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Reducing maintenance costs and unplanned downtime for your operation is essential to maintaining your competitive edge. High quality desiccant breathers greatly reduce particulate and moisture contamination in vital lubricating fluids. Clean, dry lubricants work better and last longer, which increases the life expectancy of your capital intensive equipment. Air Sentry® has been setting the bar for longer breather life since we started. Our GUARDIAN® breathers incorporate technology that significantly extends desiccant life. To reduce costs, maintenance intervals, and increase the lifespan of your fluids and critical equipment, contact us to see what GUARDIAN can do for you. It’ll have you breathing a whole lot easier.

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Nobody wants that middle-of-the-night-call telling you systems are down. Not you. Not us. And, certainly not the guy with the problem. That’s one of the reasons you should turn to Yaskawa for drives and motion control. Trust your operations to Yaskawa and the phone won’t ring at night. The boss won’t be in your office. And, maintenance won’t be breathing down your neck with another fire to put out. Trust Yaskawa and you’ll get a good night’s sleep. Rest easy tonight. Call Yaskawa today.

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MAY 2014 • VOL 27, NO 5 •



What Does ISO 55000 Mean to You? The new asset-management standard is not on everyone’s radar, but a new poll of MT readers reveals surprising early interest in its potential. Rick Carter, Executive Editor



How Effective Are Your Stores? Storeroom data integrity and state-of-the-art organizing strategies are major contributors to improved maintenance and reliability. Jane Alexander, Deputy Editor

6 Forward Observations 8 Uptime 12 Don’t Procrastinate… 14 38 43


Diagnostics Increase Maintenance Productivity Smart, networked field devices simplify maintenance, particularly for operations covering large areas. Gary Mintchell, Executive Director


Reliability Improvements Propel a Vegetable Producer Its embrace of proactive TPR principles has helped this company become a market leader. Jane Alexander, Deputy Editor


Grounding Rings Rescue Paper Mill’s Bearings Bearing-protection rings neutralize damaging VFD-caused electrical currents in the mill’s motor shafts, preserving the bearings and uptime.

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Innovate! News Products Marketplace Index Motor Decisions Matter My Take Manufacturing Connection

Visit our new, updated website, live now! For more on the revamped design of our new site,see the layout on page 3. For info on May’s web-exclusive content, see page 4. 2|


MAY 2014

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What’s new this month at May’s Featured White Paper Are Your New Hires Prepared to Avoid the Hazards of Electricity? As your workforce continues to turn over, are your new hires prepared to avoid the hazards of electricity? As the older and experienced technicians leave the workforce, on-the-job training for new hires becomes a difficult proposition. This knowledge base is growing smaller, so how are you going to teach newcomers what they need to know in order to stay safe while maintaining your equipment? This article looks at the impact of having untrained technicians and the questions you should ask when determining if your apprentice program is up to par.


May 2014 • Volume 27, No. 5 ARTHUR L. RICE



Executive Director/Publisher


Associate Publisher


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Direct Mail 847-382-8100, ext. 110


Permanently Wet Coating Improves Manufacturing Processes

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By Gary Mintchell, Executive Director

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“Imagine painting your bedroom and dried paint did not accumulate on the lid of the can. Or when you finished with one can, you could get all the paint out of the can.

Editorial Office:

“Better yet, if you are a manufacturer of products such as paint and want to keep the filling machines from continual clogging during manufacturing.”

Reliability Products 360° Interactive product samples from leading manufacturers This month, go “hands-on” with Emerson’s CSI 2140 Machinery Health Analyzer, which delivers four-channel simultaneous data collection, wireless and Bluetooth communication, and full-color touchscreen navigation.

Find the above, along with extra news and products, the MT archives and more at

Maintenance Technology® (ISSN 0899-5729) is published monthly by Applied Technology Publications, Inc., 1300 S. Grove Avenue, Suite 105, Barrington, IL 60010. Periodicals postage paid at Barrington, Illinois and additional offices. Arthur L. Rice, III, President. Circulation records are maintained at Maintenance Technology®, Creative Data, 440 Quadrangle Drive, Suite E, Bolingbrook, IL 60440. Maintenance Technology® copyright 2014 by Applied Technology Publications, Inc. Annual subscription rates for nonqualified people: North America, $140; all others, $280 (air). No subscription agency is authorized by us to solicit or take orders for subscriptions. Postmaster: Please send address changes to Maintenance Technology®, Creative Data, 440 Quadrangle Drive, Suite E, Bolingbrook, IL 60440. Please indicate position, title, company name, company address. For other circulation information call (630) 739-0900. Canadian Publications agreement No. 40886011. Canada Post returns: IMEX, Station A, P.O. Box 54, Windsor, ON N9A 6J5, or email: cpcreturns@ Submissions Policy: Maintenance Technology® gladly welcomes submissions. By sending us your submission, unless otherwise negotiated in writing with our editor(s), you grant Applied Technology Publications, Inc. permission, by an irrevocable license, to edit, reproduce, distribute, publish, and adapt your submission in any medium, including via Internet, on multiple occasions. You are, of course, free to publish your submission yourself or to allow others to republish your submission. Submissions will not be returned. “Maintenance Technology®” is a registered trademark of Applied Technology Publications, Inc. Printed in U.S.A.



MAY 2014

Save thousands of dollars by dramatically cutting energy costs! It’s a worldwide problem that can’t be fixed with a bandage, a piece of chewing gum, or duct tape. If you follow these easy steps, EXAIR can help you make your system energy efficient so your company pays the lowest price possible for compressed air.

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How Not to Handle a Recall Rick Carter Executive Editor


roduct recalls are not unusual. In the U.S., most product categories—from baby carriages and food to toys and automobiles— have had one or more. To undergo a recall is not automatically a sign of failure. But to have one and not determine the root-cause reason for the recall and swiftly correct the problem it represents goes against all principles of world-class manufacturing. This is where we are with General Motors (GM) and its ignition-switch problem. The automaker has dominated headlines lately, not because of the nowobvious need for a recall (to correct the improperly designed ignition-switch part that allowed a running engine to stop unexpectedly) but for its long delay of the recall. As news reports have covered, the lowcost part was known to be defective in 2001, but GM decided—in 2005—to not replace it. Since then, it’s been determined that 13 deaths and 31 injuries were caused by the faulty component, a fact GM ignored until the government came calling earlier this year. An investigation is underway.

GM has missed the opportunity to take charge of its own story. On the defensive, CEO Mary Barra has had the rock/hard-place task of answering to the government while treading an unmapped minefield created by her own company. Corrective actions taken so far include placing on paid leave two engineers believed to have been directly involved with the switch design (and related poor decisions), and adding more in-plant product-safety investigators. It remains to be seen how GM will address the larger issue of overhauling



a company culture that allowed such a situation to develop in the first place—and then let it fester for a decade. Although I’m not familiar with the culture at GM, I have visited many world-class manufacturing operations and find it hard to imagine any of them allowing such a situation to exist. The world-class culture is built on a team-minded pursuit of continuous improvement, along with accountability and regular communication at all levels. These elements may have been in place at GM, but clearly not throughout the company. The fact that death could result from a design or production error in almost any part of GM’s output and not be enough to keep everyone on their toes 24/7 is indefensible. Had GM leaders acted to correct this problem when they should have, they might have reviewed the famous 1982 Tylenol poisoning case for guidance. Considered the textbook example of how to handle a dangerous recall, it involved cyanide-laced Tylenol capsules that appeared on Chicago-area shelves and caused seven accidental deaths. Maker Johnson & Johnson (J&J) swiftly quelled fears by voluntarily recalling 31 million bottles of the pain killer (huge for the time) and offering free replacement product, even though the company was not at fault. Predictions of doom for the brand faded as J&J guided its market resurgence by doing everything possible to reassure consumers of its sincerity. The new tamper-proof packaging it introduced after the scare convinced consumers the company was looking out for them. GM has missed the opportunity to take similar charge of its own story. On the defensive, CEO Mary Barra has had the rock/hard-place task of answering to the government while treading an unmapped minefield created by her own company. Her shortterm solution for those stuck with the bad switch (remove all other keys from the key ring…) came so late in the game it nearly trivializes the issue. Her best hope to salvage her career and restore consumer/ investor belief in GM is to change the company’s culture so similar problems never get this far down the road again. It can be done. But will Barra have time to do it? Will her successor? My crystal ball clouds. MT

MAY 2014

13th Annual

Outage Management for Power Plants Spearheading Strategic Planning, Scheduling and Resource Management Initiatives to Achieve Optimal Outage Results July 29-31, 2014 Astor Crowne Plaza| New Orleans, LA Attending This Premier marcus evans Conference Will Enable You to: • Guarantee outage planning success by utilizing an outage readiness index and other early planning processes • Innovate cost control and tracking tools to ensure lucrative outages • Foster positive and productive relationships with contractors through scorecards and performance KPI's • Pioneer scheduling and resource management strategies to deliver a profitable outage outcome • Exceed outage safety goals through comprehensive contractor safety and lockout / tagout programs

Who Should Attend: marcus evans invites power generation professionals with responsibilities in: • Plant Management • Outage Management / Coordination / Support / Supervision • Overhauls • Maintenance / Reliability • Planning / Scheduling • Production Support • Operations • Safety

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Pioneer KPI Tracking Tools and Advance Cost Control Methods to Deliver a Lucrative Outage. Accelerating Relationships with Internal Stakeholders to Build a Solid Outage Foundation.

Speakers Include: David Jackson Outage Coordinator, Eastern Region NRG Energy Dick Brandt Regional Outage ManagerOutage Project & Controls AEP Brian Barker Vice President & Program Director G-UB-MK Chuck Kharrl Director Workforce Management Arizona Public Service Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station Mike Crosson Director of Planning & Scheduling Calpine Corporation Jerry Payton Senior Program Manager, Industrial Relations TVA

For More Information Please Contact: Tyler Kelch T: 312 894 6377 | E:

Keith Burbage, CSP Corporate Safety Director Luminant Generation Justin Moser Project / Generation Engineer Black Hills Corporation Neil Simpson Power Plant Roger Schaver Manager, Resource Management Power Generation We Energies Kathy McNeese, Ph.D., OHST Southwest Region Senior Safety Professional Exelon Corporation Jeffrey Riggleman Outage Manager NRG Energy Dickerson Power Plant


Is Maintenance Ready for a Paradigm Shift? Bob Williamson Contributing Editor


espite a shrinking workforce, the emerging model of industrial maintenance and repair will most likely launch businesses into a world of greater performance, lower operating costs and higher process reliability. This new model will include maintenance as an integral part of the strategic business goals and objectives. Many will say it’s about time. Those who hang onto the traditional approaches to maintenance and repair, however, may find it difficult to survive. Now is the time to fundamentally re-think the role that “maintenance” plays in achieving strategic business goals, given a rapidly changing industrial technology landscape, a compelling business need for improved physical asset reliability and a challenging search for skilled employees. It’s also time to think beyond the maintenance department and engage all of the contributors and stakeholders of process reliability. In short, businesses simply can no longer afford to focus on a traditional “repair-based” approach to maintenance. The skills-shortage “perfect storm” of this past 10 years has been intensifying and will no doubt have broad-reaching affects. On a positive note, these shortages will be the catalyst for improved maintenance models: the new maintenance paradigm.

Threatened traditions Traditional maintenance organizations are frequently seen as an expensive overhead cost or as a source of inexpensive in-house project labor, and the maintenance function is rarely included as part of the strategic business plan. In these types of organizations, maintenance work is predominantly reactive or repair-based, with minimum amounts of proactive, planned, preventive work. Too much time is spent “fixing” things or on in-house project work or both. Many traditional maintenance personnel are products of informal on-the-job learning during their careers. Unfortunately, these highly experienced maintenance personnel are often pulled away from planned and preventive tasks to address emergency repairs. They spend too much time searching for the right parts or making do with used or sub-par items. In these environments, it almost always seems as if there aren’t enough maintenance people to get the required work done. This situation, in turn, leads to



higher maintenance costs and frequent production interruptions or facility complaints. Ultimately, the business encounters higher costs per unit produced, as well as higher per-square-foot operating costs.

