Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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The Industrial Stride - IAM Blog

Training Through The Hard Times

Advancement of technologies paired with the rising competition amongst companies is only saying one thing to its corresponding owner and management:  produce quality products with the least amount of input in terms of money, time and effort. So the company seeks for ways to reduce their expenditures to the least possible.

Financial crisis because of low sales due to local or global financial recession or fierce competition would firmly instruct the whole company to tighten their belts. And the first and most likeable department to feel it is the training department. But there are ways to comply still of the CEO's directive for the budget-cut for the sake of the company's continuing quality output without spending too much. After all, the training department objective is to produce the lean functioning manpower the company needs to sustain stable operation. This list will surely help and would give a thumbs up for everyone:

 

The PLC Never Reprograms Itself

The other week, our product autostrapping system went haywire.  One of its sequences got mixed up and and was doing it 'before' instead of 'after'. The strap bayonet (a channel that extends underneath the product  to provide a pathway for the strap and then feeds before tightening it, retracts then position itself unto another side for another strap) was extending all the while it is moving to another position resulting in the bayonet hitting the product and getting bent and shearing its bolts.

Since the the system was run by a programmable logic controller, a group of maintenance personnel decided to disable one output bit as they are concluding that there was something wrong with the program. It made the machine run like normal though. But one colleague and I was thinking otherwise (me and that guy is not assigned for that problem, we are working somewhere else).

 

The Value of Knowing...

The other day, I sent off one of my electrical technician colleage to some breakdown on one of our company multi-purpose industrial cranes. One of its specialized hoist is not working and is unable to lift its load. Immediately he sped off to the scene and few minutes later came back.

I asked him if the problem was already rectified and he said yes and the production people are already using it. I ask him what he did to fix the problem and promptly replied with another question if I had raised a workorder for it. I said yes and ask him why he'd ask and if he did something to make it okay and working.

He answered that it was just a small thing and no need to raise the work order as it would be a 'hassle' of making report and closing the said workorder. He said only resetted the circuit breaker that tripped due to some insulation fault. That fault always comes when the hoist comes in contact with the earth ground which is quite common in our case.

   

The Importance of Wiring Color Standardization

In my previous post, I have told you that me and my colleague of our maintenance department have been designing and creating this training and test rig for the various instrument installed plantwide. It was running smoothly, and we were able to configure our wifi module connected to our Allen-Bradley PLC with attached motor managers and HMI. Though still quite small in terms of equipment variety compared to those professional and commercially available in the market. It still manage to do its purpose.

Slowly expanding it in terms of material availability and time, my colleague and I do rotating turns in wiring and configuration since we still are attending numerous breakdown calls of the plant. If I am on the field or at the office doing our job reports, he will be the one doing the stuff needed for the completion of our self-proposed project. Everything went smooth since we are able to add a little 'feature' day by day when the one of our DeviceNet Module bugged down due to short circuit.

 

Automation Test and Training Rig: The Making

With the tens and tens of maintenance jobs that me and my colleagues are attending daily, it seems that time for learning and actually understanding how each equipment interacts with each other are getting less and slow especially for the new hires. Very little time to explain and discuss with them the whole process and techniques required to solve problems quickly. So me and the Mr. Senen Malacaste, Senior Maintenance Electrical Specialist (the guy below), started the assembly of this test and training rig.

   

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