Friday, April 27, 2012

Best Practices for Conveyor Maintenance

Conveyor Maintenance

What is your input on Best Practices for Conveyor Maintenance? via LinkedIn Discussion:

These are some highlights, see full discussion above on LinkedIn Plant Reliability & Maintenance Professional group at link above for more advice.
  • Be aware of and avoid overloading conveyors.
  • Inspection of conveyor drive components.
  • Inspect belt wash/ scraper system regularly.
  • Install Catenary sag gauges.
  • Auto lube systems for non-sealed points.
  • Use sealed bearings.
  • Use good Autonomous maintenance practices.
  • Evaluate design and procedures to limit starting and stopping as much as possible and to increase life-cycle.
  • Use CBM like IR on conveyor belts, rollers, motors, couplings, and control cabinets.
  • Do oil analysis on large conveyor gearboxes.
  • Keep area conveyor clean to stop possible fire or other issues safety wise
  • Clean conveyor system photo eyes too.
  • Use timers in PLC control to monitor conveyor product travel speeds for early mechanical problems detection.
  • Get initial load amperage reading of conveyor motors during commissioning, and compare to current readings for early problem detection. 
  • Nanocoat conveyor bearings and gearbox
  • Load transfer should be in center of conveyor.
  • Consider (TCO) when ordering or specifying conveyor parts.
Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .)Be sure to to stay on top!

Monday, April 23, 2012

7 Mistakes you don't want to hear your PLC Tech say.

WARNING: Your PLC Tech is most-likely not telling you about these mistakes made in the past or currently being made. If they had our PLC training, then they are most likely not making these mistakes anymore.

plc tech

In order from least likely mistake to most likely mistake.

7. PLC Tech makes PLC programming change that causes harm to others.
6. PLC Tech makes PLC programming change that causes damage to machine.
5. PLC Tech makes changes to PLC program that caused problem they are being requested to fix.
4. PLC Tech mistakenly takes hours instead of minutes to find the problem with equipment.
3. PLC Tech forgot to enter revision notes for PLC program changes
2. PLC Tech didn't realize safety risk of using 'force' function for PLC inputs and outputs.
1. PLC Tech forgot to make backup copies of all PLC programs.

If your PLC Tech gets our PLC troubleshooting, best-practices, safety and reliability training, they wont be making the mistakes above. So stop the 7 common mistakes being made at your facility, register your people for our PLC training today. Reduce risk to your company and set your mind at ease.

Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .) Be sure to to stay on top!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Solutions to the Skills Training Shortage

Yea, yea, heard about the skills shortage, but what about the solutions? Lets hear about that for a change!
skills shortage

1st, look at the four primary reasons for the national skills shortage. (In order of most contributed to problem, to least) The bottom line is always about money (not enough paid/cost too much).

1. Manufacturers not willing to pay for the new/right skill set. (Outline in article by Ryan Chittum)
2. Whiplash effect (manufacturing industry sold us out in the past for quick returns via cheap labor)(George Fletcher)
3. Disconnect between education providers and manufacturer's needs, and future needs.
4. Compounded by baby boomers retiring (and a little by economy)

Yes, the topic "Skill Shortage" is overplayed and over simplified. What needs more coverage is "Skill Shortage SOLUTIONS!"

National Skills Coalition is working on number 3 with a lot of viable solutions. But as well as those kind of big slow moving long term initiatives, we also need quick inexpensive short term solutions that appeal to the #1 barrier above (money) as well as the #2 (skills gap). Like real-world interactive troubleshooting training software that allows student first entering the job market to gain years of troubleshooting skills and experience, in just days.

Also specific skill sets that formal educational institutions neglected to teach, being taught by seasoned vets to the industry via short 3 day hands on workshops. (Not the typical seminars where textbook and theory are presented on PowerPoints, but actual hands-on real equipment, best-practices, safety and reliability type training.) These software and workshop solutions will help close the skills gap quicker, at minimum cost and time, there by addressing all 4 of the primary reasons for the skills gap. (links above are examples I know of, sure there are a few others out there too:>)

But back to the bottom line, yes manufacturing and educational institutions will need to step up to plate and spend more money on training to make up for their past shortcomings and short term gains. It always cost most in the long run, costing them more now than they saved in the past by cutting, and will cost them even more in the future if they skimp now. It is time for the industry to learn from past mistakes and do the responsible thing.

Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .) Be sure to to stay on top!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Autonomous Maintenance Level 2

autonomous maintenance

Autonomous Maintenance Level 2:
"At the core of world-class maintenance performance is something called autonomous maintenance." "...operators perform certain equipment maintenance activities and that maintenance crafts get closely involved in the daily operation of equipment. The focus of the operating team is on cleaning, inspecting, lubricating, monitoring and other such essential daily tasks traditionally within the domain of the maintenance department." (The above are excerpts for article Autonomous maintenance.)

After reading the above article and deciding your facility is on the right track towards wold-Class operation, you need to get the Silver CD set to take your facility to Autonomous Maintenance Level 2. <<< Click to see the maintenance training material and lubrication training software you can distribute to all your personnel in a single facility for one low price. (30 week Autonomous Maintenance training program covers everyone in a single facility for only $10 per week.)

Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .) Be sure to to stay on top!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Where's my CMMS Smart Phone App?


I lost my smart phone App, it was a CMMS App (Computerized Maintenance Management System) with the following features. Can anyone find me a replacement? My company was saving thousands using this mobile technology for our mobile facilities management. The features are ...
  • Scan QR code on machine to call up machine history, work-orders etc. automatically with your smart phone or tablet.
  • Scanning QR code also starts clock recording more accurate arival, downtime, repair time etc. for future analysis, process improvements and cost records. 
  • Record audio comments when noise levels permit to save time typing on small keyboard. 
  • Attached picture of machines current state/problem area directly to work order of machine history. 
  • Scan part bar-code to automatically look in inventory and see if part is in stock, with out wasting time to walk to parts room. 
  • Import infrared, vibration or other predictive maintenance report from tool directly into machine history database via Bluetooth or WiFi (Requires Bluetooth compatible PdM equipment for this feature)
  • Access/view past predictive maintenance readings stored in CMMS machine history database. 
  • Email copy of work-order status, special notes etc to appropriate manager/supervisor. Etc. Etc. 
  • Uses exiting smart phones as a mobile app to link to desktop software so no additional hardware required. 
  • Just install app on employee's smart phones, print QR codes and stick on machines. That's it!

Use comment area to let me know. ha ha Also if you have some additional ideas for mobile CMMS features comment here with them.
Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .) Be sure to to stay on top!