An attack on business Maintenance skills shortages are the equivalent of an entirely new attack on business that not only threatens maintenance but the competitive position of the business. It is a silent, stealth attack. Traditional approaches to maintaining physical assets (i.e., equipment, plants and facilities) are increasingly threatened by conditions associated with attracting, hiring, training and retaining skilled maintenance professionals. These conditions include: Shortages of maintenance professionals: technicians, supervisors, engineers and managers Shortages of occupation-specific education and training programs Public and political apathy regarding applicable secondary and post-secondary technical education A lackluster image of industrial and facility maintenance jobs Unattractive work schedules (i.e., long hours, weekends, holidays, etc.) Re-shoring of manufacturing jobs from formerly “low-wage” countries A proliferation of productivity-improving, hightech automation The bottom line: There will NOT be enough skilled maintenance professionals to fill industrial- and facility-maintenance job openings. That said, “great places to work” will continue to attract qualified people. Others will attract the best and brightest with non-traditional compensation packages and financial incentives. Translation: The “not-so-great places to work,” mid- to small-sized businesses and those with uncreative financial packages will go begging. MAY 2014


Making the shift

Surviving the skills shortage

Businesses with reliable, high-performing physical assets will thrive. They will also continue to attract the best and brightest, as well as develop creative reliability-improvement solutions to combat the intensifying shortage of skilled maintenance professionals. These businesses will have a solid foundation of revenue-generating physical assets. Sadly, merely applying more and more of the traditional tools of maintenance will not solve the problems that many mid- to small-sized businesses confront. (You have to wonder what could compel a maintenance organization to think it can rely on less-than-optimal approaches to solve tomorrow’s significant challenges.) More of the same is not the answer. Maintenance, for the most part, has followed a model, pattern or organizational standard based on tradition. These models, patterns or standards are called “paradigms.” Old paradigms can be shifted by external forces that establish a “new normal” or by “pioneers” from within the organization. Too often, external paradigm-shifting forces (such as skills shortages) are perceived as threats rather than opportunities because they challenge the “traditional normal.” Many times, these external threats are unknowingly labeled as short-lived and, thus, ignored. Attempts to shift the maintenance paradigm from within are often seen as experiments, pilot programs or something the new boss wants. Whatever the perception, tradition wins the battle against change—but business loses the war. What will it take to overcome shortages of maintenance professionals? For starters, be prepared to abandon traditional maintenance approaches in favor of more collaborative, results-oriented and focused approaches. We need to break through the “organizational silos” that have contributed to the ineffectiveness of some of our traditional approaches. To do this, we must recognize that maintenance performed by the maintenance department alone cannot eliminate all causes of unreliable equipment. In fact, most of the causes of failures and poor performance are outside the direct control of the maintenance group. Next, we must recognize that a much-needed shift in the organization’s maintenance paradigm cannot occur from within the department itself. Other stakeholders and top-level management must become engaged and committed to leading change at some point early in the transformation.

Here is the premise: Reliable equipment is less expensive to operate and maintain than poor performing, unreliable equipment. But reliable equipment does not just happen by itself. Reliable equipment requires reliable work processes (i.e., systems, procedures, etc.) and reliable people in a purpose-driven work culture doing the right things at the right time. This collaborative relationship is shown in the accompanying People, Equipment, & Work Processes diagram.

MAY 2014

With this three-element relationship in mind, here are 11 steps that can start shifting the maintenance paradigm in your business and build a “HighReliability Work Culture.” This type of work culture is key to surviving the maintenance-skills shortage. 1. Identify the most critical, the most at-risk physical assets in your business, plant or facility. This is the equipment that puts the company, plant, customers and/or employees at risk of losing something of value. Involve knowledgeable stakeholders from other departments in the identification process. (Equipment) MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM | 9


2. Isolate the equipment history (one to two years). This should include production quality and throughput data; maintenance and repair history; design engineering and modification history. (Equipment & Work Processes)

the critical physical assets in the business. Use this new policy to lead ongoing improvements according to the above model or one that’s based on these concepts. (People)

3. Identify the most penalizing failure modes, such as equipment that is not performing as intended. (Equipment & Work Processes)

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be

4. Identify and analyze failures, noting chronic (repeat), sporadic (irregular) and one-time trends. (Equipment & Work Processes) 5. Select failures for root-cause analysis. Focus on the most chronic, high-duration, penalizing failures. Involve knowledgeable stakeholders from other departments in the root-cause-analysis process. Identify solutions from simple to complex. (People, Equipment & Work Process) 6.  Make focused improvements to the targeted critical equipment based on the results of the root-cause analysis. Monitor the effectiveness of the corrective action and adjust as needed. (People & Equipment) 7. Document new work instructions (procedures) to address the causes and corrective actions to eliminate the problems. (Work Processes) 8.  Train and qualify all personnel from all shifts and departments that will be required to implement, oversee or be affected by the corrective actions and new work instructions. Explain the critical nature of the equipment and the compelling business reasons for the new procedures. Prerequisite skills-education and training could also be required. (People & Work Processes) 9.  Clearly define expectations of all personnel involved in sustaining the improvements. Specify their roles, responsibilities and accountabilities, including continuous improvement associated with the new standardized procedures. (People & Work Processes) 10. Leverage the focused-improvement results and elimination of the problem to reinforce commitment to and a sense of ownership for the new work processes. Develop escalation policies to define the points at which others with more expertise must be called in to resolve problems. (People) 11. After several iterations of steps 1 through 10, develop a “Reliability Policy” that communicates the purposes and importance of achieving the highest levels of reliability of

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changed without changing our thinking.” . . . Albert Einstein Winners and losers Countless businesses have tried many different programs (or projects) to improve the way they perform maintenance. Some focus on tools and techniques deployed primarily for the maintenance organizations (i.e., CMMS, predictive maintenance, planning and scheduling). Other maintenance-improvement programs were deployed for the broader business (such as Reliability-Centered Maintenance, Total Productive Maintenance and autonomous/operator-performed maintenance). While techniques deployed by and for maintenance organizations have been largely successful, those deployed for the broader business have not been as fortunate. The latter require a paradigm shift in the way maintenance is perceived and performed. A paradigm shift rarely happens without a compelling business case for change supported by resources, specific expectations and clear accountabilities. There will be winners—and losers—when it comes to maintenance changes fueled by unrelenting external forces. The losers will struggle as they hold fast to traditions. The winners will waste no time in embracing fundamental and sweeping changes in the business perception of maintenance and the way maintenance is performed. We, as maintenance professionals, must be unyielding, outspoken advocates of a major change in the approach to industrial and facilities maintenance, regardless of our positions in business, organizations or the world of maintenance and reliability. We also must be willing to learn from those who have already successfully shifted their maintenance paradigms. MT

Robert Williamson, CMRP, CPMM and member of the Institute of Asset Management, is in his fourth decade of focusing on the “people side” of world-class maintenance and reliability in plants and facilities across North America. Email: MAY 2014

Hynes Convention Center • Boston, Massachusetts

Early Bird Sessions on Saturday, June 28

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n See the Newest Products and Services for Electromechanical Sales, Maintenance and Repair at EASA’s World-Class Exhibition n Meet Representatives of Major Electric Motor Manufacturers, Predictive and Preventative Maintenance Equipment Suppliers, Pump-Related Suppliers, Bearing Distributors, and Much More! n Open Technical Forum n In Fabulous Boston!

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De-Cluttering Maintenance Management Ken Bannister Contributing Editor


s a member of the slide-rule generation, I witnessed the advent of electronic calculators, punch-card mainframe computers, personal computers and the birth of Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) and Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) programs. Despite all this technological progress, one thing hasn’t changed: I continue to see extensive “hoarding” behavior in the amassing of data. Hoarding can largely be attributed to people’s natural reluctance to discard things—regardless of value—on the off chance they might be useful in the future. Yet the problem is not just a human condition. Many maintenance departments also embrace a “double clutter” strategy. Using their lack of trust in CMMS or EAM data as a rationale, they store all of their completed/closed paper work orders in boxes. (Sound familiar?)

Data vs. information Data is often mistakenly referred to as “information.” That leads many to believe that collecting and storing any and as much of it as possible will produce a management system. This notion is a grave misconception, as real “Information” is derived from the discriminate collation of relatable or valued data that can be used to make a management decision.

Data is often mistakenly referred to as ‘information.’ That leads many to believe that collecting and storing any and as much of it as possible will produce a management system. Indiscriminate capture and storage of data invariably results in a clogged management system in which it is difficult to distinguish and extract valued data (that’s expressed as relevant and relatable) from non-valued data. For example, a typical PM job task may instruct the maintainer to collect

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and record a series of gauge readings on the work order that are, in turn, entered verbatim into the CMMS or EAM. While this is a common and simple-enough job task, the collected data will have little or no value: The readings won’t be immediately relatable to any operating parameter (i.e., hi-low operating boundary limits) unless the maintainer is skilled and experienced enough to recognize a potential problem from the readings and the visual equipment state. If the PM is performed by a semi- or non-skilled person (more likely today and in the near future as we lose our skilled-trades base), the readings may simply be recorded and entered in the system with little or no action taken, based on the idea that the data can be extracted and analyzed later by a more experienced person. Unfortunately, CMMS and EAM history files are full of such data, which can be difficult to isolate, extract and relate to similar data for trending purposes after the fact. I compare it to “MUD.” It sticks to everything, is difficult to work with and eventually slows or “chokes” its environment. In addition, what better acronym than “MUD” can there be for meaningless unrelated data? Since it has little or no value, this type of data is undesirable in a management system. Making your CMMS or EAM system work effectively—to provide information based on asset lifecycle objectives and goals and expectations set for your department—may require innovative surgery to “de-clutter” the database. This type of procedure can turn “fat and lazy” work-order systems into “lean and mean” management-information systems. For a CMMS or EAM to qualify as a true management tool, it must be able to efficiently deliver informational reporting based on pre-determined needs. To do this, seven conditions must be met. 1. Management reporting requirements must be understood and listed. 2. There must be sufficient flexibility in the system to configure/reconfigure its code management. The code management component acts as a series of macro data collation search filters used to efficiently dissect and categorize data.

MAY 2014


3. The work-order format must be configurable for recording the required code-management data. 4. The job task database must be “MUD-free” in its setup. 5. The asset data must be as concise and complete as possible. This means the equipment register must be up to date and accurately reflect all equipment and facility assets currently being maintained. In addition, all labor and material usage for work performed must be accurately recorded at the equipment-asset level for every job task completed, including external contracted work. 6. The inventory section must be operational and set up for use. 7. The CMMS or EAM user(s) must have access and training to mine and collate the data (through use of the data-filter codes) and convert it into meaningful queries and reports that can be trusted for making informed management decisions. A CMMS or EAM that doesn’t meet these seven conditions is probably operating as nothing but a work-order system.

De-cluttering tactics

Tactic 1: If your CMMS or EAM system has become “orphaned” due to customization updates that can no longer be supported or allow you to make necessary changes, consider a complete reinstall of the latest upgraded version of the software. The legacy system can still be used while the new system is being set up in a de-cluttered manner. The new system should be set up selectively, and not rely on straight data migration to populate the equipment register. Legacy data can be migrated into a spreadsheet and selectively ”scrubbed” and updated prior to moving into the new software. Once a new system is set up for use, the legacy system should be used through controlled access for history-reporting purposes only. If a software maintenance fee is paid regularly, upgrades should come at no cost. If the fee payments have lapsed, upgrades can usually be obtained for a fraction of the cost a new user would pay.

MAY 2014

Tactic 2: Develop meaningful, value-based PM tasks. For example, adopt a “Minute Maintenance” approach with a Go/No-Go exceptionbased PM check methodology that sets up inspections based on control parameters (see “Minute Maintenance Part 2,” MT, March 2014) and only enters relevant findings into the CMMS or EAM. Using the example above, gauges can be set up with upper and lower control markers, and a maintainer only enters a No-Go finding (exception) when a marker is out of its operating parameter range. Tactic 3: Many maintenance departments are guilty of over “PM-ing” their assets. Using a Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) approach to determine the consequence of failure for all your equipment, identify and focus your PM efforts on your critical equipment. This will significantly reduce the amount of PM tasks in the system. It also makes the system easier to manage and the workload easier to schedule and analyze for effectiveness (a concept that will be covered in the July 2014 installment of this column). Tactic 4: Many code-management setups fall victim to enthusiasm: A plethora of nonrelevant/value codes may be entered early on because the maintenance department doesn’t know what it wants the system to report. Confirm that you use all your current codes, and document how each adds value and in what type of report you use it. Tactic 5: Investigate if your company has a documentation Classification and Record Retention Schedule (CARRS) requirement for paper work orders. Follow the requirements and keep only legally mandated documents, if any! These are just a few examples of how to de-clutter your CMMS or EAM system. If you have others, please share them with us. And if your system is unable to accommodate the de-cluttering tactics listed here, it’s probably time to look into a new software package—one that meets your newly defined needs. Good luck! MT



2014 USA Science & Engineering Festival Inspires Tomorrow’s Skilled Workforce Automation among the many advanced manufacturing technologies on display Representatives and volunteer members of the International Society of Automation (ISA) and its umbrella organization, the Automation Federation, demonstrated fundamental processes of industrial automation to young people at the third USA Science & Engineering Festival, held April 25-27, in Washington, D.C. More than 325,000 people, most of them primary- and secondary-school students and their families, attended the event at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, where Bill Nye the Science Guy and Mike Rowe of the Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs series were among featured presenters. Billed as “America’s only national science festival,” the event was, according to organizers, the largest of its kind in the history of the convention center The USA Science & Engineering Festival plays an important role in encouraging young people to pursue learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and in expanding awareness about the virtues of STEM-related career fields, including automation. More than 500 science- and engineeringbased companies and organizations were represented at the festival, which sprawled across five exhibit halls. The event offered over 3000 hands-on activities for all ages

in 16 different exhibit pavilions, including those devoted to Astronomy and Space Exploration, Earth Sciences, Health and Medicine and Sustainability. Visitors could attend 150+ stage shows, including music, magic and comedy performances, a career and college fair for highschool students and a book fair with more than 25 featured authors.

