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Thanks Nick of A.T. Kearney for submitting a problem.       
Problem : Do you know of any publications, articles etc that address critical spares in terms of identifying them etc.
Solution :When determining criticality in relationship with spare parts list, the vast amount of variables does not allow a generic template to be made. Each facility/industry has different layouts, machines, priorities, management techniques and environments. All of which affect the spare parts decision. The very basic guide line is all one can utilize for their specific facility.

Look at breakdown history and OEM spares recommendations for machines/lines that have been determined most critical for that particular facility (like bottlenecks). One plant may be lacking on PM dedication and frequently have to replace a specific bearing, where another plant with the exact same production and machine, may never have to, because they religiously perform recommended PMs (operating environment is deferent). Another plant may have a 'run till breakdown policy, which requires different parts and number of parts to be stored, than a plant that uses predictive management and scheduled downtime (management technique is different). One facility may place more importance/criticality on a specific line because it supplies a big customer who is the company's bread and butter (different priorities).

More examples are illusive like a corrugated plant (cardboard box plant) where all have the corrugators as a bottleneck because it supplies the entire plant with product to be finished. But from plant to plant, each corrugators made be made up of different machines varying in design and quality. I could make from my experience with PLCs (computer that controls 99% of all machines) that output cards are more likely to go out before input cards and processors are rare to ever break down. But even with in that general assumption, variables can make a big difference. For example in a machining plant, input cards may have more frequent breakdowns because sensors are submerged in penetrating liquid. So once again the breakdown history of each facility is most critical to determining part criticality.

RE: Mike Sondalini's Article on "The Japanese Path to Maintenance Excellence"
See also: Mike�s �Production Risk Management Using Equipment Criticality Analysis Ebook� and his latest ebook; True Downtime Cost Analysis - 2nd Edition Ebook. 

Other relevant references: "Defect and Failure True Cost"

Thanks E B Products for submitting a problem.       
Problem :I need to know if and what is the link between machine availability and the maintenance budget.  If there is no predetermined link, how do I go about determining if we spend our money on the right things?  a Bit of background - our maintenance budget has been overspend by 30% for the past 9-12 months and I can't see any improvement on the plant reliability
Solution :We at Business Industrial Network have dedicate a site to resolve just this issue you mentioned. The site is if you are not already aware of it.

As pointed out on that site, your first task is to identify your "Truly" greatest opportunity for improvement while having a methodology in place to measure that improvement.

1. Are you familiar with OEE? If not please see ...

Tip: You want to try this out to see your quickest and greatest improvement first, so Identify your bottlenecks first. (Some may have escaped your mind in day to day decisions :>) see ...

2. Now that you have identified your area of greatest improvement (opportunity), use the "True Downtime Cost" methodology to calculated the true amount of dollars (bottom line) the lack of reliability is costing you. Which will be the amount of savings to the company as a result of your reliability improvement. See ...

Note: You may find your budget is too small and by proving to upper management how great of ROI you are getting, they will increase budget if necessary for you to get the most results. Another scenario is the one you first suspected originally, you may find you where focusing on an area that had little opportunity for improvement. :>)

3. Go back, and use the methods above to identify all bottlenecks, equipment, and opportunities, so you can prioritize them in an order that meets with your company's goals. Study all the material at first so you build your reliability improvement system on a rock, that will not fail you. Using standards outlined at and technologies already existent (see to insure quick and sustained success.

I hope that this answers your question thoroughly.

Thanks Greg of GAPAC for the info.       
Problem :Our Pentek APCS system was acting very unstable. It was causing our plant to fill up and starve out machines.
Solution :Actually APCS will "fill up" your plant do to many reasons. The first step is to view a downstream machine (converting) on the APCS work station to analyze why machine is running out of material.
You can quickly accomplish this by looking for red on any area of the screen associated with the line in question.
1. Is in-feed conveyor indicated as full? (little red square on upstream end)
2. Is the Power off to the in-feed? (entire conveyor red)
3. Is the PIOS in computer mode? (Click on little orange square next to conveyor)
4. Is the work available and scheduled? (is there any loads on storage same color as machine?)
5. Check machine schedule to see if #1 sequence schedule is marked "Ok to retrieve" or "Retrieving" (do this by clicking on machine, if answer is no, must schedule in KiWee)
6. Is storage line where #1 is located faulted? (Line number highlighted in red)
7. Is load to be retrieved faulted (Red square around load)
8. Oh yea, is car in automatic????
If you checked all these, and it still won't send loads to machine, we would say; "call your Pentek conveyor representative, there may be a problem with the system". Unfortunately Pentek is out of business, so use BIN95 Quick Help form, and it will immediately page one of our engineers. We stay in contact with all the top engineers and technicians that used to work for Pentek. We even have contacts with the manufacturers who make the Pentek parts.

