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5:27 pm
August 24, 2016
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AVO Opens Cable U, Expands Testing & Diagnostics Course Lineup

Cable 2 SMAVO Training Institute (AVO) has announced the opening of AVO Cable U at its main training location in Dallas. The facility is said to offer a hands-on, technologically advanced, real-world training venue “for every electrical cable testing and diagnostic application.”

According to AVO, with the host of critical issues facing the utility and industrial cable industry, it’s important to leverage training and test-equipment technology to improve existing and future cable installations alike. The company says that’s what its Cable U field lab and enhanced course lineup are designed for: to provide a comprehensive approach to “future proofing” cable systems for increased reliability and reduced costs.

_DSC6331 smAVO Cable U Courses and Certifications
Cable U offers training in three critical areas of the “future proofing” process for new and service-aged power cables: Cable Splicing & Terminating, Cable Fault Location & Tracing, and Cable Testing & Diagnostics.

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 12.06.46 PMAVO Training Institute offers its Cable Technician Certification through successful completion of AVO Cable U’s Cable Splicing & Terminating, Medium-Voltage, and Cable Fault Location & Tracing, Medium-Voltage courses, as well as a new certification in Cable Testing & Diagnostics. The company notes that this offering is consistent with current industry needs to provide technicians with the capabilities to “future proof” existing and future medium-voltage installations.

To learn more and/or make arrangements to attend an open house at the Cable U training facility on October 4, 2016, CLICK HERE.

About AVO Training Institute
Dallas-based AVO, a subsidiary of Megger, is celebrating more than 50 years of keeping people safe from electrical hazards. Known for its hands-on approach and wide range of training-related deliverables, from equipment application and maintenance procedures to safe work practices, online courses, arc flash studies, and engineering services, AVO characterizes itself as “a one-stop electrical-safety learning center.” Courses are available at campuses nationwide or on-site.


8:46 pm
August 2, 2016
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Emerson Selling Network Power, Leroy-Somer, and Control Techniques

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 12.05.00 PMBy way of two separate Aug. 2, 2016, announcements, Emerson (St. Louis), reported reaching agreements to sell its Network Power business to Platinum Equity and a group of co-investors, and its Leroy-Somer and Control Techniques units to Nidec Corp. (St. Louis). The planned divestitures are in keeping with Emerson’s previously announced strategic repositioning/aligning of its portfolio.

Regarding the Network Power Deal
The transaction selling Emerson’s Columbus, OH-based Network Power business to Platinum Equity (Beverly Hills, CA) and a group of co-investors is valued at $4 billion. Emerson will retain a subordinated interest in the business.

Network Power, which reported revenue of approximately $4.4 billion in FY 2015,  is a leading provider of thermal management, A/C and D/C power, transfer switches, services, and information-management systems for the data center and telecommunications industries. Going forward, the organization will continue to be led by Scott Barbour, who has been serving as executive vice president of Emerson and business leader for Network Power.

The Network Power divestiture is expected to be finalized by December 31, 2016, subject to customary regulatory approvals. It marks the second such deal between Emerson and Platinum Equity in the last three years. In Nov. 2013, Emerson sold a 51% controlling stake in its embedded computing and power business to Platinum Equity, which then rebranded the unit as Artesyn Embedded Technologies.

Founded in 1995 by Tom Gores, Platinum Equity is a global investment firm with a portfolio of approximately 25 operating companies that serve customers around the world. The firm has completed more than 175 acquisitions over the past 20 years.

Regarding the Leroy-Somer and Control Techniques Deal
The sale of Emerson’s Leroy-Somer and Control Techniques businesses to power-transmission giant Nidec Corp. for $1.2 billion, is expected to close by December 31, 2016, subject to regulatory approvals. The deal is said to offer Nidec a unique opportunity for strengthening its already global motor presence and expanding in the areas of drives and power-generation.

Leroy-Somer, headquartered in France, was acquired by Emerson in 1990. Control Techniques, an Emerson business since 1995, is based in the United Kingdom. The two companies have been leading manufacturers and suppliers of alternators, drives, and motors for more than 30 years. With a total of 9500 employees around the world, they reported combined FY 2015 revenue of approximately $1.7 billion.

Emerson’s divestitures of these two companies are not the first business dealings between it and Nidec, which included, most notably, Nidec’s 2010 acquisition of Emerson’s U.S. Motors brand.

Nidec Corp. is closely associated with approximately 230 group companies around the world. Aspiring to achieve still higher growth, each group company is enhancing its technical capabilities and competitive edge, while the Nidec parent pursues merger and acquisition (M&A) opportunities with companies that have highly respected engineering capabilities in motor-related fields.

For details from Nidec regarding the scope of its planned Leroy-Somer/Control Techniques acquisition, CLICK HERE.