NAME Award Applications Now Available Online Applications for the 2014 North American Maintenance Excellence (NAME) Award are available at The NAME Award honors manufacturing, processing and service industry sites that have achieved world-class excellence in their maintenance, reliability and capacity assurance. To qualify for the Award, a site must first meet a minimum level of accomplishment as determined by the NAME Board of Directors based on the information provided in the application. Sites that qualify at this level are then offered an onsite audit that is conducted by Award representatives and reviewed by the organization’s entire Board of Directors. Any site meeting the award’s standards of excellence may be honored with the NAME Award. All applicants receive valuable feedback based on the submitted information and evaluations. Deadline for applications is June 30. The initial application fee is $1000. Fees for onsite audits of finalists are based on actual costs. Go to for complete details, or email Richard L. Dunn, NAME Award Executive Director, at The North American Maintenance Excellence (NAME) Award is a program of the Foundation for Industrial Maintenance Excellence, a non-profit, volunteer organization.

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MAY 2014


Aker Solutions Splits into Two Companies to Better Serve Global Energy Industry Aker Solutions will split into two companies to speed up a streamlining process that’s expected to reduce costs and better position all parts of the group to meet the needs of customers in the global energy industry. The Subsea, Umbilicals, Engineering and Maintenance, Modifications and Operations (MMO) areas will form a new company under the Aker Solutions name. The other units, including Drilling Technologies, Aker Oilfield Services and Process Systems, will be developed independently as part of a new oil-services investment company to be known as Akastor. It is anticipated that these various business areas, which have significant operational, technological and commercial differences, will have greater strategic freedom to develop individually through both organic growth and transactions. The split, which will take place as a spinoff of the new Aker Solutions, is scheduled to occur around the end of September.

ABB Finalizes Sale of Thomas & Betts HVAC Business to Nortek ABB has completed the previously announced sale of Thomas & Betts’ heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) business to Nortek, Inc. The company’s acquisition of Thomas & Betts in 2012 had advanced ABB’s strategy to expand the reach of its Low Voltage Products division into key geographies, sectors and products. By combining ABB’s low-voltage protection, control and measurement products with Thomas & Betts’ electrical components, ABB has created a broader low-voltage offering with significant market access. According to the company, the divestment reflects the limited synergies that the Thomas & Betts HVAC business had with ABB’s core portfolio. ABB will, however, continue to supply its high-efficiency electrical motors, drives and low-voltage products line to the HVAC market.

Bethlehem, PA, Mayor Robert Donchez (center) helps Bosch Rexroth executives formally open the company’s new hydraulics manufacturing and distribution center in his city on April 29, 2014.

Bosch Rexroth Expands Hydraulics Manufacturing and Distribution Operations Bosch Rexroth recently marked the opening of a new hydraulics manufacturing and distribution center in Bethlehem, PA, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and facility tour for customers, distributors and local officials. Part of a $2.2 million expansion project, the new operations mean the Bethlehem site now encompasses seven Bosch Rexroth facilities across two campuses that house approximately 450,000 total square feet of manufacturing, distribution, logistics, administration, service and storage capabilities. According to the company, this makes Bethlehem its second-largest U.S. hydraulics operation, surpassed only by the Bosch Rexroth Fountain Inn, SC, site that expanded in 2013. In addition to valves and manifolds, the Bethlehem manufacturing facility produces industrial, mobile and compact controls and provides testing and service support. Among other things, the new distribution and logistics facility handles shipments to over 500 customers, including Bosch Rexroth’s nationwide network of drive and control distributors. Industries and markets served by the Bethlehem operation include construction and agricultural mobile equipment, machine tools, presses, plastics machinery, die casting, marine and offshore, pulp and paper, specialty and test machinery.

Schneider Electric Launches Brand-Centric Anti-Counterfeiting Course Schneider Electric and the International IP Crime Investigators College (IIPCIC), in cooperation with UL (Underwriters Laboratory) recently announced the launch of the first course developed by a brand owner as part of IIPCIC’s private-sector anti-counterfeiting curriculum. An INTERPOL initiative, this online course been specifically designed to equip customs MAY 2014

officials and other law-enforcement personnel with information they need to properly identify APC (American Power Conversion)-branded counterfeit products. APC’s uninterruptible power supply and surge-protection products have often been the subjects of counterfeiting. For more information, visit and/or MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM | 15


Emerson Announces Trade-In Program for Communicator Devices Emerson has rolled out a program that allows users to trade in their existing handheld communicators (working or non-working) toward the purchase of the company’s next-generation 475 Field Communicator product and receive over $1200 in free options. To learn more, about the 475 Field Communicator line and this “1-2-3 Free Trade Up” program, go to According to Emerson, the promotion is valid through Sept. 30.

aeSolutions Launches Cybersecurity Division Process-safety engineering and automation supplier aeSolutions has announced the launch of an Industrial Cybersecurity business to help clients protect their control systems from both intentional and unintentional cyber-initiated events. According to the company, it has been providing these services for a number of years. John Cusimano CFSE, CISSP, has been hired as Director of Industrial Cybersecurity to roll out and manage the new business. Cusimano has more than 20 years of experience in the field, having performed numerous controlsystem cybersecurity vulnerability and cyberrisk assessments in the Oil & Gas, Chemical, Water/Wastewater, and Power industries per ISA/IEC 62443 and NERC CIP standards. He has also overseen and participated in the security testing and certification of several control and safety systems per the ISASecure™ and Achilles™ security certification programs.

SKF Releases Free Parts Info App SKF recently announced the availability of a free SKF Parts Info app based on its automotive and heavy-duty online parts catalog, Designed to provide users with the convenience of an online parts search in a mobile app environment, the download is available for iPhone, iPad and Android. Like the company’s online parts catalog, the SKF Parts Info app provides users with access to a wide range of part numbers and interchange information for cars and light trucks, and medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The parts search functionality provides over 77,000 documents-to-SKU relationships, including information sheets, brochures and tech tips. The new app also features a VIN scanner for parts lookup, as well as links to the SKF Parts Info YouTube channel and Twitter page for access to product information and technical tips for a variety of applications.

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Available Now: ANSI/HI Pump Standards CD-ROM Version 3.1 The newest ANSI/HI Pump Standards CD Version 3.1 is now available through the Hydraulic Institute (HI). It includes 30 separate standards, including four that been updated since the release of Version 3.0 in 2011 and an entirely new one: “ANSI/HI 7.6 Controlled-Volume Metering Pumps for Test.” According to HI, among the updated standards are two long-awaited revisions (“ANSI/HI 9.6.1 Rotodynamic Pumps Guideline for NPSH Margin” and “ANSI/ HI 9.8 Intake Design for Rotodynamic Pumps”).  The CD-ROM format allows a user to easily navigate directly to the section or reference he/she needs via hypertext links from the index of each standard. The product is offered as a single-user version that’s encrypted for security purposes.  For more information, visit

MAY 2014


Ventyx Teams With InStep Software on Predictive-Monitoring Solution for Power, Mining and Oil & Gas Industries Ventyx, an ABB company, has partnered with Chicago-based InStep Software, a supplier of predictive-monitoring technology to bring advanced industrial equipment diagnostics to Ventyx’s Asset Performance Management solution for power, mining and oil & gas applications. InStep’s PRiSM software uses advance pattern recognition to provide a quantitative comparison between current and historical asset operational behavior for early identification of equipment health and potential problems. The joint solution is available now through the Ventyx Innovation Partner program.

Uncertainty Over Public Policy Can Hinder Robust Economic Recoveries According to a recent report by the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI), uncertainty over public policy can cause economic distress, make businesses pull back on investment and have adverse effects on job creation. Authored by Daniel J. Meckstroth, Ph.D., MAPI Vice President and Chief Economist, “Uncertainty’s Chokehold on Growth” makes the case that public policy uncertainty tends to be pro-cyclical and accentuates downturns, impedes recoveries, and reinforces the boom times—just the opposite of what fiscal policy should do to dampen the business cycle. “Minimizing policy changes in times of economic duress would reduce uncertainty and greatly improve the pace of recovery and expansion by removing a restraint to business investment and private sector employment growth,” Meckstroth writes. “Product market growth, projected cash flow, and expected profits are naturally the most important drivers of business investment, but uncertainty creates an option value on the financial returns for waiting in order to gather more information. A firm or person may amass cash rather than finance an investment if uncertainty makes the investment’s rate of return difficult to calculate.” Mechstroth’s analysis highlights the severe decline in inflation-adjusted business investment and the recovery’s slow pace in the 2008-2009 recession cycle and uses private nonresidential investment—equipment, structures, and intellectual property—as an example. This subsector declined 20% from peak to trough, while in the previous seven economic cycles it showed an average 5% reduction. For the previous two severe recessions—1974-75 and 1980-82—private nonresidential investment fell by an average of 10%. Likewise, the recovery in business investment is substantially less robust and more prolonged. A full recovery in business investment spending did not occur until the third quarter of 2013. If the current cycle mirrored the previous two severe recessions, nonresidential investment would have recovered by the second quarter of 2011. “The slow pace of investment is difficult to explain without using the level of policy uncertainty as at least a partial explanation,” Meckstroth reasons. “Businesses are as profitable as they ever have been. Corporate profit margins, measured by the ratio of after-tax profits to output, are at double the average level since World War II. Corporate balance sheets are loaded with cash and debt ratios are low. Considering these positive factors, it’s very likely that uncertainty has significantly held back growth.” To read “Uncertainty’s Chokehold on Growth” and/or access other MAPI economic analyses, visit MAY 2014

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What Does

ISO 55000 Mean to You?

The new asset-management standard is not on everyone’s radar, but a new poll of MT readers reveals surprising early interest in its potential. Rick Carter, Executive Editor


An April poll of MT readers—detailed below— indicates that while not all maintenance professionals are aware of the new ISO 55000 asset-management standard, recognition for it and interest in its implementation are strong for a standard released less than six months ago. About a third of the survey’s 248 respondents say they are either very or somewhat familiar with ISO 55000—officially released in January—and some 8% already have plans to implement it. Significantly, about 18% say they hope to implement it, despite a lack of solid plans. Those unfamiliar with the long path standards must follow to become officially sanctioned by the Switzerland-based International Organization for Standardization (ISO) may view 55000’s acceptance level as less than noteworthy. But slow acceptance for a time- and resource-intensive project like a standard implementation is not unusual. The fact that ISO completed technical reviews for ISO 55000 (see sidebar) and inducted it into its well-regarded family of operational standards is noteworthy in its own right. For those who choose to adopt it, ISO 55000 offers a well-defined path to better asset performance. It’s now up to the world’s businesses to learn this for themselves, and act accordingly. ISO standards, of course, are neither industryspecific nor mandated by governmental bodies. Nonetheless, manufacturing operations in many industries as well as many non-manufacturing businesses have had great success following ISOstandard guidelines in quality assurance (9000), environmental management (14000), food safety (22000), and even social responsibility (26000) and sustainability (20121). The key to long-term success with any ISO standard is to maintain an operation’s procedures as prescribed by the standard, and stay current with updates. While the written standards for ISO 55000 and others are available for purchase through ISO (at, only qualified third parties—usually consulting firms, but never ISO itself—can certify or recertify an operation for a given standard. The same third parties are often called upon to assist with implementation, though this is not required. Today, however, many commercial sectors do require ISO certification in one or more standards as a prerequisite for doing business. There’s no reason why ISO 55000 will not be viewed similarly as its value becomes better known in manufacturing and beyond. MAY 2014

The MT Survey on ISO 55000 Which of the following best describes your familiarity with ISO 55000?

33% Have not heard of it


Very familiar

27% Somewhat Familiar

36% Know the name, but no details

The fact that 31% are either “somewhat” or “very” familiar with ISO 55000 is a strong indicator of this standard’s eventual possible impact on industry. More education and communication are needed, as other responses indicate. The 36% who say they know only the ISO 55000 name (not the details) are somewhat farther along this process than the 32% who are unaware of it. What steps if any, does your organization plan to take regarding implementation of ISO 55000?



