10 Steps to Achieve World-Class Manufacturing Maintenance Practices

by Jeff Owens, Advanced Technology Services

Lean out your maintenance process and deliver cost savings and greater efficiency.

Manufacturers worldwide know that Lean maintenance practices cut costs and improve production by minimizing downtime. But the reality is that for many U.S. manufacturers, up to 90% of the maintenance they perform is conducted on a reactive rather than proactive basis. Some blame the age of their equipment, the absence of spare parts and the rapid pace of manufacturing.

Continue reading

10 Ways to Reduce Reactive Maintenance

For purposes of this article, reactive maintenance is any planned or unplanned work with a priority designation of emergency or urgent, therefore requiring immediate attention. Plus, there could be work of any priority that is “worked on” outside of the weekly schedule, which this author calls “self-inflicted reactive maintenance.”

Continue reading

Reliability, Resilience and Damage

Research currently being carried out by the Center for Risk and Reliability, University of Maryland 1, and funded by the U.S. Navy is aimed at quantifying reliability in scientific terms. The present study “relies on a science-based explanation of damage as the source of material failure and develops an alternative approach to reliability assessment based on the second law of thermodynamics.” Current reliability calculations are predisposed to a single failure mode or mechanism and assume a constant failure rate, while this research implies that reliability is a function of the level of damage a system can sustain, with the operational environment, operating conditions and operational envelope determining the rate of damage growth.

Continue reading

Vibration Analysis Using ADCs Keeps Industrial Equipment Working

Monitoring the condition of large industrial machinery provides long term benefits in terms of lower production cost, reduced equipment down time, improved reliability, and increased safety. Industrial manufacturers face a constant battle in keeping production equipment operational. Ensuring that all of the key elements of the process are in good working order allows them to standardize costs, ensure consistent output of the end product, and reduce the risk of delivery delay to their customers.

Continue reading

The True Cost of Bearing Lubrication

by Matt Mowry, Product Manager, Igus

Introduction
Machine and equipment manufacturers today are feeling more pressure than ever to reduce costs without sacrificing machine performance — a balancing act difficult to achieve. OEMs often overlook a simple solution that can have a positive, long-term impact on profitability for themselves and their customers, i.e. — the elimination of bearing lubricant. By eliminating lubrication systems where possible, OEMs can reduce production costs while at the same time make their equipment more marketable and less expensive to operate for end users. What are the issues with bearing lubricant? According to a major ball bearing company, 54 percent of bearing failures are lubrication-related (Fig. 1).

Continue reading

Breakthrough Technology for Maintenance Inspections

Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley recently announced the acquisition of Acute 3D while at the ARC Advisory Group’s Industry Forum. Bentley shared his insights on how this software can dramatically enhance productivity, turning a simple series of digital photos taken with a smart camera mounted on a drone into a 3D reality mesh model. The result is a compact, intelligent representation of the asset in its current operating context. He confidently predicted there will be a drone in every major infrastructure maintenance organization by 2016. Using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and normal digital photography, inspectors can observe existing conditions, then track and trend the condition over time with the ability to compare to the design basis or any point in its life. In fact, there are a growing number of uses of drones in industrial maintenance, reliability and integrity inspections.

Continue reading

Visual Inspection: A Necessary Component of Infrared Inspections

by Jeffrey L. Gadd

  1. The infrared inspection: The reason for performing this type of survey is to find electrical problems so maintenance personnel can repair them before failure and/or damage to the component and the resulting downtime. Many times, critical problems are obvious and other times they are not so obvious without some due diligence.
  2. The visual inspection: Visual inspection can be just as important as infrared. There are many things visually that can’t be detected with infrared as the examples in this article demonstrate.

Continue reading