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6 Tips for Earthmoving Equipment Maintenance

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earthmoving equipment

Earthmoving equipment is expensive and complex. Because of this, there are many things you must do to keep it safe and functioning properly. Equipment and tools that function correctly have a lower chance of causing injuries or deaths. This is especially important since thousands of workers are injured annually by earthmoving equipment. Follow these six tips to keep your equipment, tools, and workers safe.

1. Clean Your Earthmoving Machinery Properly

A great way to keep earthmoving equipment and tools safe is to clean it thoroughly. This type of equipment has to do difficult and dirty work which can alter the performance of the machine. Because of this, earthmoving machinery and all its parts should be cleaned regularly.  Continue reading

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The Elk River Chemical Spill: A Preventive Maintenance Cautionary Tale

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Drinking Water Contaminated, a Company Bankrupted, a Federal Emergency Declared: All Because of One Leaky Tank

Last January, when it was discovered that a single leaky tank had poured some 10,000 gallons of an industrial chemical into the Elk River in West Virginia, contaminating the drinking water of 300,000 residents, Freedom Industries, the company responsible, filed for bankruptcy within eight days.

But they weren’t the only business affected. In the aftermath of the incident, which was declared a federal emergency by president Obama, representatives from a range of industries, including tourism, hospitality, and food services, signed a letter to West Virginia’s government calling for increased regulation and stronger enforcement.

For a state known for its opposition to all forms of government intervention, the letter signaled a remarkable shift in sentiment. But when considered in light of recent history, the reaction among businesses becomes less surprising: the spill was the third such incident in the past five years, and Freedom Industries’ facilities had not been inspected since 1991.

Thus far, these efforts have helped strengthen regulations pertaining to above-ground chemical storage tanks, but it remains to be seen whether more sweeping changes are in store. Thus far, no additional legislation has been proposed, and lawmakers remain wary of provoking backlash from the state’s powerful coal industry. Continue reading

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Posted in Green, Manufacturing, Safety and Regulations, Waste Management/Recycling | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Could This Year’s NBA Championship be Determined by Electrical Maintenance?

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LeBron James is, by almost all accounts, the most formidable player in the NBA. But Thursday night, during game 1 of this year’s NBA finals between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs, he proved that even a player of his stature and athleticism is no match for…faulty air conditioning.

Temperatures at the AT&T Center in San Antonio reached 90 degrees after the building’s air conditioning went down. At the tail end of four quarters of high-intensity competition, James was felled by leg cramps so severe that the 6’8″ 250 lb forward had to be carried off the court.

The impact on the Heat was immediate: a close game quickly became a late route for the Spurs, who went on a 21-7 run to put away the defending champs. All James could do was watch from the sideline.

Unpredictable circumstances are a part of every sport, but it isn’t often that a maintenance problem takes the sport’s most famous player off the court at a pivotal point in the game. So the question is, was the AC failure preventable?

+ Electrical Preventive Maintenance

Various news reports attribute the AC failure to a problem with the electrical system, but don’t generally offer much detail. In trying to determine whether the problem was preventable, however, the specifics may not be all that important.

According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), electrical components that do not receive regular preventive maintenance are three times likelier to fail. Given these odds, it may be possible that the maintenance professionals at the AT&T Center performed regular preventive maintenance on the facility’s electrical systems, but probably more likely that they didn’t.

This doesn’t necessarily imply gross negligence on the part of AT&T Center staff–preventive maintenance on electrical systems is often poorly understood or neglected. One thing that is clear, however, is that these preventive maintenance practices should be more widely adopted.

+ Basic checks

Two of the most common causes of electrical outages are loose parts and connections, and exposure to moisture. Both can be easily addressed through regularly scheduled checks.

Multimeters can be used to check voltage levels and spot issues early before they develop into bigger problems. Annual inspections of wiring can also identify early signs of damage and wear.

These are just a few examples, but they are relatively simple and easy to perform. Not every electrical failure will be as high-profile as the one that affected the outcome of last night’s game, but that doesn’t mean that they’re any less damaging.

Be sure to check back here regularly for all the latest maintenance tips, news and insights from ManagerPlus.

 

 

 

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Posted in Facilities, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What Companies Want in CMMS Software: Key Lessons from the Software Advice Survey

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Thousands of interviews with company owners and managers conducted by Software Advice, a preventive maintenance software evaluation company, on the topic of maintenance management have revealed a puzzling fact: the need for tools like CMMS to streamline maintenance operations and asset tracking is as strong as ever, yet a striking number of companies remain reluctant to transition away from familiar paper or spreadsheet-based manual systems.

