Rethinking the Decision Factory

by Roger Martin
Harvard Business Review

Companies everywhere struggle with the management of knowledge workers. They compete fiercely to find and retain the best talent, often accumulating thousands of managers in the process. For a while this is fine, but inevitably, usually when economic conditions turn less favorable, they realize that these expensive workers are not as productive as hoped, and in an effort to manage costs they lay off a large swath of them. Soon after, though, they’re out recruiting again. Continue reading

PLC: Programming in List on a Mitsubishi PLC – Part 2

by Jim Rowell

Last time, we pretty much ignored ladder diagrams. This time I’m giving you lots of them. We’ll look at the ins and outs of turning those pretty pictures into powerful text. You’ll gain insight into the block commands and the various structures that can be built using List. You’ll leave with full knowledge of the perils and pitfalls.

We’ll be using numbered as opposed to named I/O for the examples. Don’t get used to it and definitely don’t be discouraged by it. Numbers work best for showing you how the code works but they’re terrible at showing you what it’s actually doing. Your own code (with proper I/O names) will be much easier to follow. Continue reading

How to Build Your ISO 55001 Asset Management System Quickly and make ISO 55001 Certification Easy

from Lifetime Reliability Solutions

How to Build your ISO 55001 asset management system quickly and make ISO 55001 Certification easy: Enterprise asset management has an international standard: 55001 Asset management – management systems – requirements. It specifies what an organization’s asset management system must contain. Producing an ISO 55001 compliant asset management system leads you into a detailed, disjointed, demanding project. But there is a much simpler solution to design and develop a complying ISO 55001 EAM ready for ISO 55001 certification.

Click here for pdf file. (PDF: 1.6MB)

How Green is Green When it Comes to Using Everyday Industrial Cleaning Products for Plant Maintenance?

by John Paparone

The answer is, it depends.

For example, a traditional cleaner/degreaser, of which there are literally hundreds on the market, generally does an adequate job of cleaning. However – and this is an ongoing problem – the majority of them basically move the contamination from one location to another.

The result? This cost of hydrocarbon removal is added to the clean-up process, plus your employees could be at risk of additional from toxins in the cleaner.

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Preventing Failures and Extending Life – Part 2

by Torbjörn Idhammar

This article series discusses sample business processes that must be implemented in order to improve overall plant reliability. This article and the previous one focus on preventing failures and extending equipment life. The series will continue in upcoming issues with topics such as spare parts management, condition monitoring, planning and scheduling, and root cause problem elimination.

If you ask any maintenance department how failures can best be prevented, the No. 1 answer is usually that the operations department needs to stop wrecking equipment. If you ask operations how reliability can be improved, the top answer is almost always for maintenance people to work instead of sitting idle.    Continue reading →

What is Vibration? Linear and Non-Linear Systems


Linear and Non-Linear Systems
To assist in understanding the transmission of vibration through a machine, it is instructive to investigate the concept of linearity and what is meant by linear and non-linear systems. Thus far, we have discussed linear and logarithmic amplitude and frequency scales, but the term “linear” also refers to the characteristics of a system which can have input and output signals. A “system” is any device or structure that can accept an input or stimulus

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Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail

By John P. Kotter

Over the past decade, I have watched more than 100 companies try to remake themselves into significantly better competitors.  They have included large organizations (Ford) and small ones (Landmark Communications), companies based in the United States (General Motors) and elsewhere (British Airways), corporations that were on their knees  (Eastern Airlines), and companies that were earning good money (Bristol-Myers Squibb). These efforts have gone under many banners: total quality management, reengineering, right sizing, restructuring, cultural change, and turnaround. But, in almost every case, the basic goal has been the same: to make fundamental changes in how business is conducted in order to help cope with a new, more challenging market environment.

Click here for pdf file.

Disc Couplings Dump Downtime

by Kevin Remack

Want to expand coupling life? Who doesn’t? You may want to look into advanced-design disc couplings.

These couplings feature discs with optimized profile and thickness to provide a higher torque-to-outside-diameter ratio, higher service factors and up to 50 percent greater misalignment capability. All this provides for smaller reactionary forces on bearings compared to conventional disc couplings, which helps achieve infinite coupling life in properly specified applications. Continue reading

Figure Out the Dollars Behind CMMS Automation

from Plant Engineering and Maintenance (PEM) magazine, April 2008.

When exploring automation opportunities in your facility, there are many factors to consider. These include cost versus benefit by automating, cash-flow impact, organizational readiness, ease of implementation, availability of resources, technological maturity and availability, as well as probability of success.

Most senior managers would be thrilled to discover a way to filter the never-ending stream of requests for what appears to be worthy automation projects. As one top executive said, “if we could recoup even half of all of the savings that have come forward on project business cases each year, we would have only revenue and no expenses!” Continue reading