Year: 2017

Meet Our Manager of Construction Services

When you start wiring electrical panels at age 16 in your dad’s electrical business, you are pretty much assured of being involved with electricity as an adult. That was how Ben Payton, our new manager of construction services, got involved with electricity. Even though he graduated from Auburn University with a business management degree, Ben…
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Employees Show Big Hearts

Since our founding, employees have repeatedly demonstrated big hearts. Whether it was helping out fellow employees that had experienced a house fire or other loss, contributing to spousal medical costs not covered by insurance, or putting together care packages for members of the military serving overseas. They showed it in groups that participated in Habitat…
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Major Cutover in 14 Days

A major textile firm, a producer of bed linens, had a problem. They were experiencing unscheduled downtime of 40 percent in their 20-year-old production line, requiring considerable overtime to make delivery commitments. As you would expect, this was having a huge impact on their bottom line, and they needed to upgrade their control systems to…
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Digital Plant Services: Are You Prepared?

The Internet. The explosion of wireless technologies. The Industrial Internet of Things. Technologies and trends that have been shaping, and will continue to shape, our world and the industries in which we work. As you face the challenges of plant modernization, especially in the areas of automation and controls, you will also face the challenges…
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The Water-Energy Nexus, Redux

We first posted about the relationship between water and energy in 2011 and have made numerous other posts since then with updates on this issue. Because such a large part of the costs experienced in water distribution and the wastewater treatment process are for energy, this is an issue of great interest within our industry.  The subject…
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Why Attend the Rockwell Automation Fair?

By Bruce Koppenhoefer Whenever major trade show events come around, managers everywhere have to ask themselves the “why” question: Why should I and/or my staff attend? What will we gain? And those are important questions to ask.  Even if the related travel expenses aren’t much, there’s still employee time to consider: what could they be…
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Reaching New Heights With Lean Improvements

What do you do to follow up a record year of order performance? You get lean and prepare to do even better. Our production facility is regularly seeking ways to improve productivity, and last year we implemented several ideas our shop teams identified (shop improvements blog). After finishing fiscal 2017 with a record volume of…
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Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Return on Investment

by Andrew Green There’s money to be made in your plant. And it can be had without buying new robots, hiring more production workers, or making the R&D department work overtime. It’s a good bet your equipment and motors can be run more efficiently, producing significant savings in energy expenditures. So how can you tell…
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Another Beautiful Day in Paradise

When I learned that Sean Gucken had been struck down suddenly by an apparent heart attack, I was stunned. He always exuded the health of someone who looked much younger than his age of 55. He was really into spear fishing, but he did it free diving, meaning no SCUBA gear, to depths that certainly…
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Plant Modernization Drives Growth in Water/Wastewater Pumping Industry

By Michelle Segrest, Contributing Editor for Maintenance Technology (Editor’s note: Reprinted with permission. Some editing has been employed. You may read the article in its entirety, with all links, references, and photos at Maintenance Technology.) While new construction in the municipal water-treatment market has remained relatively flat, growth in the industrial water-treatment market has increased—driven largely by…
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Anatomy of Success

The Okeechobee SFWMD Command & Control Center project was a $6 million project that had to be run like six $1 million projects, according to project superintendent Don Barnes. The project involved automating a string of massive pump stations along the north rim of Lake Okeechobee, and the distance between pump stations is the source…
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The Heat is On: Using Thermography to Reduce Maintenance Costs

by Jim Hazelwood According to the NFPA 70B, “Infrared inspections of electrical systems are beneficial to reduce the number of costly and catastrophic equipment failures and unscheduled plant shutdowns.” In addition to being a relatively non-invasive examination, infrared inspections (also commonly referred to as “thermography studies”) can also find hot spots inside electrical systems before…
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