Exploring The Industrial World

As the only boy in a house of 7 girls, I knew more about baking and sewing than I ever knew about cars or sports. For many years I wished that I knew more about things such as auto repairs and home improvements. Last year, I finally decided to do something about it and enrolled in a welding class at my local adult education center. A few months ago, I finally received my certificate of completion and am now proud to say I am a qualified welder.

While I don’t think that welding is the right career choice for me, I am extremely proud of everything I have learned and plan on taking several more courses in my free time. It is my hope that this blog will allow you to take that journey with me as I continue to explore the industrial world and learn new skills.

Eco-Friendly Coloring For Attractive Metal Fences And Railings

Durable and strong, metals like steel and aluminum are popular materials for fencing and railings. But while some people may prefer the natural metal finish, it’s too industrial-looking for most residential designs. Instead, home fences and railings on porches and decks are usually painted to match the overall color scheme of a house. Ordinary solvent painting, however, is not the only option for coloring these metals. If you care about the environment, you’ll want to get the coloring on your fencing or railing done by powder coating, not traditional liquid paint. Just how eco-friendly is powder coating? Reduced Chemical Pollution Ordinary liquid paint involves suspending the pigment within a solvent chemical. This solvent is what makes the paint a liquid and allows the pigment to be applied to a surface. As paint dries, what you smell is that solvent being released into the air. This leaves behind a coating of pigment as dry paint; unfortunately, it leaves solvent chemicals like acetone or formaldehyde in the air. Powder coating works differently. It’s a completely dry method of “painting” a pigment onto metals such as steel or aluminum. The metal is electrostatically charged and the powder is blown onto it, clinging to the surface of the metal. This coating of powder is then heated and baked on, causing it to adhere to the metal as a smooth outer shell. No chemical solvents are needed. Low Waste When powder coating is blown onto a metal surface, there will always be some “overspray” or excess powder. Spray painting has a similar issue. However, overspray from regular spray painting must be cleaned up, often...

4 Steps To Prevent Lawsuits Due To Falls On Your Factory Stairs

If you use stairs in your industrial setting as a means of getting from one floor to the next, you might worry about your employees falling and getting hurt. Not only do you surely not want anyone to get injured while in your factory, but you might worry about lawsuits as well. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to help reduce your risk of being sued due to trips and falls on your factory stairs. 1. Install Proper Railings First and foremost, you should make sure that you have proper railings put in place for your employees to grab onto. This makes your stairs a lot safer and can help reduce the chance of falls. It can also allow employees to catch themselves or to fall against the railing rather than over the side, which can reduce the potential of serious injuries. During safety training, make sure that you encourage your employees to always use the rails when they are on the premises. Contact Incom Inc for information about railings. 2. Add Traction If your factory is like many, you probably know just how slippery your stairs can get. People can bring in mud on their shoes, for example, or there might be a lot of wet areas in your factory that can cause the stairs to get wet. Regardless, you can help add traction in a few ways. For example, you can use an anti-slip, gritty tape on each step, or you can have your stairs painted with a special tread-safe paint that includes a sand-like material. 3. Add Rugs Make sure that you have...

Top 5 Ways To Extend The Life Of Bearings

Bearings are an essential part of any moving mechanical system. They are used in cars, bicycles, and even skateboards. Bearings reduce friction and keep the parts moving in the desired direction. When bearings fail, they can cause other parts to rapidly deteriorate. Because of this, bearings need to be kept in top shape. Here are five ways to extend the life of bearings: 1. Keep the bearings lubricated. Lubrication is essential for maximizing bearing life. The oil reduces wear and tear from friction, and keeps other parts from scraping the bearings. Natural mineral oils are best for newer bearings. For older bearings, or bearings that show signs of excessive wear and tear, synthetic lubricants are best. Synthetic lubricants are thicker than natural oils, which makes them last longer and require less maintenance. 2. Apply a seal or ring. Bearing seals or rings can significantly increase bearing life. Seals and rings keep water and dirt from getting in. This prevents failure due to rust or corrosion. Seals also keep lubrication in place longer, which reduces maintenance and upkeep. Here are the different types of seals: Metal- can withstand high temperatures and does not affect speed. Rubber- requires less cleaning and is least resistant, but is not as efficient at reducing friction. Ceramic- does not corrode and has less resistance than steel. 3. Install a complex sealing system. Complex sealing systems keep dirt, debris, and other contaminants out of the system of parts. This prevents contaminants from clogging the bearings and causing failure. A professionally installed sealing system will prevent particles from getting to the bearings while the machine is operating....

