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8:22 pm
December 7, 2016
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Big Payoff with Mobile Work Orders

In their presentation “Mobile Work Order Execution,” Diego Izarra and Jack Craighton shared some telling benefits from the use of mobile work order systems. The talk was given as part of Schneider Electric’s Empowering the Mobile Workforce in Process Industries conference, held Dec. 5 to 7 in Houston.

According to the speakers, use a mobile work order solution and you could potential see

  • safety incidents reduced to zero
  • work capacity increased 10% to 20%
  • labor productivity increase by more than 50%
  • rework drop 15% to 20%
  • downtime production delays reduced 20% to 30%
  • preventable failures slashed by 90%.

They also stated that mobile a mobile system can improve wrench time, material coordination, planning, work flow, scheduling, field supervision, and travel.


1:58 pm
December 7, 2016
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Schneider Electric Introduces RefineryWise Solution for Oil & Gas

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-10-05-01-pmSchneider Electric, has announced the availability of RefineryWise for the Oil & Gas industry.The manufacturer notes that this solution helps refiners transform their businesses to achieve greater operational excellence through improved visibility into contextualized, actionable data, from the process automation layer through the enterprise business system layer, and from crude feed planning to final product blending.

According to the company, RefineryWise addresses both internal and external pressures refineries face in maintaining a responsive, decisive and collaborative workforce amid industry challenges of dynamic demand, tightened regulations, and technology evolution. It does so by leveraging a portfolio of world-class applications from Schneider Electric Software and an Application Integration Framework that can be used with other legacy third-party content. Pulled together with a user-configurable unified data model, it then adds KPI Management and Decision Management with Workflows to enable the digital workforce.

Features and capabilities of RefineryWise include:

  • Improved collaboration and operational visibility of the entire value chain.
  • Improved collaboration and operational visibility of the entire value chain.
  • Optimization of the entire value chain from actionable business insights with industry-leading applications in process optimization, unified planning and scheduling, asset performance management, offsite optimization and mobile workforce management.
  • Reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) through a user-configurable, unified data model,
  • Increased operational excellence through performance and asset benchmarking (including operating boundary thresholds) across the enterprise, i.e., a highly configurable user interface can generate any KPI or arithmetic expression(s).
  • Capture of critical plant knowledge and provide a linkage between performance events, their root cause, and a list of potential actions depending on financial and scheduling parameters within a single system to avoid time consuming data gathering and analysis.

Included in the offering is Schneider Electric’s Customer FIRST Software Maintenance and Support Program that enables access to the latest software upgrades, expert technical assistance, and self-help tools to improve operational effectiveness.

To learn more about RefineryWise, CLICK HERE.



6:00 pm
December 2, 2016
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Emerson Network Power Becomes ‘Vertiv,’ Gets New CEO

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-11-47-30-amThe business formerly known as Emerson Network Power has officially launched a campaign to rebrand the standalone company as Vertiv and announced the appointment of industry veteran Rob Johnson as CEO. Platinum Equity recently acquired the business from Emerson in a transaction valued in excess of $4 billion. (Emerson is also retaining a minority interest in the rebranded company.)

About Vertiv (
screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-11-44-40-amVertiv is a global provider of mission-critical infrastructure technologies for vital applications in data centers, communication networks, and commercial and industrial environments. Headquartered in Columbus, OH, the company has more than 20,000 employees and more than 25 manufacturing and assembly facilities worldwide.

Under the Vertiv banner, the business will build on the broad portfolio of product and service offerings for power, thermal, and IT management capabilities it previously offered as Emerson Network Power, including its flagship brands ASCO, Chloride, Liebert, NetSure, and Trellis

Rob Johnson, Vertiv’s newly announced CEO, comes to the position from that of an operating partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture-capital firm based in Menlo Park, CA. Johnson previously spent 10 years at American Power Conversion (APC), a leader in data-center infrastructure, where, in 2007,  he was serving as president and CEO when the company was sold to Schneider Electric. While at APC, he also served as general manager of the company’s Availability Enhancement Group.

Prior to his time at APC, Johnson worked in executive positions at Consolidated Container Corp. In 1989, he founded Systems Enhancement Corp. (SEC), a company that created innovative software and hardware solutions for the Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) industry. He sold SEC to APC in 1997.

