Plant & Works Engineering
Improving manufacturing with predictive analytics

Stefan Reuther, chief sales officer at COPA-DATA, explains how to leverage predictive analytics to reduce factory downtime and increase business competitiveness.

The answer to this month’s trouble shooter is provided by Henkel. Q: What are the options for stopping bearing spinout?


Putting the AI into maintenance

Over the past five years, the industrial sector has begun to see the value in digitalisation and has invested more in adopting it. With this has come a cultural shift from reactive equipment maintenance to proactive maintenance that pre-empts problems. Sean Robinson, service leader at industrial analytics platform supplier Novotek UK & Ireland reports.

Smart instrumentation

Developments in smart instrumentation and asset management systems are offering a raft of new opportunities for industrial process operators. Providing real-time access to an expanded array of information, these developments can help to dramatically improve process performance. PWE looks at the key developments that have taken place and the benefits they can bring in a process environment.

Maintenance life blood

Phil Taylor Associate Consultant, MCP Consulting Group, looks at maintenance software strategies.

Highlighting the IoT possibilities in maintenance

Europe's biggest conference on maintenance & asset management returns to Antwerp, Belgium between September 24-27. PWE reports.

New flowmeter technology

Flowmeter technology has made some significant steps in the past few years. While the traditional mechanical systems have remained relatively unchanged, the development of ultrasonic, sonar and magnetic systems has progressed significantly.

On the road with IoT

As more companies move to a predictive model of equipment maintenance, they are looking for ways to use connected devices to improve field service. George Walker, managing director of field service management software provider Novotek UK and Ireland, explains how the Internet of Things (IoT) is changing field service.

Turning data into value

Marc Heggemann, head of group commercial digital solutions at Sulzer, says that the future lies in gaining insight from the available data, and ensuring we have the right information at the right place at the right time. PWE takes a look at the company’s BLUE BOX advanced remote analytics platform.

Heat treatment processes

Q: Several heat treatment processes are available for gears, what’s the difference between them? The answer to this month’s trouble shooter question is provided by Dennis Lawson, gear expert with R. A. Rodriguez.

Ten times more service life for linear guides in robotic welding applications

A manufacturer of sheet metal assemblies recently sought a solution to short lifespan issues with the drive and guide elements on its automated welding systems. In fact, the linear guides for a robotic welding gun on one particular production line had to be replaced every two or three months. Due to the cost of replacement parts and maintenance time, as well as equipment downtime, the company asked NSK to investigate and provide a proposal to address the problem.-Image1.jpeg - Linear guides in robotic welding systems are subject to harsh operating conditions

CMMS: ‘Natural’ choice for best-practice maintenance

Highland Spring, supplier of natural source bottled spring water, has selected Spidex’s Mainsaver CMMS, to support best-practice maintenance at its plant in Blackford, Perthshire. PWE takes a closer look.

Choosing components for cobots

Behind the drawn factory doors of facilities across Europe and with the continuing march towards Industry 4.0, humans are working safely alongside a new kind of colleague; one that is stronger, faster and more efficient than ever before: collaborative robots. PWE takes a look at how to choose the right bearing for this new automation application.

Developing a condition monitoring strategy

For manufacturers interested in harnessing Industry 4.0, condition monitoring is often a quick win. It can reduce downtime, extend the lifetime of equipment, and improve Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Like Industry 4.0, however, it is also in danger of becoming yet another “buzzword” that is mentioned frequently, but not understood. David Manning-Ohren, condition monitoring manager at ERIKS UK, sheds some light on how to implement condition monitoring effectively, regardless of the business or the budget.

A world without downtime

Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director of obsolete industrial equipment supplier, EU Automation, shares his vision for a downtime free age.

Smart sensors – the ‘all-seeing eyes’

David Hannaby, SICK’s UK product manager for Presence Detection takes a look at why sensors are the building blocks of Industry 4.0.

The answer to this month’s trouble shooter is supplied by John Saysell, head of business development and training, MCP Consulting Group Ltd. Q Should I should be more aware of Safe Isolation Procedures?


Creative solution for a complex problem

Composite repairs and wrap systems are not necessarily a hot topic anymore, with many standards, procedures and case studies available on the subject. However, every so often we still come across a story of a simple wrap being used as an ingredient for an unorthodox, well-engineered repair solution. PWE reports.

The answer to this month’s trouble shooter is supplied by FLIR Systems. Q: How do I capture better thermal images?


Digital remote services suite to support variable speed drives

Three distinctly different cloud-based remote services for drives offer instant alerts, rapid assistance and support before failure occurs.

Food for thought

Robert Glass, global food and beverage communications manager at ABB, explains the opportunities digitalisation presents for the food and beverage industry.

Software powered services

Software-powered connected services drive digital transformation. PWE reports.

Five steps to zero downtime: Downtime is money

Lee Sullivan, regional manager for industrial automation software company, COPA-DATA UK, explains his five steps towards zero downtime.

Digitalisation — not just for big business

When mobile phones were first released in the mid-1980s, a handset would set you back £3000 ($4000) — the equivalent of almost £7500 ($10,000) today. PWE looks at how smaller food manufacturers can take advantage of low-cost digital technology.

The answer to this month’s trouble shooter is provided by Henkel. Q: What are the options for stopping bearing spinout?

