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Miscellaneous Maintenance Technical Articles
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Miscellaneous Articles on Maintenance Technical Issues

If you have an article to contribute to this list, please mail me.


"Rules of Thumb" for Thermal Design The following "rules of thumb" relate to safe, reliable, thermal design practice.
"Seeing is Believing" Stroboscope Techniques
A Comparison of Ceramic and Plastic Components
A Guide to Healthy Batteries
An Intelligent Conveyor Control System For Coal Handling Plant Of Thermal Power Plant - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
AOC Accesses Field Data and Improves Business Performance AOC’s challenge was to use their data more effectively in order to free up personnel and ensure consistency in production planning, scheduling, inventory management, and improving their overall business performance. - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Barringer & Associates - recent Technical Papers
Case Study - Matrix Technologies As process technology moves forward, high-capacity data infrastructure is moving from being the next big thing to being the expected norm. Systems that have been reliably running processes for years or decades are unable to support the data-intensive optimization programs that are driving plant competitiveness, and without reliable high-density data acquisition and storage, many plants can struggle or fail to meet strict environmental emissions reporting requirements - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Censored Data Dealing with censoring data in Reliability and Maintainability studies
Chromate Removal In Closed HVAC Recirculating Systems
CNC Machine Tool Reliability Ensuring reliability for CNC Machine Tools or any other rotating equipment can be a mindboggling experience for many of us. We may not be sure where to start or what specifically to do.
Coil Cleaning Made Easier for Urban Campus Perhaps one of the most critical tasks faced by Anthony Rizzica and his crew is keeping the heating and cooling systems operating at peak efficiency, and one of the biggest challenges facing them has traditionally been cooling and heating coil maintenance.
Combining Data http://rac.alionscience.com/pdf/COMBINE.pdf An overview of combining reliability data. - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Corona & Testing - Who, What, When, Where & Why
Covering the necessities of press maintenance Several pressmen have contacted me this last month wanting to know what the best method is for setting rollers. Many also had questions concerning premature wear of press equipment. This article discusses several of these topics and other topics that I have selected on press adjustments and maintenance.
Culvert Inspection Manual Published by the U.S. Department of Transportation (in association with the Federal Highway Administration), this Culvert Inspection Manual is a supplement to the Bridge Inspector’s Training Manual. This 200-page manual provides procedures for conducting and documenting culvert inspections with specific guidelines for inspecting and evaluating the major hydraulic and structural components of culverts.
Derating Derating the practice of limiting electrical, thermal and mechanical stresses on parts, in a given design application, to levels that are below their specified ratings or their proven capabilities in order to enhance reliability. Reducing these stresses extends part life and usually, but not always (depending upon the nature of the part and the specific parameter involved) improves part reliability and hence system reliability. In addition, derating helps protect parts from unforeseen application anomalies and overstresses. - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Developing Reliability Requirements Developing reliability requirements for products and systems is a multi-step process. Each step in the process is important in choosing the level of reliability that drives the design-oriented tasks necessary to meet customer’s needs and expectations. A new START Sheet entitled "Developing Reliability Requirements" authored by Norman Fuqua addresses this process in detail and is available free-of-charge - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Did You Know? Selection of "did you know's" from Idcon
Discoveries during Development of the next generation Ultrahigh Pressure Water Jetting Machines This article argues that surface preparation before repainting will be much more effective in the future with the adjusted ultrahigh pressure water jetting method. In the past, water jetting equipment has been far too large and of course several times too expensive. New generation water jetting equipment may well will oust sand blasting and similar techniques because of their problems with dust, sand disposal etc.
EDM Design EDM is one of the most accurate manufacturing processes available for creating complex or simple shapes and geometries
Engine Balance - The Thinking Has Changed Balanced combustion on reciprocating engines is important for reliable, emission-compliant operation. Through the years, a number of engine balance techniques have been developed and utilized. Unfortunately, no clear-cut standard has been established for engine balance methodology or frequency. This paper will discuss the fundamentals of engine balance, describe the history of balancing, and present the most current thinking on proper engine balance technique, equipment, and frequency.
Exploring Reliability Reliability is an important focal point for many companies. It’s a source of competitive advantage for visionary, capital-intensive companies. It’s the theme for maintenance departments improving their bottom-line impact. To some, it identifies the right work, and is synonymous with reliability centered maintenance (RCM). So, let’s define reliability and discuss critical issues that help achieve it.
Failure of Dust Suppression Systems in Coal Handling Plants Generally all systems used in power station coal handling plants are wet dust suppression systems. In this paper the reasons for failure of these type of dust suppression system are discussed. The remedy for the improvement of this system is also given in this paper. - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Gearbox Diagnostics Fault Detection The article discusses the method of gearbox diagnostics fault detection, and shows that using: design, production technology, operational, change of condition (DPTOCC) factors analysis leads to inference diagnostic information.
Heeding the Screams of Sick Machines The human ear can’t pick up the wails but ultrasound can.
How to Avoid Gas Line Ruptures Common causes of gas line ruptures and how to avoid them.