For more information about Vertiv, CLICK HERE.


3:39 pm
December 2, 2016
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FS-Elliott Expands Distribution

elliotFS-Elliott Co., LLC, Export, PA, a manufacturer of oil-free, centrifugal compressors, has reached new distribution agreements with Dynamic Compressor Services, Rockwood, MI, CDA Systems, Livermore, CA, Power Equipment Co., Memphis, TN, and Rasmussen Air & Gas Energy, Waterloo, NE.

Joining a network of more than 75 distributors and representatives worldwide, the four new distributors are staffed with factory-trained sales representatives and service technicians, providing full support for local FS-Elliott customers. Services include installation and startup assistance, maintenance training, operator training, and remote or on-site technical support. These distributors maintain extensive inventories, providing immediate access to quality OEM parts for emergency or planned repairs.

“The caliber of distributors that we have added this year will allow us to reinforce our commitment to delivering quality products and services to our valued customers,” stated Will Collett, Director of Global Industrial Sales. “Delivering this level of quality to customers is something we are known for, and we are thrilled to bring our newest distributors on board to continue that strong reputation together.”

To locate your nearest FS-Elliott distributor, please visit


6:35 pm
November 16, 2016
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ITT PRO Services Launches ‘Next-Gen’ PumpSmart PS220 Control And Protection Solution

ITT’s PRO Services brand (Seneca Falls, NY), characterizes its recently launched PumpSmart PS220 as a “next-generation” intelligent pump control and protection solution. Providing variable-speed control for single and multiple pumps, the PS220 is said to offer a number of important capabilities and benefits. Among them:

  • Patented pump-protection technology that protects against upset conditions such as dry run, minimum flow, and cavitation, resulting in improved reliability and safety of the pump systems.
  • Advanced sensorless algorithms that determine critical performance parameters and provide valuable process insight and diagnostic data. Premier process control functionality comes with robust redundancy to maximize process uptime.


Adarsh Iyengar, global director for the brand’s Monitoring & Controls business, points to a number of specific features of the PS220, including six-pump Multipump Control, a Flow Totalizer, Intelligent Sleep, Flow Economy, and minimum-flow bypass valve control. “These features,” he said, “deliver exceptional value to our customers as they better optimize pump control strategies and lower system design and operating costs compared to other variable-speed drives that have pump functionality.”

For more information, CLICK HERE.

EDITOR’S NOTE: By protecting against pump failure due to process upsets, PumpSmart technology keeps operations running longer and reduces unplanned repair activities and expense. By right-sizing pumps to the systems they are running, the technology helps reduce energy consumption and wear and tear on the process systems.

CLICK HERE to see how PumpSmart Technology works.



4:35 pm
November 16, 2016
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Zebra Technologies Introduces Rugged, Enterprise-Class TC5 Series Touch Mobile Computers

screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-9-44-32-amAccording to Zebra Technologies Corp. (Lincolnshire, IL), its recently introduced TC5 Series of devices represents the “next evolution” in enterprise mobile computing. Developed for retail and field mobility applications, the lineup of rugged, enterprise-class TC51 and TC56 touch mobile computers has been designed to satisfy the durability, power, and security needs of business users, while offering intuitive consumer design that meets the expectations of today’s end users.

Features and Capabilities

  • Said to be “as easy to use as consumer smartphones,” devices in the TC5 Series are designed to withstand accidental drops into water or onto concrete and used in dusty areas.
  • Running the Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) operating system, the series is supported by Zebra’s Mobility DNA suite of application security, development tools, and mobile end-user apps.
  • A 1.8 GHz hexa-core 64-bit processor helps enterprise apps run up to five times faster while consuming 15% less power than other devices running on quad core platforms.
  • Innovative productivity-design features include an easily removable and replaceable battery pack, a large 5-in. display, and customizable Active Edge Touch Zones for one-touch access to the most frequently used device features and apps.
  • The TC5 Series also provides the operational ease of support for a better total cost of ownership (TCO,  as well as fastest, dependable wireless connections inside and outside with 802.11ac/r/k Wi-Fi connectivity for superior roaming capability, and 4G LTE WWAN.

For more information, CLICK HERE.


6:02 pm
November 15, 2016
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Mechanical-Seal LCCs Hold Savings

Mechanical seals may represent the largest cost of operation in some facilities and their reliability is a direct proxy for overall pump reliability.

