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8:32 pm
June 21, 2016
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CMMS Drives Culture


“Using Your CMMS to Influence Culture,” a webinar presented June 21, 2016, by Roy Rothwell, senior consultant, professional services at eMaint Enterprises, Marlton, NJ, focused on understanding your operation’s culture and how it can make or break CMMS success. Rothwell presented an engaging discussion about both sides of the CMMS/culture marriage and the impact success can have on overall reliability.

While the presentation was educational, the real highlight was the resources that Rothwell offered. Each of them, by themselves, is valuable, but the combination is a powerful toolkit for anyone trying to implement a CMMS, understand/change company culture, and make significant progress toward reliability. A survey of attendees revealed that most can benefit from those resources:

  • 13% of attendees have no CMMS in place
  • 34% are just getting started with a CMMS
  • 45% have a CMMS in place and are tracking data
  • 9% are actively track and measure data for continuous improvement.

The backbone of Rothwell’s presentation was the information found in Stephen Thomas’ book, The Workbook for Improving Maintenance and Reliability Through Cultural Change, April 2005, Industrial Press Inc., New York. The book is $30 and the link is to

One of the standout items in the book was Thomas’ discussion about the cultural infrastructure in companies. He describes it as the hidden hierarchy of people and communication processes that binds an organization together and the unofficial manner in which information (valid or invalid) flows throughout that organization.

A second source was a column written by our own Bob Williamson in the June 2013 issue of Maintenance Technology. That column, titled “Reliability is more about People than Machines,” talks about the success factors for reliability improvement:

  • Data
  • Focus
  • Process
  • Constraints
  • Causes
  • Mindset.

A third resource comes from the eMaint people. It’s titled “Ten Keys to CMMS Success.” The document is just a graphic, but they offer a webinar on the subject. See it here.

My favorite bullet point from the entire webinar came from the Champion Effect segment: “A born-again skeptic is your best ally.”

Click here to hear the recorded webinar.

Click here to download a pdf file of the presentation.

If you’re looking to implement a CMMS or have one an aren’t sure what to do with it, start with this webinar and the resources it offers. At minimum, you’ll build a good foundation.–Gary L. Parr, editorial director



3:07 am
June 13, 2016
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Schneider Electric Urges Caution with Electrical Equipment after Severe Weather Events

Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 9.14.13 PMEnergy-management giant Schneider Electric, manufacturer of Square D products, is reminding businesses to be especially careful with electrical equipment in the aftermath of severe weather. The recent devastating storms and floods in Texas and the impact they’ve had on operations are a case in point.

The most frequently occurring severe-weather events in the U.S. involve water in the form of hurricanes and storms with subsequent flooding. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40% of businesses do not reopen after a disaster¹. Following a natural disaster, quickly and efficiently assessing the damage is key.

To ensure personnel safety and avoid costly damage to physical equipment and financial losses associated with prolonged shutdowns, Schneider Electric encourages sites to heed the following precautions: 

Wet Electrical Equipment
Electrical equipment that has been submerged or come into contact with water must be replaced, though there are exceptions to this rule for larger equipment, which may be able to be reconditioned by trained factory service personnel.

Equipment that may be reconditioned includes:

  • Switchboard enclosures and certain bus structures
  • Switchgear
  • Low-voltage power circuit breakers
  • Medium-voltage circuit breakers
  • Low-voltage bolted-pressure switches
  • Medium-voltage switches
  • Motor control center enclosures and bus structure
  • Panel-board and load-center enclosures
  • Liquid-filled power transformers
  • Cast-resin transformers
  • Busway: epoxy-coated bars

Attempting to dry out equipment (in many cases) leaves portions of the current-carrying parts with damp or wet surfaces. These surfaces may be in contact with insulators or other materials that prevent them from being properly dried out and cleaned of debris.

Residual debris or wet surfaces may result in a loss of dielectric spacing within the equipment, and could present a hazard upon re-energization.

Equipment that must be replaced in its entirety includes:

  • Miniature and molded case circuit breakers
  • Molded case switches
  • Multi-metering equipment
  • Safety switches (AC and DC)
  • Load centers or panelboard interiors;
  • Dry-type transformers
  • Busway: mylar wrapped bars
  • Solid state components
  • Programmable logic controllers
  • Fuses
  • Electromechanical relays, contactors, starters, push buttons, limit switches, and other input logic and output controls
  • Solid state motor starters
  • Adjustable speed drives
  • Motor control center components

Equipment with Field-Replaceable Interior Components
Generally, this type of replacement is limited to a load center or panel-board type of product where the entire assembly can be removed and replaced as a unit. In this case, there is a possibility that enclosures can be reused if they have not been subjected to physical damage and if they have been properly cleaned of all debris and foreign materials.

