MRO Magazine

How downtime can mean more uptime

Our final issue of 2002 is so packed with a variety of information that we couldn't fit all the complete descriptions on the contents page. One example is The Fan Guys column on page 54. We're really ...

December 1, 2002 | By Bill Roebuck, Editor

Our final issue of 2002 is so packed with a variety of information that we couldn’t fit all the complete descriptions on the contents page. One example is The Fan Guys column on page 54. We’re really honoured to have it as a regular feature, as it provides a novel approach to maintenance tips and advice.

Each issue, a technical tip by engineer Jim Wywrot is accompanied by a humorous panel cartoon by the famous Canadian illustrator, Richard Comely. He’s the creator of the well-known Captain Canuck character, and here he applies his considerable graphic skill to highlight plant fan problems and solutions. There’s nothing like this feature in any other industrial magazine in the world.

By the way, this issue reveals how the birth of FanMan came about. Read it, have a laugh — and learn if your fans really have more capacity in them, or if you’re wasting power by running them too fast.

This issue also introduces two new regular columns to our pages, the Safety File and CMMS Software Solutions.


Engineer Simon Fridlyand of Toronto has a wealth of experience in health and safety as a consultant and we welcome him as our new safety columnist. His first article explains the principles of using engineering know-how to make plants and workers safe, He also describes the safest methods of working with compressed air and how to avoid some stupid mistakes others have made.

Another new columnist, also a widely experienced consultant, is Peter Phillips. He is a certified millwright, industrial electrician, electronics technician and professional trainer. His expertise with computerized maintenance management systems and his training background combine to make him an ideal author of our new CMMS Software Solutions column. Writing from his base in Nova Scotia, he will blend personal experience and real-life case histories into his articles.

This issue also gives you a knowledgeable perspective on reducing trouble with casters and wheels. Another interesting technical feature is found in our Ted’s Tech Talk column by fluid power trainer Ted Grove.

Plus we have a pair of insightful case histories — similar in that production staffs at both facilities handle their own maintenance duties. Both articles focus on the human element so important in maintenance work.

But that element comes through no more clearly than in our profile of Brian Whitehead, maintenance manager of the Nitrochem facility in Maitland, Ont. Whitehead was honoured last month by the Plant Engineering & Maintenance Association of Canada (PEMAC) with the Sergio Guy Memorial Award. Receiving the lifetime achievement trophy was a shock for Whitehead. When he heard his name announced at the awards reception, “My legs went to jelly,” he said. When you read about his 50-year career, I’m sure you’ll agree this recognition is well deserved.

I also want to remind you to review the Product News section, since we pore through hundreds and hundreds of items for every issue and pare the list down to a carefully selected group that we hope can save you time or money and solve some problems in your facilities.

As well, it’s worth noting that the there’s often much more detail on the news items we publish in Industry Newswatch, which can be found by searching for the item on our website at We have more freedom with space there and can publish additional details that won’t fit in print.

I still haven’t covered everything herein, but a quick browse through the pages will reveal all. I hope you can find a bit of personal ‘downtime’ to really read this issue, in the belief that you’ll learn something that will help you boost ‘uptime’ in your plant.


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