3:13 pm
June 24, 2014
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Featured Columnists

Uptime: Can Training Increase Maintenance Costs?

By Bob Williamson, Contributing Editor

Effective training results in learning to improve one’s knowledge and performance. Ideally, job-related training should result in learning (i.e., becoming qualified to perform the job as expected), mastery of job skills and knowledge. Training methods have changed dramatically over the decades, including the embracing of online and computer-based models. Faster computers, broadband connections and software capabilities have launched a variety of new, more efficient training approaches. Unfortunately, some job-related learning, such as equipment operation and maintenance, doesn’t lend itself to computer-based training (CBT). The “hands-on” elements of job-performance requirements are lacking with CBT. Furthermore, students with tactile learning styles struggle with the visual and auditory methods common to CBT. Click here for more.


rick_carter_mugFor on the Floor: More Good Than Bad in 2014

By Rick Carter, Executive Editor

We’re in the final weeks of what has turned out to be an above-average year for U.S. manufacturing, with output and key indicators up. The 2014 year-end review from the factory floor is also encouraging, according to our Maintenance Technology Reader Panel. The group reports strong personal achievements for the year, coupled with positive changes within their maintenance organizations and companies. Not everything was rosy, but most Panelist comments suggest that 2015 will get off to a good start. Here’s a sampling of what they had to say about the ups and downs of the past 12 months. Click here for more.


1014janemytakeMy Take: Connecting Your Enterprise — Leveraging the Internet of Things

By Jane Alexander, Managing Editor

This month’s cover asks “What’s Trending Now?” My take is that the “Internet of Things (IoT)” is one of the hottest topics out there, especially among the suppliers of technologies for consumer, commercial and industrial applications. Alas, among industrial end-users, the IoT may be one of the least understood trends. (According to LNS Research, almost half of industry executives still don’t understand it.) Troubled by this report, I turned to Opto 22 to sum up the IoT and its benefits for our readers. Click here for more.


heinz_bloch_mugA Contrarian View: What Being Proactive Really Means

By Heinz Bloch, P.E.

A company I choose to call NTBO (“Not-To-Be-Offended”) will long remember a string of expensive pump failures that jeopardized the continuity of boiler feed water supplied to its power generation turbines. When all components were carefully measured, it was determined that the oil-slinger concentricity exceeded maximum allowable by a factor of 30. Oil slingers (cone-shaped collars on revolving shafts designed to return passing oil outward to the point of origin) are critically important components, but I don’t know if NTBO implemented the specification and inspection routines needed to capitalize on this costly experience. Click here for more.