Cleaning Agents and Abrasives
Do not apply cleaning agents, particularly petroleum-based cleaners, to the current-carrying portions of electrical equipment to remove foreign debris, residues and other substances. Some cleaning and lubricating compounds can cause deterioration of the non-metallic insulating or structural portions of the equipment. Do not use abrasives such as sandpaper or steel wool to clean current-carrying parts of the equipment. These materials may remove plating or other conductive surfaces from the parts, which could result in a hazard when the equipment is re-energized.

Non-Submerged Equipment in Flooded Areas
This situation requires careful inspection by a qualified person to determine if moisture has entered the equipment enclosures. If any signs of moisture or damage exist, the equipment should be replaced or repaired.

Relevant Codes and Standards
Businesses should reference relevant industry codes and standards to ensure they are taking the safest possible route to recovery. NFPA 1600 is the overarching standard and primary document on disaster recovery, emergency management, and business continuity. For workplace safety and planning, OSHA references NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. NFPA 70B, Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance now includes a chapter on electrical disaster recovery in the 2013 edition. In addition, the National Electrical Manufacturer’s Association (NEMA) has published “Evaluating Water-Damaged Electrical Equipment” and “Evaluating Fire- and Heat-Damaged Electrical Equipment.”

For more information, CLICK HERE.

Additional Resources

  • Getting Back to Business at the Opry Mills Mall (Schneider Electric Repair Project to the Severely Flood-Damaged Opry Mills Mall, Maintenance Technology, July 2011)
  • NEMA Standard AB 4-2003, Guidelines for Inspection and Preventive Maintenance of Molded Case Circuit Breakers Used in Commercial and Industrial Applications
  • NEMA Standard BU 1.1-2000, General Instructions for Proper Handling, Installation, Operation, and Maintenance of Busway Rated 600 Volts or Less
  • NEMA Standard PB 1.1-2002, General Instructions for Proper Installation, Operation, and Maintenance of Panelboards Rated 600 Volts or Less
  • NEMA Standard PB 2.1-2002, General Instructions for Proper Handling, Installation, Operation, and Maintenance of Deadfront Distribution Switchboards Rated 600 Volts or Less
  • NEMA Standard ICS 1.1-2003, Industrial Control and Systems: Safety Guidelines for the Application, Installation, and Maintenance of Solid State Controls


¹ FEMA, Protecting Your Businesses, 2013



2:38 am
June 7, 2016
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KSB-USA Operations Challenge Team Takes Gold at International Wastewater Technology Championship

Maintenance Technology's Contributing Editor Michelle Segrest (center) with all-star Operations Challenge Team KSB-USA that bested 36 other teams at the third Open Germany Wastewater Technology Championship in Munich, Germany.

Contributing Editor Michelle Segrest (center) with members of the all-star, gold-medal-winning Operations Challenge Team KSB-USA that bested 36 other teams at the third Open Germany Wastewater Technology Championship in Munich, Germany, during IFAT 2016.




Operations Challenge Team KSB-USA has brought home the gold from Munich, Germany, as the overall winner of the third Open German Championship in Wastewater Technology. This all-star, U.S.-based team competed against 36 teams from six countries as part of IFAT 2016, the world’s leading trade fair for water, sewage, waste and raw materials management that ran from May 30-June 3.

Organized by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and sponsored by pump and valve manufacturer KSB, Inc. (Richmond, VA), the U.S. team included Coach Dave Vogel (CH2M, Lanesborough, MA) and members Dale Burrow (TRA CReWSers, Dallas, winner of 5 Division 1 Operations Challenge Championships); Donnie Cagle (Terminal Velocity, Wake Forest, NC, winner of 10 Division 1 Operations Challenge Championships); and Steve Motley (Terminal Velocity, Virginia Beach, VA, winner of 5 Division 1 Operations Challenge Championships).

“We are so proud of Team KSB-USA and congratulate all of the participants of this fantastic international competition,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “It was our great honor to have been invited to be a part of IFAT and the Open German Championship, which along with WEF’s own Operations Challenge competition, showcases the incredible dedication, professionalism, and outstanding skills of our operations personnel.”

The 37 teams were judged in five core competencies of wastewater operations during the intense two-day competition. Team KSB-USA accumulated the most combined points from each individual discipline to take first place, followed by two German teams: second-place winner Nuremberg – Die Drei Wreckla, and third-place winner Stadt Stuttgart Pumpis.

