reliability Merge

T.F. Hudgins Inc. (Houston) has announced a merger with Charleston, SC-based Allied Reliability Inc. According to the two companies, their merger combines the domain expertise and resources of industry leaders that are focused on improving the reliability and performance of a broad range of high-value assets operating in a variety of applications. Customers, in turn, are expected to benefit from an expanded portfolio of hardware, software, and value-added services.

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-4-12-14-pmFounded in 1947, T.F. Hudgins provides a portfolio of engineered products and services that improve the reliability of high-value equipment. Its primary end-markets include midstream oil & gas, petrochemical, refining, and other process industries.

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-4-10-08-pmAllied Reliability Group delivers best-in-industry operational reliability solutions, including condition monitoring, electrical services, consulting and training, staffing, and integrated product solutions for commercial and industrial manufacturing industries.

Jay Burnette, CEO of T.F. Hudgins, will lead the combined company  “We are extremely excited to bring our two companies together for the benefit of our collective customers, employees, and stakeholders,” he said. “This combination will accelerate our growth in the expanding equipment-reliability space, particularly with a much broader condition-based monitoring and advanced diagnostics offering. We believe this will create significant value for our customers.”

John Schultz, CEO and founding partner of Allied Reliability, emphasized the importance of joining forces with another organization that shares the same commitment to reliability. “We have built our business on listening to and understanding our customers’ needs, and delivering superior technical capabilities,” he commented. “With the combination of our two companies, we will be in an even better position to drive innovation and deliver exceptional value to the global reliability community.”

T.F. Hudgins is a portfolio company of The CapStreet Group, a Houston-based private equity firm that invests in owner-managed, lower-middle-market companies headquartered in Texas and surrounding states, with a particular emphasis on companies in the greater Houston area.

Allied Reliability is a portfolio company of Pfingsten Partners, an operationally focused private-equity firm with headquarters in Chicago and and representative offices in ChangAn, China, and New Delhi and Chennai, India. Since completing its first investment in 1991, Pfingsten has raised five investment funds with total commitments of approximately $1.3 billion and acquired 114 companies.


8:05 pm
October 19, 2016
Print Friendly

Day Two At SMRP 2016 With Maintenance Technology’s Editors


Contributing editor Michelle Segrest and editorial director Gary L. Parr return for a second day of extensive SMRP conference coverage. This record-setting conference has been filled with excellent presentations, enthusiastic attendees, and a large number of exhibitors ready to help reliability and maintenance professionals solve problems and move their operations to the world of reliability. Listen to Michelle and Gary discuss the second day of SMRP 2016 here:


Our coverage today also includes several interviews with exhibitors; an interview with Marc Cote, SMRP presenter and our November Voice from the Field; numerous attendees sharing what they have learned at the conference; a brief chat with Rebekah Wojac, president of Maintenance Excellence Roundtable; and an exchange with Maintenance Technology columnist Klaus Blache about his Univ. of Tennessee Reliability and Maintainability Center. If you weren’t able to attend this year’s SMRP Conference, we hope that the our coverage of the show, today and yesterday, will help you experience at least a small amount of what this annual event for reliability and maintenance professionals has to offer.

Marc Cote is Director of Maintenance and Engineering at C.B. Fleet Laboratories. He was the presenter of a training session on “Performance Metrics That Matter” at the 24th Annual SMRP Convention in Jacksonville, FL. During his presentation, Cote demonstrated best practices for managing and training people, materials management, workload management, and asset reliability. He showed how identifying key performance indicators and measuring them effectively can enhance any reliability program. This exclusive video interview highlights some of the main takeaways from his presentation. You can read more about Cote and his maintenance and reliability success in Maintenance Technology’s “Voice from the Field” feature in the November issue.

Editorial director Gary L. Parr interviews Klaus Blache, director of the Reliability & Maintainability Center at the Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville. Klaus talks about the center’s various programs, what it offers to students at three levels, and the various events they offer in conjunction with the program. For more information, contact him at

Editorial director Gary L. Parr interviews Rebekah Wojak, president of the Maintenance Excellence Roundtable, to learn about that organization, its activities, and its efforts to increase membership.


