13 March 2012
Operations and maintenance
A new exhibition for the industrial maintenance sector opens its doors next month. Brian Tinham looks ahead to Plant & Asset Management 2012
Plant & Asset Management 2012 is a shiny new biennial exhibition being inaugurated this year, dedicated to industrial maintenance and aimed at those responsible for managing and servicing physical plant assets. It runs in Hall 3 at the NEC, Birmingham from 17 to 19 April and, interestingly, will be co-located with several other notable engineering events, including MACH, Drives and Controls, Air-Tech and IFPEX (International Fluid Power Exhibition).
That makes it particularly attractive: bringing all these events together under one roof means there should be something for everyone. As a result organiser DFA says it expects some 40,000 visitors overall. It also means an unusually extensive seminar programme, under the guidance of RoSPA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), which is also running the event's new central Energy and Safety seminar theatre.
Presentations in this hub theatre, sponsored by CompAir, will focus on energy management topics, with themed panel discussions and seminars ranging from wind turbine maintenance to legislative issues around health and safety, including machinery safety and the EU's ATEX Directive. Meanwhile, RoSPA is also looking after the new Plant & Asset Management technical workshops – running in two seminar theatres – and the Motion and Control Industry theatre.
Looking specifically at the Plant & Asset Management workshops, there is an impressive array of backers. Primary sponsors, for example, include Artesis, Flir, Fluke, Micro Epsilon, Moog, Schaeffler and Shell. Meanwhile, others lending their august names range from BCAS (British Compressed Air Society) to the British Institute of Non Destructive Testing, Cranfield University, the Institution of Diagnostic Engineers, RoSPA and SOE IPlantE.
Just providing an idea of the depth of coverage, on the first day, Mark Barnes of Des-Case will be examining the real cost of lubrication contamination. He suggests that this problem is responsible for 82% of component wear, and says his session will put the spotlight on the most common fluid contaminants, revealing how they affect machinery and how they can be eliminated. Simple, effective methods for cost-benefit analysis of contamination controls will also be covered, he says.
Again on Tuesday 17 April, Ian Pledger of Schaeffler will be talking about 'health insurance' for plant and machinery, making the obvious point that prevention is better than cure. He says his session will explain why condition monitoring and predictive maintenance are so important to today's process and manufacturing industries, and cover the main tools and techniques available – with case studies to demonstrate just how much money can be saved.
Another not to miss on the same day is Richard Kelly's (of EMS) analysis of what you need to get 'lean reliability' working for you on plant. Kelly reckons he will cover how maintenance thinking has evolved in recent years, the RCM (reliability centred maintenance) pioneers' approaches and why integrating quality, safety and efficiency into reliability is the way to go – if you can negotiate the politics. For him, this is about achieving the plant and business benefits of value-added maintenance, not least through considering condition monitoring as more than just about plant gadgets.
Then getting into the details of thermography for condition monitoring, the Tuesday also sees Paul Sacker – ex of Flir, but now with Crimson Industrial Vision – talking about what's involved in using infrared cameras for plant and asset management. Sacker is an old hand at this, and delegates can look forward to application examples showing how thermal imaging makes a real difference to plant and asset management approaches.
And so it continues: on the Wednesday, for example, delegates will be able to hear from Timothy Bradshaw, an applications specialist with Mistras, speaking about the application of online asset inspection and monitoring. Bradshaw says it's all about the "intelligent prioritisation of asset maintenance that minimises unnecessary downtime" – meaning condition monitoring by inference, specifically without pulling large-scale assets from service. Expect a review of the range of techniques available, their advantages and limitations, with the emphasis on pipework, storage tanks, pressure vessels, structures, transformers, etc.
Other sessions particularly worth attention include: early and accurate detection of rolling element bearing faults; risk mitigation through strategic maintenance and reliability; predictive maintenance on electric motors and their driven loads; OEE and effective asset management; PAS 55 and what it has to offer asset management; the hidden factory and releasing your plant's full potential; and staying on the right side of the law, with help from Andy Kidd of RSA Engineering. Seminars are all free to attend but visitors are advised to book a place: go to www.maintenanceuk-expo.com for the full programme.
As for the exhibitors, Plant & Asset Management 2012 will host an eclectic mix, from Antech Hydraulics to Artesis, Beran Instruments, C-Cubed, Cygnus Instruments, Das Developments, Des-Case, EMS, Flir, Fluke, Forward Industrial Products, GDO Engineering, Helmet Integrated Systems, Idhammar Systems, Integrated Maintenance Centre, Keytracker, Mainnovation, Mistras, Monition, Petro-Canada, Propeller GB, Reliability Maintenance Solutions, Schaeffler, SKF, Strategic Maintenance, Techni Measure and Testo.
Schaeffler will be launching a new range of bearing induction heaters for improved, safer maintenance operations. The company has also developed a new series of bearing and condition monitoring training courses, to provide a more in-depth understanding of rolling bearing technology and condition monitoring tools and techniques.
Not surprisingly, perhaps, there will be several suppliers of thermal imaging equipment at the event. Testo has added new cameras to its range, plus it has introduced a feature called SuperResolution. This can double the geometric resolution of thermal images using true readings, which are comparable to higher detector resolutions. Testo will also be demonstrating its multi-purpose 435 instrument, which measures all key parameters needed to determine indoor air quality and maintenance of ventilation and air conditioning systems. The newer 480 model has greater capability for measuring climate in environments such as laboratories and calibration centres.
Visitors to Flir Systems' stand will be able to see its full range of models, from the troubleshooting Flir i-series to the T640 series for advanced thermal analysis and reporting. "We're keen to demonstrate to visitors a camera upgrade path that will make the job of thermal inspection even more efficient," says Flir's Andy Baker. "Standard features such as Wi-Fi communication with other instruments and mobile devices really do add value and save time." Visitors will also be able to pick up an infrared guidebook, which Flir has produced for those new to thermography.
Maintenance software business Idhammar will be demonstrating its range of technology used to drive greater efficiency in factories. Its OEE system is designed to help businesses improve productivity in their manufacturing processes. Idhammar says the system is suitable for single or multiple lines and for standalone or multiple sites. The company will also be exhibiting its Andon display system, showing real-time KPI measures, as well as its maintenance management system which is deployed in organisations of all sizes.
Products on display at the show extend beyond software and technology. Industrial door manufacturer Ro-Dor, for example, will have three working demonstrations on its stand: a PvCu roller door which has thermal, acoustic and hygienic properties; a Dynaco rapid door, which is resistant to wind and impact; and a Hormann sectional door. All three have safety features to prevent closure on an obstruction.
For details of exhibitors, seminars and other event information, go to www.maintenanceuk-expo.com.
your at a-glance guide
What? Plant & Asset Management 2012
When? 17-19 April
How? Register online at www.maintenanceuk-expo.com
Fluke (UK) Ltd
Micro Epsilon UK Ltd
Moog Controls Ltd
Schaffler GmbH & Co KG
Shell UK Ltd
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