Learning About Industrial Equipment Repairs

5 Signs That It’s Time To Upgrade Your Beveling Tool

As the owner of a small metal fabrication shop, your beveling tool is probably one of the most important pieces of equipment in your shop. It is a tool that is used often and will eventually need to be replaced with a newer machine in order to keep up with technological advancements and the changing demand of customers. Keep reading to spot 5 signs that it’s time for you to replace your current beveling system with a new and improved model. 1. Maintenance Costs Are Steadily Increasing One of the tell-tale signs that you probably need a new beveling machine is that the maintenance costs of your current machine are on the rise. If you are constantly making repairs, or the machine is often down and you’re losing money because jobs aren’t being done in a timely manner, then it’s time to start looking for a new beveling tool. And if you reach the point where regular maintenance won’t solve the problem, then you need to buy a new beveling machine as soon as possible. 2. Slow Operation Is Causing Bottlenecks If your beveling operation is slower than the rest of the production line, you will end up with bottlenecks that will cost you time, man-power, and money. When you invest in a new beveling system that will save your man-hours and create the opportunity for you to use your shop workers in a more productive manner, you will have improved efficiency that will save you money instead of cost you money. 3. Quality Is Steadily Decreasing A good sign that your beveling equipment is wearing down is an increase in rework rates and/or scrap. When your machine isn’t keeping up with your high quality standards, then you should start looking into buying a new machine that can keep up with those high standards. Look at machines that will allow you to go above and beyond your current output to impress your customers and keep them coming back for more. 4. Precision Is Not What It Used To Be In the world of metal fabrication, precision is everything. If your beveling tools no longer meet the specifications that where guaranteed when you purchased them, then it means there are worn parts that are no longer functioning as well as they used to. As parts wear out, you will begin to have trouble meeting job specifications. If your customers are not […]

The Pros & Cons of Refurbished Pallet Racking

Pallet racking can help you free up floor space in your warehouse. Instead of storing pallets of merchandise on the ground, you can get racks with multiple shelves, allowing you to store these pallets vertically. When you are looking to purchase pallet racks, you have three options. You can buy the racks new, buy them refurbished, or buy them in as-is used condition. Learning about the pros and cons of buying refurbished pallet racking will help you decide if this is the right option for your business. Here are some of those advantages and disadvantages. Cons of Buying Refurbished Pallet Racking You May Not Get Everything You Want One of the downsides to buying a refurbished or even used pallet racking system is that you may not get everything that you were hoping to get in one. When you buy a pallet racking system new, you get to customize the system to fit your warehouse, including the height and width of the racks, the amount of weight they need to hold and possibly even the color of the fixture. When you buy used, you may need to settle one what’s most important if you can’t find exactly what you want. Think of it like buying a new versus used car. When you buy new, you can pick your exterior and interior colors and the features you want. When you buy used, you may not be able to find the car you want with the exact features you want, so you find a car with most of the features and let go of the rest. The same is true when buying used pallet racks. You’re Getting an Older System and Parts May Be Hard to Come By The other disadvantage to buying a used or refurbished pallet rack system is that you are buying an older system. Some of the parts may have since been discontinued or may be hard to come by if you need repairs or spare parts. Always do your homework before selecting a used or refurbished rack to see how hard it will be to buy the parts you may need in the future. Pros of Buying Refurbished Pallet Racking You Will Pay Less One of the biggest benefits to buying refurbished pallet racking instead of new pallet racking is the cost. Refurbished pallet racks are cheaper than brand new ones. If you are on a budget […]

Air Compressor Oil – Learn About The Importance Of Proper Lubrication And How To Change The Oil

Regular oil changes should be performed on most air compressors, especially those that are heavily used in a shop environment. Failing to do so or using the wrong type of oil can have bad consequences for the operation and lifespan of your compressor. That is why you should understand the importance played by air compressor oil as well as how to properly perform an oil change. Below is more information on lubricants and a step-by-step guide to changing the oil inside your shop’s compressor: Compressor oil – What it does and why the right oil matters Though you may not have previously considered its importance, the oil inside your air compressor performs several critical roles beyond lubrication of moving parts. Here are a couple of the most important: Cooling of components Sealing micro-sized gaps between components to prevent air leakage The compression of air generates a tremendous amount of heat, and since air compressors used in a shop environment are typically not water-cooled, that leaves air cooling and oil cooling as the only alternatives for heat dissipation. Compressor oil absorbs heat from the device and prevents the unit from being damaged as a result of heat buildup. In fact, it is not unusual for air compressors to greatly exceed the boiling point of water (212 degrees Fahrenheit). Such a heat load requires special oils that can handle these high temperatures, so that is why air compressor oil must be used. A failure to use the proper oil can lead to thermal breakdown and cause the oil to leave a varnish-like film on the internal parts of the compressor. In the same way, continuing to use oil past its useful life can result in the same problems, which is why regular changes are important to the well-being of the compressor. How to perform an air compressor oil change As you have seen, using the right oil for your compressor is critical, and making the correct selection is the first step to take when preparing for an oil change. Your compressor’s manufacturer will provide guidance regarding the correct oil specifications, so be sure to adhere to these when making your purchase. Once you have the oil in hand, you are ready to perform the change: 1. Heat the oil inside the compressor – Start the compressor and operate it for several minutes to heat the interior components and the oil by extension. Hot […]

Should You Have Your Motorcycle Dyno Tuned?