9:36 pm
October 18, 2016
Print Friendly

Webinar | Legacy Plants Embracing Data Acquisition Strategies

Three well-maintained self-primer pumps located at a water treatment plant in Ohio. Photo: Summit Pump Inc.

As the Industrial Internet of Things dialogue has evolved this year, legacy plants and better data acquisition strategies have been part of the conversation. The fear of rip-and-replace has been replaced by data acquisition actions with quick return-on-investment in some cases.

This on-demand webinar from LNS Research and Panoramic Power show what’s driving connected assets and, more importantly, how to capture legacy asset data.

>> Related Content | Case Study: Operations and Maintenance Budget Isn’t Increasing, Sound Familiar?

Below is a quick overview of the webinar:

In  a recent webinar, Panoramic Power partnered with LNS research to break down how manufacturers can utilize Asset Performance Management (APM) tools and IIoT technologies to improve products and productivity – and the best way for managers to build a case for implementation of smart enterprise control at their own facilities.

Click Here to View >>

1601Iot_logo>> For more IIoT coverage in maintenance and operations, click here!


9:20 pm
October 18, 2016
Print Friendly

Day One At SMRP 2016 With Maintenance Technology’s Editors


Editorial director Gary L. Parr and contributing editor Michelle Segrest are attending the 2016 version of the SMRP conference. This year is the largest conference in SMRP’s history.


Listen to the above podcast Gary and Michelle recorded about the sessions they’ve attended, view some short video interviews with attendees in which they describe the hurdles they confront, and stream video interviews with a variety of exhibitors. We hope you enjoy the coverage and encourage you to visit tomorrow to learn more about what’s going on at the conference.


8:32 pm
October 18, 2016
Print Friendly

Schneider Electric Speeds, Simplifies Utility-Operator Decisions with Predictive Asset Analytics Suite for Power Generation

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-1-28-45-pmNews from the Schneider Electric “Maximize Return on Assets” Users Group Conference in Chicago this week includes today’s announcement on the release of Predictive Asset Analytics Suite for Power Generation. Built on the company’s Avantis PriSM platform, the product helps utility operators minimize outage disruptions, improve cross-department collaboration, and increase operational agility.

According to the Lake Forest-based manufacturer, this Asset Performance Management (APM) solution can drive safer, more reliable, and sustainable operational efficiency while providing a digital framework to transform business value.

How It Works
Predictive Asset Analytics Suite for Power Generation provides a closed loop performance management framework to let decision makers contextualize real-time performances across their fleet, perform causal analysis of any non-conformity, and then create a template of the resulting knowledge for later use, thus reducing downtime from future non-conformity incidents. Part of Schneider Electric’s comprehensive Enterprise APM platform, it bridges skills and process gaps with smart technology, by combining advanced predictive analytics with knowledge management, and decision support to maximize asset availability. Schneider Electric notes that the solution offers a simplified and enriched data-analysis and reporting framework, delivered by way of a single user interface with an integrated flow of intelligence. By digitizing operations and decision-support knowledge, power generation operators have new opportunities to transform their businesses along with their workforce.

As Doug Warren, vice president, Industry Solutions at Schneider Electric, explained the new offering, “Power-generation operators must increasingly operate with greater collaboration across departments, driving a need for a single version of the truth across stakeholders and an ability to better manage information across multiple systems, people, and processes.” Predictive Asset Analytics Suite for this sector, he said, enables information-sharing by connecting multiple systems with context to ensure process rigors are followed in terms of ownership, which ultimately simplifies collaborative decision-making.

Schneider Electric notes that it has worked closely with utility providers to deliver reliable power to homes and businesses since the end of the 19th century. Predictive Asset Analytics Suite builds upon that knowledge, adds subscription-model pricing options, and is bundled with a comprehensive Customer FIRST maintenance and support program. As a result, power generation operators can incorporate intelligent information into their processes and digitize that knowledge to achieve and sustain operational excellence.