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 9.34.51 PMMore About Operations Challenge
The popular, long-running Operations Challenge program is designed to put a spotlight on the often unsung heroes of the wastewater treatment arena. According to the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the best wastewater collection and treatment personnel in the world display their skills at these competitions.

Each team is sponsored by a WEF Member Association or recognized Operator Association. Winners are determined by a weighted point system for five events (collection systems, laboratory, process control, maintenance and safety), each designed to test the diverse skills required for the operation and maintenance of wastewater treatment facilities, their collection systems and laboratories.

Operations Challenge 2016 will take place this fall in New Orleans. as part of WEFTEC 2016, WEF’s 89th annual technical exhibition and conference running from Sept. 24-28, at the Morial Convention Center. For more information, CLICK HERE.


2:45 pm
June 6, 2016
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AspenTech Acquires Fidelis Group LLC

aspentech_logoAspen Technology Inc., Bedford, MA, a provider of software and services to the process industries, announced it has acquired Fidelis Group, LLC of Lake Jackson, TX. Fidelis is a provider of asset-reliability software that process-industry companies use to predict and optimize asset performance.

Fidelis Group offers two asset reliability software products, Fidelis Titan 2 and Fidelis WST:

  • Owner-operators in chemicals, upstream, refining and power use Fidelis Titan 2 as a discrete event-simulation tool for asset reliability modeling, to optimize designs, debottleneck existing assets, and increase availability. Engineering and construction companies also use Titan 2 to evaluate process reliability and availability required to meet their design guarantees. Customers using Titan 2 can achieve capital expense savings by optimizing redundancy systems and intermediate storage, while ensuring high plant availability.
  • Fidelis WST is a Warehouse Spare Part Sufficiency Tool that optimizes parts stocking strategies to ensure high availability, while reducing spare-part inventory costs that can represent tens of millions of dollars in capital expense.

The aspenONE® suite provides process engineering, manufacturing, and supply-chain optimization capabilities. The addition of Fidelis Group asset-reliability capabilities will eventually enable AspenTech to offer the process industry’s first process optimization software that includes reliability modeling.


6:17 pm
May 31, 2016
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Xylem Launches ‘Brainy,’ Game-Changing Flygt Concertor Wastewater Pumping System at IFAT

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 12.44.12 PMGlobal water technology giant Xylem (Rye Brook, NY) has launched what it says is “the world’s first wastewater pumping system with integrated intelligence” at this week’s IFAT trade fair in Munich  A product of the company’s Flygt brand, the smart, interconnected Concertor senses the operating conditions of its environment, adapts its performance in real time, and provides feedback to pumping station operators.

“Flygt Concertor represents a step-change in sustainable wastewater management solutions, with unparalleled pumping efficiency and reliability as well as a lower overall cost of ownership,” said Tomas Brannemo, president of Xylem’s Transport business. “It significantly advances the wastewater pumping sector by simplifying the entire pumping process from selection, installation, commissioning, and monitoring with the added bonus of a smaller footprint.”

How Flygt Concertor Works
The name “Concertor” is derived from the Latin “concentare,” meaning “working together to orchestrate harmony.” Flygt Concertor is suitable for use with wastewater pumps in the range of 2.2 to 7.3 kW, and has a system design that combines IE4 motor efficiency, N-hydraulics, integrated power electronics, and intelligent controls. All of its features are designed to work in harmony with each other, which results in optimal pumping performance at the lowest cost of ownership.

According to the manufacturer, the system’s flexible performance represents a significant change in how pumping systems will be selected and managed to accommodate different flow rates.

In contrast to the fixed performance curves of conventional pumps, Flygt Concertor offers a wide performance field from which to choose the right operating point. This makes selection extremely simple, facilitates performance fine-tuning and, as a consequence, significantly reduces inventory.

Features and Capabilities
Flygt Concertor incorporates built-in sump and pipe-cleaning features that, together with a second generation of Flygt’s patented Adaptive N-technology and an integrated pump-cleaning function, minimize vacuum cleaning costs.

Among other things, specific savings validated through extensive field testing around the world have shown:

  • Energy savings of up to 70% compared to a conventional pumping system.
  • Reduced inventory by up to 80% due to flexible performance.
  • Clog-free pumping operation and clean wet wells saving up to 80% in vacuum cleaning costs.
  • A reduction in cabinet size of 50% due to the system’s compact footprint.

To learn more,  CLICK HERE.