According to a recent Software Advice survey, some 48% of the companies interviewed still rely on these outdated methods to track their maintenance, and a further 19% said that they weren’t tracking maintenance at all. Together, they account for a whopping 67% of the companies surveyed.

So what’s holding these companies back? The survey was conducted among companies interested in implementing a CMMS system, with some 62% citing the need to improve operational efficiency—so it’s clear that they see the value in these solutions. And fully 80% of the companies surveyed said they plan on implementing a system within the next six months, so there’s also a strong sense of urgency to get something in place.

The persistent reluctance to implement a system must therefore involve some other factor. One explanation of these puzzling results comes from John Rimer, owner of FM360 Consulting and a 15-year veteran of the facilities management industries, who suggests that many of these companies consider the process of transferring data to a new system “laborious and risky.”

Among the 22% of companies surveyed who already use a CMMS system but are looking to upgrade, increasing efficiency and moving to a more modern solution were two of the most common motivating factors.

With 20 years of experience providing CMMS solutions, ManagerPlus brings understanding and expertise to these issues. Here are three key lessons from the Software Advice survey and how ManagerPlus products and solutions are specifically designed to address them:

+ Data Transfer and Product Implementation. Companies are wise to be cautious when it comes to transitioning to a new system. Errors made during the initial setup can doom it to failure, wasting substantial time and money.

This is why it is crucial that companies do their homework and learn about the implementation and training services offered by CMMS providers. Feature sets and functionality matter little if the system isn’t set up properly, and companies need to ask detailed questions about how the transition will be handled before making a purchase.

The best way to ensure that the transition process is minimally “laborious and risky,” is to entrust it to implementation and training experts who know what they’re doing.  ManagerPlus consistently ranks among the most popular CMMS providers in large part because of our best-in-class implementation and training solutions.

The idea that our performance is measured by our clients’ success is central to our company philosophy, which is why we invest substantially in implementation and training and always treat these services as a priority—we’ve even published thought pieces in industry leading journals on the subject.

The bottom line: the extent to which a CMMS provider understands the implementation/transition process is a measure of how effective their products are likely to be.

+ The need for modern software. Among the companies looking to replace their existing CMMS system, 24% cited the need for a more modern solution. According to the report, some of the companies were still using DOS-based systems that have been outdated for well over a decade.

In CMMS, it is common to find companies that offer a basic software package that they do not regularly update or improve. And in many cases, if improvements are made, they tend to be more maintenance oriented, addressing compatibility issues rather than introducing new functionality.

This is why ManagerPlus has embraced the role of a solutions provider: we realize that our clients’ ongoing success depends on our ability to stay ahead of the curve technologically by expanding our functionality and developing on new platforms such as mobile and SaaS.

+ Perfecting core functionality.  Preventive maintenance, asset management, and work order management remain the key needs driving CMMS adoption, but you wouldn’t know it to look at some CMMS vendors.

Many CMMS providers have not improved their core functionality for years, while others have been purchased by larger companies that offer more broad-based solutions. In the latter case, the maintenance management piece is often neglected as a small part of a huge, complex system.

Even as our products have expanded and improved, ManagerPlus has remained committed to perfecting the core functionality that our clients need most. In virtually every new release and update of our products, we introduce tweaks and changes that improve our clients’ experience and make their jobs easier.

+ Conclusion. Companies who are on the fence over whether to implement a CMMS system have a lot of factors to consider. Fortunately, as we’ve seen, a simple review of ManagerPlus products and services can make the decision simple.

 

 

 

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ManagerPlus Receives High Ranking In CMMS Popularity Report

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ManagerPlus has issued a press release announcing that it has received one of the highest rankings in a recent report on CMMS provider popularity. Rapid customer base growth, strong customer retention, and a concerted effort to expand ManagerPlus’ presence across all major social media channels have combined to make ManagerPlus a leader in the CMMS industry.