To learn more, CLICK HERE.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The 2016 “Maximize Return on Assets” Avantis User’s Group Conference runs through Wed., Oct. 19, at the Loews Chicago Hotel. For information on upcoming Schneider Electric Software  events, including the company’s “Empowering the Mobile Workforce in Process Industries” conference in Houston (Dec. 5-7, 2016), CLICK  HERE.



3:13 am
October 16, 2016
Print Friendly

Festo Opens Logistic & Assembly Operations Near Cincinnati


The manufacturing and distribution (assembly and logistics) operations at Festo’s recently opened Regional Service Center in Mason, OH, (RSC Mason), near Cincinnati, are within a day’s drive (10 hrs. by truck) of 70 % of the company’s North American customers. (Photo: Festo AG & Co. KG)

(Photo: Festo AG & Co. KG)

Festo’s recent opening of a 225,000-sq. ft. Regional Service Center (RSC) in Mason, OH (near Cincinnati), is said to have tripled capacities of the pneumatic and electric-automation giant.

Among other things, the $70-million state-of-the-art distribution and manufacturing (logistics and assembly) facility features a highly automated order-picking system, that, according to the company, is not only unique to the North American manufacturing landscape, it’s as sophisticated as the warehouse systems that keep today’s top retailers up and running. With a storage capacity of 65,000 bins, RSC Mason has seven high-performance picking stations and the capability to pick and pack 1,000 items per hour. The new operation allows for increased flexibility and speed, improved services, and plenty of space for future growth, while supporting Festo’s continued expansion in the NAFTA market (U.S., Canada, and Mexico). All of this seems well in line with a company that refers to itself as “the engineers of productivity.”

In addition to its investment in the new RSC, Festo U.S. is also continuing to increase its distribution network and sales force that, along with the Mason operation, will support ongoing industrial growth in Mexico, a market that’s fast becoming a heavyweight in the automotive sector. The site, in fact, has Foreign Trade Zone status, making it faster and more efficient for the company to support customers across the U.S. Canada, and Mexico from a central location.

Essential: Staying Close Customers
Festo has made it clear that its decision to locate the RSC in Mason wasn’t made lightly, but rather to help optimize the supply chain. While a major factor in the site selection was the region’s wealth of talent (thanks to a number of technical schools and colleges), its efficient highway systems, several airports, and the nearby, expanded DHL distribution facility were also strong selling points.

The result of being located in this “heart” of North American industry, explained Yannick Schilly, head of Product Supply NAFTA and RSC Mason, is that “we will be closer to our customers.” That’s something Festo considers essential. (As an example, the company is pointing to the fact that 70% of the North American customers for its thousands of different products, including drives, motors, controllers, valves, sensors, and other systems and components, are now within just a day’s drive [10 hours by truck] of the new facility.)

Another Essential: Technical Training/Workforce Development
RSC Mason is also home to the Festo Learning Center and a recently created two-year Mechatronics Apprenticeship Program (MAP2). The program is an initiative of Festo Didactic (the company’s technical training arm) in partnership with Sinclair Community College and five companies in the Cincinnati tri-state area (Art Metal Group, Clippard Instruments, Festo Inc., MQ Automation, and Nestlé). Built on the German apprenticeship model of dual education wherein participants learn in a classroom and while holding a steady job, the program’s mission is to help employers develop skills that are missing in today’s workforce by combining theoretical education with hands-on and on-the-job training.

The current (inaugural) MAP2 class includes 11 apprentices. Each week, they spend one day in classes at Sinclair Community College classes, one day at the Learning Center in Mason using state-of-the-art equipment, and three days working in their respective employers’ operations. This process and schedule allows them to take what they learn in class, practice it at the Festo Learning Center, and then use their new knowledge and skills in real-life work environments.

About Festo
Festo AG is a global manufacturer and independent family-owned company with headquarters in Esslingen, near Stuttgart, Germany. It supplies pneumatic and electrical-automation technology to 300,000 customers in over 40 industries. Festo’s products and services are available in 176 countries. For more information, CLICK HERE.





