3:13 pm
June 24, 2014
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Featured Columnists

rick_carter_thumbForward Observations: Oil On the Tracks

By Rick Carter, Executive Editor

If railroad tank cars carrying oil or volatile chemicals play a role in your operation—or even if they pass close to your plant—the time has come to view them as the potential safety hazards they are. A long-expected proposal from the Department of Transportation last month addresses the safety issue with rules that would phase out tens of thousands of old-design, unpressurized tank cars that are considered inadequate to handle the increasing amounts of oil and chemicals they’re being tasked to carry. With the nation’s fracking boom, more oil than ever is traveling in the older (30-40 years old is not uncommon) cars called DOT-111s that are seen as too likely to puncture in an accident. Other issues the proposed rules address concern the need for updated braking systems and new regulations about permissible speeds for oil-car trains. Click here for more.

bob_williamson_thumb_thumb_thumbUptime: Mainstream 2014 — Shared Visions for Reliability

By Bob Williamson, Contributing Editor

The first-ever Mainstream North America conference was held in Austin, TX, in June. It was organized by the Eventful Group, well known for Mainstream conferences in Australia and New Zealand. They’ll present a Mainstream conference in South Africa later this year.

The theme at the North American venue was “Asset Management.” Attracting nearly 300 speakers and delegates from mostly “asset intensive” businesses, the event focused on leadership, personnel and work cultures through four conference tracks: Organizational Leadership & People; Asset Reliability; Operations & Supply Chain; and Shutdowns & Turnaround Management. Click here for more.

ken_bannisterFrom Our Perspective: How is Your ‘Date’ Life?

By Ken Bannister, Contributing Editor

Watching the local news recently, I became intrigued by what I consider an especially compelling human-interest story. The report focused on the growing numbers of people—many fully employed and living in nice neighborhoods—who have embraced “dumpster diving“ in supermarket waste dumpsters as part of their weekly grocery shopping activity. Fueled by the high cost of groceries and regulatory requirements for stores to dispose of products that have surpassed the “Best By” dates stamped on their packaging, today’s “dumpster divers” seem to have figured out a legal way to obtain perfectly edible free food! Click here for more.

newjaneresize2_thumb_thumbMy Take: Something New to Smile About

By Jane Alexander, Deputy Editor

This month marks my 9th anniversary with Maintenance Technology. Flipping through copies of the magazines with which I’ve been involved for the past nine years is an uplifting experience for me. Our editorial team has done remarkable work—and intends to keep it up. From a personal standpoint, working with others to learn about and cover the many issues that impact the art and science of maintenance and reliability has made my job a real pleasure, as has watching end- users and suppliers work together to overcome the challenges that industry faces. Click here for more.