Tips For Using A Land Survey To Redesign Your Landscape At Home

While land surveys tend to be performed by topographers and other scientists, you can also use a land survey to help you redesign your landscape at home. Here are a few ways using surveying can help.  Measuring the Area Correctly When you want to landscape an area, you need to know exactly how large it is. To do this, you need to perform a survey, because unless your land is flat, measuring the distance from the start of your property to the end without considering hills and dips will result in inaccurate measurements.  If your land is on a simple slope, you can use poles attached to string to make the measurements. You’ll need string and extendable or various sizes of poles to do this accurately. Here’s how: Start at the front of your property, working backward. Tie off the string to a pole and insert it into the ground.  Carry a second pole with the same string attached and extend it several meters.  Place that pole into the ground, making sure the two poles are at the same height.  Now, measure the string’s length. That’s an accurate measurement.  Knowing the Dips and Curves  Part of landscape design is knowing how to incorporate dips and curves. With a land survey, you can measure the slope of the hills on your property, so you know how they fit into the design you’re creating.  While it’s easier to use topographic and surveying equipment to do this, you can still measure your hills with the same equipment as before. You’ll need to do a little math for this step.  Start by placing...

Eight Great Reasons To Use A Custom Metal Fabricator For Your Horse Pipe Corrals

If you own an equestrian property, you know fencing is key to protecting your horses and managing herds. Putting in pipe corrals and pipe perimeter fencing is a great way to make your life easier. Here are eight great reasons why you should consider using a custom metal fabricator to make your corrals and fence panels. Safety Many horse owners like steel pipe over other fence materials. It doesn’t need painting, and it won’t break or get chewed, like wood. It doesn’t pose any of the safety hazards of barbed wire. While metal pipe doesn’t give if a horse runs into it, it has high visibility, so this generally isn’t a problem. Sturdiness Custom pipe corrals have an extra element of sturdiness to them, as you can minimize the number of joints and place them where they will withstand the least amount of stress. Unbroken lines of metal pipe can stand up to impact and twisting forces. Can wood or wire do that? Flexibility While custom metal pipes are inflexible in their actual physical sense, they offer you great flexibility with regard to the layout of your corrals or pastures. Prefab panels limit how many corrals you can fit in one area, for example. They also make it more challenging to put in alleys between corrals. Aesthetics If you use a custom metal fabricator for your property, they can usually add elements that make your property look more pleasing. A big argument against pipe corrals has always been that they aren’t as pretty as wood, but nowadays metal fabricators are adding attractive gates, insignias, and artistic elements to give...

Four Ways You Can Adapt Custom Robotics To Automate Your Business

Robots are becoming more than just science fiction these days; they are quickly becoming part of business infrastructure. Robotics have long been used in large manufacturing operations like the auto industry, but now they are also becoming affordable solutions for small businesses. There are even affordable robots that can be trained to do work on an assembly line. These changes are making businesses more competitive, and if you are in the manufacturing industry, you may want to adapt robotics into your assembly line. Here are four ways you can add robots to your business: 1. Robotic Machining And Fabrication If you make custom products, you may have a need to machine different parts. If this is something that is done by a staffed machine shop, it can take many man-hours to be ready for the final assembly process. Robotic systems equipped with machine parts also lets you machine and assemble products simultaneously. This will reduce man-hours and cut costs for your business. 2. Automated Assembly Using Robotic Platforms Automated assembly can be done by robotic systems. The robotic arms and machinery systems can assemble the products in a matter of minutes, which can help you increase the productivity of your business. If some of the products you offer are different, you can use different programming on the same assembly line to assembly different models or completely different products. This means that you do not need to train different employees or retrain employees’ every time a different product goes to the assembly line. 3. Quality Control Using Robotics And Limited Human Contact Another thing that can be added to your...