Check out the full press release here: htttp://www.managerplus.com/press/articles/ManagerPlus_Receives_High_Ranking_In_CMMS_Popularity_Report

 

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5 Keys to Success in Mining

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Bingham mine

In a special guest blog, Jayde Ferguson of Statewide Bearings outlines advice on how to run a successful mining operation.

by Jayde Ferguson

Many of the natural resources used by the global population are found within the Earth’s crust, and the mining industry is responsible for locating and harvesting them. In Australia, more than 245,000 individuals, or 2% of the workforce, work in the mining industry to locate and uncover hidden reservoirs of oil, coal, rare metals, gemstones, and all kinds of other valuable materials. While raw manpower is sometimes needed on the job, most miners rely on special machinery to do most of the hard labour. Without this equipment, many tasks would be improbable or impossible for humans to accomplish. That’s why the smooth operation of the mining industry relies completely on mining devices that are tough and dependable.

1. The Critical Components

Heavy-duty digging systems are giant contraptions consisting of three major components – teeth, chains, and sprockets. All are essential to the normal functioning of a digging system and must be perfectly compatible with each other. The teeth are responsible for tearing into hard surfaces, and they’re placed all over a chain that runs via the rotation of sprockets.

When any one of those parts is worn or broken, the efficiency of the entire system is greatly reduced, and it can become inoperable. The consequences of a failing part can be grave. Not only could the entire digging machine be put out of commission for an undetermined amount of time, resulting in huge losses of profit, but the damages could also cause unnecessary harm or death to nearby workers.

2. Use of Materials Continue reading

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OSHA Fall Protection: Plan, Provide and Train

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OSHA campus logo

In this week’s guest blog from F. Marie Athey (OHST) of OSHAcampus.com, the rise in fall hazards is discussed along with tips on how to reduce them. And don’t miss our own take on this issue at OSHAcampus.com.

by F Marie Athey

For several years now, falls have been the leading cause of work-related injuries and deaths in construction. In 2010, there were 264 fall fatalities recorded by OSHA. Work places must prevent employees from falling off their work stations or in any elevated place.

OSHA states that lives can be saved and injuries lessened when employers follow these steps:

PLAN Continue reading

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ManagerPlus Releases 2014 Enterprise Update with Powerful New Features

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MPlus Logo White on Blue

ManagerPlus is excited to announce the release of the latest Enterprise 2014 product update. Our development team has worked hard to create powerful new features and functionality–including a major addition to our core asset tracking functionality–that will help our clients streamline operations, increase operational visibility, and maximize efficiency.

Our aim is to streamline and simplify every facet of asset management and workflow, which is why we’ve focused on enhancing the user experience by expanding and refining program controls. With these new features and functions, our clients will be able to get more done in less time, without sacrificing quality or accuracy. Continue reading

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CMMS in Waste Management Part 2: Managing Regulations and Rising Costs

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Wastexpo

ManagerPlus is at Waste Expo in Atlanta this week (booth 4920), providing waste management companies with a hands-on look at our CMMS solutions and explaining how they can help cut costs and improve profit margins.

In a previous blog installment we highlighted three key areas where CMMS solutions can save waste management companies money: minimizing downtime, streamlining workflow, and providing the critical information necessary to make smart equipment lifecycle decisions. For part two, we will focus on two additional areas where our solutions can impact the bottom line: coping with regulations, and managing rising costs.

+ Turn regulations into a competitive advantage. Continue reading

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Posted in CMMS ROI and Best Practices, Waste Management/Recycling | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How CMMS Can Increase Profit Margins in the Waste Management Industry, Pt. 1

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 Garbage truck

If the housing and construction industries were “ground zero” of the Great Recession, the waste management industry was right there with them, enduring the worst consequences as building and production virtually came to a halt and the volume of waste materials fell precipitously.

And like the housing and construction industries, the path to recovery for waste management companies has been slow and painful. Profit margins still haven’t fully recovered, and companies must find ways to ramp up capacity to respond to recovering demand, without further eroding margins.

These challenges are playing out over a competitive landscape that has been undergoing a major shift toward privatization since the early 90s. This means that there’s more business to be won for private companies, and more pressure on public waste management organizations to run lean, innovative operations.

This is why CMMS solutions can be particularly beneficial for waste management companies: they help keep equipment running in top condition to minimize downtime, streamline workflow, and provide management with the hard operational data they need to make smart decisions about equipment life cycles and upgrades.

+ Minimize Downtime. In an environment where margins are thin, it is vitally important to reduce costs associated with sudden equipment/vehicle failures. Continue reading

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Posted in CMMS ROI and Best Practices, Fleet | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment