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LEAN | TPM | Autonomous Maintenance Steps

This is article introduces Lean TPM autonomous maintenance step 0 and provides implementation solutions and advice. You may know the 7 steps of Autonomous Maintenance, but did you know there is a step 0 before Autonomous Maintenance step 1? AM Step 0 first educates operators on understanding how equipment works and general  maintenance best practices like TPM, predictive maintenance, RCA, etc. By starting with step 0, operators have a better understanding and increased buy-in of the other 7 AM steps, greatly increasing the success and return on investment of your AM program.


PLC Examples from the Entertainment Industry

This is a fun article demonstrating working with PLC SCADA can be even more fun than you thought. We explorer PLC applications in the Las Vegas entertainment industry and the advantage gained from that diverse PLC programming background. From From theme park rides, sports simulators, choreographed water and light shows, to theatrical productions, and much more!


Maintenance Safety Training Programs Cal-OSHA

This Maintenance Safety Training Programs (Cal OSHA) article is a safety maintenance checklist based on California OSHA standards, but can be applied anywhere. Included is the maintenance safety program PDF, so you can share at your safety meeting. A great start for those wanting to insure their maintenance occupational safety is not lacking.


PAC - PLC Troubleshooting Guide

When asked "How to do PLC troubleshooting?", most scholastic types, OEMs etc. reply how to troubleshoot a PLC. When really what the person needs most out in the real-world, is how to troubleshoot equipment and process using a PLC or PAC. This article explains the latter.


Mechanical Aptitude Test Practice Guide

What is the mechanical aptitude test (MAT)? And why you should take mechanical aptitude practice test. It is not just a mechanical test, but electrical too. One could call it a maintenance test, maintenance mechanic test.


How to prepare for Mechanical engineering career aptitude tests.

Mechanical engineering career aptitude tests are one of the most common aptitude tests, and they measure knowledge of mechanical engineering technology, electrical, and physical concepts. Learn how to be prepared, outperform the competition, and get hired.


Mechanical Engineering Newsletters for Students

A peak inside 10 editions of our industrial mechanical engineering newsletter PDFs. Mechanical Engineering Newsletter for Students (Easy to understand practical application examples and tips). Here we outline one of the weekly Mechanical Engineering Newsletter PDF for you and give you free access to the first 10 editions of volume 1.


Why so much theoretical in electrical engineering degree programs?

Answers the common question Electrical Engineering students have: Why is there so much theoretical, and so little practical application instruction [hands-on], in college Electrical Engineering degree programs. Senior Instructor Don, answers that common question in this article, with a unique analogy that may help clarify that question for students.


What is the easiest PLC to program?

A very common question by those just starting out is "What is the easiest PLC to program?". This article answers that question and explains how that answer was derived. Also answers what are the top PLC brands and what are the applications of PLCs.


PLC Safety and Reliability

Most seasoned vets of the Industry know PLC Safety is typically covered well, in the phases of specification and design. They also know during start-up [commissioning] PLC safety risk starts to increase. But what about the other 90% of the lifecycle of the equipment? This article covers that 90% of risk working with automation. Please share this one, the life you save may be your own.


Alternatives to Lean Six Sigma Failures

Industrial and Manufacturing Wellness (IMW) way is a systemic approach to Lean Six Sigma alternatives. Lean business systems, industrial process systems, ISI 9001 and Six Sigma failures can be avoided by the Industrial and Manufacturing Wellness way. World renown author Mike Sondalini explains in this article why the lean business model does not work for all.


CNC Maintenance | PLC Troubleshooting | Flowchart-Article

The CNC PLC troubleshooting flowchart example in this article is based on the scenario the CNC machine wont cycle start because the safety door closed signal is not being detected by CNC. From machine operator level CNC troubleshooting to maintenance technician PLC troubleshooting.


Industry 4.0 in USA : Risk

A major drawback to Industry 4.0 that few write about is maintenance of an industry 4.0 plant. The maintenance aspect is a much greater and immediate drawback than even the commonly known major concern of security, and the lesser concern of system integration standards. Maintenance of 4.0 systems has, and will continue to result in related huge increases in process downtime. The barriers to overcoming the maintenance/downtime drawbacks of a 4.0 system are addressed in this article.


PLC Training Video Transcription: PLC Wiring Tutorial

This PLC training video transcription is for the PLC wiring tutorial video on the page. "NEMA has developed a set of standards for Programmable Logic Controllers. This standard recommends that serious consideration be given to the use of an emergency stop or safety circuit..."


PLC Technician Training Certification

What PLC Technician training a company should look for in their new hires and in current employee. With your electricians, you look for hands on instructor based training and evaluation (not just scholastic education), why should your criteria for PLC technician training requirements be anything less?


Instrumentation and Process Control Training

These are two sections from the Instrumentation and Process Control book (33 page whitepaper). The two sections excerpted here are Differential Pressure Transmitters and the Capacitance Level Sensor Principle section.


Infrared Applications: Thermography Applications for businesses

Infrared Applications: With many examples of thermography applications for businesses, this article shows how the Online Infrared Training Center grows both careers and business revenues!


What is Infrared Thermography?

This article: What is infrared thermography, also includes the what is thermography video. Both included what is thermography and how does thermal imaging work and its industrial applications like thermographic survey infrared thermal imaging and more.


CMMS Implementation Advice

CMMS implementation guide and recommendations for small to medium sized companies. With the decrease in cost of highly-reliable and powerful IT equipment, the benefits of a CMMS are well within reach of any organization regardless of size.


Industrial Valve Maintenance

Extending the life of your valves and reducing industrial valve repair with valve maintenance .  Poorly maintained valves don't last as long as they should because they're prone to sudden failures.


TPS Lean Principles: Respect for People

TPS Lean principle of respect for people is a difficult and often misunderstood task until you read this article. For the TPS (Toyota Production System ) principle of respect, many fail to succeed because their priorities focus on what people are doing, more than who the people are.


PLC Controller Failure Rate (PLC MTBF)

This article answers the question... What are PLC controller failure rates? It also covers equipment failure rate from a PLC failure rate perspective (automation controller).


Training Cost Justification (ROI)

This training cost justification example highlights the key ROI for a training cost analysis of our PLC and Electrical training video courses. The PLC and electrical video courses have a unique advantage, as one purchase trains unlimited employees.


LEAN Maintenance Management via the Six Sigma Black Belt

The LEAN Maintenance Six Sigma Black Belt article explores why are there so few Six Sigma black belts in Six Sigma maintenance departments. In the manufacturing future, there will be less humans and more automation, thus more focus on Lean maintenance management.


PASS 55 via the Plant Wellness Way

This article introduces the equipment reliability program PWW (Plant Wellness Way)
by the ISO 55001 asset management specialists. The free PDF and spreadsheet in this
article help with PASS 55 implementation and to prepare you for ISO 55001.


PLC PAC Difference - PAC Automation Controller Defined

This PLC PAC Difference article defines the PAC automation controller in relationship to the PLC. A PLC vs PAC comparison. Even more importantly, this article explains in great detail the need to differentiate when it comes to requesting and delivering PAC and/or PLC training.


Automated Predictive Maintenance - Phase Angle Diagnostics of Rotating Equipment

Phase Angle Diagnostic results in earlier detection than Vibration Diagnostics. science of Predictive Maintenance (PdM), a Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) program and how to detect earlier, how to automate PdM.


Innovative Cleaning and Inspection Plays a Critical Role in Refinery Debottlenecking

Increase production while reducing expenditure within the oil and gas refinery industries and reduce CO emissions with this article on clean heat exchanger tubes.


What's an Industrial Maintenance Technician?

...and how do you become one? Should you? Where on the promotion/career tree is a "Industrial Maintenance Technician" Job? This article tries it's best to answer these questions, but it it's not easy.


Devil's advocate: Mechatronics engineer and technician

Mechatronics engineer, Mechatronics Technician and Mechatronics education in a commentary about the USA's diluted educational and employment in manufacturing. One of two articles written to spark controversy and conversation.


Devil's advocate: Manufacturing Career Path

Manufacturing Career Path Suffers Education Skills Gap. This is a commentary about how and why the USA no longer has a viable manufacturing career path for its young. The second of two articles written to spark controversy and conversation.


Training Half Life, worker refresher training?

Refresher training case study and advisory for worker retraining advocacy. Informative article by Sam McNair (CMRP) on job retraining. Points out employee retraining every 2-3 years and turnaround on that worker retraining investment.


Industrial Networking Solutions Security - PLC, SCADA
Industrial network security solutions essential to today's PLC - SCADA security. Lack of security on an industrial network could cause a serious threat to the system, to the personnel involved in it, in fact, production machines networks without proper security can cause physical damage to man and machine. This article should help you


Electrical Preventive Maintenance Will Keep You Safe and Warm

With much of the nation buried under mountains of snow or enduring freezing temperatures, now is the time to make sure that your industrial facilities have been inspected for potential electrical problems. Without proper preventive maintenance on your electrical systems, disaster can happen before you have time to thaw.


Developing Competencies During The Economic Downturn

Developing competencies open roads to worker productivity in the workplace, employability, and sustainable development.
This article by Armando Justo points out competency based training to improve employee skills will be key differentiators for future success of organizations and countries alike.


Maintenance Managers in the Pursuit of World-Class Performance

Detail how a savvy maintenance manager can cause organizational change, and why.

Improve the management and control capabilities of the maintenance function by using the proper KPIs. This advanced knowledge and insight is invaluable for the Maintenance Managers career planning. 


Using the Best Online Resources to Find A Job

Best US Government online resources reviewed.

While the article is focused on specific tools to contact employing companies, the premise of the two US Government sites talked about are to provide tools to broaden the job seekers choices for employment.


Residential Electrician to Industrial Electrician Career Guide

Automated industry and retiring baby-boomers increase demand.

A Career Guide for Residential Maintenance and Residential Electricians. The residential maintenance persons should keep the much higher paying Industrial Maintenance career option as an industrial careers pathway.


Asbestos fibers in manufacturing plants

Asbestos use inside manufacturing plants was common practice in the United States throughout most of the 20th century. This article help you indentify those risk and protect worker exposure to asbestos.


Total Productive Maintenance definition as married to TPM

Total Productive Maintenance: what is it? Much like a successful marriage.

After the honey moon, he has his stereotypical jobs and she hers. When we consider that a similar, but much more serious phenomenon is happening from decades in industry, we can easily trace a common denominator.


Recession survival tips for Manufacturing Industry

Recession survival tips on how and why not to cut training.  ...

About the methods for US Manufacturing Industry to adjust for the knowledge vacuum caused by retiring baby boomers with training, while dealing with tight training budgets during a recession.


Converting AB PLC DH485 to USB

Converting AB PLC DH485 to RS232 and then to USB can be tricky.  ...

This article is a guide to connecting a PLC to a laptop with only USB ports. This article covers how to find the port number for USB converter and the dos and don'ts of using Allen Bradley cables with USB converter as well as some money saving tips when purchasing cables.


How to Reduce Data Errors on Infrared Surveys

Common problems in gathering accurate infrared data ...

This article is about how to reduce infrared data errors when conducting infrared scanning surveys for electrical equipment testing and building scanning. This infrared data article is a great edition to our many resources for troubleshooting electrical problems.


CMMS Systems Integration

CMMS integration with current systems, solutions - implementation..

This article offers insight to integrating your CMMS or Maintenance Management Systems with other systems like your inventory, accounting, purchasing systems and other enterprise management systems. Some examples of CMMS/Accounting system integration are provided while touching on the topic of shop floor data systems and SCADA.


Supply Chain Management with RFID Systems

All about RFID systems for pharmaceutical distributors and the FDA regulations.

Article and whitepaper all about RFID systems for pharmaceutical distributors and the FDA regulations on drugs. The pharmaceutical supply chain makes an excellent example of supply chain management utilizing RFID for a track and trace system.


Slip and fall safety around chip machine.

Advice from Chip Systems International

Slip and fall advice by Chip Systems International for safety floor management around chip machine, briquetting equipment, mist collectors and other heavy machines.


Equipment Failure and the Cost of that Failure.

