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Industrial MRO

The Industrial MRO Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about inventory and asset management, products and services, cost & energy savings and maintenance systems & solutions. Here, you'll find everything from application ideas, to news and industry trends, to hot topics and cutting edge innovations.

Real-time Imaging of Methane Gas Leaks

Posted May 07, 2017 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Active hyperspectral imaging technology combines with a single-pixel camera to yield portable, low-cost, sensitive methane detection technology. The imaging system captures videos of methane gas leaking from a tube at about 0.2 l/min.

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3 comments; last comment on 05/14/2017
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Save Money, Boost ROI and Enhance OEE with Predictive Maintenance

Posted February 12, 2017 12:01 AM by Designerz

In order to save money you need to spend money – especially when financing predictive and preventative maintenance solutions for high-capital assets. In this case, even a relatively modest spend could potentially offset repair or lost-production costs that run into millions.

However, maintenance spend is, understandably, very hard to quantify in terms of its benefits, especially if nothing actually goes wrong; even more so when you couple it to budget competition from other disciplines.

In many instances computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) can help define a strategy and timetable and remove much of the guesswork and workload by determining the actual work to be undertaken on individual machines and assets.

This proactive approach is often supported by specialist products that offer a real-time snapshot of machine health. Such solutions range from simple temperature sensors and vibration probes all the way up to bespoke, fully featured condition monitoring (CMS) software and Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions.

Wear is often the primary issue in mechanical systems and can result in reduced tolerances, elevated heat levels, less than smooth movement and the loud squeals and grinding noises that foreshadow something going seriously wrong. The good news is, with proper servicing and regular observation, mechanical systems can easily match and even exceed the predicted overall life of the machine.

Heat generation can actually be used to your advantage thanks to the ability to measure it using simple, inexpensive temperature sensors. One example would be the PN151 NFC Infrared Temperature Sensor from Calex. By mounting a sensor like this near potential wear points, operators can be quickly made aware of any issues. Another approach would be to use thermal-visualisation solutions, such as those offered by FLIR, which are designed to highlight hotspots.

In rotating equipment, wear can also be accompanied by vibration. In this case, specialist vibration sensors, such as those from SKF, can measure multiple vibration patterns and then differentiate between normal and abnormal signals. They can even highlight specific failure modes through advanced frequency analysis. These predictive maintenance products form an integral part of the range of RS solutions for customers looking to establish an effective plant maintenance programme.

Looking higher up the technological scale, we are also seeing a new advent of software-based approaches, with some companies providing AI-based analytical solutions for maintenance operations – providing even more depth and real-time problem-solving capabilities to what is a vital function.

Maintenance expenditure should always be seen as something that can increase overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), enhance return on investment (ROI), lower repair costs, reduce damage and contribute to increased or maintainable product quality. And these are the tangible benefits that have to be at the forefront of any expense justification.

Editor's note: This is a sponsored blog post by RS Components.

3 comments; last comment on 02/14/2017
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Bill of Materials (BOM) Management Challenges

Posted February 02, 2017 12:47 PM by SavvyExacta
Pathfinder Tags: bom manufacturing

A bill of materials or BOM is often used in manufacturing. It can be challenging to track information and share effectively with all of the stakeholders. In this blog post, I'll explain what a BOM is and list some of the challenges.

BOM Definition

"A bill of materials or product structure (sometimes bill of material, BOM or associated list) is a list of the raw materials, sub-assemblies, intermediate assemblies, sub-components, parts and the quantities of each needed to manufacture an end product. A BOM may be used for communication between manufacturing partners, or confined to a single manufacturing plant. A bill of materials is often tied to a production order whose issuance may generate reservations for components in the bill of materials that are in stock and requisitions for components that are not in stock." - Wikipedia

A BOM can be modular (describing sub-assemblies), configurable (for multiple options), or multi-level (using parent-child relationships to list).

Items listed in a BOM might include BOM level, part number, part name, phase, description, quantity, unit of measure, procurement type, refrence designators, and notes.

Challenges of BOM Management

  • Tracking / managing changes required along the chain
  • Reconciliation and avoiding duplication
  • Configuration based around business rules for different products / processes
  • Tracking unused materials
  • Tracking for regulatory needs
  • Handling process changes driven by lean manufacturing or new order management systems
  • Customization
  • Level of detail required for different stakeholders
  • Whether to document consumables
  • How to attach related files, like CAD drawings

Does your workflow include a BOM? What challenges do you face?

Free whitepaper: Has Your BOM Solution Bombed? - Arena Solutions

10 comments; last comment on 02/04/2017
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Predictive Analytics Lead to Better-planned Maintenance

Posted June 21, 2016 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

The ability to forecast when a machine might go down is the Holy Grail of industrial maintenance. Using data collected from sensors within the equipment, the plant engineer determines the best course of action to address the troublesome component or parameter before it leads to asset failure. But many plants hesitate to start the journey toward predictive maintenance, often because decision makers are too busy firefighting, troubleshooting, and doing more work with fewer resources.

Editor's Note: This news brief was brought to you by the Industrial MRO eNewsletter. Subscribe today to have content like this delivered to your inbox.

2 comments; last comment on 06/21/2016
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Delving Into Verified Subs With

Posted June 05, 2016 12:00 AM by ahorner_22

One of the unique services we offer at Radwell International is private label verified sub products. Basically these are Radwell brand substitute parts that provide value for our clients and save them money. Radwell verified subs are a great option, and I got to chat with Alan Gage, Radwell Brand Manager, about this unique service that we offer our clients to find out more about the process and the benefits.

What exactly is a verified sub?
A verified sub is a quality product that can replace another product at a cheaper price or a matching price. Typically our pricing is based off OEM list price. We usually take 40% ( or greater ) off the list price whenever possible.

What are the benefits of using verified sub parts for clients?
For the client, cost savings is definitely a big benefit. Also, the client will increase working relationships which may gain them an ability to get a deeper discount down the line for future needs. An additional benefit to clients using verified subs is it allows them to support and put money back into a smaller company rather than using and funding a big manufacturer. Economically supporting a smaller company rather than a corporate giant is a way to make an impactful personal statement.

Editor's Note: This is a sponsored blog post by Radwell International.

2 comments; last comment on 11/18/2016
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