Hydraulic Lifters / Pushrods: are they worth it? The “hype” describes those features and benefits that are typically touted by sales persons to describe the basic theory, design, and manufacturing concept of hydraulic lifters and pushrods. The “facts” represent the field application and real-life experiences of operators using the equipment. This article, written by Charles G. Ely II, of Anderson Consulting, Training & Testing, and based on a survey of five oil and gas companies, compares the touted features against field experience - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Inspection and Maintenance Guidelines - Shackles
Keeping Threaded Fasteners in Their Place Keeping fasteners tight, particularly threaded fasteners, seems like a simple task, but the moving nature of the machinery they are used on is what makes them so troublesome
Listening For The Leak The overalled fitter marching around the Ford Stamping Plant in Geelong, Victoria, with earphones on is not listening to the latest gig by the Red Hot Chili Peppers or the Hot House Flowers
Locating Tube Leaks at Nylon Plant In recent years, Allied-Signal's Reliability Services group has searched out new techniques to extend or improve existing methods. Airborne ultrasonic scanning, which came to its attention last spring, is one of these new approaches.
Methods for Reducing the Cost to Maintain a Fleet of Repairable System When a fleet is first deployed, the economic life and useful life parameters are often not known. However, as the fleet ages, spares usage, repair frequency, reliability, and cost information become available that may be used to estimate these parameters. - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Model-Based Tuning Methods for PID Controllers The manner in which a measured process variable responds over time to changes in the controller output signal is fundamental to the design and tuning of a PID controller. The best way to learn about the dynamic behavior of a process is to perform experiments, commonly referred to as “bump tests.” Critical to success is that the process data generated by the bump test be descriptive of actual process behavior. Discussed are the qualities required for good dynamic data and methods for modeling the dynamic data for controller design.
MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) -the basics What every maintenance manager needs to know
New Ultrasonics Systems Locate Leaks Beneath Pavement Ultrasonic detectors being sensitive to a specific range of ultrasound, between 20 and 100 kilohertz, sense the ultrasonic emissions produced by a leak.
Operating Characteristic (OC) Functions and Acceptance Sampling Plans OC Function theory, one of the most useful tools in practical statistical applications, and its practice, by providing an overview of the theoretical background, numerical examples and practical applications. With this, the practicing engineer will gain an increased awareness of the OC’s great potential as a statistical tool, a better understanding of the theory, and be better able to use the OC Function.
Performance Monitoring System For Electromagnetic Vibrating Feeders Of Coal Handling Plant In this paper a simple system, which easily monitor feeding rate to help operator to control plant, is discussed. Many times operator cannot judge performance of feeder. This system is very useful to judge the performance. A mathematical relation is shown in paper for feeding rate. - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Persistence needed to track TV/radio Interference When a complaint is about TV interference or the inability to get a specific radio channel, a specialist must be assigned to the case. New York State Electric & Gas Corp (NYSEG) relies heavily on ultrasonic technology
Pipe Corrosion And Its Growing Threat To Office Building and Plant Operations
Plate And Frame Heat Exchangers --- The Ultimate Safeguard For Critical Or Problem Condenser Water Applications
Predicting Hoist failure- EXAKT at a North American car plant In 2006 under the guidance of the University of Toronto’s Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, a project was completed to determine whether vibration analysis could form a definitive predictive model for hoist chain failure. Using EXAKT, the project developed a predictive model which would alert management to impending failure in time to take preventive action but without wasting valuable hoist life. - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Preventing The Formation Of Scale In HVAC Humidification Pans
Pruftechnik Direct On-Line Maintenance Catalogue Laser Alignment, Condition Monitoring, NDT and Technical Articles
Rainey Generating Station (RGS) Automates Processes to Gain Step Change in Efficiency OPC technology provides ease of access to the wide variety of devices in our enterprise, eliminating costly custom or proprietary interfaces. Providing us with a flexible and scalable solution we can build on for years to come. - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Rainey Generating Station (RGS) Automates Processes to Gain Step Change in Efficiency The main goal at the new Rainey plant was to maximize the efficiency of our operations. They also needed a method to send environmental data to the Continuous Emissions Monitoring System and reduce manual data collection processes. This was inefficient in the past because we had many isolated data sources that could only be accessed manually.
Reducing The Microbiological Count Of Decorative Fountains Using Ultraviolet Water Purification
Reliability Engineering Snapshot - Corrosion Chloride stress corrosion cracking (CSCC) requires chloride and stress. To eliminate one is to eliminate the phenomena. In short, you can't have CSCC if one element is missing.
Reliability, take a second look Statistical analysis and time-based preventive maintenance don’t really address the ability to perform. It's time to get familiar with the definition of reliability.
