Think about all the devices and parts of your life that are connected in one way or another. The information on your cell phone automatically connects to your tablet, which then connects to your laptop and so forth.
In today’s fast-paced manufacturing environment, improving productivity is at the top of every plant manager’s mind. Tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is vital to improving manufacturing performance. In the past, companies have relied on separate departments – think engineering, quality, finance and operations – with each gathering their own data and analyzing past performance. This can lead to outdated information and missing cross-functional correlations, making it difficult to implement meaningful change.
Did you know that only about 42 percent of the time on a job site is productive work? The rest of that time is waste. Identifying these areas of waste and reducing labor by just 5 percent has the ability to double a contractor’s profitability.
You’re working on a facility identification project. The first step is to organize your warehouse and figure out how you can improve productivity of your employees. So far, this project doesn’t seem so hard, you just need labels to identify what products are on the racks – right?
From tornadoes and hurricanes to floods, earthquakes, and ice storms, Mother Nature has many ways of threatening your business. When disaster strikes, it’s important to have a predetermined plan in place to minimize downtime, injury, and loss of valuable information. To help you prepare before a catastrophe strikes, consider a three-pronged approach to your disaster plan.
The new operating norms of lower oil prices, heightened safety, and environmental awareness create challenges for inefficient oil and gas companies. They also drive the most efficient organizations to constantly improve and repeatedly find new, consistent methods to preserve or increase their profitability, compliance and reputation.
A plant turnaround, or shutdown, is a scheduled stoppage of all or part of a plant’s operations. At one point or another, every facility will experience a turnaround for reasons ranging from maintenance, to repair or replacement of capital equipment, safety upgrades, lighting and energy upgrades or even regulatory compliance.
Working with high voltage power systems carries many hazards and inherent risks. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the electrical fatality rate in the mining industry is approximately 8 to 12 times higher than the rate of other U.S. industries.
In circumstances that call for temporary power, the long-standing approach has been to cobble together an electrical system using whatever extension cords and portable power supplies may be on hand. Although applications that call for portable power are inherently impermanent, it’s important not to sacrifice safety and increase the risk of trip-and-fall, electrical shock or other injuries.
Now that summer weather is finally here, staying hydrated throughout your day and at work is crucial to staying healthy and alert. Dehydration is a health concern that can be caused by hot, humid weather or when working around tools and equipment that produce a great amount of heat. Many people don’t think about drinking water until they feel thirsty.
To continue being successful in today’s competitive world, companies must seek out and implement the latest technologies and software available. With a growing need to run safer, more efficient operations, the mining industry in particular has a lot to gain by leveraging Digital Transformation technologies. Thanks to real-time connectivity delivering actionable data about people, processes and things, the mine of today has transformed.
When you are approached with an idea for an automation project presenting challenges too great for your business to tackle with internal resources alone, how do you implement your plan in a way that successfully grows your business? Whether the challenges lie in lack of budget, internal expertise or both, a partnership with an automation systems integrator creates an opportunity for you to successfully grow your business.
With so many different ratings for ingress protection — from NEMA ratings, to UL standards, to the European IEC ingress protection (IP) ratings appearing more frequently in the U.S.— keeping the standards straight can be challenging.
Did you know a typical lockout program can contain over 80 separate elements? In addition to creating, maintaining and updating equipment lists and hierarchies, task-specific procedures and workplace regulations such as confined space entry requirements might play an important part.
Every three years, the National Electric Code (NEC) is updated, and as a result industry standards for the installation of electrical wiring and equipment are revised. The full NEC text spans approximately 1,000 pages, broken down into several chapters and annexes, and includes safety information that’s relevant to all industrial audiences.
Did you know that 20 percent of occupational fall injuries involve ladders? Many workplace falls occur from ladders. Falls are a serious concern for both employers and employees. The good news is that ladder falls are preventable if the right precautions are taken.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) drives workplace safety procedures that span multiple industries. On the surface it may seem that different industries such as food and beverage processing and oil and gas drilling and refining should have very different safety standards. In fact, there are several safety standards that are applicable to both due to the similarities in their harsh, wet environments and the types of devices used in them.
While most elements of ladder safety might seem like common sense, OSHA requires that employers take additional measures to ensure that their workers’ safety isn’t compromised. Of several topics covered in the most recent Walking Working Surfaces standard, updates detailing fixed ladder use within general industry settings were a key focus.
Lean manufacturing is a common practice within manufacturing processes that systemically reduces waste and cost while increasing efficiency. While the primary focus of Lean is the production floor, many of the same principles extend beyond to the warehouse. For example, storage of raw materials, subcomponents and finished products is a necessary function for most businesses, however if those tasks are not properly managed they can quickly eat away at profits and compromise customer service.
This year, OSHA made updates to its Walking Working Surfaces standard for general industry, in an effort to bring fall protection requirements more in-line with those for the construction industry. As a result, OSHA estimates the new rule will prevent 29 worker deaths and 5,842 lost-workday injuries each year. In addition, compliance will be easier and more affordable to maintain, since the requirements now overlap industries and many existing ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards.
When it comes to testing breaker function and safety, it’s possible that there are substantial risks that have gone unnoticed for years. Breakers are typically tested just once a year, in accordance with most manufacturer’s recommendations. However, there are often circumstances where this standard schedule might not be enough to prevent hazardous situations.