Excerpts from Mike Sondalini's book 'Defect and Failure True Costing'

The business of defect cost and equipment failure cost are covered in detail in this business article. Excepts from the author's book about DAFT Cost Management explorer production cost and the cost of failure. A must read for business operations management.


PID Controller Design, Model based control tuning.

Model-Based Tuning Methods for PID Controllers.

Discussed are the qualities required for "good" dynamic process data and tuning methods for dynamic modeling the process data for controller design. As it is common for process data studies to be performed with the PID controller in automatic (closed loop), this article is a must read.


Keys for Effective Electrical Troubleshooting

Analyzing a faulty electrical circuit .

Troubleshooting Electrical Circuits and Equipment can be a complex and hazardous process. This article describes the skills required to become an expert troubleshooter.


Hazardous Area Installations

92 % of sites safer without increasing the costs of compliance.

A recent study by the Health and Safety Executive, UK, 11 out of 12 facilities had potentially dangerous hazardous area electrical & instrument installations. This White Paper is an attempt to help engineers and managers, not only in the UK , but also elsewhere, to have a clear understanding of this subject and address the key issues involved.


How to Troubleshoot like an Expert Electrician

The 5 Step Electrical Troubleshooting Approach.

To expertly troubleshoot electrical equipment, problems must be solved by replacing only defective equipment or components in the least amount of time.


Maintenance Management of your company's PLC

PLCs are the brains of your operation.

When the PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers) is not functioning properly, lines shut down, plants shutdown, even city bridges and water stations could cease to operate. Thousands to millions could be lost by one little PLC in an electrical panel that you never even knew existed.


The Japanese Path to Maintenance Excellence

Japanese way to decide equipment criticality

Equipment criticality determines what level of preventative maintenance to use, what type and amount of condition monitoring to use and what type and amount of observation is required from the operators. We can learn  from Mike's visit to a major Japanese manufacturer.


M2M Device Networking

Enabling New Possibilities for Preventive Maintenance

An article about how the ability to extract raw data from a device, machine or appliance and convert that data into useful information transforms the decision-making from an art to a science.


How a photoelectric sensor saved my job

A more advanced photo sensor on a canning equipment

An article by author Larry Bush about how a more advanced photo sensor on a canning equipment seamer in the food processing industry had saved his job.


Electrical Industrial Troubleshooting

Electrical industrial troubleshooting - Motors, controllers and PLC

An article on electrical industrial troubleshooting with sections on industrial motor control and programmable logic controller. Covers problem solving with motor test and short circuit training.


Hydrocarbon Traces In Purging Nitrogen (by Chromatography)

Chromatograph removes hydrocarbons in catalyst hydroprocessing - regeneration.

When the reactors of Hydroprocessing Units and Reformers and other plant equipment are given for maintenance or for regeneration of the catalyst, it becomes necessary to remove all residual hydrocarbons from the system.


OEE - Automated Data Collection

OEE Reports - Automated Capturing & Recording of Availability Data

Moving Beyond Manual Data Collection & Manual Data Compilation. Automated capturing and recording of "Availability Information" is covered in this article. Future articles will address the automated data collection of Performance Rate and Quality Rate.


Lean maintenance using six sigma DMAIC

You can not have truly lean manufacturing without also having Lean Maintenance.

This article is a detailed overview of how to successfully implement Lean Maintenance. From identifying the barriers, defining the problem, to arriving at a solution. This article is a great start to controlling the project.


Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)

Many maintenance departments today still do not effectively utilize the OEE tool.

Overall Equipment Effectiveness is a benchmarking tool as well as an analysis tool. This article covers what OEE is, why you should use OEE, and how to use it.


The Change Management Plan

Focus On Results and Change the Culture Along the Way.

Equipment becomes more reliable, costs go down, and behaviors change along the way. The key is focusing on results - the kind of results that will get peoples attention on the plant floor as well as in the key decision makers offices.


The Knowledge Network

Networking people and information together.

The most powerful aspect about the knowledge network is often the most overlooked advantage. That advantage is a solution that results when two or more individuals communicating back and forth with a common goal.


Dry Ice Blasting

Dry Ice Blasting for Electric Motor Repair.