Have no plans to implement

Implementing it now


3% Plan to implement within next 6 months

30% Need to learn more before deciding

Hope to implement it, but no plans yet

1% Plan to implement within next 12 months

The 8% of respondents who indicate ISO 55000 implementation is either ongoing or planned is a second sign of relatively quick uptake of ISO 55000 goals. The remainder of the group is nearly evenly divided between those who hope to implement it or say they need more information before doing so (48%) and those without plans to implement (44%). Of all survey responses, these are likely to shift the most over the next 12 months. MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM | 19


ISO 55000: A Refresher Released in January 2014, ISO 55000 is based on the 10-year-old PAS (Publicly Available Specification) 55 created by the British Standards Institution. A highlight of PAS 55 is its 28-point checklist of best practices for the management of any type of physical asset important to an operation of any type. Manufacturers, utilities, railroads and similar operations were considered the chief beneficiaries. The architects of ISO 55000 expanded PAS 55’s concept of “asset” to include both the tangible equipment used in an enterprise as well as intangible elements of value, such as a company’s brand or reputation. At the same time, they de-emphasized the “how-to” aspect of PAS 55 in favor of a guidelines format—a new approach for ISO—that essentially helps users manage an asset-management system. And while ISO 55000 references the general role maintenance plays in the asset-management process, it is not a maintenance standard. ISO 55000 embraces the philosophy that anything with income-producing value for a business enterprise will deteriorate if neglected. And while the actions taken to maintain different types of assets may differ, “all will benefit from long-term plans and strategies,” states ISO chairperson Rhys Davis in an online interview. Davis believes a specific asset-management plan like ISO 55000 adds a much-needed dimension to standard business strategy by “forcing us to get to know our assets much better.” The intended result is a defined method for ensuring asset longevity, which leads to improved decision-making and better overall performance. The fact that users may opt to certify only one or a few assets at a time instead of an entire enterprise is a helpful consideration for asset-intensive operations like those in manufacturing. To learn more about the value of ISO 55000 in the manufacturing environment, see MT Contributing Editor Bob Williamson’s “Uptime” columns on the subject in the “Management” section at For an overview of the purpose, benefits and scope of ISO 55000 (and its related ISO 55001 and 55002 components), visit the Online Browsing Platform at

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What sector of your organization has driven support for implementing ISO 55000?

33% Maintenance

24% Upper management

41% Don’t know

2% Production Despite the fact that ISO 55000 is not about maintenance, it’s not surprising that maintenance emerges as the strongest champion for it. Not only can the use of ISO 55000 in manufacturing help the maintenance department do a more thorough job, maintenance is the most likely group outside of management to fully grasp this standard’s possibilities. (It must also be noted that our sample is naturally weighted with members of the maintenance community, a factor whose significance cannot be known without more extensive polling.) The high percentage of “don’t knows” only confirms that communication and education about ISO 55000 is still in the early stages. What does your organization hope to accomplish by implementing ISO 55000? This open-ended question was directed to those who are implementing, plan to implement or hope to implement ISO 55000. Their responses indicate that most understand the concept and reasons for ISO 55000, though some dismiss the standard as a benefit only to consultants. Here’s a sampling of what respondents believe ISO 55000 can (and cannot) do for them: “Higher production availability, lower production delays.” “Nothing. I believe ISO 55000 is a waste of time and effort. It’s a marketing scam by consulting groups.” “Improve the ROI and ROA.” “We’ll just be spending a lot of money on consultants.” “This is pure bull. ISO 55000 is not designed to help business, but to have searchable databases for other uses, none of which will help.” “It will help us align our current Comprehensive Asset Management Plan with international standards.” “Improved asset management that will migrate beyond PAS 55.”

“As a smaller manufacturer, we cannot afford the staff or effort to create paper that would NOT be used.” “Help us extract maximum value from the assets that are part of the portfolio within the management system.” “It will give us a more defined assetmanagement system with a structured way of improvement and understanding.” “More efficient organization and better use of all resources, human, information, technical and financial. A chance to apply world-class asset management.” “It will lower maintenance costs.” “A better-running facility overall.” MAY 2014


Which of the following sources have helped you learn about ISO 55000?


About the Survey

Trade publications (print and digital)


Industry associations


Online searches


Your organization's management



These responses validate the role 12% Vendors trade publications 9% like Maintenance Co-workers Technology play in educating their audiences about developments that have the potential to impact their jobs in a positive way. ISO 55000 is no exception. Its basic tenets, like those of other ISO standards, further the goals every operation should want to have. These include standardized work practices, reduced variation and acknowledgement that true efficiency occurs when all departments work as a cohesive team. Can implementation of ISO 55000 help your operation reach these and other important goals? The experts say yes. MT

The MT Survey on ISO 55000 was conducted by e-mail over two days in mid-April. Two successive e-mail blasts were delivered to approximately the same group of 51,000 names, which resulted in 261 total responses. Respondents represent a cross-sample of MT readership.

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The Power of Knowledge Engineering

MAY 2014


How Effective Are Your Stores? Storeroom data integrity and state-of-the-art organizing strategies are major contributors to improved maintenance and reliability. Jane Alexander, Deputy Editor



Stop by your storeroom and try to find a part you can’t match to any piece of equipment in your plant. It should be easy. Your storeroom, like those in countless other organizations, probably has a box, bin or even shelves full of parts that are kept on hand “just in case.” The trouble is, no one knows where those parts go or how they are to be used. But even stores with sophisticated database software have problems, says James Rogers, Unit Director of Maintenance & Reliability Services for MRO Supplier Storeroom Solutions, Inc., Wayne, PA. He points to a site that continued to inventory an unidentifiable bearing stamped with 1956 as the year it was manufactured. What, he asks, are the chances the original machine to which this bearing belongs is still operating in that plant? Years of “thinking lean,” Rogers laments, have led many manufacturers to install systems offering visibility to the flow of direct production parts from suppliers to the assembly line. “Very few, however, have had the same discipline or success tracking indirect inventory or maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) data on all the bearings, belts, motors, cleaning supplies, gloves or hair nets required to keep the production line going.” MAY 2014

For storerooms to be effective, the maintenance department must trust them. To earn that trust, Rogers says, MRO data must have integrity—i.e., reflect a disciplined process that ensures accuracy and consistency of data. “Data integrity,” he insists, "is the foundation that lets stores operations contribute to maintenanceprogram performance.” If you can’t be sure about finding the right parts at the right time, “You’re putting plannedmaintenance compliance and, perhaps, the performance of the whole plant at risk,” warns Rogers. It’s that risk that compels many maintenance technicians to keep their own unofficial— and potentially unauthorized—stores. To determine if your organization has a problem, Rogers suggests tracking the following metrics: Number of planned maintenance projects delayed by missing supplies (parts, lubricants and other consumable items needed for the work) Percent of maintenance time devoted to identifying required supplies for each job and delivering them ready to install at the job site Amount of time maintenance personnel spend planning what may be required for planned work, ordering parts, checking availability and assembling supplies themselves. Rogers says it is possible to manage maintenance supplies with the same discipline companies use to manage direct materials. For any needed MRO supply, an organization should be able to buy it, receive it, put it away, find it and issue it. Establishing data integrity of a storeroom database, though, takes more than simply installing software (see sidebar, page 24). MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM | 23


Real-world storeroom success Roofing-products manufacturer Johns Manville (JM) recently implemented a storeroom overhaul with the help of a team from Rockwell Automation. JM, which runs a variety of equipment systems in 45 manufacturing facilities across North America, Europe and China, uses hundreds, sometimes thousands of parts that must be efficiently stored in accessible locations. When David McGeachy became Plant Maintenance Manager at JM’s Etowah, TN, facility in fall 2011, he did not fully grasp the size of that task. McGeachy soon realized, however, that a userfriendly storeroom would give the site a better understanding of what it had on the shelves. Although the existing storeroom once worked well, it was past due for a change. “We only had a rough idea of what was actually in the storeroom,” says McGeachy, “and we suffered a lot of setbacks

Tips for Optimizing a Storeroom Database Successful software migration requires a systematic approach, starting with a current-state assessment, says James Rogers, Unit Director of Maintenance & Reliability Services for MRO supplier Storeroom Solutions, Inc., Wayne, PA. Following are several tips he recommends for those considering a storeroom overhaul: Ask yourself: Is every item in the storeroom in your system? Is there a use for every part? Is every part identified with a unique number? Do you know where a part should be stored? Can you track a part through its life cycle? Update any databases used to manage MRO parts. Many times, information stored in the CMMS is static or minimally maintained. Educate management that investments made in storeroom management improve cost control, stabilize inventory and discourage excess purchasing of non-stock items and private caches. When upgrading a software system and/or improving operating procedures, treat it as a significant change. Apply the same tools and discipline you use when analyzing the production value stream. Before purchasing new software, bring stakeholders in and allow them to test-drive the proposed product and review procedures. Or use a group of “beta testers” to test procedures before implementing them plant-wide.

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in productivity because of it.” When machines shut down for maintenance or repairs, personnel would spend hours sifting through open bins for the correct parts. Sometimes, a needed item would be ordered only to have personnel later discover that it had been in inventory all along. Instead of focusing on maintenance tasks, McGeachy and his team were scouring the storeroom and prolonging downtime, not limiting it. After months of frustration, McGeachy turned to Rockwell Automation, whose Reliability and Storeroom Services team had approached him with a proposal to overhaul the plant’s storeroom. The first step was to analyze the storeroom and the parts it housed. Through lead-time analysis, usage analysis, ABC analysis and a theoretical optimum-inventory analysis, the Rockwell Automation team determined the ideal amount of on-hand inventory, order frequency and quantity. This information allowed them to assess the requirements of the new storeroom and design the layout according to those requirements before making physical changes to the storeroom.

Fine-tuning One of the bigger adjustments the Rockwell Automation team made involved switching from an open-bin to a closed-bin system. Instead of all parts sitting disorganized on open shelves, smaller ones would be stored into 55 high-capacity cabinets manufactured by Stanley Vidmar. Larger, more visible parts would remain on shelves or be moved to racks. The new cabinets not only protected parts from the harsh manufacturing environment, they allowed JM to better utilize its new SAP-ERP system. While SAP had been implemented 18 months earlier, it had not been used for finding and tracking parts. The move to a closedbin system changed all that. The project called for all parts to be removed from their current locations throughout the storeroom and arranged based on commodity type. To prevent this from hindering maintenance operations, two rows of parts were relocated and shelves were torn down to make room for a temporary staging area that didn’t interfere with the staff ’s workload. The Rockwell Automation team then went through every part in the storeroom and put it in the appropriate place, making sure to document each location change. “It was like peeling back the layers of an onion,” says McGeachy. “The deeper they dove into the parts, the more they found.” After about four months, all parts had been located, tagged and organized in cabinets, shelves and, in the case of the largest items, moved to racks in the back of the storeroom. A new system was created to store belts by hanging them on the walls. Upon completion, about 8000 parts were moved to new homes in two adjoining storerooms: One housed high-use parts that all plant personnel could access; the other housed higher-value parts accessible only by maintenance staff. Both storerooms feature an open, single-level design that makes for a cleaner, more accessible and navigable operation—much MAY 2014


different than the former, cluttered, multilevel design.

Results The new storeroom design cut the partstorage footprint by 40% and simplified maintenance. More important, it reduced the time spent looking for parts, decreased the cost of duplicate purchase orders and lessened the downtime associated with both. In total, the new design helped eliminate 3000 excess and obsolete SKUs (stock-keeping units) and $1.3 million in inventory from the storeroom for future disposition. After the success of the storeroom optimization project, the Rockwell Automation team embedded an assetmanagement professional (AMP) at the JM Etowah site for a year. The AMP assists in properly disposing of excess and obsolete inventory. He is also creating a repair program, processing all MRO repairs, implementing an MRO warranty-tracking program and bringing employees up to speed on the new storeroom processes.

Fill rate levels needed to complete job requests In short, any software migration or systems improvement must be carefully

planned and staged. It’s not just a transition: It’s an extreme makeover that does more than change the operations of the storeroom. It can alter the operating culture of the plant. MT

Benefits go beyond maintenance and reliability According to Storeroom Solutions’ Rogers, database improvements like the one at JM, can be expected to fuel cost benefits beyond maintenance and reliability. (Example: They can reduce inventory costs and express freight charges.) A high-performing system can also generate metrics that lead to real improvements in plant efficiency and lowering overhead. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that manufacturers might pull from their databases include: Inventory (aggregate cost) Inventory turns (how much is needed to maintain a steady state) Availability of critical spare parts Lead times needed to plan properly MAY 2014


Diagnostics Increase Maintenance Productivity Smart, networked field devices simplify maintenance, particularly for operations covering large areas. Gary Mintchell, Executive Director

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MAY 2014


One group of technologies that has been making life better for maintenance, and manufacturing and production in general, involves smart, connected field devices. The microprocessor revolutions of the past 15 years coupled with improved networking ability and cheaper digital memory led to the development of sensors and instrumentation that communicate a plethora of useful information. It also means that now maintenance technicians can know the status of a device before going out across the plant grounds or facility to check it out, thus saving a trip.

