Is a “Mil” or “Thou” The Same Measurement?

March 20, 2018

“Mil” and “thou” are the same. They are imperial measurements both are synonyms for 0.001 inches.  This unit is normally referred to as a “thou” (which is short for a thousandth), or (particularly in the United States) a mil. Mil has its origins from metric prefix “milli”, which is Latin for “one thousandths”.  Plural of mil is mils and plural of thou is thou.


Create a Compressed Air Leak Management Program

March 13, 2018

Why We Ignore Leaks
Compressed air is a misunderstood utility. As such, it tends to be misused and even abused. Leaks continue to be the biggest problem; often overlooked because they are difficult to detect, don’t smell bad, don’t make a mess on the floor, and rarely stop production.

The Real Cost of Leaks
One of your factory’s highest operating expenses is the energy consumed by your compressed air system. Only 25% of the cost of a compressed air system is capital cost and maintenance. The remaining 75% is energy, and as much as 35% of that energy is wasted satisfying leaks.

Additional Impacts
Compressed air leaks create fluctuations in system pressure, which negatively impacts product quality. Compressors work overtime to compensate, leading to early degradation of the asset. Eventually, the compressor system can’t keep up with demand. What can you do? Buy yet another compressor for more capacity? Or optimize the capacity you already have by finding and fixing leaks?

With so much at stake, why are compressed air leaks managed so poorly, and why doesn’t every organization have an air leak management program?

Where to Look for Leaks
Every component has the potential to leak, but we can hasten our search by focusing on common failure points. Usual problem areas are branch line connections, automatic drain traps, desiccant filters, regulators, coalescent filter assemblies, quick couplers, valves, hoses, fittings, pneumatic cylinders and thread sealants. Most leaks occur at points of use, so begin your search there.

How to Find Leaks
Locating air leaks in a loud factory floor is next to impossible with a human ear. The best, and easiest, way to find air leaks is with an ultrasound leak detector. Ultrasound detectors allow you to hear the minute hissing noise produced by leaks, despite the roaring noise of a production area. Ultrasound detectors are portable, easy to use and require little training to get started.

How to Manage Leaks
It’s not enough to just find leaks. Fixing and documenting savings is a necessary part of the program. One way to justify the labor costs and capital expense is to track them with SDT’s LEAKReporter, a mobile smartphone App available for iOS and Android. LEAKReporter is focused, simple and free. It saves inspectors time and money by documenting leaks in pictures, estimating their cost impact and creating fast comprehensive leak reports .

Being competitive has never been more important than it is today. Energy costs directly impact your bottom line. There is no easier way to reduce energy waste than to tackle the “low hanging fruit” in your compressed air system.


“It’s Too Late Baby Now” Technically Speaking

March 6, 2018

♫ And it’s too late baby now, it’s too late; though we really did try to make it. Something inside has died and I can’t hide and I just can’t fake it…♫

So go some of the lines of the old Carole King hit from 1971. Unfortunately, that pretty well sums up the situation for those sad contemporary souls who have computer crashes, but didn’t have their databases backed up on a regular, frequent basis. The part about “I just can’t fake it” is especially true after “Something inside has died” (that is, inside of the computer). When you lose your database or databases, there’s just no faking it.

If you are like most, you get a sick feeling inside just thinking about it, and you resolve to get started soon at making a habit of backing it all up. Procrastinate no longer, friend. Get help from your I.T. department, or if you don’t have one, there are numerous players now, that for a small fee, will back up and protect your important data, either locally or in the cloud.

Don’t wait until you are singing the old Carole King song, “It’s Too Late”. Go ahead and protect yourself.

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LUDECA Repair and Calibration Laboratory Awarded ISO/IEC 17025:2005 Accreditation

February 27, 2018

LUDECA is proud to announce the formal accreditation of its calibration laboratory in Doral, FL to the ISO/IEC 17025:2005 standard (LUDECA Accreditation No. 92835. Certificate No. L17-560.) This means that you, our customers, can rest easy in the full confidence that your valuable EASY-LASER and PRUFTECHNIK laser alignment and condition monitoring systems are being calibrated to the highest international standards, traceable to NIST standards and certified by our ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation.

Our ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation provides formal recognition of competence, procedures, documentation and supervision, thereby providing you the peace of mind of having selected a reliable testing, measurement and calibration service, subject to the most stringent quality control processes. This allows you to go forth with full confidence knowing that your equipment has been reliably tested and calibrated and is fit for service on your most critical assets.

“The ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation of our calibration lab is part of our commitment to quality, innovation and continuous improvement so we can always serve our customers with excellence. Keep it running.” —Frank Seidenthal, President of LUDECA.

For more information about our calibration services, visit our website.

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The Importance of Vibration Analysis

February 20, 2018

In today’s fast-paced competitive business world, manufacturers are seeking every competitive advantage they possibly can to increase their production and minimize costs while maintaining product quality. The identification of defects within a machine, reducing equipment failures and unscheduled downtime is increasingly demanded of condition monitoring technologies.

Vibration analysis has proven to be one of the most effective tools for identifying mechanical and electrical faults within machinery. Most vibration programs use a combination of on-line monitoring and offline (walk around) monitoring. Off line programs require the resources of a trained technician to walk from machine to machine to collect the vibration data.

The primary goal of vibration analysis is to identify faults within a machine and then alert personnel that some type of action needs to occur. Problems start to occur when the needed frequency of the data collection is not aligned with the maintenance strategy. A machine’s criticality, its risk priority and its failure modes establish the frequency required; however, far too often frequency is determined by the availability of a local contractor, internal staffing or, even worse, on how much money will be saved if the frequency is changed from monthly to quarterly?


Today’s on-line systems have the ability to provide continuous monitoring and can send alarm notifications which can be incorporated into a site’s process control system so operators are alerted of a problem.  Some systems can be configured to distribute emails or even send text messages to specific individuals based on an alarm state.

Most vibration analysis systems today also have the ability to monitor and alarm off-process data such as temperature, pressure, voltage, current, flow or speed and can provide alarming if a process measurement goes outside of a predefined range.

Some of today’s on-line systems can incorporate on-board logic and decision making and some vendors offer machine diagnostics so that data is analyzed and screened for alarm violations automatically.  Data storage can be accomplished by the end user locally or the data can be stored and accessed via the cloud.  Utilizing a cloud server allows Reliability Engineers, Vibration Analysts or Condition Monitoring Contractors the ability to analyze and view data, alarms, trends and reports from anywhere in the world.

The “Industrial Internet of Things” (IIOT) is changing the way vibration data is viewed and managed.  Developments in Artificial Intelligence, Smart Machines, Embedded Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Analytics are changing and significantly affecting how condition monitoring data is collected, processed and presented to users.

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