If you’ve recently purchased a used or rebuilt motorcycle, you may still be tuning it and tinkering with it in anticipation of getting it back on the road. Unfortunately, for motorcycles that have had a rough go of things under previous ownership, even experienced mechanics may have trouble preventing power surges or other misfires while the engine is warming. If this is the case, having your motorcycle tuned with the help of a dynanometer (dyno) may be the answer. Read on to learn more about the benefits (and costs) of dyno tuning for your motorcycle. What benefits can dyno tuning provide? Often, rebuilt or not-so-gently-used motorcycles can suffer from a number of timing issues that may leave you wobbling or struggling to maintain speed as you take off from a stoplight or navigate a sharp turn. In other cases, engine misfires can cause you to unexpectedly slow as you enter a turn or try to accelerate after pulling out, potentially putting you in danger. By having your motorcycle professionally tuned with a dyno, you’ll be able to regain smooth firing and constant engine performance to avoid any snags while operating your bike. Dyno tuning can be as minimal or involved as you’d like, but generally requires you to purchase programmers and resistors for use in testing your own dyno’s engine. You’ll also need to rent time with a dyno and either utilize a technician who can help tune your motorcycle or do this yourself (assuming you can interpret the dyno’s readings without much assistance). The dyno will measure your engine’s output and performance and give you the data you need to make minor to moderate timing changes and other modifications to help your engine run smoothly. You may need to do some tinkering over the course of a day or two, but should be able to gather enough data and perform enough test cycles during your dyno session to pinpoint exactly the changes you need to make to maximize your performance and solve any problems you may have noticed. In addition to increasing performance and minimizing the number of engine misses or stalls you experience, having your motorcycle dyno tuned can significantly improve your engine’s fuel economy. For states that require motorcycles to undergo annual inspections or emissions certifications, dyno tuning can also improve your odds of passing with flying colors on the first try (rather than having to undertake potentially […]

5 Non-Chemical Methods For Road Dust Control

Whether you own a private dirt road or share an unpaved road with neighbors, chances are the issue of dust control has come up at some point. Road dust seems harmless at first glance, but it can actually pose a wide variety of health, environmental and engineering dangers. Not only does uncontrolled road dust make it harder to see oncoming traffic and other obstacles, but it can also trigger allergies and other respiratory ailments in vulnerable people. The loss of binding material in the form of dust also causes unpaved roads to deteriorate faster. There are plenty of methods to control road dust, including the use of calcium chloride and various petroleum-based products. However, some of these methods are often expensive and may have an undesirable environmental impact. The following offers several non-chemical methods that can be used to effectively suppress road dust. Reducing Road Speeds The faster a vehicle travels on an unpaved road, the more dust it’s likely to kick up. As a result, reducing road speeds along unpaved stretches can prove an effective way of controlling road dust. According to the State of Alaska Division of Air Quality, reducing vehicle speeds on unpaved roads from 40 mph to 20 mph provided a 65-percent reduction in dust emissions. To ensure that other road users also reduce their speeds along unpaved stretches, you may want to consider implementing traffic calming measures modified for use on unpaved roads. For example, you can place speed bumps at regular intervals to encourage low-speed travel. Reducing Traffic Levels Another way to reduce road dust involves reducing the number of vehicles that use unpaved roads. This is often done by placing weight restrictions on vehicles that use the road. Officials may also restrict the types of vehicles that are allowed to use the road. Other measures may include the use of barriers to block larger vehicles from traversing the road, limiting the road itself to pedestrian or non-motorized bicycle traffic. Watering the Road Instead of using deliquescent salts like calcium chloride, synthetic polymers or petroleum-based binders to control road dust, plain water can be used as an effective short-term suppressant. Unfortunately, the effects of unpaved road watering only last for a few days before repeat treatment is needed. In comparison, other dust control products may last for significantly longer periods of time between treatments. Keep in mind that you’ll need to transport a water […]