What is FDT? The FDT Group is a Belgium-based international standards organization composed of 130 companies, universities, and consultants. Its mission is to see the FDT (field device type) networking standard evolve. It develops the standard, certifies products to the standard to assure interoperability, and markets the standard. “The standard itself solves a couple of tricky things that were in the networking side of industrial and process automation,” says Glenn Schultz, managing director of The FDT Group. “First, many device manufacturers need to integrate into the variety of systems out there. From the end-user perspective, I may want a particular best-in-class device, but I'm not able to integrate it into my PLC or DCS or asset-management system. FDT is a way for a device manufacturer to create a driver for this device. We call the driver a DTM (device type manager). The systems supplier has a similar portion that says if you want to integrate these drivers into my system or asset-management application, you must do this on your host. So now there is complete interoperability. Any FDT-enabled device can be integrated into an FDT host system. “The second tricky thing,” says Schultz, “evolves simply because of the sheer number of networks out there—including fieldbuses, Ethernet and wireless. FDT standard is written so it can be used on any network or any combination of networks. The networks may be freely mixed and matched in the host system and freely interoperate among them. FDT can tunnel across the networks.” There are currently more than 5,500 registered devices with a great installed base.

MAY 2014

The FDT standard is more than 10 years old, and in that time many technology changes have occurred, especially the development of Microsoft.Net. While The FDT Group has continuously maintained its standard, a complete update was needed two years ago, which resulted in FDT2. “This is completely backwards-compatible with the old standard,” says Schultz. “If you want to upgrade the host, the DTMs from devices still work with the new host with no loss of functionality.” FDT2 incorporates many new features, including security and speed improvements, as well as easier installation and maintenance of DTMs. It has been adopted as an international standard by ISA, IEC and GBP (China). The FDT Group certifies DTMs and watches the metrics trends on those certifications. 2012 was a record year on certifications—in terms of most manufacturers, most devices, most certificates. The entire certification question is driven by the end-user community, so the user gets a compliant product. “They like independently certified products,” says Schultz. “Many of our large endusers in their bid specs will say you must have DTMs and they must be certified.”

Maintenance benefits Some overlap in benefits exists for maintenance, operations and engineering. The hot button for everyone beyond interoperable networks is that enhanced remote diagnostics supplied by device manufacturers—the promised holy grail of all intelligent devices—exists. Anyone can sit at a desk and look at the health of the device, dialog through the DTM to immediately access and check things out. So even before things go down, users can see the trends and potential problems, all before having to go out to physically check out a device. Maintenance gains using diagnostics from the system can be further seen from this example from the Neste Oil refinery in Porvoo, Finland, where the company recently entered the age of proactive condition monitoring. Its Metso automation system was complemented by Neles FieldCare, a management and condition-monitoring software system for field devices that is based on open technology. Neles FieldCare is based on FDT technology in which 63 device manufacturers participate. The Webbased software enables management of devices by using either a manufacturer-specific or a generic DTM. Separate tools for each device are no longer needed. Tools are integrated in areas where this is most needed: maintenance, diagnostics, servicing and the management of process devices. MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM | 27


The company also hopes FieldCare will make it possible to reduce the number of devices and equipment that need maintenance in turnarounds. Even the location of the workstation has been carefully considered. “The terminal is next to the coffee machine. The objective is to have people use both of them equally on a daily basis,” says Naumanen. Benefits gained from software are largely dependent on how well its use can be marketed within the work community. The FieldCare system is used on a daily basis, as condition-monitoring operations must be checked and the facility’s situation charted every morning. During the day, Naumanen will return to the application as he can. “The system is beginning to control our operations,” he says. “In the past, it used to be a case of something going wrong somewhere, and us having to go there and fix it. Now we are increasingly able to start work before problems arise.” System Expert Tenho Eteläinen confirms that the maintenance experiences have been rewarding. “Our condition monitoring has detected deficient devices,” he says. “In the case of valves, this means that the slightest shift in a process could have caused large problems. Now we have been able to notify the production team of faulty parts or equipment and advise that we would replace them,” pointing out that in a demanding process, even the operator cannot be aware of each measurement result.

Standards assist daily maintenance

“This means that for the first time our automation department can anticipate its maintenance needs throughout the entire production line,” says automation engineer Misa Naumanen, who is in charge of the refinery’s automation maintenance. “The system provides us information that wasn’t available in traditional automation operations.” The bigger challenge, however, had less to do with technology than the need for Naumanen to sell the new way of working to his installers. Work routines that evolved over the decades had to be changed toward a more proactive approach to maintenance.

Changing the nature of work As the person in charge of the device and system development team in the refinery’s automation department, Jari Manninen knows that the real benefits of the new system are long-term. “Our task is to learn to use the growing amount of information,” says Manninen. “During the adoption stage, we have had to parametrize field devices more accurately than before. In the long run, however, we will reap the rewards. What we seek with FieldCare is good usability. If we can avoid even a single large ramp-down with the system, it will have brought us considerable savings.”

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Jim Cahill, chief blogger for Emerson Process Management, a technology supplier, writes a long-running blog called Emerson Process Experts. One post on the blog by fellow Emerson Process writer Chris Womack (www.emersonprocessxperts. com/2013/05/using-the-ff-912-diagnostics-specification-toimprove-daily-maintenance-routines/#.U2vwB6hn81J) discusses new device diagnostics standards and how they’re changing daily planned maintenance, including turnaround planning. In an earlier post, Cahill wrote about how the Fieldbus Foundation incorporated the NAMUR end-user association’s new recommendations for device diagnostic functions and status reports, known as NE 107. The result is the Fieldbus Foundation’s FF-912 diagnostics profile specification. According to Womack, Emerson’s networking expert Jonas Berge says FF-912 is “an important part of broader changes that herald a new era in intelligent device management.” Berge also says plants can make intelligent device-management software part of their asset-management systems, and can be a natural aspect of everyday operations for years to come. The key is to follow a simple process from audit to device-alarm rationalization, work-practice review and training. That’s because NE107 and FF-912 are propagating this alarm rationalization industry-wide. Device diagnostics can be configured to one of the status categories in the NAMUR NE107 recommendation: Failed, Off Specification, Maintenance Required or the slightly different Function Check. This simplified status signal makes device MAY 2014


FDT Benefits Operations are more assured that processes and devices are working. Maintenance need not walk long distances to check devices to determine what to fix.

health easy to overview and is the basis for routing device diagnostic alarms to the right person, regardless of communication protocol used by the device. NE107 also defines standard icons and colors to signal the device status in the dashboard part of the device description file. Such a dashboard can be displayed both in the intelligent device-management software as well as on the operator console. And with some changes to work processes, “central ‘desktop maintenance’ planning can become a reality,” says Berge. The daily maintenance routine must start with checking the intelligent device-management software alarm summary for a prioritized list of devices in need of maintenance, to know which devices are in most urgent need of service that day, and to schedule the day’s work. For instance, device self-diagnostics, such as built-in continuous valve-friction monitoring in a valve positioner, reports to the intelligent device-management software when friction is high and valve maintenance should be planned. For a plant turnaround, the planning procedure should be to check the software first, well before the turnaround, to determine which valves and which flow meters really need to be pulled out for maintenance or sent for calibration, and which ones do not. Thanks to valve-signature diagnostics MAY 2014

Engineering can pre-build an entire project without the devices in place, then during commissioning can see the status of all devices without having to check devices individually.

in valve positioners and meter verification in flow transmitters, it is possible to tell which valves have suffered wear-and-

tear and which flow meters have drifted. These tests are non-intrusive and can be done while the plant is still running. Using this methodology, the scope of the turnaround maintenance can be reduced, freeing up resources for other turnaround tasks and also shortening the duration of the outage. The serious cases are prioritized and done first, while the rest are done if there is time left over. Savings from not wasting time and resources on valves and flow meters not in need of service include costs for cranes, hoists, scaffolding, fitters, riggers, instrument technicians, plus insulation and other material. Clearly the technology exists and is readily available to allow maintenance departments to become much more proactive, and save themselves many trips out into the plant. MT

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Reliability Improvements Propel a Vegetable Producer Its embrace of proactive TPR principles has helped this company become a market leader. Jane Alexander, Deputy Editor

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MAY 2014


A product-line diversification was an important economic move for a major vegetable producer. Despite its potential, however, this diversification also meant the company would be starting from scratch in some respects: The new products would compete with those of some well-established giants in the industry. Company leaders realized early on that if the operation were to survive in the market and reach its desired goals, they needed to find a competitive edge. And they did. Reliability improvement was identified as a valid option, with TPR (Total Process Reliability) as the method of choice to propel the desired improvements. Marshall Institute was chosen to assist the company with these efforts.

Burdened by a reactive culture As with other food processors, production is king at this vegetable producer’s operations. The company’s plants once reflected a run-to-failure, highly reactive mentality and operated within non-existent or broken systems. The maintenance shop was cluttered, dirty and inefficient. There was little pride in daily work and no facility-wide maintenance vision. Turnover was a problem for maintenance tradesmen, and “bad blood” between operations and maintenance was a fact of life. “Before we began TPR, we had zero planning and scheduling, were more than 85% reactive and had no measurements in place by which to objectively gauge performance,” says the company’s Maintenance Manager. “As a result, there was a run-to-failure philosophy in most areas by default.” The TPR Coordinator was more explicit: “Reaction and production were first,” he says. “Everything else was second, which led to poor execution of work.” With little time to effectively execute, numerous temporary repairs were done. On the off chance a PM (Preventive Maintenance) was performed, it was on a weekend when equipment was down—making the PM seem like little more than an afterthought. Excessive downtime on all production lines and repeat failures plagued the company’s plants. For example, one particular unit regularly had trouble sustaining a complete production cycle without some type of failure. A specific pump within this system frequently failed due to improper seal material or process-induced defects.

MAY 2014

Diaphragms on many production valves constantly selfdestructed in such an unpredictable manner that some lines were lucky if a single SIP (Sterilization in Place) cycle could be achieved. The environment was discouraging. The maintenance shop floor was covered in remnants of past disasters, and little effort went into preparing for the next inevitable failure. “We were living in a throwaway mode and always had to quickly acquire needed repair materials, including simple things such as nuts, bolts and taps,” says the site’s Reliability Engineer. Costs were high, many of them unnecessary. Operating and maintenance systems were ineffective, inefficient and unreliable. Finger-pointing and frustration were rampant across the plants. There was no sense of partnership, ownership or shared reliability. From a strategic standpoint, communication between marketing and the plants was also poor. This meant that the ability to implement product or line changes based on captured market insight was limited.

Starting TPR The decision to use TPR to help turn the company’s production, maintenance and engineering efforts into a competitive advantage wasn’t made lightly. After extensive research and deliberation, management concluded that the message, strategy and goals of this approach aligned with their own vision and goals, which included reducing costs and improving equipment uptime, quality of work life and workplace organization and appearance. The TPR effort kicked off with a formal MEA (Maintenance Effectiveness Assessment) that reviewed the maintenance systems and practices, and identified key improvement areas. Findings provided a performance baseline and improvement recommendations, and allowed the TPR implementation team to establish realistic goals and a plan of action. Given its comprehensive nature, the MEA revealed several critical issues, including insufficient PMs; a lack of predictive tools; a majority reactive work; and minimal scheduled work. It also found an inadequate work-order system that relied on blanket work orders; a lack of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs); and no evidence of operator “ownership” of equipment. The invaluable and objective findings from the MEA supported the reliability improvement business case and highlighted current unacceptable conditions. It was welcome insight. “We had a way forward,” says the TPR Coordinator and Improvement Driver.



Structured for success The assessment findings corroborated plant management’s feelings that improvement in equipment reliability and maintenance practices and systems would strengthen the company’s market position. Ensuring a successful TPR implementation, though, called for development of a viable support structure. This included the creation of leadership and cross-functional implementation teams. Initial training and team-formation tasks were scoped and executed. The combination of different functions and company levels within the TPR teams provided fair representation and effective decision-making. Team members, in turn, were challenged to create vision and mission statements, define roles and responsibilities, adopt goals and craft initial implementation plans. Helping individuals better understand their roles in the overall TPR effort was an important benefit associated with the development of the support structure. As soon as roles were established, the company conducted the necessary on-the-job training and coaching to help personnel be successful. Training, including Planning and Scheduling, PM Optimization, Storeroom Control and TPR Coordinator workshops, built knowledge, expertise and self-confidence among the staff. It also helped generate enthusiasm for the process. Providing training for new positions like Planner Schedulers and TPR Coordinators was a critical part of this phase.