6:43 pm
October 15, 2016
Print Friendly

Hands-On Training Takes Center Stage at Geiger Mid-Atlantic Pump & Process Equipment Symposium XI


geiger-symposium-logoCan you say “beehive of activity?” That’s what 830 Tryens Rd., in Aston, PA was like on Thurs., Oct. 6. 2016. It’s where 300+ industry professionals, representing more than 100 end-user organizations and leading suppliers, gathered for the Geiger Mid-Atlantic Pump & Process Equipment Symposium XI.

Maintenance Technology’s managing editor Jane Alexander and contributing editor Michelle Segrest were on the ground with the large crowd that included personnel from operations such as Dow, DuPont, D.C. Water, GAF, DELCORA, Air Liquide, Exelon, the U.S. Coast Guard, Kinder Morgan, American Sugar Refining, The Hershey Co., Perdue, Buckeye Partners LP, Chemours, Westway Group, Johns Manville, and Veolia Water; and vendors such as ITT Goulds Pumps, Viking Pump, Weir Specialty Pumps, Blacoh Surge Control, John Crane, Westech, and Verder.

logoPresented every two years by well-known industrial distributor Geiger Pump & Equipment (, which has facilities in Aston and Baltimore, these popular day-long events feature a full slate of pump and process-equipment training (much of it hands-on); product displays; and plenty of food, drink, and networking. The 2016 installment didn’t disappoint.


This special issue of Maintenance Technology was distributed to all attendees at the symposium. You can download a pdf version here.

From the start of this symposium series through this year, these free Geiger events have always attracted a wide range of attendees from end-user sites across the region. One of the biggest draws is the practical, expert-led, hands-on training that they incorporate. It’s an effective workforce-development and refresher model that’s very much needed, but not available everywhere. As an example, Geiger president Henry Peck and his team point to having trained more than 2,000 (unique individual) pump and process-equipment pros in this manner—just since 2004. Some individuals and teams, though, have returned more than once.

Classes at Symposium XI included hands-on exploration of pumping-system optimization, centrifugal pump maintenance, and installation and maintenance of mechanical seals. The breakdown on attendees included the fact that:

  • nearly 75% were first-timers
  • roughly 2/3 were from Industry, and 1/3 from municipalities or related consulting-engineer groups
  • more than 50% had 10+ years experience in their field
  • 67% were in plant operations and maintenance
  • almost 25% were in either plant process or consulting engineering.

To learn more about the day’s activities and also pick up some helpful equipment-maintenance tips, check out the videos and photos on this page.

Hands-on was the key learning tool at the Geiger Mid-Atlantic Pump & Process Equipment Symposium XI, held Oct. 6, 2016 in Aston, PA. Above are several images of attendees in action during the day. Images provided by Craig Fuller.


7:03 pm
October 10, 2016
Print Friendly

Milwaukee Tool Cordless, Self-Priming M18 Transfer Pump Meets Water-Removal Challenges

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-12-58-49-pmWisconsin-based Milwaukee Tool (Milwaukee) says the company’s recently introduced M18 Transfer Pump for water removal is the first self-priming, cordless pump of its type.

Completely self-priming, it’s designed with a flexible impeller that, once turned on, starts pumping water instantly from inlet to outlet without the need for additional priming assistance. This flexible impeller also helps create a powerful pressure difference that can produce an 18-ft. lift.

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-1-10-46-pmWith a capacity of 480 GPH (gal. per hr.) and head height of 75 ft., the M18 Transfer Pump is suitable for a variety of water-removal challenges. Equipped with the manufacturer’s advanced REDLINK Intelligence system, these units are protected against dry pumping by their ability to switch themselves off when an application is complete. This capability helps protect the motor, thus maximizing service life and allowing users to perform other tasks without worrying about damaging the pump.

The battery connects to the pump in a splash-proof compartment on the back of the unit. This compartment is large enough to fit all M18 battery packs. In addition, a clear viewing window provides better visibility to the impeller, allowing the user to quickly troubleshoot blockages or other issues.

The M18 Transfer Pump comes with two ¾-in. brass threads to fit all major brands of hose connections. It’s offered as a bare tool (pump alone) or as a kit (which includes an M18 REDLITHIUM XC Extended Capacity Battery and M18 & M12 Multi-Voltage Charger).

For more information, CLICK HERE.