Over the last fifty years or so, advancement in technology has created incredible diversity of choice in the world of generation protective relay – however, many operations are relying on the same relay systems they implemented close to thirty years ago without much thought. With options ranging from solid-state, to electromechanical and microprocessing, how can decision makers be sure that they’re using the best tool for the job?
While every company has different challenges when it comes to safety, some training best practices are consistent across industries. OSHA recently made changes to its Walking Working Surfaces standard for general industry. With this update, OSHA estimates that the final rule will prevent 29 worker deaths and 5,842 lost-workday injuries each year. By harmonizing general industry requirements with OSHA's existing construction industry standard and many ANSI standards, the new rule makes compliance easier and less costly.
When it comes to handling hazardous chemicals, workers need the proper equipment to stay safe. Protecting a worker’s face and head should be an employer’s top priority. And while many businesses supply safety equipment, it’s not always used in the right way. A faceshield doesn’t provide the coverage necessary to prevent injury 100 percent of the time. Workers need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) that protects both the eyes and the face from injury. A faceshield alone doesn’t always guarantee safety.
Professionals who brave the elements year-round know that summertime often creates particularly harsh outdoor working conditions. Exposure to heat and the sun is not only challenging from a productivity perspective but can lead to serious short- and long-term health implications.
As one of the oldest and most heavily regulated trades in the world, mining faces challenges that are shared across many industries yet uniquely complex due to harsh, changing environments. While the cost of doing business rises due to volatile commodity prices and a shrinking talent pool, decision makers must maintain an urgent focus on safety, efficiency and social responsibility. Mining is well-positioned to leverage emerging technologies in the Internet of Things (IoT) to meet these competing demands. Mine operators can take advantage of IoT data through RFIDs, Radio over IP, and video for greater safety and efficiency.
Mining presents a variety of risks to those working underground. But one of the most dangerous risks in mining electrical work is an arc flash. An arc fault heats the air around it in an electrical enclosure, causing pressure to build and metals to vaporize, leading to an arc flash. The high temperatures destroy even the most powerful metals and the pressure forces shrapnel outwards.
Are you in the market for a new gas detector? You may wonder if you can use the same calibration gas that you’ve been using for the detectors you are replacing or phasing out. Usually, the answer is “no.” The gas values used for older models, even if by the same manufacturer, don’t often match the gas values required for new units. Even if two gas detectors have identical sensors and features, the calibration gas values needed may be completely different.
In its earliest days, industrial automation made waves in manufacturing simply by increasing productivity and reducing high human operator costs. While those advantages are still a major draw for many businesses, the focus has broadened in recent years. Decision makers are now seeking solutions to make their processes safer, flexible and more accurate.
By now, you’ve probably heard of some of the benefits of LED lighting. LEDs last longer than other bulbs, reducing maintenance and costs, and can increase productivity. LEDs are also intelligent and hold potential to unlock further savings through the Internet of Things. But is LED lighting really right for your facility? Whether you work in retail, commercial or industrial sectors, answering that question is easier than ever.
Maintaining the security of the electrical grid is recognized as a top priority by most federal, state and local entities. There are 16 critical infrastructure sectors whose security is entrusted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the electrical grid is what allows the other 15 to function. The financial resources to implement necessary mitigation solutions to deter, detect, protect, respond and recover from an event are limited.
Strategic marketing or labeling that uses the term “food grade” has caused a great deal of confusion in the food and beverage industry. It’s led companies to believe they are buying a food-safe product when, in truth, they may not be. The assumption is that the food-grade product has been subjected to rigorous testing to ensure safety throughout the food and beverage processing environment. But, in fact, there is no industry certification called “food grade.”
Risks are inherent in industrial plants and other settings where workers come into contact with heavy equipment and processes combining metal surfaces, electrical machinery and power systems. GFCI-compliance and watertight connections are critical wherever power components contact moisture, chemicals, weather and other harsh environmental conditions. Industrial operations are at risk anytime unprotected electrical connections are exposed to moisture, metals and harsh conditions.
Slips, trips and falls are some of the most preventable workplace accidents, yet the numbers don’t seem to prove it. Second only to motor vehicles, incidents related to slips, trips and falls account for 15 percent of accidental deaths. They can also cost an employer an average of tens of thousands of dollars per incident.
Times are changing in manufacturing. The Internet of Things has made its way to the industry and spawned a new term in the process: Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Smart factories are becoming more popular (and expected) thanks to the ability to connect key technologies. Manufacturers who haven’t followed suit yet are encouraged to get moving.
If you went to work today and sat in a gray cubicle, or were surrounded by endless white walls, chances are your mood matched the color of your environment. Bland, cold colors in the workplace could leave us feeling sullen instead of inspired. Adding vibrant paint schemes or accents is not only aesthetically pleasing, but capable of boosting mood, morale and productivity.
In today’s global environment, manufacturers are fighting to stay ahead of the competition. New technology is giving some manufacturers an upper hand. Industrial automation and smart machines are increasing productivity, cutting costs, and creating more agile supply chains for manufacturers in many industries.
According to OSHA, approximately three million workers who service equipment face potential injury if lockout/tagout (LOTO) is not properly implemented. Complying with the LOTO standard could help prevent an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year.
Workplace safety is paramount, and sometimes the worst accidents are the easiest to prevent. Slips, trips and falls account for 25% of all injury claims per fiscal year and 15% of all accidental deaths, second only to motor vehicles. They are also responsible for more than 95 million lost work days annually. Here are four simple ways to prevent your employees from getting “tripped” up.