Going Green: Smart Ways Your Business Can Save Energy

If you run a business, a large chunk of your monthly bills probably goes toward energy costs. It’s important to get those costs as low as possible so you can run your business efficiently. If you need to lower your energy bills, here are some tips for lowering your energy costs for your business. Get an Energy Audit An energy audit is a great way to find out how much energy your business is consuming. Some utility companies even offer free audits. All you have to do is call and ask if they can do a free audit for you. Even if they don’t offer free ones, the cost will be low enough to be worth all the money you’ll save from the knowledge you gain. The audit will determine how energy efficient your equipment is, and it will also show you where you lose heat throughout your building, so you can fix it and keep the heated or air conditioned air inside, where it belongs. Keep Computers Off One big mistake that companies make is leaving computers on when they leave for the day. Employees turn off their monitors and then they go home. If even one computer is on, it’s using unnecessary energy all night. If you have 10, 20, or a few hundred computers, imagine how much energy they are consuming during the hours your business is closed. Make sure employees are instructed to turn off computers or use the hibernation feature. If everyone doesn’t have enough time to turn their computers on every morning, the hibernation feature allows them to sit all night without consuming much energy, and they only take a second to boot up after you wake it up. To manage your hibernation settings, press Windows + X. Once you’re in the power menu, press Power Options, click change plan settings and then scroll down to the sleep section. You’ll see an option that says, hibernation after and your employees can choose the amount of time that should elapse before hibernation occurs. You can send people out to change this on everyone’s computer to the amount of time you deem appropriate or send out a memo to your employees with instructions to change it themselves. Add Insulation It’s mandatory for a building to be insulated. However, building codes require a specific minimum amount of insulation, which is far below the recommended amount for proper energy […]

Keeping Raccoons Away From Food Manufacturing Dumpsters

If you own or manage a food manufacturing plant, then you likely have some food product waste that needs to be tossed out at the end of the day. Depending on your waste collection needs, this generally means a dumpster must be utilized to get rid of the trash. Unfortunately, placing food items in such a large collection bin can create an environment where pests tend to gather. These pests may include raccoons. Raccoons will not only make a mess of a dumpster in a quick manner, but they may also carry diseases, like rabies, leptospirosis, giardiasis, and raccoon roundworm that can harm your employees. Raccoons can easily get stuck in a dumpster as well and scare an unsuspecting employee. This means you should strive to keep away raccoons, and the following tips will help. Mask Food Odors Raccoons are omnivores, and this means they will eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meat, and grains. In fact, raccoons are known to eat almost any type of food that is available to them. Unlike other animals, raccoons also do not have a specific food type that will attract them. While the animals do prefer nuts, fruit, and sweets, the animals are much more concerned about an abundant food source than the type of food that is available to them. Abundant food sources mean that raccoons can eat throughout the warmer months. This allows them to build up fat that can be used during the winter when food is scarce.  Raccoons will return to an area over and over again if they know that food is available. The key to keeping raccoons away from your dumpsters is to prevent them from recognizing that food is available inside of them in the first place. This means making sure that your garbage does not release odors into the air. The first step is to bag food properly. You should buy thick garbage bags that will not rip as refuse is placed inside of them. You should go with strong, high density bags. These garbage bags can be quite thick. Thicknesses typically range from 6 to 22 microns. Look for bags that are somewhere in the middle of this range, since food is not likely to be that heavy.  If possible, purchase garbage bags that have smart closures. These bags have four separate tabs on the top that can be tied together to create a secure seal. Once the bags are closed properly, place them in the dumpster. You should also place a raccoon repellent outside […]

The Material Of Your Casters May Often Determine Their Use

Most people have a deep appreciation for casters that they may not even know they have. This is because these pivoting rollers make moving any type of load easier, but they work especially well with heavy loads. What you may not realize is that not every caster is designed to be used in every environment. If you are designing a project that needs to move, you will want to use casters and not wheels, but you may want to consider the material they are made from. Because the material will really make a difference. Why Choose Casters Over Wheels? While the words wheels and casters are often used interchangeably, and although they both may roll, they are actually two very different things. Wheels which are most commonly used in conjunction with an axle allows for directional movement of an item. Although they can be directed, or steered to turn, this process takes time to occur.  On the other hand, a caster offers much more flexibility. Their construction includes a wheel which has been mounted inside of a housing along with a special type of bearing which allows the wheel to have a 360 degree range of motion and rotation. This makes pushing, rolling, and turning much easier to do. They come in several different types. These include: Rigid Casters – These are affixed to a stationary fork, which is oriented to determine the straight line your project will travel in. These types of casters are more restrictive than their swivel cousins. Swivel Casters – Along with the basic construction of the rigid caster, a swivel joint is added above the fork to a swivel caster. This added joint allows the caster to rotate 360 degrees, which in turn allows your wheel to move in any direction. Industrial Casters – Can be either rigid or swivel. What sets these apart are the amount of weight they are designed to carry. Industrial casters often have the addition of top plates which allows them to be bolted to the materials, or loads they are carrying. What Difference Does The Material Make? Casters come in a wide variety of materials. They can be found in: Rubber Plastic Wood Steel Stainless Steel Depending on the materials they are constructed from some casters will do a better job in one environment than another. Plastic or rubber casters are often used in environments that are susceptible to […]