The Industrial Internet of Things’ (IIoT) Should Matter to Your Manufacturing Operation

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Manufacturing operations of all shapes, sizes, and types are using the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to achieve substantial competitive advantages, and improve profits.

The Industrial Internet, also sometimes referred to as Industry 4.0, connects and links concepts such as big data, analytical tools and decision making, and connected networks with traditional industrial equipment.  It is about collecting and applying data to make better decisions, run facilities more efficiently, and in the end to improve profits. The IIoT is in the process of revolutionizing manufacturing.

Some ways that the IIoT has impacted traditional industrial manufacturers, food processors and those in agricultural processing is by improving the collection of system data that allows better record keeping, inspection tracking, and analysis. These help with the productivity of certain areas such as predictive maintenance, safety, and supply chain.  The IIoT advantages can be especially beneficial in those areas.

The IIoT can help your manufacturing operation in many different ways. Three of the main areas it can be beneficial the most in are 1) Preventative maintenance, by being able to better predict when your equipment will need servicing. 2) Safety, by providing reports and real-time updates to track events that can prevent accidents. Finally, 3) it helps with your supply chain by giving you visibility on your products before, during, and after shipments by the use of sensors, scales, or even encoders and tachometers.

The promises of the IIoT and the changes that Industry 4.0 are bringing are no longer “coming attractions”.  They are for companies that embrace the potential of the IIoT. There are substantial competitive advantages, increases in profit, and new opportunities abound.  This is a concept that deserves your attention.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact your IIoT experts at Thompson Automation. We have 30+ years of experience and are always willing to help in any way we can to improve your business. Contact us today at:

Phone: 844.321.3869

Email: help@thompsonspecialty.com

Website: www.thompsonspecialty.com

Are you wearing the proper PPE?

Are you wearing the proper personal protective equipment? Do you know about the many dangers that could occur if you are not prepared? We at Thompson know all about safety and are more than happy to share, teach, and train you on this information. If you read along, we will explain what you should be wearing to avoid any issues with electrical equipment.

There are plenty of hazardous events that can occur if you have the wrong or even no PPE on at all. Serious injury and even death can be the result of not being properly trained. Some of the injuries include: electric shock, severe burns, blindness, shrapnel wounds, lung blast injuries, ruptured eardrums, and pressure wave injuries. If you are wearing the proper PPE, then you will be able to avoid all of those problems.

You may not know which PPE to wear at the right time. The only way to know is to have your Arc Flash Risk Assessment completed. This is an essential assessment because it will tell you which pieces of equipment require level 1 PPE or level 4 PPE. Ask yourself, do you want to be caught in a situation where you need all the protection possible and you are only wearing level 1 equipment? The answer is probably no. Think about that the next time you are around electrical equipment, it could mean life or death for you.

We at Thompson provide Arc Flash Risk Assessments and are more than willing to come out and train you on what equipment needs certain levels of PPE. This knowledge will greatly increase the safety of your employees and that is something that we strive to achieve. Come to us for your PPE training and Arc Flash Risk Assessment needs.

For more questions or comments feel free to contact us. Our information is:
Website: www.thompsonspecialty.com
Phone: 844-321-3869
Email: help@thompsonspecialty.com

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The Three Best Things to Do To Avoid OSHA Training Violations

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With OSHA’s clear message to all employers that more training needs to be completed in order to avoid violations, there are three main things that you can do in order to educate you and your employees of the importance of being compliant.

The first thing you can do is to start with education and a clear understanding of what OSHA is asking you to do. There are plenty of resources out there that can help you with that such as, the Training Requirements in OSHA Standards, and the NFPA 70E Handbook. These documents will be able to clearly explain what you need to do in order to get your employees properly trained. OSHA has now made it a requirement that the employer must train their employees. This means that in order to stay compliant and avoid violations you MUST have training complete.

The second thing is to check out the 270-page book that lists the overview and requirements of the OSHA standards. This is meant to assist employers, safety and health professionals, and training directors with what they need to know in order to keep their employees safe. Also check out the most cited violations for the past year. This will give you an idea on what to avoid and what to train your employees on.

The third thing to do would be to get started with your training schedule and keep track of what you are doing. One of the main questions that an OSHA investigator will ask is if your employees have received proper training. It’s better to have a program started rather than not at all. Keeping track of what you do shows that you are making the right steps forward.

