A sewer cleaning truck is a sophisticated piece of equipment. It has a pump capable of blasting a stream of water up to 2,000 PSI. Specialized nozzles, attached to a hose, use the pressurized water to clean and unclog pipes. The pump also pulsates the water stream, giving the nozzle a “jackhammer” effect to remove really tough clogs. When the task is complete, the nozzle is retrieved from the sewer pipe by winding the hose back up on a hose reel.
My business card reads Vice President of Sales and Marketing. In my heart, though, I am still the territory sales representative I was at the beginning of my career. Sitting in front of a customer and making my pitch is what has driven me for 29 years at Dixon. For that reason, you might think that US Manufacturing Day, which we celebrate on October 5th this year, would have less meaning to me than others at Dixon. Plant managers, machine operators, and maintenance supervisors spend their days “manufacturing” – turning castings into finished parts, repairing and maintaining machines, and producing Dixon products. I just sell what they make.
At a waste-to-energy facility, part of the operating procedure is to periodically dislodge the buildup of ash that collects on the internal walls of the scrubbers (air cleaners) so that it can be removed for proper disposal. This is done to maintain efficiency of the scrubbers and to prevent the ash from being released into the atmosphere.
“Depress brake before shifting out of park.” “Don’t lift the chute while mower is running.” The goal of these manufacturer safety warnings is to prevent an unintended, and often dangerous, action. Automotive manufacturers put safety devices in place to prevent sudden, and possibly uncontrollable, movement of their cars. Lawn mower manufacturers install deflection chutes to prevent objects from being hurled from mowers at great velocity. Often viewed as a nuisance, safety devices also appear to slow things down. So, sometimes they are removed or disabled.
Last week we had our 2018 Dixon Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Summit. The purpose of this summit was to work together to continuously improve our manufacturing and design processes throughout the company. We also invited Markforged and Siemens. They were able to bring their expertise and introduce more creative ideas for improvement. Markforged published a success story about some of our earlier work together, see the video below.
No matter how stern the warning, we are sometimes blind to the consequences. Even with a manufacturer’s warning, productivity is often of greater importance than safety. Until someone gets severely injured.
Storm clouds. Shuffling feet on a carpet. A chemical hose in use. What do these three things have in common? They all have the capability of producing static electricity.
Air is used as an energy source in almost every type of industry. It is an extremely efficient form of energy and is relatively inexpensive. It is easy to regulate and, when used with the proper equipment, is easy to clean and can be delivered relatively free of moisture, if necessary. Air, as it exists all around us, is at atmospheric pressure of 14.7 pounds per square inch. When it is used as an energy source, it is compressed and delivered through a piping system or air hose to tool or other piece of equipment at pressures many times higher than atmospheric. When the air is released at the tool and returns to atmospheric pressure, it does so with explosive force. Air hose and air hose fittings are designed to deliver that force with a high degree of reliability and, when properly selected and applied, do just that.
Crimping has become the preferred method for creating hose assemblies over the last few years as it should; with less tooling required and a more accurate finished diameter why would you expect anything else? However, with any new process comes the discovery of how to optimize the process to be the most effective and efficient. With that in mind, we want to offer a few quick tips to enhance the process of crimping in the best way possible.
When petroleum prices dropped to new lows in 2014, the technology used in hydraulic fracturing equipment was destined to evolve with productivity gains. On the low-pressure side, blenders, hydration systems, acidizing units, chemical additive units and missile trailers needed to be more efficient. For example, these machines traditionally consist of multiple components that are fabricated by using a combination of welding and threading, which are then installed on the equipment only to develop leaks in the harsh environment of slurry transfer. As Dixon became engaged with these challenges, our engineers designed and produced one-piece products that lasted longer in these applications.