Editor’s Note: Located in Munich, Germany, and billed as “The World’s Leading Trade Fair for Environmental Technologies,” IFAT showcases strategies and innovative solutions for the sustainable use of resources and successful management of water, sewage, waste, and raw materials. The new Flygt Concertor is on display in Xylem’s booth number 451/550, Hall A6, through June 3, at this year’s IFAT.


3:50 pm
May 31, 2016
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On the Road with Jane and Gary #1



Jane and Gary have been traveling again. This past week Jane was in New Orleans to attend Schneider Electric’s Connect 2016 event and Gary was in Puerto Rico for the Maintenance Excellent Roundtable conference. Put your ear buds in and spend a few minutes listening to what our travelers experienced.


7:30 pm
May 25, 2016
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Feature-Rich PlantStruxure PES V4.2 Automation System Debuts at Schneider Electric Connect 2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 2.23.04 PMSchneider Electric Connect 2016, in New Orleans, is continuing to serve up a full plate of activities and product news today.

First up was this morning’s Plenary session focussing on  cyber-related issues, starting with a presentation on  “HMI & Alarm Management Best Practices.” by Bridget Fitzpatrick, of Wood Group Mustang.

Gary Williams, senior director of Technology, Cyber Security & Communications at Schneider Electric, then took the stage to put cyber threats into context for end users by encouraging attendees to “Be as AGGRESSIVE as a Hacker, or Lose Productivity.”

On the product front, Schneider Electric has announced the release of PlantStruxure PES V4.2 that integrates new hardware with capabilities from the company’s Modicon M580 ePAC lineup to meet demands of Industrial Internet of Things applications.

According to the company, the addition of Modicon M580 redundant controllers delivers exceptional plant and asset availability for critical continuous process operations and, thus helps to improve overall business performance.

How It Works
Fifty percent of today’s PlantStruxure PES projects require at least one pair of redundant controllers within the configuration. Schneider Electric notes that PES V4.2 meets next-gen requirements with the M580 ePAC and the ability to lock down ports within a single configuration environment. The company says the high level of cyber security offered by the  PES V4.2 “ensures nearly 100% uptime for customer systems.”

A core feature of the Modicon M580 ePAC is its Ethernet-based architecture. Integration into the PES solution improves system management and provides customers with a level of standard communication, guaranteeing a future-proof system.

The Foxboro, MA-based manufacturer says new services will be available for engineering and commissioning, which will make navigating a control program easier, as well as improve performance when making project changes. PlantStruxure PES V4.2 is also equipped with ready-to-use application and industry libraries, allowing systems to be built more quickly and with lower engineering costs. By integrating energy-management features from other Schneider Electric automation and power devices, such as asset-centric Altivar drives, the system can help users realize greater energy-cost savings.

The Schneider Electric Connect 2016 Automation Conference runs through Thursday, May 26, at the Marriott New Orleans Hotel. For more information from this event, CLICK HERE.


10:58 pm
May 24, 2016
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Schneider Electric Extends Universal I/O Capability for Foxboro and Triconex

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 4.25.03 PMSchneider Electric Connect 2016 has rolled into New Orleans in a big way this week. Organizers of this four-day automation conference at the Marriott New Orleans promised a busy, information-packed week for attendees, and if the event’s first full day is any indication, they’ve come through. In addition to an extensive slate of compelling keynotes, technical presentations, and workshops, the company is introducing several new products and technology enhancements.

Among the product announcements is today’s news of an update to the Foxboro Intelligent Marshalling solution. The new FBM 248 offering now includes redundancy capabilities that eliminate the costly, labor-intensive marshalling process traditionally required for control systems and further enhance the reliability and efficiency of control system design and operation. The company has also enhanced its Tricon CX compact safety system with the addition of the 3902X TMR universal I/O module.

Foxboro Evo FBM 248 and Tricon CX 3902X remove the dependency among control and safety system design and the installation of I/O systems. Universal I/O offerings for Foxboro Evo and Triconex enable process automation professionals to seamlessly adapt to last-minute I/O design changes and provides backup to eliminate the impact of any process downtime. of an update to the Foxboro Intelligent Marshalling solution.

Intelligent Marshalling with universal I/O and software-configurable modules allows users to configure I/O points from anywhere in the plant or in the world. They also enable flexible options for future expansions and upgrades, as well as significant cost savings by reducing marshalling infrastructure, increasing I/O density per cabinet, reducing field and maintenance labor costs and drastic reductions in the need for onsite replacement inventory.

For more information on the Foxboro Intelligent Marshalling solution, CLICK HERE.

Schneider Electric Connect 2016 continues through May 26. To learn more about it, CLICK HERE.