Overlooking training isn’t something that we would recommend. It is better to get started now than to do nothing at all. Come to Thompson for your training needs, we are ready and willing to assist you in any way.

For more information regarding Thompson Training contact us at:

Phone: 844.321.3869

Email: help@thompsonspecialty.com

Website: www.thompsonspecalty.com

Wouldn’t It Be Nice If You Could Fix Problems Before They Occur?

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You can!  Discover problems within your electrical systems before they occur with the technology of infrared thermal imaging. While there is not a single electrical preventative maintenance program or field of study that can catch all problems, the most reliable and cost-effective inspection to have conducted is Thermal Imaging. It is a non-contact, non-destructive technology proven effective in the early detection of imminent failure in electrical and mechanical systems.

There are many benefits of Thermal imaging. For one, Thermal Imaging improves the safety standards of your workspace and can detect a potential problem early so no employees get hurt in a possible accident. An overloaded circuit is one of the most common types of defects that leads to fires and can be detected with infrared scanning. Stopping this sooner than later is highly important. Two, it can help to reduce downtime from failed equipment and decrease the time you spend on replacing those systems because you can plan for it. If Thermal Imaging can detect the problem early, you can adjust what you need to so it won’t become completely useless and need a replacement. Detecting problems early can also allow you to save money because paying for the services of thermal imaging is a lot cheaper than having to replace an entire electrical panel or circuit breaker system. Three, the process of thermal imaging is quick and easy, there is no need for lengthy preparations or pre-inspection work. A typical thermal imaging scan involves: walking in, scanning the different systems, looking for “hot spots”, and collecting data. It’s that easy.

A couple other things to consider would be our extensive work that goes above and beyond what our competitors do along with how dependable and reliable we are to you the customer. We at Thompson have certified Thermographers that go beyond their normal walkthroughs and actually take the time to scan each system to collect the valuable data in order to keep your facility safe. This helps to avoid any possible equipment failure or unnecessary downtime.

For any more questions or concerns regarding our thermal imaging services please don’t be afraid to call us at 844.321.3869, emails us at help@thompsonspecialty.com, or visit our website at https://www.thompsonspecialty.com/home.html

Do you trust your control systems integrator to have your best interest in mind?

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Is your Control Systems Integrator a business partner or do you think of them more as a car repair mechanic? Someone you only see when there is a problem and you never are quite certain if they are telling you a line or shooting you straight.  Do you ever have that feeling the mechanic isn’t doing something to your car to make you come back in a week or two? That trust with your system integrator is extremely important as you consider what might happen if the engine of your production systems breaks down.

Ask yourself five critical questions?

  1. Does your control systems integrator customize their work to meet your needs?
  2. Are your SCADA and IT systems growing as you grow?
  3. When was the last time your provider brought you new and innovative ideas?
  4. Are they following through when they say they will get the job done in a timely manner?
  5. Do you trust them?

A trusting relationship with your systems integrator is very important in getting the best service possible. If you can’t answer these five questions in the affirmative, then it might be time to look for a new control systems partner.  Your systems integrator should have three qualities for you to trust them. The first is for them to be ready and willing to adjust to your needs. The second thing is for them to have a good communication system in place to work around what you want. Lastly, the third one is to simply be more involved with you. If your integrator isn’t doing these things, it is time to change.

Thompson Automation has been meeting the needs of customers for more than 30 years. Thompson is not about “products” and fitting you into the mold of what the “system” will do rather we spend our time fitting the best solution around your needs.  We craft custom solutions to meet our customers’ specific needs. We can assure you that Thompson is the way to go.

If you need reliable and dependable experts to help with any of your controls and automation needs then don’t hesitate to contact us. Our information is:

Phone: 844.321.3869

Email: help@thompsonspecialty.com

Website: www.thompsonspecialty.com

It’s time you had an Arc Flash study done

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Are you ready for the new OSHA electrical safety requirements? Do you feel prepared? Have you had your Arc Flash Risk Assessment complete? If the answer is no then it is time to get started. “What is an Arc Flash?” this is one of the most frequently asked questions. An Arc Flash occurs because of a release of energy caused by an electrical arc, resulting in an explosion. The flash can reach temperatures up to 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

One of the main reasons to get an Arc Flash Risk Assessment is because the explosion that occurs is known to cause serious damage. With the extreme temperatures of the blast, burns account for around 80% of all the injuries. Any employee not wearing the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are also at risk of electric shock, blindness, shrapnel wounds, and in some cases death. The damage to your facility can also lead to problems such as lengthy downtime, extensive repairs, and even loss of profit. Often times a simple adjustment to your electrical systems like the breaker settings or the installation of a breaker disconnect can really help to reduce accidents.

