• Apr 22, 2020, 12:34 PM

    5 Reasons to Monitor Power Consumption

    The ability to quantify energy use is critical for your facility and your team. Monitoring power consumption of your plant provides you with the data needed to make important energy management decisions. Full story
    • Mar 19, 2020, 11:56 AM

    Fall Protection: What's Your Plan?

    OSHA requires the employer to give fall protection awareness training, to anyone that works at elevated heights above 4’ every year. New employees, before they work at elevated heights, are required to have fall protection awareness training. Full story
    • Mar 17, 2020, 10:24 AM

    Lockout/Tagout OSHA Compliance: What You Need To Know

    If your company has a lockout/tagout program, it’s a safe bet you understand that there are federal and local regulations that you need to comply with. But compliance is a lot more complex than it may seem – in fact, there are five components of a compliant LOTO program, including corporate policy, machine-specific LOTO procedures, training, locks and devices, and annual audits. How can you be sure your LOTO program is compliant with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations? Full story
    • Feb 17, 2020, 14:50 PM

    Stopping a Linear Pneumatic Actuator

    A machine operator defeats a guard and reaches his hand into a machine to reset a part in a nest, but misjudges the speed of the press. Does the pneumatic actuator driving the tooling cause a serious injury or were other steps taken to stop the actuator in time? As you can imagine, stopping and holding a pneumatic actuator in mid-stroke can be an important design feature. If you are unfamiliar with the methods, functional considerations, performance, or safety aspects of stopping and holding a linear pneumatic actuator in mid-stroke, this article can serve as a starting point for making the right decisions based upon realistic performance expectations. Full story
    • Feb 5, 2020, 14:44 PM

    Proper LOTO Procedures can Increase Productivity

    Employee safety is a term widely used across many companies, especially manufacturing facilities. When we take a deeper dive into what safety means to each employer, do they have appropriate policies, procedures, and most importantly a safety culture? The answer is more than likely "maybe"! Every employer strives to keep their employees safe, but the best policies and procedures can easily be forgotten or overlooked to get a job or project done to keep production running and material out the door. See how SMC can help increase your productivity by streamlining your LOTO procedure. Full story
    • Jan 16, 2020, 13:40 PM

    Bottling Plant Boosts Productivity with LED Lighting

    Read how one bottling plant is projecting to save $65,000 a year in energy costs from upgrading to Keystone LED lights. Full story
    • Jan 15, 2020, 13:28 PM

    Reduce Lead Time with Smarter Machine Engineering

    How fast can we get it? It’s the number one question that comes after presenting a new packaging solution you’ve developed for a customer. And it’s one of the top challenges facing machine builders today. So, how do you get from concept to machine faster in an environment that demands customization, flexibility and speed? That’s what packaging machine builders face every day. And one answer is to simplify. Full story
    • Dec 16, 2019, 14:30 PM

    Winter Weather Prep from OSHA

    In addition to cold stress, there are other winter weather related hazards that workers may be exposed to when performing tasks such as driving in the snow, removing snow from rooftops, and working near downed or damaged power lines. Full story
    • Dec 13, 2019, 10:33 AM

    Delicious Data: How Predictive Analytics Improves Efficiency

    Food and beverage companies are finding productivity gains in hidden data. With the help of predictive analytics, they’re using this data to make informed decisions. Full story
    • Nov 14, 2019, 11:37 AM

    How to Help Make LOTO Safety Procedures Clear

    You’re allowed to add more information to a machine LOTO procedure than OSHA requires, but make sure it’s clear so it doesn’t inadvertently endanger workers. Full story
    • Nov 14, 2019, 10:27 AM

    Digital Transformation Essentials for the Plant and the Edge

    More and more, Digital Transformation, or DX, is becoming a necessity for business operations. Its impact is particularly felt when automation systems and plant assets become a part of the initiatives. For these systems, it is Edge Computing that bridges the gap between sensor-enabled assets and cloud-based analytics. Due to this, it’s important to understand the essential elements for DX at the edge and plant, key architectural principles, and how to plan for a successful edge computing implementation. Full story
    • Oct 16, 2019, 10:50 AM

    Should You Lubricate Your Pneumatic System?

    The question of whether or not to supply airline lubrication often comes up during the installation of pneumatic components, in the design of new machinery, or when rebuilding or retrofitting existing equipment. Understanding the pros and cons of using airborne lubrication can save you time, money, and trouble. Full story
    • Oct 16, 2019, 10:09 AM

    Cybersecurity Assessments: How to Achieve Your Target Security Posture

    Security assessments can be effective tools to evaluate your current security posture, but must be properly selected, scoped, and paired with an actionable road map that lays out clear, actionable steps to achieve your target security profile. Full story
    • Sep 13, 2019, 16:02 PM

    Laser and Radar Now in Use for Security Coverage

    Two technologies that have gained ground in the security world recently are radar and laser. Due to critical coverage needs the industry is answering back with new and innovative ways to secure your perimeters and insure that no areas are left unprotected. Full story
    • Sep 12, 2019, 11:51 AM

    Five Ways to Overcome Your Top Operational Challenges

    Failure: whether it’s hardware or software or an application of the two, the thought of something bringing down production keeps every plant manager or production engineer up at night. How are your OT assets performing? Do you know how to fix an issue in real time? Do you know how to change out an asset? Can you get things back to running and keep them running? Preventing and reducing downtime in the short and long term also involves addressing the operational challenges that can contribute. Full story
    • Aug 22, 2019, 12:25 PM

    OT Patch Management Strategy: Seven Best Practices

    Traditionally, and for many years, cyber threats have been handled almost exclusively by IT departments. As IT/OT convergence has become more prevalent, however, those threats have spread to the more-complex world of OT. Full story
    • Aug 22, 2019, 10:01 AM

    Shine a Light on Improving Operational Efficiency

    While the process for swapping out lamps and light fixtures might appear to be simple, at a facility like this it was a logistical challenge. The proven longevity of LEDs was appealing to ownership and they were optimistic they could identify an opportunity to decrease energy use, even though the lights at the facility are never turned off. Full story
    • Jul 23, 2019, 11:04 AM

    Optimizing Distribution Automation with Private LTE Networks

    Distribution automation in medium and low voltage grids is one of the key requirements for power grid modernization. With automation, power utilities can improve electricity reliability, enhance operational efficiency and safety, and optimize grid performance. But the multiple, independent, and application-specific field area networks (FANs) that currently connect endpoints cannot support advanced distribution automation requirements. A single, purposebuilt, private LTE broadband network provides the secure convergence, capacity, resiliency, and quality of service (QoS) needed for the volume and variety of data that will enable intelligent distribution automation. Full story
    • Jul 23, 2019, 11:01 AM

    Have a Plan to Limit/Avoid Downtime?

    You’re going about your normal routine, and everything is great at the plant. Production is running smoothly, and everyone is happy. Then, the call comes in. Line #1 is down, again, so the fire drill begins. What can you do to prepare for, or better yet, help prevent the next downtime situation? Full story
    • Jun 19, 2019, 16:42 PM

    WiFi 6: The Next Big Thing

    The new generation of WiFi is here! 802.11ax, also known as WiFi 6, can now reduce power consumption, increase efficiency and speed, and extend the range of our wireless data. With homes and businesses full of smart devices and being connected, 802.11ax has many benefits over its predecessor 802.11ac (Wifi 5). Full story