A case study for using dry ice blasting (CO2) for an electric motor rebuilder, compared to conventional methods such as sand blasting. Also how it eliminates hazardous waste disposal cost.


Automated Packaging

Increasing Efficiency and Reducing Costs With Packaging Automation

Automation is certainly the watchword as today's manufacturers face razor-thin profit margins, Just-In-Time (JIT) manufacturing and ISO-9002/QS-1000 quality standards.


CMMS Error Codes

CMM/CMMS - Facility Maintenance Management Software

Facility and fleet computerized maintenance management software help. While recording downtime, this article will make you more effective.


Maximum Hydraulic Component Life

Defining Fluid Temperature and Viscosity Limits

Many factors can reduce the service life of hydraulic components. Incorrect fluid viscosity is one of these factors.


CMMS ROI Calculator

How to cost justify your CMMS program.

A Return on Investment (ROI) calculation results in a value that represents the benefits received from a project against the total costs of the project.


CMMS to Reliability

Computerized Maintenance Management System

A very important aspect of CMMS software. Criteria for CMMS to satisfy facility reliability validity needs.


Asset Management

The Japanese Path to Maintenance Excellence.

Asset management series by world renowned maintenance author, Mike Sondalini who visits Japan to report on the Japanese way of doing maintenance.


The Funny Story about the Maintenance Job

A humorous look at the old maintenance mentality.

With the advent of technological advances and the movement from reactive maintenance to proactive maintenance, Bubba & Skeeter are officially deceased.


What is the True Downtime Cost (TDC)?
Predetermine the "True" cost of downtime for each profit center category.

TDC is a methodology of analyzing all cost factors associated with downtime, and using this information for cost justification and day to day management decisions.


Connecting together all PLCs of different vendors in your facility.
Some basic advice to help you on your research... There is more than one way to skin a cat. :>)

From PLC vendor proprietary networks to OPC server, and even to a Palm Pilot if you would like!


The Cost of Ignorance By Joel Leonard

How much is ignorance costing your organization?

Joel provides proactive solutions for manufacturing production and maintenance in his first of many financial analysis articles to come.


Planning for Emergency Power By John Swanson

Permanent backup, Mobile power, and Sourcing equipment.

Electricity is never more precious or more scarce than after a disaster. Lights are out, telephones disabled, businesses shut down.


A Spot vs. Group Re-lamping:

Do you feel like your always changing bulbs in your facility? Then you probably are. :>)

View some of the highlights of Sylvania's presentation online, and download the full 28 slides. You can use this to educate your management on the cost savings of group re-lamping.


A 5 cent shorted fuse can really cost you:

If you don't stock a certain fuse, documented cases show a cost of $27,000.

We want to help when you don't have an exact fuse match in stock.


The Future of Manufacturing:

Editorial reports about current events shaping the Manufacturing Industry.

These article are about the current industrial revolution, but most of the innovations will soon be standards in the industry.


Lubrication's Dirty Secrets:
Did you know that compressor oil cost is from $ 900.00 to $ 2000,00 per drum? lets you in on the secrets to extend your compressor life.


Corrugator Warp:
Get the warp out of your paper drive.
There is one time Warp Drive is not so cool, that's when the warp is driven your scrap rate up and reducing production.


Customer Complaints:
(Prevent or Perish).
Those who embrace and actively lead their organizations within a prevention strategy will lead the exceptional companies of the 21st century. Those who don't will perish. Which will you choose?


The 2nd YIELD:
Your current product line is the first yield.
Through MANAGEMENTS OF SCIENCE and MAINTENANCE you can obtain a second yield of services. This article is actually several excerpts and exhibits from the book.


A peek at PLCs
(Members questions answered).
We thought there might be more out there who could benefit from the answers to these questions


The Millennium Maintenance Man
(AKA: OEM Eliminator).
Entering into the millennium, we will see manufacturing plants becoming more and more automated. This will have maintenance supervisors looking for a different type of maintenance man.


Why should I upgrade to a Program Logic Controller, (PLC)?
That was the question posed to us, by one of our readers, so we hope this helps.


See also our PDF Maintenance and Engineering Articles.