Another reason for having an Arc Flash Risk Assessment completed is simply because it is required by OSHA. In 2014 OSHA recognized an arc flash as a “hazard” and after that, the OSHA General Duty Clause began to cover arc flash explosions. All employers need to properly implement and document electrical safety programs that direct activity to the risks involved. All Companies must now comply and have an Arc Flash Risk Assessment completed every 5 years. The leading standard and best practice in electrical safety is the NFPA 70E Handbook. Two main points from the handbook would be that the employer is required to conduct an assessment, and must hand out the proper PPE if a potentially dangerous situation arises.

Having an Arc Flash Risk Assessment completed by qualified and trained professionals is highly important. Are you ready? Contact the experienced Arc Flash specialists at Thompson Automation and Specialty Services today to perform an arc flash analysis for your facility, complex, office, or campus.

For more information contact:

Phone: 844-321-3869

Email: sales@thompsonspecialty.com

Website: www.thompsonspecialty.com

 

OSHA’s Most Cited Violation in 2017 was TRAINING

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Given the nearly 5,000 recorded OSHA violations in 2017 related to Training it’s time to look at your companies training programs and make sure you are covered and not in violation of an OSHA rule.  Not only are nearly one-fifth of all OSHA violations in 2017 related to training, the #9 reason for citations alone was improper training related to fall protection.  OSHA is sending a very clear message to all employers; train your employees!

If you are wondering what to do then, the first place to start is with education and an understanding of what OSHA is asking you to do.  OSHA requires explicitly that the employer must train employees in the safety and health aspects of their job.  One place to find this information is in the Training Requirements in OSHA Standards, a 270-page book that provides a general overview of training standards, requirements, and related topics.  The book is to assist employers, safety and health professionals, and training directors with what they need to know regarding OSHA’s training-related requirements. You could also just start by looking at the list of most cited violations.

Ask yourself: Do your employees handle or work around dangerous chemicals?  Are we properly locking out when we work on electrical gear?  Have we conducted the proper electrical safety training or taught our employees on the proper use of fall safety equipment?  If the answer is ‘Yes’ and you are not conducting training – you better start.

As a nationally recognized leader of electrical safety and electrical preventative maintenance testing, Thompson Automation and Specialty Services is also a leader in electrical safety, preventative maintenance and technical training.  Thompson Training offers more than 60 specific courses in the areas of electrical safety and electrical preventative maintenance.  This breadth of courses provides us the opportunity to design a unique curriculum for your staff’s specific needs.  Whether the course is Electrical Safety for Non-Electrical Personnel, OSHA 30, or training on the most recent NFPA 70E 2018 updates; our expert trainers will connect with your team to deliver an impactful training session that increases your teams’ knowledge. Start 2018 off with a customized safety training plan.

SAFETY

Electrical Safety-Related Work Practices – Provide training to high-risk workers and management on OSHA requirements and the prevention of serious injuries from electrical hazards on the worksite. (OSHA Sub part S – Electrical)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Electrical Safety – Selecting, using and care of PPE used for arc flash and shock protection.

OSHA 30 – 30 hours of Regulations training over a minimum of 4 days, Introduction to OSHA, OSHA inspections, OSHA’s focus Four, (Falls, Struck By, Caught in-between, Electrocution), Confines Spaces, Ladders and Stairs, Scaffolding, Cranes, PPE, Excavations, tools, etc. (Training can be tailored to focus specific business hazards)

PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE

Electrical Preventative Maintenance Training – Infrared testing, good housekeeping practices, early failure indicators.

Troubleshooting Fundamentals – What to look for when troubleshooting electrical hazards, questions to ask.

TECHNICAL

Electrical Fundamentals – How electricity works, electrical applications, differences between the power at your house and your business.

NFPA 70E – Latest NFPA changes and how they affect your employees, NFPA & OSHA relationship

NEC® National Electrical Code Training – The latest changes to the National Electrical code and what those changes mean to your business.

If you want additional information don’t hesitate to contact us. Our phone number is 712-224-3873 and our website is www.thompsonspecialty.com. Again, thank you for attending and we hope to hear from you soon!

Jason Glover
General Manager