Mechanical seals may represent the largest cost of operation in some facilities and their reliability is a direct proxy for overall pump reliability.

The result of good reliability engineering is elimination of field failures, yet making the connection between reliability and prevention of these failures is not always obvious, according to Lloyd Dewey Lee, Jr., CMRP, MBA, CRL, Reliability & Asset Management SME, FacileX, Knoxville, TN.

During his presentation at the 24th Annual SMRP Conference in Jacksonville, FL, in Oct. 2016, Lee said communication issues that many reliability personnel have with management can limit exposure to justification of their programs.

He posed the question, “How does one show and promote the ongoing contribution to ROI to justify the reliability program?” A quick answer is that one of the biggest, most overlooked, contributions to maintenance costs for pumps (which are also one of the most prevalent equipment types found in manufacturing plants) is the mechanical seal.

Mechanical seals (depending on their piping plans) may represent the largest cost of operation in some facilities, and their reliability has a direct impact on overall pump reliability. Because of these factors, reliability personnel should be aware of the life-cycle costs (LCCs) of these seals.

randmTotal cost of ownership (TCO) involves, at a minimum, five factors:

Design — This includes considerations such as expected design life and service criticality. Studies show that as much as 80% of machinery reliability is determined in the design phase.

Acquisition — The acquisition cost of an individual mechanical seal is dependent upon many variables, including metallurgy, elastomers, shaft size, cartridge or single-spring type, face materials, whether it has single or double faces, and any ancillary equipment needed for a flush plan. Acquisition costs aren’t significant, compared with operational costs. Implementing an alliance program with a seal vendor can improve acquisition costs.

Operation — Far and away the costliest component of mechanical-seal usage is in the operation. This is where the real savings to LCC can be achieved. Numerous factors affect pump reliability from an operations point of view. Once operational life is underway, the optimum life of the pump and system will only be realized if the pump is operated near its best efficiency point (BEP).

Maintenance — The opportunity for repair should be viewed as a maintenance upgrade event. For example, an analysis of pump curves may reveal that a change in the impeller size could move the pump closer to its BEP. With regard to mechanical seals, it is a normal practice to remove the entire seal, document the failure mode on a travel ticket, and send the seal either to the seal manufacturer for an analysis and/or execute a core return if the plant is under an alliance contract.

Disposal — Failed mechanical seals are among the most frequent reasons for removing pumps from service for repairs. That’s because leaks are obvious visual evidence of a failure. Impending seal failure may also be indicated if pressure, temperature, or level-gauge alarms on ancillary equipment are active.

Single-face seals leak along one of five paths (dual-face designs have similar static and dynamic leak paths:

Seal face leakage is visible at the shaft exit of the gland or at the drain connections.

Dynamic secondary seal leakage is also visually noticeable where the shaft exits the gland or at the drain connections.

Static secondary seal leakage is visible at the point where the shaft exits the gland or at the drain connections.

Gland gasket leakage is visible at the gland-seal chamber interface.

Hook-sleeve gasket leakage or cartridge-sleeve secondary seal leakage is visible at the point where the sleeve ends outside of the seal chamber.

Number-crunching is essential to capturing equipment ROI. Many companies have not performed a thorough cost-benefit analysis on the preventive-maintenance function. Therefore, it is difficult to analyze, with financial credibility, the cost of preventive-maintenance tasks and the contribution of the reliability program to reducing costs.

Thus, reliability and maintenance personnel should understand and be able to apply key financial concepts regarding return on investment (ROI). Common methods for analyzing payback include:

Net Present Value (NPV) — The total present value (PV) of a time-series of cash flows.

Investment Yield — The internal rate of return (IRR) for an investment is the discount rate that makes the net present value of the investment’s income stream total to zero.

Payback Period — The time it takes the cash inflow from a capital investment project to equal the cash outflow is typically expressed in years. The payback period is a simple and well-understood metric by most personnel because it simply calculates the length of time for the cash flow or savings generated by the project to pay back the project’s cost.

Cost of Capital — This is an important financial metric to understand when discussing the payback on an investment. It is not unusual for an organization to use its weighted average cost of capital (WACC) as a discount, or “hurdle,” rate in the payback evaluation of capital expenditures. MT

—Michelle Segrest, contributing editor