Thanks G. D. Walter for the info.       
Problem :Working on a four zone gas dryer. Each zone has two burners. All four zones ignite properly, but after only a short time of operation, all burners go out. What's my problem?"
Solution :More information is needed to help you out. Information and equipment specifics will help us to help you narrow down all the possible variables involved in a textile dryer system.

Initially we would say it sounds like it is a safety tripping, thus shutting all 4 burners down, instead of 1. Check your master-control circuit in this context, working your way to master solenoid coil.

If you have not resolved the problem as of yet, please send more information. 1. Type and model of machine? IE: Mascoe's, Vastex, Texair, Vortex, 2. What you have checked so far? and What where findings? 3. Are pilots staying lit?

Thanks valcham for the info.       
Problem :We are looking for someplace to order decals for our members to display in their business windows showing they are a member of this chamberck.
Solution :You could use an online quote system of Express Image company.

Thanks lynx812 for the info.       
Problem : I have a machine with numerous oil leaks. I need to find them all without having to clean up the machine first. I've heard about some type of dye you can add to oil so can track the leaks. Anybody have any experience with this? What kind of dye is it and where can I get some quick!
Solution :The most popular on the internet is Another popular one in many maintenance and automotive shops is

Thanks CLAUSEHV for the info.       
Problem : Does an Eccentric reducer in a suction line to a pump, go flat on top, or flat on bottom? I don't want the pump to cavitate.
Solution : The objective of suction piping is to guide fluid into the pump with minimum flow distortion. Proper Orientation depends on the location of the suction vessel with respect to the pump center line (C/L). If Suction Above C/L then put Eccentric Flat Side on Bottom (or Concentric), if Suction Below C/L then put Eccentric Flat Side on Top (Concentric Not Recommended).

Thanks kc of India for the info.       
Problem : I would like to receive latest developments in manufacturing /machineries thro email , if such services are available?
Solution : We added a section in response to your inquiry. It is on our Ezine page.( Keep checking back, we will add more later!

Thanks yannbou for the info.       
Problem : I'm looking for information about life distribution of ball bearings . I'd like to know distribution type (normal, weibull, exp. ) and all others characteristics.
Solution : R = exp (-((H/(H10*6.84))^1.17) From reliability, its easy to find cumulative problem (1 - R) and after the distribution.

Thanks dberling of modem pool for the info.       
Problem : Flange is warped and scratched. Looking for alternative solution instead of replacing.
Solution : PYRO-TEX... The gasket on a spool will fill the scratches and pits will work on warped flanges with low torque value on bolts.

Thanks target for the info.       
Problem : Looking for the best installation for unloading sand cargo from the ships of range 18,000 to 26,000 DWT. It seems that the conveyor combinations may answer the problem but portable sets for several ships for sharing in one port is to be considered. The lift of the cargo is about 21 meters. The using of the grabs and cranes onboard are not efficient enough. No sound solution was determined.
Solution : National Conveyor Works may be able to take care of your conveying needs.

Thanks dberling for the info.       
Problem : Valves are exceeding fugitive emission standards set by EPA.
Solution : Problem is solved by the use of Slade Packing which has the lowest emissions. Exceeds EPA and AQMD standards.

Thanks walnut for the info.       
Problem : On a Multigraphics 1250 10x15 we had the problem of press sheets not passing to the delivery consistently.
Solution : By adjusting the head stops so the instant the feed roller lifted off the sheet the stop fingers dropped. Timing is everything!

Thanks calviry for the info.       
Problem : Boiler would start normally controller would detect flame all operating sequence. Until boiler got to set point it would go into alarm
Solution : Boiler service company came out and piddled with it until he was thoroughly confused. I then went out and determined that he had adjusted the safety limit for max operating pressure higher than the low fire limit mercury switch.

Thanks uecker for the info. 

Problem : up down hoist limit switches on overhead 10 ton crane not functioning
Solution : We we put a heavier weight on the limit switch trigger to trip the switch

Thanks normandee2 for the info.       
Problem : to switch from cold a/c to the hot a/c some times it doesn't happen right away . why?
Solution : I usually wait like a min. between either cold to the hot and from the hot to the cold.