7:47 pm
August 1, 2016
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NIWeek 2016 Points to Reliability Solutions from Prolucid Technologies and Other National Instruments Partners

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 10.22.20 AMNational Instruments (NI) kicked off its 22nd annual NIWeek conference today, in the company’s Austin, TX stomping grounds. Bringing together what NI terms “the brightest minds in engineering and science” from a cross-section of industry, these events focus on state-of-the-art technology that accelerates productivity for software-defined systems in the areas of test, measurement, and control.

In addition to their information-packed technical tracks and networking opportunities, NIWeek conferences also showcase solutions from the NI Alliance Partner Network. Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2016, this global Network is currently made up of 1000 independent, third-party member-companies that provide engineers with a range of products and support driven by NI software and hardware.

Among the nearly 40 Alliance Partner solutions highlighted at NIWeek 2016, the following three developed by Prolucid Technologies Inc. (Mississauga, ON, Canada) could be of particular interest to many reliability-focused end users:

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 10.06.44 AM1. Improved High-Speed, SubSea Mooring-Line Vision Measurement and Inspection System
In this solution, a fiber link traswitching. Prolucid also developed motion controlled stepper motors and feedback sensors for tracking the motion, with additional parameters for pressure and geometry data.

Everything is presented visually in real time to the operator at the surface with the help of NI’s LabVIEW application for viewing and inspecting the data, both in real time and for post-job playback and analysis. According to Prolucid, excellent visual capabilities offer advantages in graphing, as well as in vision analysis, and display

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 10.24.51 AM2. Upgraded High-Speed-Monitoring Steel-Shear-Line Inspection System
Using NI FPGA to read the incoming legacy position signals, Prolucid was able to visually show the exact locations of faults and keep them tracked, thus reducing the need to reject parts that may have a fault. Since the legacy system lacked these capabilities, many good parts had been rejected for fear of shipping bad ones to customers. The reduction in rejects and their associated retesting have saved 40 hours of labor per week.

The ability to tie in existing legacy sensors with NI cRIO technology greatly cut downtime in the switchover. Use of cRIO and FPGA provided a simple UI that operators were able to quickly understand, thereby easing the transition from a system that had been in place for many years.

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 10.29.56 AM3. Improved Nuclear-Lattice-Tube-Bore Visual Inspection Process
This LabVIEW-built application from Prolucid acquires the video feed and analyzes it in real-time to scan the bore for any scratches, discoloration, or defects, and ensure the integrity is intact. Rotation is handled at fixed intervals, and the scanning of the bore is motion tracked with the ability to dynamically resize the region of interest to account for eccentricity.

The video feed is displayed to the user, recorded to file, and analyzed in real time. Data is also processed from a series of captured images, into a stitched-together panorama image of the bore surface for defect documentation and reporting. The automated vision inspection speeds up the process, from 5-min. to 10-min. per bore when done manually, to less than 2 minutes.

Flexibility and NI LabVIEW’s easy multi-threaded capability allow video capture, analysis, and recording to all occur simultaneously in real time. Stitched panorama of the bore surface allows inspectors to quickly view and identify detected defects. Consistent defect analysis and recorded images have improved documentation of results.

NIWeek 2016 runs Aug. 1-4, in Austin, TX. For more information on the event and the various NI and Alliance Partner Network solutions it’s highlighting, CLICK HERE.


8:53 pm
July 11, 2016
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High-Amp Meltric CS1000 Series Devices Get UL 1691 Approval

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 2.50.15 PMFranklin, WI-based Meltric Corp. has announced that its CS1000 Series of High Amperage Single Pole Plugs and Connectors is now approved for listing in accordance with UL 1691, the component certification standard for Single Pole Locking-Type Separable Connectors.

Devices in the company’s CS1000 Series are typically specified in Non-Load Break applications up to 400A at 600VAC, 600VDC (in North America), and 1000 VAC/1500 VDC (in Europe – CE rated). Meltric notes that these items offer a high level of safety, usability, reliability, performance, and durability in harsh operating conditions.

Features and capabilities include:

  • Solid silver-nickel contact material provides superior performance and corrosion resistance
  • Spring-loaded, butt-style contact technology ensures optimal contact pressure and withstands over 2000 operations
  • IP66/IP67 environmental protection for wet, corrosive environments
  • IP2X finger protection that protects users from live parts
  • Mechanical keying system prevents insertion of the wrong phases
  • Locking pin that prevents accidental disconnection, and a plug/receptacle that accepts different cable sizes.

For more information on the Meltric’s CS1000 Series, CLICK HERE.

More About Meltric
Meltric Corp. (Franklin, WI) manufactures a complete line of industrial plugs and receptacles, including UL/CSA switch-rated plugs and receptacles. The company is the North American manufacturer and distributor of Marechal Corp.’s industrial duty plugs/receptacles that were first designed in the 1950s to eliminate the safety hazards posed by pin and sleeve devices. 


8:03 pm
July 7, 2016
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Industrial Growth Partners Acquires Des-Case Parent

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 2.15.47 PMIndustrial Growth Partners (IGP), a San Francisco-based private equity firm, has acquired the parent company of  lubricant-contamination-control leader Des-Case Corp. (Goodlettesville, TN).

