Upgrade the Lighting with LED Projects

The most common LED project is an upgrade that replaces another technology. Typically, LED fixtures go in the same location as the ones being replaced. The idea is to use “direct replacements” in that (for example) you replace a 400W metal halide unit with an LED unit that puts out a similar level of lumens.

That method has several pitfalls. For example, how do you know the original lighting layout was ever correct? Is it correct now? Since you’re replacing fixtures, why not perform an assessment on the optimum location? One reason you might not do this is it’s simpler and cheaper to use the wiring and raceway already in place. But simple and cheap is not your goal, or you wouldn’t be doing an upgrade to  begin with.

You might find that using more lower-lumen LED units for the same total lumens provides better overall lighting and the improvement is worth the extra investment. You have fewer shadows and more consistency throughout the area being lit. You are upgrading not just the technology but the lighting itself.

LED as the original lighting method is increasingly common. The same issue of layout applies. Don’t think of the traditional lighting grid. Think of how the light will be used and where it will be needed. With LED, it’s relatively easy to “break up” the lighting into zones based on the purpose of the space.

Source: Mark Lamendola | Mindconnection & Codebook City

Making Hard Choices

If your maintenance department is anywhere near normal, it has a budget. The problem with most maintenance budgets is they don’t fund full maintenance.

Yes, you’d like to perform the PMs needed to keep every piece of equipment running reliably. No, you don’t have the resources to do that.

One way this problem is handled is by cutting corners so that even though equipment doesn’t get the full PM it should have, at least it gets some. So you can check off the box that you got PMs done on all of the equipment, but how do you explain unscheduled downtime on the plant’s biggest revenue production line?

Some PMs have more value than others. Suppose:

  • Line A makes $9,000 a month of product and needs to run only four days per month to fill all orders.
  • Line B makes $20,000 a day of product and must run twenty-seven days per month to fill all orders.

With your limited resources, on which line should you fully perform the preventive and predictive maintenance? Which one can be left to fail, in preference for the other one?

For each production line, you should know its dollar value and uptime requirements then allocate resources accordingly. This information changes over time, so have a way to automatically get an update from the production department when a change occurs.

If you have the high priority equipment running reliably and the low priority equipment not, then management can clearly see the costs of restraining your budget.

Source: Mark Lamendola | Mindconnection & Codebook City

Protecting Your Feet, Part 1

Punctures, electric arcs, and impact injuries are among the ways you can suffer a debilitating foot injury.

Punctures typically occur when you step on something:

  • Wear hardsoled or thick-soled boots or shoes.
  • Don’t step on anything that might have a nail or screw sticking out of it (e.g., crating materials).
  • Avoid walking through areas where work is being done with screws or nails (e.g., a roof is being installed).

Impact injures typically occur when you walk into something or it falls on your foot:

  • Wear electrically-rated steel-toed (or equivalent) shoes/boots.
  • Look ahead to see potential foot hazards; go around, if possible.
  • Secure loads on carts and other conveyances.
  • If a lift truck operator is helping you (e.g., moving a motor), give a wide berth.
  • Pay attention while in motion; don’t text and walk.

Arc injuries occur when your foot becomes part of the current return path.

Perhaps the most common scenario for arc injuries is when someone using an arc welder ignores basic electrical theory. Any time welding is being done, ensure the return lead and electrode lead are fairly close to each other. Clamping the “ground” lead to building steel 50 feet away introduces many parallel paths with varying resistances; quite a bit of current flows through various objects.

Other defenses:

  • Sketch the circuit formed when you stand on a ground rod. If a fault occurs, your body will become one path for the current.
  • Replace shoes with worn or cracked soles.
  • Check your shoes periodically; remove any metal that has stuck to the shoe.

Source: Mark Lamendola | Mindconnection & Codebook City


End Multi-tasking

Some people are too busy texting while driving to stop and smell the coffee they are trying to drink at the same time. That probably struck you as funny, because of the absurdity of it. Will that driver drop hot coffee right on his lap? Send an embarrassing text to the wrong person? Cause a collision that kills five people?

Why would anybody accept the greatly increased risk of such bad outcomes? The reason is a belief that trying to do more things at one time is how you increase efficiency. In fact, multi-tasking decreases efficiency.

Some reasons why:

  • The brain incurs switching time (dead time) between tasks, whenever attention is switched between “simultaneous” tasks. Research shows that drivers actually go blind momentarily while switching between talking into a phone and watching the road.
  • When multi-tasking, you don’t get into a flow for a given task. So you are doing the task at a lower efficiency.
  • Unfocused attention is a sure-fire way to make mistakes. Assuming you can fix a mistake once it’s made, that fixing time adds to total completion time.
  • Inattention is a sure-fire way to create “safety events.” Beyond the human suffering, workplace injuries take a huge toll on productivity.

Source: Mark Lamendola | Mindconnection & Codebook City