A: By the nature of what they do, bearings are prone to spinning within their housings. This action inevitably causes damage, regardless of the type of fit employed. Where, for example, a bearing is secured by a press fit, the actual metal-to-metal contact accounts for as little as 30% of the total surface of the joint. Small micro-movements at the joint interface can then produce particles which abrade and reduce the contact surface even more.

Cost-effective machine safety solutions

Machine safety is the responsibility of all machine designers, manufacturers and end-users from both a legal and moral standpoint. In the past the desire to offer the very best protection has sometimes been tempered with the need to keep costs down, prompting the question – ‘What price safety?’

The cost of leaking

Peter Crossen, VP of NCH Europe, looks at the cost of a leaking pipe.

Q. How can I quickly and effectively monitor vibration on rotating equipment?

The answer to this month’s trouble shooter is provided by Sam Thiara, Emerson Automation Solutions.

Short term monitoring solution helps mill prolong operating life

By implementing a temporary monitoring solution for assessing the condition of the trunnion drive end bearing on a cement tube mill, Schaeffler has helped Sunstate Cement prolong the operating life of its mill, thus avoiding the significant cost of replacing the bearing and the associated downtime. PWE reports.

Smart sensing transformation

PWE looks at how the arrival of smart sensing technology is set to transform the maintenance of low voltage (LV) motors.

Vital electrical equipment gets a new lease of life

When the Mucomir Hydro-power station in Scotland identified the urgent need for a new Brushless AC Exciter it turned to Quartzelec, the independent engineering service provider who is recognised as an expert in rotating electrical machines, to develop, implement and commission the retrofit solution.

The importance of fluid analysis

It is critical that machinery and equipment in the manufacturing industry operates at optimal efficiency at all times. By taking a closer look at fluid analysis, the industry could save money and improve reliability. Steve Haughton, technical manager at Finning UK & Ireland (Finning), discusses the advantages of a condition-based approach, outlining how fluid analysis can provide visibility of equipment performance and health.

The answer to this month’s trouble shooter is provided by MISTRAS Group Limited.


The answer to this month’s trouble shooter is provided by MISTRAS Group Limited.


Vision of the future

There is no shortage of vision systems that can offer complex inspection capabilities at incredible speed but their performance often falls short in harsher industrial environments.

The future of maintenance engineering

Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director at obsolete equipment supplier EU Automation, discusses how Industry 4.0 is changing the way businesses approach maintenance, and what is the role of the maintenance engineer in the factory of the future?

The answer to this month’s trouble shooter is provided by John Saysell, head of business development & training, MCP Consulting Group Ltd. Q Should I be more aware of Safe Isolation Procedures?


Quicker troubleshooting

Smart devices have created connections across industrial operations with the potential to empower plant or distributed workers. For many producers going through a digital transformation, these modern tools can take too long to deploy, with too much investment required to decipher and deliver relevant data to the right employees.

The answer to this month’s trouble shooter is provided by Sam Thiara, Emerson Automation Solutions. Q. How do I prevent safety valves from sticking and creating an explosion risk?


Preventing stray current build-up in electric motors

When a motor is in use it is possible for the shaft to become electrically charged, which can be dangerous and also cause internal damage to the motor. Many solutions to this are expensive and also add significantly to the total lifetime running costs of the motor.

Predicting the future of maintenance

Gernut van Laak, group automation solutions leader of ABB's Food and Beverage Programme, explains how plant managers can budget for maintenance and ensure optimum efficiency for all processes.

The answer to this month’s trouble shooter is provided by Sam Thiara, Emerson Automation Solutions. Q. How can I quickly and effectively monitor vibration on rotating equipment?


A successful blend of tradition and technology

PWE takes a look at how a CMMS solution is helping increase production efficiency at Simpson’s Malt.

Lubrication systems simplified

A new addition to SKF’s range of lubrication products, the LMC 301 is a programmable controller for applications where sophisticated control of lubricant delivery is required. Designed for use with pumps that have no built-in controller, the LMC 301 combines all critical lubrication system management functions in a single package, simplifying system setup, operation, monitoring and maintenance.

Condition monitoring for high availability demands

SPM Instrument has added to its Intellinova range with the Intellinova Parallel EN. It is particularly well suited for applications where a critical success factor is the capacity to complete the required measurement within a very limited timeframe, e.g. due to short process cycles.

The answer to this month’s trouble shooter is provided by Phil Nicholas, business development manager – Linear and Actuation Technology at SKF.

What should I look for when choosing between a ball screw and a roller screw?

How do I identify and prevent bearing fatigue?

The answer to this month’s trouble shooter is provided by Phil Burge, country communications manager at SKF.

Localised decision making for industrial automation

The phrase ‘localised decision making’ immediately conjures up images of council meetings where a group of people make decisions that will affect those in the immediate vicinity.

Predictive maintenance turns from an art to a science

It’s a challenging problem to accurately predict reliability with limited data. That’s why over the years igus has built up a large database of life calculations and other engineering information about the performance of its bearings, cables and energy chains in various applications.

Condition monitoring services extended

Precision bearing manufacturer Schaeffler UK has extended its range of condition monitoring (CM) services for the UK market. The company says that with its combination of knowledge in bearing failure analysis, vibration monitoring, fitting and maintenance of bearings, and its own portfolio of condition monitoring equipment, it is positioned to offer CM services to a wide range of industry sectors, including rail, wind energy, paper, steel, food, mining and quarrying and pharmaceuticals.