Engineers Need a Nap

The overwhelming majority of industrial accidents result from human error. Engineers who sleep less than eight hours per night are less productive and almost 10 percent more likely to cause an accident, and many don’t get enough sleep. The solution: take a short nap. Continue reading

Cleanliness is Indicative of Quality

Outward appearance is often considered a strong indication of what can be expected of the final product. That’s why this shop goes the extra mile to look good in all areas of its business.

A first impression is a lasting one. The folks at H&R Screw Machine Products (Reed City, Mich.) understand the impact of this axiom when their parts are delivered to customers. If oil is soaking through the box or parts are dirty, the customers are going to be much more skeptical about what they are paying for. The company produces millions of parts a year and sends a majority of them through its aqueous cleaning system to ensure that the customers like what they see. Continue reading

Why Organizations Leave Money on the Table

Why are organizations leaving money on the table by not investigating failures that cost them money? One would venture to say that all manufacturing companies have failures each year that cut into their profit. The prevailing question is: What do you do when that failure occurs? Do you simply fix the equipment, get back up and running, and return to whatever you were working on at the time? Or, do you stop what you are doing and diligently try to understand why the failure occurred and put measures in place to prevent recurrence? Is the culture at your facility one that seeks to understand why something failed or is it in a mode where you need to get back up and running as fast as possible? How about your commercial team and management external to your facility? Is there perceived pressure and a lack of understanding that have driven your organization to a place where failures are not fully understood?

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From Screwdrivers to Testers: Vibration Analysis Comes of Age

Most machines have rotating parts and those rotating parts vibrate. Measuring how and how much those parts vibrate can tell you a lot about the health of a machine. Whether it’s the rumble of worn bearings or the shaking, shimmying, or thumping of loose, misaligned, or unbalanced parts, machines have a tale to tell those who are willing and able to listen. Continue reading

11 Tips for Effective Workplace Housekeeping

To some people, the word “housekeeping” calls to mind cleaning floors and surfaces, removing dust, and organizing clutter.

But in a work setting, it means much more. Housekeeping is crucial to safe workplaces. It can help prevent injuries and improve productivity and morale, as well as make a good first impression on visitors, according to Cari Gray, safety consultant for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. It also can help an employer avoid potential fines for non-compliance. Continue reading

Opening the Envelope on Bearing Vibration

A sophisticated signal processing technique can help to pinpoint bearing failure at an early stage. Chris Hansford, Managing Director at Hansford Sensors, explains.

Experienced operators can often tell if a machine is not working properly, on the basis that is does not ‘sound right’. The same principle can be applied – using modern electronics – to identify the exact cause of the problem. Continue reading

The Top 10 Improvements to Pursue in Your MRO Spare Parts Program

Proactive organizations recognize that one of the critical success factors in achieving a best practices reliability program is developing a sound maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) spare parts program. That notion is quickly followed by the realization that there are potentially hundreds of improvement opportunities that typically could be associated with a materials management effort. As such, it becomes overwhelming to determine where to start.

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Hydraulic System FMEA Made Easy

In the not too distant past, most senior level managers would cringe when someone said a failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) needed to be performed on the hydraulic system. What immediately came to mind is a bunch of highly paid people sitting around a table dreaming up ways to eliminate things that may or may not happen to their hydraulically operated equipment.

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