Research Overview 1998 - Institute of Mechanics, ETH Zürich Assorted research reports into NDT techniques
Safely Removing Iron Oxide, Dirt, Organic Material, And Other Corrosion Products From Interior Pipe Surfaces Using High Pressure Water Jet
Safety Relief Valve Case Histories The project was commissioned in 1992 with the second phase in 1997. Third phase under construction. RBI programs were developed for the plant with an objective of achieving a completely non-intrusive inspection program. - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Saving Energy Dollars With Ultrasonic Predictive Maintenance Compressed air is not a free utility. In fact, it may very well be the most costly utility a company uses. It is good business, as well as good management policy to carefully look at the use and efficiency of a compressed air system
Smart Manufacturers Take Pre-emptive Thermal Metering Measures Finding the right suppliers, who are using state-of-the-art materials and technology, can make the difference between being on the leading edge and racing to catch up with the competition.
Survey of Plant Capacity Utilization From the US Census Bureau
Tea Staining on Stainless Steel Surfaces Tea staining of stainless steels is a relatively common occurrence in coastal areas, and wherever water which high in chlorides is used for washing down. Visually, it is a discolouration of the metal surface, which tends to follow the ‘grain’ of any surface finish. Although unpleasant to look at, it is not a serious form of corrosion, and in general does not affect the structural integrity, or longevity of the equipment. Aesthetically however tea staining is not ideal. This paper, from Barry Walker, Don Thornton & Simon Griffiths, is designed to help identify its causes and suggest remedies that have proven to be satisfactory in practice.
Technology Overview: Ultrasonic Detection Some of the most common plant applications are: leak detection in pressure and vacuum systems (i.e., boilers, heat exchangers, condensers, chillers, distillation columns, vacuum furnaces, specialty gas systems), bearing inspection, steam trap inspection, valve blow-by, pump cavitation, detection of corona in switch gear, compressor valve analysis, and the integrity of seals and gaskets in tanks, pipe systems and large walk-in boxes.
The Negative Impact Of Frequently Draining And Filling A Fire Protection System
The Problem of Uncertainty This article is part of the Reliability Handbook, originally published by PEM magazine in Canada. - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
The R&M Case - A Reasoned, Auditable Argument Supporting the Contention that a System Satisfies its R&M Requirements One method of ensuring that product meets customers Reliability and Maintainability requirements - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
The Smart Machine Alan Friedman of DLI Engineering discusses the level of intelligence available from the latest tranche of computer-controlled maintenance devices, and muses on the parallels between machine-speak and human language (Courtesy of Coxmoor Publishing) - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
The True Threat Of A High Corrosion Problem To A Fire Sprinkler Line
The Ultimate in Bearing Maintenance Programs Greasing bearings with Ultrasound Detection is becoming popular. This article explains why.
Tips for Blower Maintenance This article is intended to provide a few tips to plant maintenance professionals, in reducing the downtime and increasing the reliability, of blowers.
Tube Coating With Teflon ® --- An Outstanding Alternative To Condenser And Chiller Tube Replacement
Ultrasonic Detector Locates Boiler Casing Leaks Many undetected casing leaks plagued one of our large watertube power boilers, even after extensive work was done to repair it.
Ultrasonic Detectors: Another Tool for the Power Quality Engineer Power quality and facility maintenance engineers should consider the use of ultrasonic detection equipment for evaluating equipment and facilities
Ultrasonic Device Versatile Concerned with equipment failures and increasing downtime, management of Alcoa's Newburgh plant decided to upgrade their preventive maintenance efforts.
Ultrasonic probe spots pressure, vacuum leaks, identifies bad bearings By sensing subtle ultrasonic changes in equipment, the Ultraprobe 2000 by UE Systems Inc., locates leakage in heat exchangers, pneumatic systems and steam traps.
Ultrasonic technology 'picks up' preventative maintenance Ultrasonic scanning instruments are fast becoming standard tools for preventative maintenance programs in the food processing industry
Ultrasonic Tool Averts Costly Breakdowns Increasingly, facilities professionals are using ultrasonics technology in conjunction with other inspection tools.
Ultrasonics Detects Leaks at Ford With so many "look alike" cars around in each price range, customer's loyalty depends on the faith in the quality of the car he or she has most recently bought. Air and water leaks, therefore, can be as disturbing to customers as mechanical defects.
Understanding Binomial Sequential Testing explores multiple stage sampling plans which can save substantial time and resources, when the case is clear-cut. Multiple stage plans provide an alternative to fixed sample plans. This sheet treats The Sequential Probability Ratio Test (SPRT) for the discrete case, via the development of sequential tests for the Binomial distribution. Such an approach is useful in life testing, when devices are sequentially placed on test for a fixed time “T,” and when only the number “Y” of survivals/failures from such tests is recorded. Binomial sequential tests are also useful in SPC/Quality Control acceptance sampling problems, when batch items are tested, one at a time, on a pass/fail basis, to assess the percent of defective items in a lot, instead of by taking a fixed size sample, one at a time.
Water Treatment Gadgets - Historical Failures Of Corrosion Control
Weighing the Options of Chiller Maintenance In order to get approval for a project, it is sometimes necessary for a contractor to review, explain, estimate and present all of the various avenues an owner can take with their CFC chillers. - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Why An Open Condenser Water System Is Provided Less Chemical Protection Than A Closed Piping System


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