Important Home Inspections To Have Done Every Ten Years

Your home is much more than just a sanctuary or a showcase, there are many behind the scenes components that go into making it function and operate properly. Unless your home is under 10 years old, it’s important to have routine maintenance done to ensure that everything is working correctly and remains up to code.  Here are a few inspections that you may want to consider calling a professional to do every ten years or as needed. Plumbing The plumbing system plays a major role in making sure water is flowing into your home properly and waste flows out safely. Over time, plumbing lines and fixtures can become weak or faulty, leading to failure. It’s best to get all of your plumbing checked at least every ten years before a major problem arises. Some things a plumber will look for are: Proper water pressure or PSI throughout the home Leaks or damaged or eroded pipes and fittings Making sure the toilet is working and sewer is flowing properly Clogged drains A hot water tank that is in good working order Your plumber may recommend an energy-efficient, tankless hot water system to help you save money on your energy bills. A new water softener system may be recommended to help reduce stress on your pipes in the future. Having a plumbing inspection in your home can help reduce the risk of burst pipes down the road. Electrical One thing you may take for granted everyday is your home’s electrical system. It works behind the scenes, generating power to almost everything you do on a daily basis. Some things such as...

Which Steel Drum Should I Use?

Steel drums have many different uses; they can be used for storing, shipping, or manufacturing. In addition to the different ways they’re used, there are a large variety of steel drums to choose from. There are carbon and stainless steel, closed head and open head, and lined and unlined, just to name a few. The way you’re going to use the steel drum is going to determine which one you need to use. Read on to find out the different types of steel drums that are available and what you should use them for. Closed Head Drum vs. Open Head Drum A closed head drum is primarily used for liquid products. These drums are best suited for liquids because they have a cover that doesn’t come off. There is an opening for pouring, but the liquids are safe inside the drum. For this reason, closed head drums are not typically used for solids. An open head drum is best used for solids. These drums have a lid that allows easy access in and out of the drum; the lid is either a bolt ring or a lever latch. Carbon Steel vs. Stainless Steel Steel drums are made from two different types of steel; carbon and stainless. While both are durable options, they have one main difference. Stainless steel drums are more chemical resistant than carbon steel. If you’ll be using aggressive chemicals or a wide variety of chemicals, stainless steel is the best option. Lined vs. Unlined Steel drums can be lined or unlined; it depends on what materials the drum is holding. If a drum is unlined, it...

6 Safety Tips For Working On Electrical Wiring In Your Home

When there is a light out or you want to do some electrical work on the house, there are imperative safety measures to take. There are plenty of DIY electrical projects that you can do to your home, but it will not be worth it in the end if you become hurt or injured. Here are six safety tips to follow when you’re doing electrical work in your home: Evaluate Whether or Not the Project is Right for You: Before you get started on any project, know what that project entails. This means you must read all the steps that you are going to be working through. At some point, you may realize that you are not comfortable working with certain electrical tools or wires. This is when you should stop and call a professional to complete the job. Professionals, like ABC Electric Co, are specially trained to handle all residential electrical work. Wear the Right Safety Gear: If you are comfortable with the DIY electrical project that you have ahead of you, then the first thing you must do is put on all of the right safety gear. Even if you believe that some of the gear is unnecessary, you should still be wearing it to stay as safe as possible. Safety gear includes glasses, rubber-sole shoes, gloves, and a dust mask.  Turn Off the Power: Now that you have your safety gear in place, you want to turn off the power before stepping into the project itself. This is a vital step for your safety since it will ensure that the circuit you are working with will not...

Wishy-Washy Washers: A Compare And Contrast Of Coil Springs And Belleville Washers

You walk into a hardware store, such as McFadden-Dale Industrial Hardware, only sure of one thing; you either need to get a Belleville washer or a coil spring. Beyond that, you aren’t sure of anything. The research you have done tells you that for your half-completed project you can either use a traditional coil spring or a Belleville washer. You do know that you need to know the similarities and differences between the two before you can make a proper decision. Don’t be wishy-washy about your washers and coil springs, learn the basics and beyond about these two shock absorbing parts and how each can benefit you. Belleville Washers and Coil Springs: History and Fabrication You can thank Julian Belleville for the invention of the Belleville washer in the 1800’s. Coil springs have been in use since the 15th Century when they were first used in the locking mechanism of doors. Coil springs were also used in clocks to aid in the winding mechanism. Belleville washers are categorized as springs as well as washers because of their washer-like appearance in addition to the conical shape of the actual washer which gives its spring-like tendencies. Coil springs are helix-shaped and are usually made of metal. Belleville Washers and Coil Springs: Mechanism of Use In a Belleville washer, the force from a heavy load is distributed in an even fashion around the circumference of each washer, providing greater stability. Belleville washers reach their maximum capacity of force when they are flattened out completely. These springs have a low creep tendency, high fatigue life, provide better use of space, and have a...