‘Quick wins’ and optimized systems With leadership buy-in, an effective implementation structure in place and training underway, the next step in the TPR effort was to build trust in TPR from the shop floor up to management offices. Building confidence in a strategy—and a belief that it works—is vital if the strategy is to become part of the culture. Achieving “quick wins” (immediate improvements that highlight benefits of a process) is a key to culture change and long-term success of companywide efforts like TPR. These types of “wins” turn skeptics into believers and provide kindling to fire up workforce passion. To achieve quick wins, Basic Equipment Care (BEC) workshops and 5S events were conducted. Participants saw immediate improvements in equipment uptime and reliability. Operators started taking ownership for their equipment and processes. The 5S events also improved workplace organization and productivity. Employees on the shop floor saw the positive TPR impact and began to rally behind the long-term initiative. Quick wins alone, however, can’t sustain a reliability effort: They must be paired with business-system improvements. Since a company is only as effective as its systems, this vegetable producer worked hard to re-engineer its preventive-maintenance program, implement an effective planning and scheduling system, achieve better utilization of the internal management system, create a robust measurement system and improve communications.

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Honing a Competitive Edge with TPR How it paid off for this market-leading vegetable producer. Reactive maintenance decreased from 85% to 37% on average. Planned maintenance vs. unplanned maintenance increased from 10% to 38% on average. Maintenance work done on schedule increased from 21% to 72%. Skills training increased from 0 hours to 48.9 hours per technician. The company’s monthly maintenance budget was reduced by 25%. The company's newly developed and implemented OEE tracking system documented an increase in OEE on one production line of between 10% and 30% (over one year, dependant on shift), and an increase of between 10% and 25% on another. Production of one product increased by 390,000 cases per month.

Metric improvements The initial MEA pointed to the fact that metrics and KPI collection and monitoring were an opportunity for improvement, and vital for TPR implementation. From that point, the company worked tirelessly to track and improve key metrics and, thus, ensure it was on course to achieve its goals. In addition to collecting KPI data, the TPR teams communicated progress to all employees by way of bulletin boards and LCD TVs. This information included OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness), 5S progress and other key measures. Results of the TPR effort were noteworthy (see Sidebar). The achievements didn’t come without struggles. “Our TPR journey has not been quick or easy,” says the TPR Coordinator. “We’ve had to overcome obstacles and road blocks within our workforce.” Some of the main issues were associated with middle management’s initial lack of involvement, a strong aversion to change across the organization, a rudimentary maintenance approach and poor troubleshooting skills. Issues also plagued the internal systems, including an undeveloped and misused Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS); undocumented and unsustainable work processes; and poor workplace organization. MAY 2014


Staying true to the TPR course, however, allowed the vegetable producer to surpass its competitors in market share. This success can be strongly attributed to the drive and continued support of leadership at this company, which has a history of innovation. Without effective leadership, no large-scale organizational improvement initiative can survive. Senior management supported the TPR initiative from the start and showed complete openness to change. For example, the Vice President of Operations met personally with all levels in the organization to reinforce and reinvigorate the TPR message. Open communication was also vital. Every person was reminded of his/her personal responsibility in driving higher production capacity and helping boost maintenance efficiency and effectiveness. The message was crystal clear. Other success factors include improved PM coverage and scheduling: Employees keep workflow moving, minimize reactive habits and measure themselves. Key people are now fully invested in this company-wide journey. Despite experiencing its share of setbacks on the way to success, the company says it would do little differently. “If we had the luxury of hindsight,” the Maintenance Manager explained, “we would have recognized the wasteful environment in which we were operating sooner, and sharpened our focus and drive to implement the changes we’ve since achieved.” The company’s initial self-confessed “lofty goal” of implementing the foundation of its reliability improvements was 3-6 months. Now, nearly three years into its TPR program, the organization realizes the scale of its undertaking, and has become more realistic about the level of effort that will be required going forward.

A new attitude Today, the company is clean and orderly. People take serious pride in their efforts and strive to do better than the previous day. Operators perform PMs, and the maintenance department has a more proactive mentality. Metrics are collected and shared. Production output and equipment uptime are increasing while unnecessary costs decrease. The positive impact on the business is evident. “This time last year,” the TPR Coordinator notes, “we would not have been able to produce as many cases for the cost”. Planning and Scheduling has become a priority. Teamwork is developing, relationships are strengthening and better processes are in place. “Operators have become more involved with the general maintenance of their equipment, performing daily and weekly inspections and cleaning,” says the Maintenance Supervisor. “They now own their kits and PMs.” Preventive practices are becoming a part of everyday operations. Case in point: Operators have developed BEC (Basic Equipment Care) stations on their own. Just as important is the fact that communications have significantly improved. As the TPR Coordinator reports, everyone talks about failures—and how to prevent them. MAY 2014

“We are going down a path toward sustainment rather than run-to-failure,” says the Maintenance Supervisor. “There’s a better sense of structure and attention to the equipment and plant cleanliness. From upper management down to the operator and technician levels, everyone is now aware of our mission. It’s an entire culture change.” The Plant Manager confirms that “the successes we have achieved through TPR have allowed us to keep up with our current demand, and at the same time delay a $40M productline addition. Without TPR, we would require the third line. But because of our current level of efficiency, we’re able to produce a wider product array while running more complex processing equipment.” This market-leading vegetable producer has created a robust TPR implementation plan that has served them well. All organizational levels are witnessing the positive effects of the TPR initiative and are dedicated to the continued journey. MT This article was prepared with the help of Marshall Institute’s Director of Training, Tom Furnival, and Senior Consultant, Nick Flynn.


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Fig. 1. Pitting of a bearing race wall (magnified) is the result of electrical discharges from the motor shaft.

Grounding Rings Rescue Paper Mill’s Bearings By MT Staff

Bearing-protection rings neutralize damaging VFD-caused electrical currents in the mill’s motor shafts, preserving the bearings and uptime.

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MAY 2014


At a paper mill in the Midwest, every new motor that is to be controlled by a variable frequency drive (VFD) must be tested. If shaft voltages are found, the motor must be equipped with an AEGIS® Bearing Protection Ring to divert damaging currents to ground. The plant’s electrical reliability engineer established this money-saving specification after many years of frustration from recurring bearing failures. The maintenance history of one large 1000 HP motor tells the story. It is part of a system that turns pulp into “parent rolls,” which are later cut into paper towels, napkins and other products. The mill is one of many owned by a major paper company, and employs more than 1800 people. The operation collects and converts about 430,000 tons of wastepaper per year. The problem with the motor, which runs at up to 1200 rpm, stemmed from its VFD, which induces stray currents that travel through the motor’s shaft. Despite the efforts of the plant’s in-house maintenance staff and maintenance contractor (L&S Electric, Inc.), the shaft currents would destroy the motor’s bearings within two years. Seeking ground, the currents blasted the bearing balls and races with countless fusion craters. The arcing that created these pits released tiny particles of metal that contaminated bearing grease, causing friction and high temperatures that burned the grease. Following the industry-standard routine of the time, L&S Electric would take the motor to its shop for reconditioning. This included disassembly, cleaning, testing and replacement of both bearings; reassembly; transportation back to the mill; and reinstallation. Over the years, L&S tried insulating the oppositedrive-end bearing and installing carbonblock grounding brushes inside the drive-end bearing cap. But this just moved the problem to the drive-end bearing. Each reconditioning cost as much as $10,000, not counting the cost of downtime on that motor’s production line. MAY 2014

Fig. 2. Inspecting the recently installed AEGIS® iPRO Bearing Protection Ring on a key motor at the Midwestern paper mill. The split-ring iPRO was installed without decoupling the motor.

Finding the right ring When L&S took the motor to their shop for a reconditioning in June 2009, the contractor’s reliability engineer tried something new. L&S added an insulated bearing housing to the motor’s drive end

and, at the engineer’s request, installed an AEGIS SGR shaft grounding ring, manufactured by Electro Static Technology (EST). The ring channels harmful currents away from bearings to ground. Hopes for this solution were dashed three months later when an on-site oscilloscope reading indicated the voltage was over 5 volts—still high enough to damage the bearings. When the bearings were replaced again, L&S added two copperbristle grounding brushes on opposite sides of the drive-end shaft. EST then suggested the mill try another type of AEGIS ring: the iPRO. Specially designed for high-current applications, the iPRO is ideal for protecting mediumvoltage motors, generators and turbines against electrical bearing damage. The previous model had been too small to divert all the current from the shaft of such a big motor. In May 2011, L&S installed the iPRO on the motor in place at the mill. The split-ring unit fit around the motor shaft, eliminating the need to decouple attached equipment. Two and a half years later, the motor was still running smoothly—the longest

Fig. 3. Two views of the iPRO Bearing Protection Ring. Prior to installation, the section of the motor shaft to be contacted by the grounding ring’s microfibers was cleaned and coated with colloidal silver to enhance conductivity and retard corrosion. MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM | 35


A Maintenance-Free Solution for Dangerous Shaft Currents Unlike conventional single-pointcontact brushes, the iPro grounding ring’s conductive microfibers line its entire inner circumference, encircling the motor shaft with contact points for far greater effectiveness. This design boosts the ring’s electron transfer rate, providing low impedance from shaft to frame, bypassing the motor bearings entirely, and bleeding off damaging currents safely to ground. Because the ring’s conductive microfibers work with little or no physical contact, they do not need the regular maintenance/ replacement that metal or carbonblock grounding brushes require. Patented Nanogap Technology maintains electrical contact between the microfibers and the motor shaft, thus diverting harmful shaft voltages, whether or not the microfibers are touching the shaft. This ensures that the ring will last the life of the motor regardless of motor speed, and will work effectively even in the presence of dirt, grease or other contaminants. The maintenance-free iPRO grounding ring is available in a range of sizes to accommodate generator/motor shafts up to 30” in diameter. Embedded securely in the AEGIS FiberLock channel along the inner circumference of the ring, six rows of conductive microfibers completely surround the motor shaft, providing millions of discharge points for harmful shaft currents and effectively diverting these currents to ground. As part of a preventive maintenance program, the iPRO can be installed on in-service motors or whenever bearings are replaced.

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Fig. 4. A technician uses an oscilloscope to confirm that motor-shaft voltages remain below 5 volts after installation of an iPRO Bearing Protection Ring. A special “pigtail” lead allows maintenance personnel to periodically check the voltages (and the likely condition of the bearings) safely and easily, without exposing the shaft.

stretch ever without a bearing replacement. A “pigtail” lead allows the L&S reliability engineer to check the shaft voltage easily and safely, which he does regularly with a portable oscilloscope. He reports that readings have stayed below 5 volts. In addition to checking the motor’s shaft voltage, EST recommended periodic inspections be done to ensure the motor shaft remained conductive in this harsh environment. After the first six months of operation, the split-ring iPRO was removed and the motor shaft was cleaned to remove corrosion, and recoated with colloidal silver to ensure high conductivity. This routine shaft maintenance is now scheduled to coincide with regularly scheduled plant maintenance shutdowns and has enhanced the effectiveness of the iPRO ring.

Be aware of ‘parasitic capacitance’ from VFDs Because VFDs can save 30% or more in energy costs, they have been cited as a key technology for those wishing to make their commercial HVAC systems, automated assembly lines and other processes more energy-efficient. But whether used to control a motor’s speed or torque, these drives often induce voltages that can damage bearings. In fact, the costly repair or replacement of failed motor bearings can wipe out any savings a VFD yields and severely diminish the reliability of an entire system. It is now widely understood that the high switching frequencies of today’s VFDs produce “parasitic capacitance” between a motor’s stator and rotor. Once the resulting voltage pulses reach a level sufficient to overcome the dielectric properties of the bearing grease, they discharge rapidly and repeatedly along the path of least resistance between shaft and frame—typically through the bearings. Without mitigation, these discharges can be so frequent that, through the process of electrical-discharge machining, they create millions of fusion craters. Before long, the entire bearing race can become eroded with countless pits known as frosting. Cumulative degradation known as fluting can also occur, shaping the frosting into washboardlike ridges across the bearing race and causing noise, vibration, increased friction and bearing failure. This is what happened to the paper mill’s motor repeatedly—until the iPRO solved the problem. MT MAY 2014



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Packaged Wastewater Lift Systems

Cloud-Connected ConditionMonitoring Software

Grundfos offers a combination of its SEG grinder pumps and packaged wastewater lift stations to simplify specification, installation and maintenance. They are designed for application in buildings, industrial sites, municipal pressurized sewage systems and remote areas. The SEG pumps feature a simple, sealed motor cable. A cartridge shaft seal system reduces impeller vibration and increases shaft seal and ball bearing life. The pump grinder systems include easily replaced parts, and SmartTrim impeller adjustment ensures constant and optimum performance. At the same time, the lift station package includes a polyethylene tank, stainless steel piping and valves and controllers.

