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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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Cellular vs. Radio

by Guest Blogger Brandon Moseley (Editor’s note: This continues to be one of our most visited pages, and we felt this justified repeating it for those followers who may have missed the original post.) As industry, cities, and businesses grow, it is a necessary evil to change nature to accommodate these expansions. Unfortunately, nature cannot…
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Risk Mitigation: Issues and Strategies

Life is full of risks. In our personal lives there are a multitude of risks that we face almost daily. And in business, the risks can have huge financial consequences. In our business, we know that industrial control system projects are full of risks, that can also have huge financial impacts. Those projects involve sophisticated…
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Design-Build in the Control System Environment

(Editor’s note: This blog was originally posted in May of 2015. With the uptick we’ve seen in RFPs asking for proposals for design-build approaches, both in the industrial and municipal water/wastewater fields, we thought it was a good time to repost this important information) Design-Build in the Control System Environment Design-build is a project delivery system…
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Legacy Migration on a Fast Track Schedule

With many millions of dollars of obsolete control systems still in operation in mills and plants across the county, the following situation may be more common than people are willing to admit. A 40+-year-old ductile pipe mill had a control system for their annealing operations based on a platform of disparate and obsolete PLCs. The…
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Under One Roof: The Benefits of Using Power Control Houses

Seamlessly executed projects are somewhat of an anomaly in the world we live in today. Project managers are in high demand in numerous industries due to the need to coordinate suppliers, keep the project on budget/schedule, and provide a single point of accountability for the company. The larger an organization becomes, the greater the likelihood…
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7 Steps to Gird Yourself Against Ransomware

(Editor’s Note: The following was originally published by Smart Manufacturing magazine-www.SME.org/smart-and is republished here with their permission.) Twenty seconds passed as my computer screen showed a steady stream of system files being locked, one by one. An employee had called and requested help because he couldn’t seem to access a file he needed. I discovered,…
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Path to Modernization, Part 2

Last summer, we posted The Path to Modernization, Part 1 as a recap of our seminar on plant modernization. It was one of our most popular posts and continues to receive traffic many months later. Control system modernization is a subject that draws a lot of interest and with good reason. There are still billions of…
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Kazakhstan: You Can’t Get There From Here

When you make a list of the most remote places on Earth, Kazakhstan ranks up there. So when we took on a project where the end-user’s location was Kazakhstan, we knew the remoteness was going to be one of the challenges we would face in completing the project successfully. Project Engineer Chris Davis made two…
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