Thanks jcol846139 for the info.       
Problem : a/c cooling in the lobby the cold air in the lobby area wasn't being evenly distributed through out the lobby areas to the main office and the two companies located in the lobby area also the temperature would jump around and wouldn't be put out at even temps
Solution : the lobby in the complex I work for has a suspended ceiling with tiles and I have found it to be that if the tiles are not all in place the way they need to be the air isn't circulated through out the area so to all maintenance staff who has a suspended ceilings in there complexes make sure that you have them all in place if you have any question about this issues or any others please feel free to send me a instant message or e-mail me.

Thanks itec for the info.       
Problem : Would anyone know of a software/program that can read *.eds All I know is that and eds extension is from a computer sewing program. I have access to a Mac or IBM but I do not see the association to convert.
Solution :  has a program called EDS III ver. 3.20 that only requires WIN95,16MBRAM,10MB hard drive space. For more info visit there site or email or

Note: EDS is also Electronic Drive Settings, like those used in an ABB drive.

Thanks bairacudda for the info.       
Problem : How can I find the sources of numerous hydraulic leaks.
Solution : You can add an ultra-violet trace dye to your sump of hydraulic oil. After the machine runs for awhile, use a hand held ultra-violet light to look at all parts of the machine. The leak sources will glow, and can be marked with a grease pencil.

Thanks dura-fix for the info.       
Problem : How can I fix a rupture in small diameter aluminum tubing.
Solution : Aluminum welding rods are good for this kind of repair. It has no drip through, which is essential for small diameter tubes, and you can repair it with a hand held torch instead of a welding machine. For more information see Durafix

Thanks bairacudda for the info.

Problem : I need to measure the wear between gears that aren't accessible without taking the entire machine apart. I can't afford the down time for such a task. Are there any measurement tools for this sort of problem?
Solution : You can measure the wear of the gears using a "Boroscope" with video, but only if you know the original gear dimensions.

Thanks indcntrl for the info.       
Problem : D/C Motor Drive kept tripping out on I.O.C. for United Glue Unit.
Solution : The main Motor contactor for the glue roll drive was slow or binding up in its travel to engagement. Tried replacing contacts in contactor did not help. Also replaced D/C drive module did not help. Contactor was mounted separate of module. Won that chess Game!

Thanks STRCO1 for the info.       
Problem : Marquip cutoff knife won't hold length at speeds over 450 FPM
Solution :longview writes......Marquip knife, my first inclination would be to check the calibration of any tach's or servo motors on the knife (I would suspect that the rise in feedback voltage should be linear). Also most Marquip knifes have multiple drive motors (up to four) and if one or more aren't running properly you would see the affects most noticeably at higher speeds.


With high speed equipment, troubleshooting requires a lot of details. Of course the vendor on the phone would best be suited for this situation, but I think you might find the following info useful. If it is E-flute several corrugator modifications were necessary to run E-flute at high speeds. "Long-run E-flute is somewhat unique in that this sheet is a very long, narrow noodle like a Sheet of 30 x 115 inches and is difficult to control through the knife and stacker. To solve this, the stacker can be modified with Marquip's Sync-Vac double down stacker, which prevents the sheet from buckling between the knife and the entrance to the stacker. "Most stackers use vacuum deceleration," explains Art Burkart, marketing analyst of Marquip. "The problem is that the vacuum force is always on, drawing the leading edge of the flimsy sheet down when all you want is the trailing edge. What we've done is developed a system that turns the vacuum on and off. As the sheet's trailing edge is exiting the knife coming onto the stacker, the vacuum turns on. Then it turns off as soon as the sheet is decelerated into the shingle."

Thanks for the info.

Problem :What's TIG and MIG?

Solution :TIG - Tungsten Inert Gas; A small torch with a tungsten electrode is used to make the arc inside an envelope of an inert gas, usually argon or some argon mixture. A filler rod is manually introduced to complete the weld. The resulting weld is very pretty and usually requires no further finish.

MIG - Metal Inert Gas;MIG and wire feed are the same thing. In this process, a consumable wire electrode is fed from a spool to the torch where the weld occurs inside an envelop of pure carbon dioxide, pure argon or a mixture of both. The weld continues as long as the operator has the trigger depressed and there is something to weld.

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PLC's | Paper | C.N.C. | Molding | Extruder | Electronic | CMMS | Computer | Internet |