SKF’s @ptitude software now offers @ptitude Connect, which provides instant cloud access to SKF condition monitoring software. @ ptitude Connect enables any business to implement plant-wide or enterprise-wide condition-based maintenance (CBM) and/or predictive maintenance (PdM) programs via the Internet. Engineers can access machine data, analyze or display machine conditions and view printable diagnostic reports. @ ptitude Connect is compatible with SKF handheld or online condition monitoring data collection devices. Compliant with ISO 27001 and SSAE16, SKF’s cloud protects data integrity in key areas of concern, such as data access, data transmission, data storage and data center access.

Grundfos Pumps Corp. Olathe, KS

SKF USA, Inc. Lansdale, PA

Variable Speed Rotary Screw Compressors for Severe Conditions

Ideal Industries has introduced a nonconductive version of its popular S-Class® fish tape for safe use if unintentionally used around energized circuits. Designed to work inside Ideal Tuff-Grip™ Pro cases, the S-Class fish tape now features a new non-conductive and non-arcing eyelet. In addition, the eyelet features streamlined ribs and a curved loop that reduces stress points on the fish tape while being pushed. New S-Class fish tape comes in standard lengths of 50, 100 and 200 ft. (15.2, 30.5 and 60.9 m).

Kaeser Compressors announces availability of its new SFC 18S and SFC 22S variable speed belt-drive rotary screw compressors designed for reliability, simple maintenance and sustainable energy savings. The SFC 18S has a flow range of 33-119 cfm (0.93-3.37 cmm) at 125 psig (8.6 bar) and is available with pressures up to 217 psig (14.9 bar). The SFC 22S has a flow range of 33-141 cfm (0.93-3.99 cmm) at 125 psig, with pressures up to 217 psig. Both models feature the latest in Siemens drive technology. Enhanced cooling enables applications in severe operating conditions. These units also feature a new air end designed to optimize performance and efficiency, and TEFC premium efficiency motors are standard.

Ideal Industries, Inc. Sycamore, IL

Kaeser Compressors, Inc. Fredericksburg, VA

Non-Conductive Fish Tape

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MAY 2014


Energy-Efficient IE4 Motors According to Bauer, energy savings can be more than 40 percent when moving from previous IE2 synchronous motors to new IE4 high efficiency motors. Electronic speed controls offer control and monitoring of motor energy use and have proven to be a simple and quick means of increasing system efficiency. Bauer has structured a modular gear program and custom design, integration and manufacturing services to maximize energy savings. Modular models include helical BG series, parallel shaft BF series, bevel BK series and worm-drive BS series. The range also includes application-specific models, including the world’s first modular stainless steel IE4 permanent magnetic synchronous gearmotor for the food and beverage industry in its Aseptic range. Bauer Gear Motor GmbH Esslingen, Germany

IR, UV Inspection Windows for Isophase Bus Bar Systems Iriss, Inc., has rolled out its FlexIR CAP-F series of inspection windows for isophase bus bar systems. The series combines infrared, visual and ultraviolet access for inspection of energized electrical equipment under full load and is fully weatherized. Applicable to both isophase bus and bar bus, FlexIR is designed for nuclear, electric, gas, coal and renewable power generation facilities and distribution centers. Materials include nuclear-grade gaskets, hardened stainless steel fasteners and rugged hinges. The windows are designed for rapid installation with minimum welding. The FlexIR system is rated for both indoor and outdoor applications. Iriss, Inc. Bradenton, FL

“Industrial Lubrication Fundamentals” 3-Day, On Site, Certification Preparation Training Program

With over 70% of all mechanical failures attributed to ineffective lubrication practices, you will want to have professionally trained and certified lubrication personnel working on your reliability efforts!

Unlock the Secrets that let you Tap your True Maintenance Potential and Maximize Asset Reliability! World Class organizations know that increased asset reliability, utilization and maintainability, reduced operating costs, downtime, contamination, energy consumption and carbon footprint all commence with a best practice lubrication program! Course design is based on ISO 18436-4 and the ICML body of knowledge and exceeds minimum training requirements to write the ICML, MLT1, MLA1 and ISO LCAT1 International lubrication certification exams. Exams can be arranged to take place at your site immediately following the training. For more information on this unique training program developed and delivered by internationally accredited lubrication and maintenance expert Ken Bannister, author of the best selling book Lubrication for Industry endorsed by ISO and the ICML as part of their certification Domain of Knowledge Content. Contact ENGTECH Industries Inc at 519.469.9173 or email

MAY 2014



Subminiature Fuse for High-Current Applications

High-Temperature Vibration Sensors

Littelfuse, Inc., has introduced its fast-acting 463 Series NANO2 Fuse for high-current applications. The 463 Series offers high-amp circuit protection (50-30 A at 100 VDC/250 VAC) and a compact (10.1mm x 3.12mm x 3.12mm) surface-mount form factor. Operating temperature range is -67 to 257 F (-55 to 125 C), eliminating nuisance openings due to thermal cycling failure on high-current applications. It exhibits low temperature rise and temperature stability for use in datacom and telecom equipment, high-end servers, base stations, power supplies and blade-computing applications.

Meggitt’s Wilcoxon Research HT (high temperature) series of vibration sensors provides reliable, continuous condition monitoring where temperatures reach 302 F (150 C). The high-performance sensors are field-tested and offer a mean time before failure of 25 years. While extreme temperatures can degrade standard sensors, the internal components of the HT series are rated at 392 F (200 C) for consistent bias output voltage over the entire temperature range. Housings are sealed, protecting against ground loops and RF interference and promoting long-term stability.

Littlefuse, Inc. Chicago, IL

Meggitt Sensing Systems Germantown, MD

Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge for Measuring of Internally Corroded Objects The 27MG Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge from Olympus is designed for non-destructive measurement from one side of internally corroded or eroded metal pipes and structures. The 12 oz. device offers easy, one-hand operation. The 27MG is designed to monitor wall thickness in metal pipes, tanks, beams and structural supports susceptible to corrosion on the inside surface. The 27MG is battery-operated and features a large, backlit LCD with easy-to-read numerals, and a color-coded keypad. Olympus Scientific Solutions Americas Waltham, MA

Wireless Thermostats Enhance Building Automation

Application Guide Simplifies the Fitting Selection Process

Johnson Controls’ WT-4000 series of pneumatic-to-digital thermostats converts older pneumatic room-control systems and enables communication with newer digital building automation systems. The WT-4000 series offers programmable occupancy scheduling and remote temperature monitoring among other features, as well as long-life battery operation that requires no additional wiring. The new thermostats are designed for operators of commercial buildings, schools and critical environments like hospitals. Typically, these cannot afford to disrupt occupants or undergo expensive upgrades, but want the benefits of digital information and efficiency. The WT-4000 Series thermostats come in eight configurations and offer either Fahrenheit or Celsius displays.

Lokring Technology, LLC, has released a revised version of its Fitting Applications Guide designed to simplify the fitting selection process. It includes LTCS-333 Process Fittings for hydrocarbons and provides overviews, technical details, recommended usage (including contraindications), and applicable ASME code compliance. It includes pressure-temperature reference along with recommendations for fittings to use for most standard pipe grades and types. Lokring fluid and gas connectors require no heat or welding and the design is derived from aerospace technology. Production is under quality systems certified to ISO 9001:2008. Lokring provides design, materials and workmanship conforming to the requirements of ASME B31.1, 31.3, 31.4, 31.8, and 31.9 codes (reference section 9.0 items 1, 2, 3 and 4.)

Johnson Controls Milwaukee, WI

Lokring Technology Willoughby, OH

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MAY 2014


All-in-One Variable Frequency Drive Mitsubishi Electric Automation has released its A800 Series all-in-one variable frequency drive (VFD). The A800 Series inverter combines control for both traditional induction and permanent magnet motors. The A800 is suitable both for low-performance applications such as pumps and fans as well as high-performance industrial applications. The A800 is also appropriate for any motor-control application that targets increased motor efficiency and maximum energy savings. Enclosure types include traditional chassis, large system/component and fully enclosed / severe environment. It is available in 200, 400, 575 and 690 voltage classes. Mitsubishi Electric Automation Vernon Hills, IL

Product & Literature SHOW CASE For rate information on advertising in Showcase, contact Tim Steingraber at: Phone: (847) 382-8100 x112 E-mail:

MAY 2014



Test Tools Connected to the Cloud Fluke Connect is a new system of wireless test tools that, when connected to a smartphone app, allow maintenance technicians, electricians and reliability engineers to capture, store and share data across their teams without leaving the field. According to Fluke, the system provides instant access to data and measurements from users’ existing smartphones and lets them review images, check reports, spot trends and more. Currently, more than 20 Fluke tools connect wirelessly, via Bluetooth® or Wi-Fi, with the Fluke Connect app for adding measurements and thermal images to an external, high-security Fluke Cloud™ database. Because information is entered directly into the database, the task of manually writing measurements is eliminated and accuracy is enhanced. Readings can be shared in real time through a ShareLive™ video call with personnel elsewhere in the plant and/or off-site. Work orders with the added measurements can be issued via the app, thus allowing everyone on a team to see, understand and more quickly take action on specific problems. Fluke Corp. Everett, WA

Product & Literature SHOWCASE For rate information on advertising in Showcase, contact Tim Steingraber at: Phone: (847) 382-8100 x112 E-mail:

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MAY 2014


Explosion-Proof AC Tachometer Generator

Auto-Darkening Welding Helmets

Marsh Bellofram’s WESTCON 758-9910001 industrial AC tachometer generator is designed for the predictive maintenance of aerospace, oil and gas drilling, industrial mud pumps, and waste and wastewater pumps and systems. The tach/generator offers 24/7 rotational speed monitoring and is especially indicated for measurement of rotary table RPM and mud pump strokes per minute, two primary parameters for achieving maximum drilling efficiencies. WESTCON 758-9910001 AC tachometer generators convert shaft rotation into linear analog voltage output and features a standard ¾” (19 mm) drive shaft, with only a 3.0 oz.-in. (0.02 Nm) starting torque.

Lincoln Electric has introduced its VIKING 2 series of auto-darkening welding helmets designed to deliver improved optics and superior comfort compared to previous models. Backed by a three-year warranty, the helmets feature auto-darkening cartridges that have an EN 379-1/1/1/1 perfect optical clarity rating. Headgear pivot design provides more comfort than standard designs. Model numbers in the series include VIKING 3350, 2450, 2450D and 1840-2 helmets.

Marsh Bellofram Corp. Newell, WV

Lincoln Electric Cleveland, OH

BEARING PROTECTION You Can Count On Call us today at:


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For rate information on advertising in Marketplace, contact Tim Steingraber at: Phone: (847) 382-8100 x112 E-mail:

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MAY 2014

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Multichannel Data Acquisition and Logging System

Fluorescent Lighting for Hazardous Locations

The Rigol M300 Data Acquisition System from Saelig Co. integrates Rigol’s 6.5-digit digital multimeter (DMM) technology with a system mainframe that carries a threeyear warranty. Modules enable multichannel scanning and switching and control, including automated repetition of scans. Up to five M300 systems can be controlled simultaneously for parallel scanning and high channel count applications, all controlled from a single software interface.

Thomas & Betts’s Hazlux® line of hazardous location lighting now includes XFM and DFP Series linear fluorescent fixtures that offer installation at various angles. The XFM Series, designed for explosive atmosphere locations, features five different ½-inch NPT hub entries on each end and provides installers with options for various lighting angles. The DFP Industrial Series, designed for hazardous locations in industrial and wet environments (Class I, Div. 2), features optional mounting brackets that enable precise aiming at multiple angles. The XFM series ballasts are now in the center of the luminaire for balance and weight distribution. The units are made of cast aluminum with a one-piece painted aluminum reflector.

Saelig Co. Fairport, NY

Thomas & Betts Corp. Memphis, TN

Sundyne Adds PPI Compressors to Its Offerings

Armstrong Fluid Technology’s enhanced HSC Firepak is a completely integrated fire pump solution that combines preconfigured electrical connections, controls, drive and pump on a steel base and offers builders and designers a fully-engineered solution for fire suppression for buildings. The package ensures code compliance and single-source responsibility for all aspects. The pump is factory pressure-tested and leak-proof. Computer-aided design drawings, specifications, dimensions and pricing all are readily available. Installation time is minimized as well, and Armstrong provides full support for the entire package. The drive is electric (460 or 575 v) or diesel, and flow is up to 3,000 US gallons/minute (11.36 kiloliters) at up to 260 psi (17.23 bar).

