MRO Magazine

Feature

Being Prepared

Forget the lousy economy. You already have enough trouble keeping your machinery and equipment running effectively. Also, it's often difficult to keep your team motivated and enthusiastic about its wo...


Forget the lousy economy. You already have enough trouble keeping your machinery and equipment running effectively. Also, it’s often difficult to keep your team motivated and enthusiastic about its work. On top of that, it’s even a challenge to find the skilled workers you need in the first place.

And now this: What are you going to do if Canada faces a flu pandemic in the weeks ahead? Not only could the H1N1 flu virus decimate your maintenance, production and management staff, it could affect the regular flow of equipment and components from distributors and suppliers. It could affect power and communications too.

And then again, it may all just be a lot of worry over nothing. Who’s to know?

But just in case, you should be prepared. That’s why we asked our Safety File columnist Simon Fridlyand to talk in this issue about preparing for a pandemic. Follow this advice (see page 24), and think carefully about the issues this article discusses, and you’ll be as ready as anyone in industry to deal with the consequences of a flu pandemic.

You can also forget the lousy economy because things finally seem to have bottomed out. Even in Ontario, manufacturing’s decline has stopped. Again, with so many factors in the global economy affecting every aspect of industry here, from price-bouncing commodities to the plethora of made-in-China replacement products killing our export markets, who’s to know what’s really going to happen next?

Know this, though. Those who study and read and research say things really are starting to improve at Canada’s mines, mills, factories and other industrial facilities. It may be as slow as trying to turn around an ocean liner but it’s happening. And like everything else, you should also be prepared for it.

You may have been taking advantage of the economic slowdown by investing in staff training, catching up on all those non-urgent work orders, or finally getting all your equipment keyed into a CMMS system. If so, you’ll be ready to roll when the production lines speed up again, when dormant processes start pumping through product, and when drill bits and saw blades need to be sharpened more frequently.

Continuing our role of helping you be prepared, this issue contains a variety of stories, from the cold, hard, frustrating facts of running the maintenance operations at a Quebec shingle plant, to tips on choosing the best work gloves for the job. Plus we present technical articles on gear drive replacement in variable speed drives, thermal imaging for predictive maintenance, and how to avoid air compressor failures.

There’s more, of course, as you’ll see by reviewing this issue’s Contents page. So despite our diminished page count — a direct effect of that lousy economy — we’re still packing plenty of knowledge into every issue to help you in your work. And we’ve got lots more planned for future issues. As you might expect, we’re prepared!

Bill Roebuck,

Editor & Associate Publisher