With a 20-yr. history in the industrial sector, and $2.2 billion in capital raised since inception, IGP has extensive experience building global manufacturing businesses. According to the company, it concentrates  on leading niche manufacturers of engineered products used in critical applications, and partners with their management teams to pursue strategic initiatives focused on achieving long-term shareholder value.

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 2.19.40 PMFounded in 1983 when it brought the first desiccant breather to market, Des-Case now provides an array of  fluid-cleanliness products, services, and training that improve equipment reliability and extend lubricant life in industrial plants around the globe. It, in fact, has enjoyed the growth-opportunity benefits of private-equity investments since 2013, when it was acquired by Pfingsten Partners L.L.C.

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 2.20.35 PMIn 2014, Des-Case announced its own acquisition of the visual-oil-analysis line of ESCO Products Inc., the well-known, family-owned, Houston-based manufacturer of various  fluid-monitoring technologies and distributor of Copaltite and Dow Corning products. The acquired portfolio included ESCO’s 3-D BullsEye Viewport, oil sight glasses, indicators and level monitors.

“I am honored and excited to be a part of writing the next chapter in the Des-Case growth story alongside our valued customers, partners and investors,” noted company president and CEO Brian Gleason. “IGP has over two decades of experience investing in the industrial sector with a proven track record of building world-class global businesses. We are looking forward to the partnership.”

Other than the report that Des-Case’s management team has retained a substantial ownership stake in the company, terms of the July 6, 2016 transaction haven’t been disclosed.

For more information on Des-Case, CLICK HERE.

To learn more about Industrial Growth Partners, CLICK HERE.


5:04 pm
July 5, 2016
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Expanded EnviroGear G Series Trounces Liquid-Transfer Pump Ills

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 10.29.06 AM
Grand Terrace, CA-based EnviroGear Pump (part of PSG, a Dover company) PSG Group, has announced the release of  G Series models G1-82, G1-133 and G1-222 (3-in, 4-in., and 6-in.) metal-sealed internal gear pumps.

Well suited, according to the manufacturer, for the most challenging and demanding transfer applications (thin and viscous fluids), the G Series lineup is available in cast iron, carbon steel, and stainless steel models. Delivering flow rates up to 500 gpm, they’re offered with both packing and mechanical seal options, and can be used for a wide range of application types, i.e. chemicals, adhesives, paints, coatings, food & beverage, and heat transfer, among others,

Features and Capabilities
G Series pumps provide positive, non-pulsating flow, and can operate equally in both directions. Features include enlarged bearing housings at the backside of the units that allow for convenient drive-end access to the shaft seal and single-point end-clearance adjustment.

EnviroGear notes that members of its G Series family are interchangeable with up to 95% of existing internal gear pumps on the market, with no modifications to piping, driver, coupling, or baseplate required. The pump casing can be easily rotated for multiple liquid porting positions, making for simple installation in existing applications.

For more information, CLICK HERE.




11:29 pm
June 28, 2016
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Analytics Drive Energy Costs Down

“Listen to your Machines and Find Real Savings with Energy Analytics” was one of the first presentations offered at the Siemens 2016 Automation Summit, held June 27 to 30 in Las Vegas. The core of Stephan Ihmels’ presentation was a case history involving a discrete-manufacturing facility in the Chicago area.

Ihmels is business-development manager, Plant Data Services, Siemens Industry Inc. Digital Factory division, Alpharetta, GA.

Management at the Chicago manufacturer was looking to reduce costs. Their goal was a 10% reduction in energy costs, while improving efficiency and productivity. They also wanted to realize a payback of less than 2 yr. and to be able to allocate energy use to different departments.

They decided to reach their goals by using the Siemens Energy Analytics Platinum package, a subscription software and analysis service that carried, for this application, a $3,000/month fee. The service offers custom online dashboards, analytics, and diagnostic support. The payoff is delivery of specific energy-reduction actions and implementation consulting and coaching from Siemens experts.

The system too some planning and setup, but it started making a difference the first month. An analysis of the manufacturer’s compressed-air system showed that 36% of the air consumption was caused by leaks (an ideal level is less than 10%). Tackling that problem resulted in a $16,900 savings the first year.

Electricity monitoring indicated that 14.4% of electricity was consumed during non-productive hours. Now that that is straightened out, they are realizing $45,000 in annual savings.

Overall, they had no problem reaching their 10% utility-reduction goal and have realized an annual energy savings of $70,000. Their ROI for the project was less than a year, way ahead of their 2-yr. goal.

When implementing a system such as this, Ihmel recommended that you focus your initial efforts on applications/processes where savings will be achieved quickly. Also, make full use of the extensive data and reporting generated by the system by making sure the web dashboard is viewed, shared, and analyzed by everyone involved, including management.–Gary L. Parr, editorial director

Learn more about the Siemens Energy Analytics service at


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