Sundyne has added the Pressure Products Industries (PPI) product portfolio to its compressor technologies. PPI manufactures sealless reciprocating diaphragm compressors for the refining, petrochemical, chemical, LNG and semiconductor markets. PPI products are designed for non-contaminating compression of critical gases and comply with modified API 618 industrial standards. Applications include cylinder filling, fuel cells and transfer applications that require high purity or the handling of dangerous gases under pressure. Currently, they can be configured in single- and multi-stage packages capable of delivering displacements to 150 cfm (255 m3 / hr), pressures to 17,000 psi (1170 bar) and up to 250 HP (187 kW) of power. PPI was formerly under the aegis of Sundyne; both Sundyne and Milton Roy are part of the Accudyne Industries family of companies.

Armstrong Fluid Techology Toronto, ON, Canada

Sundyne Arvada, CO

Integrated Fire Pump Solution

44 |


MAY 2014




MAY 2014 Volume 27, No. 5 •



Air Sentry Allied Reliability world-class-reliability ...........................................25 AVO Training Institute ...................................17 Baldor Electric ............................................42 .......................................................11 EDE Electric Motor Testing, Inc. Engtech Industries Inc. Exair Corporation MDS Motor Diagnostic Systems Meltric Corporation .................................................41 NSK ........................................IBC Outage Management for Power Plants .............................................................................................7 SKF USA Condition Monitoring - Fort .............21 SPM Instrument, Inc. ..................................33 Strategic Work Systems, Test Products International (TPI) ..................................41



Submissions Policy: Maintenance Technology gladly welcomes submissions. By sending us your submission, unless otherwise negotiated in writing with our editor(s), you grant Applied Technology Publications, Inc., permission, by an irrevocable license, to edit, reproduce, distribute, publish, and adapt your submission in any medium, including via Internet, on multiple occasions. You are, of course, free to publish your submission yourself or to allow others to republish your submission. Submissions will not be returned. Reproduction of Materials: Materials produced by Maintenance Technology may not be reproduced in any form for any purpose without permission. For Reprints: Contact the publisher, Glen Gudino, at (847) 382-8100 ext. 119.

MAY 2014


MAY 2014 • Volume 27, No. 5 1300 South Grove Avenue, Suite 105 Barrington, IL 60010 PH 847-382-8100 FX 847-304-8603

INTEGRATED MEDIA SPECIALISTS AR, IA, IL, LA, MN, MO, OK, TX, WI, ON PHIL SARAN 1300 South Grove Avenue Suite 105 Barrington, IL 60010 Direct 708-557-1021 AL, CT, DE, FL, GA, IN, KY, ME, MA, MD, MI, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WV, QC JULIE OKON 11819 Eden Glen Drive Carmel, IN 46033 Office 317-564-8475 Cell 317-690-6757 AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, OR, WA, BC GLEN GUDINO 1300 South Grove Avenue Suite 105 Barrington, IL 60010 Direct 708-207-3895 ID, KS, MT, ND, NE, NM, NV, SD, UT, WY, AB, MB, SK, MEX, INTERNATIONAL SALES, TIM STEINGRABER 1300 South Grove Avenue Suite 105 Barrington, IL 60010 847-382-8100 x112 Fax 847-304-8603

MARKETPLACE and SHOWCASE ADVERTISING TIM STEINGRABER 1300 South Grove Avenue Suite 105 Barrington, IL 60010 847-382-8100 x112 Fax 847-304-8603 MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM | 45


Eliminating Penny-Wise and Pound-Foolish Purchasing Ted Jones Principal Program Manager Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE)


recent article in Appliance magazine reminded readers that manufacturers still pay massive amounts for energy inefficiency over the lifetime of their plants. Despite years of awareness-raising campaigns regarding the importance of life-cycle-costing principles, individuals with responsibility for making capital expenditure decisions rarely, if ever, consider the long-term, operational costs associated with new equipment or facilities. That’s an expensive oversight. It’s been estimated that energy-efficiency improvements could shave as much as 18% off industrialenergy costs forecast for 2020. In other words, energy inefficiency is putting a $47 billion hole in the pockets of manufacturers. Alas, for those in charge of procurement, obtaining the lowest purchase price is still a priority—energy efficiency and total cost-ofownership (TCO) are not. Those in operations and maintenance, unfortunately, end up paying the price. For many companies, energy efficiency represents a passing shot for management—a classic split incentive between procurement and operations. “There is a significant disconnect between those who make decisions regarding industrial capital expenditures, and those who are tasked with managing the costs of manufacturing operations,” says Alex Chausovsky, Manager and Principal Analyst, Motor-Driven Systems and Industrial Automation, at IHS. So what’s the solution?

Despite years of awareness-raising, life-cycle costs are still rarely a factor in capital-equipment purchases. Chausovsky points to the need for improved communication between those in charge of procurement, operations and maintenance, and routine consideration of total cost of ownership when new equipment is purchased. We at the Motor Decisions Matters (MDM) campaign agree. This is one of the reasons MDM was created by electric utilities, the motor industry and motor repair and service centers: to help increase the visibility and awareness of total motor-driven equipment costs and demonstrate the long-term cost reductions available through motor efficiency. When it comes to electric motors, it is too easy to be penny-wise and pound-foolish. 46 | MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY

According to industry case studies, approximately 2% of a motor’s TCO is its purchase price and another 2% is for repair and maintenance. A whopping 96% of the TCO over the motor’s lifetime is for electricity. While these aggregate numbers sound impressive, they become much more meaningful when you collect a few pieces of data from your facility and run some calculations to determine what your motor operating costs really are. Two tools from the MDM campaign—a simple savings chart and a motor slide calculator—can help you do just that. Enter information about operating hours, enclosure type, motor speed, motor size and electricity price and you can easily compare motor operating costs. Most people are surprised by the results. For instance, the annual cost to operate a fully loaded 100 HP, 1800 rpm TEFC motor running 8000 hours per year is $51,755. More efficient models could save $1700 annually. That’s just the tip of the cost-reduction iceberg, though. Even lower costs are possible through proper sizing and selection of new equipment to match load requirements. Adding speed control, like a variable speed drive, for example, enhances efficiency. Making these considerations a routine part of your plant’s purchasing-decisionprocess can dramatically cut operating costs and improve your site’s bottom line. Still, understanding motor-system operating costs is just the first step. Once these costs are known and understood, purchasing policies are needed to make TCO a standard business practice for all motor-driven equipment. The Motor Decisions Matter campaign can help. Visit to access the Simple Savings Chart and other decision tools, case studies and more. Then contact your local energy-efficiency program to learn what support it provides for motorsystem efficiency. You don’t have to let massive energy inefficiency get the best of your bottom line. MT The Motor Decisions Matter campaign (MDM) is managed by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE), a North American nonprofit organization that promotes energy-saving products, equipment and technologies. Email:; telephone: (617) 589-3949.

MAY 2014


Get Rich Quick and Become an Instant CEO Jane Alexander Deputy Editor


everal years ago in this column (“Secrets Revealed,” pg. 6, Maintenance Technology, Sept. 2010), I wrote about an encounter I had with a freshly minted mechanical-engineering grad sitting next to me on a long flight from somewhere to somewhere. I had asked my young fellow traveler—who happened to be returning home from a couple of fun-filled weeks at the beach—what he planned to do with the degree his parents had, in his words, evidently sacrificed greatly to fund. “Get an MBA,” he proudly announced, “start and run a business.” He was clearly tanned, rested and, in his own mind, ready to go. I was appalled, given the facts he shared with me regarding the five years he spent in engineering school: He had not been part of a co-op program, interned or even visited an actual plant during all that time. Nor, as far as he could recall, had he actually put his hands on a real compressor, pump, motor, valve, bearing or seal. The types of courses he was not required to take were also troubling.

What type of impact will this movement have on our businesses in the future?

I remember thinking at the time that someone who was excited about running a business—in this case, an engineering-based one—but was so ill-prepared to do it must be an anomaly. Theoretical “book-learning,” after all, may have some limitations in the real world. Not so fast. My young friend from the airplane may have been on the cusp of a new movement. According to a Planet Money piece entitled “Seeking a Fortune through Search Funds,” by Ashley Milne-Tyte that aired May 5 on NPR’s Morning Edition program, some college graduates have begun turning up their noses at good job offers in favor of what they consider a faster track to success. They want to be CEOs, “not in 15 years, but now.” To do it, they hope to convince investors to fund their salaries and expenses

MAY 2014

while they look for companies that the investor(s) will buy and let the graduate(s) run. As Milne-Tyte’s story points out, these pitches are working more frequently than some of us might imagine. In fact, the resulting arrangements have become a real and growing “corner of the investing world.” Such investments are known as search funds, “and there are plenty of investors out there looking for young people to invest in.” One of them is Rich Kelley, of Search Fund Partners. The process works like this: “These young guys (and they are nearly all guys) are called searchers. They look for solid companies with good earnings potential.” Kelley says eight or 10 investors like him each hand over about $30,000. “Added up, that covers a salary and travel expenses for up to two years while the person hunts.” Overall, it’s less than what Kelly would pay “a fulltime employee to scout for juicy deals.” Clearly, the young searchers are doing all the work. If they’re successful, the investors get a cut and a chance to invest even more. The downside, however, is if a searcher never finds a company and burns through his/her money. Coming from a long line of entrepreneurs, I have enormous respect for anyone with the passion, stamina and sweat it takes to build a successful business. To my way of thinking, it’s a parental responsibility to foster ambition and drive in our children. Raising my own son, I never let a day go by without reminding him he could do anything he wanted to do—and change the world while he was at it. So where will the “get rich quick/instant CEO” zeal of the business-school grads referenced in this radio story actually take them? And, if this cockamamie approach to real life becomes more widespread, how will it impact U.S. businesses—including our engineering-based companies and operations—in the future? I wasn’t the only listener with questions. To listen to and/or read the full transcript of this Planet Money story, please go to money/2014/05/05/308352614/seeking-a-fortunethrough-search-funds. I also encourage you to read through some of the many comments associated with it. Then, let me know what you think about the issue and how it applies to our industry. MT



Think Like Sherlock Holmes Gary Mintchell Executive Director


uch of the training I’ve had in manufacturing is about how to think. Consider the facets of Lean training: getting away from your desk and observing; asking “why” five times; imagining the process. That intrepid character from the fertile mind of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle of the nineteenth century has suddenly become popular again showing off his unique skills of thinking. There have been Sherlock Holmes movies, some BBC mini-series and an American TV drama, Elementary. Science/psychology writer Maria Konnikova has leveraged the resurgence of Holmes’ popularity with a readable, yet deep dive, into his mind. Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes should be the essential reading of today’s young engineers, much like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was for a previous generation. It’s a guidebook on thinking and problem-solving. Just like we would train an engineer to pay attention to facts and processes when troubleshooting a manufacturing problem, Konnikova says, “Choice of attention—to pay attention to this and ignore that—is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer. In both cases, man is responsible for his choice and must accept the consequences. As [Spanish philosopher] Ortega y Gasset said, ‘Tell me to what you pay attention, and I will tell you who you are.’”

At its essence, engineering is problem-solving, (and) math training is essentially training in thinking. I highly recommend ‘thinking about thinking’ for our present and future engineers. So how can we train our brains to think like Holmes? This question occupies Konnikova’s book, and her answer can be summed up in one word: mindfulness. Mindfulness is “staying in the present moment and learning how to concentrate and how

48 |


to focus your mind so that it really can avoid any distractions, can avoid anything that might kind of get it off track.” This “scientific method of mind” makes use of the brain as an “attic” in the sense that the space in the brain is a finite resource. To think like Sherlock you need to optimize your mental resources, then figure out how you can take the things you’ve stored and access them in a way where you can “see the bigger picture and not just these random components” that you put there.

Lifelong learning Sherlock Holmes is what you would describe as a lifelong learner. The scientific method doesn’t have an end. “It’s going to be a constant feedback loop,” Konnikova tells us. Sherlock approaches a situation with a prepared mindset, but his method requires thousands of hours of practice. Our brains have an extraordinary ability to grow and expand. The key to thinking like Sherlock is to train your brain in ways that expand your imagination. But this whole process is much more than attention to detail (the right details) and accessing your “attic” storehouse of information. To make everything work, you must have powers of imagination. You must quiet the mind and let the imagination weed out the obviously bad answers and combine the remaining facts in ways that eventually lead to a solution. Konnikova concludes with this very important thought: “If you get only one thing out of this book, it should be this: The most powerful mind is the quiet mind. It is the mind that is present, reflective, mindful of its thoughts and its state. It doesn’t often multitask, and when it does, it does so with a purpose.” I’ve heard it said that at its essence, engineering is problem-solving. Much training in math is essentially just training in thinking. I highly recommend “thinking about thinking” for our present and future engineers. MT Gary Mintchell,, is the Executive Director of Maintenance Technology magazine and a long-time writer on manufacturing, leadership and technology.

MAY 2014


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Maintenance Technology May 2014  

THE SOURCE FOR RELIABILITY SOLUTIONS maintenance, innovation, automation, capacity assurance, reliability, industrial, sustainability, manag...

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