The Value of Plant Maintenance

Gas Monitors - KC Supply Co.

Machines are what keep production going, and are the very beating heart of any production line, proving that plant maintenance should be one of the major concerns in a manufacturing plant. The machines that are tasked with creating products or items for a company are what keeps the entire enterprise going. If they are not carefully maintained or overseen on a day-to-day basis, there can be a huge chance for machine failure, with devastating results.

When purchasing a large production machine, the overall upkeep of this machine should be included in the considerations. Upgrades, costs, and most of all, maintenance need to be part of the plans. The upkeep of machines that are the essential part of the manufacturing processes, particularly large scale production, is tantamount to keeping everything running smoothly without a hitch.

What happens without plant maintenance?

Without a consistent plan of plant upkeep for all the production machines on the floor, there’s a chance that one of the vital technologies for production can fail. Sensitive sensors could stop working, limbs or machinery could drop–even just one device failure could mean a meltdown, causing thousands, or even millions of dollars lost in terms of sub-part production items, equipment repairs, and time lost. Time is always money in production. Each moment that one of the production machines, large scale or small, is down and unable to produce, means that profits are lost.

What could it cost a company?

Apart from the loss of the usage of a machine, a production line without proper plant maintenance would lose money from the products it would have been unable to complete. Losses are also incurred in the form of raw material or product that would not have been completed as a result of a faulty machine.

This is particularly important to remember for companies that manufacture or handle perishables or items that require a specific standard of quality control in order for a finished product to be sent out. Without regular upkeep, failures in the production line result in a product that doesn’t meet the standard. This could mean a sharp loss in stock, being unable to meet orders, and even bigger costs in fines if it puts the production at risk of health violations.

Ways to Avoid Losses

Draft up a regular plant maintenance plan that requires daily checks and upkeep of each machine on the production line. Consult with experts who will be able to give vital insight on ways to keep machines running, as well as important system upgrades that won’t just improve efficiency but also give the company the most production.

Learn more about large scale production and upkeep by consulting with the experts at KCSupply. Visit www.kcsupply.com to learn more.

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Grain Bin/Silo Entry List

A Handy Grain Bin Entry List 

A grain bin is used for storing grain, which has been dried. The grain can be used for human or animal consumption and sometimes for fuel. Meanwhile, silos are used for storing silage. 

Grain Bin/Silo Entry List

Although grain bins and silos are different, they share one thing in common, and that is safety precautions during entry. There are instances when workers must enter these facilities to perform maintenance of checks. Proper protocol must be followed during the entry to ensure the safety of the worker. 

The following is a brief checklist that can be used when a worker is going to enter a grain bin or a silo:

  • All equipment producing mechanical energy is turned off before the entry of the worker.
  • The electricity should be turned off as well as all equipment running on power before the worker enters.
  • All pneumatic tools must be turned off.
  • Is there a procedure in place if a worker gets engulfed in waist-high grain?
  • If there is a bridging condition, then the worker shall not enter or if there is grain on the side, which can bury the worker inside the grain bin.
  • Is there a procedure in place in case there is a leak of combustible or poisonous gases? Has the facility been checked for such leaks?
  • Is there another person monitoring the entry of the worker?
  • There must be rescue equipment specially suited for entry on standby in case of an accident inside.
  • Is the person monitoring the entry capable of leading a rescue or is trained to conduct a rescue?

These are just some of the things that must be checked before a worker enters a grain bin or a silo. Remember that these precautions are in place because of the real hazard involved during entry.

For more information on safety materials, don’t hesitate to ask KC Supply Company.

 

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Grain Elevator Housekeeping Checklist

Grain Elevator Housekeeping Checklist 

A grain elevator is a facility specifically designed for storing grain. Grain elevators provide storage spaces for farmers until they are ready to sell their grain in the market.

Before the grain is stored in the elevators, their moisture content is checked first. Too much moisture content could cause mold growth while it is stored. It is not just the grain itself that must be checked before it is loaded into the storage facility.

The storage facility itself must be cleaned and checked for contamination. All of its parts, from the loading area to the storage bins, must be free from pest infestation. 

Here is a housekeeping checklist that can be followed for a grain elevator:

  • For the basement, you have to make sure that the boot pits are cleaned. The floor should also be cleaned and pumped, and all the machinery found there is checked and swept.
  • The tunnels must be swept clean, and there should be no debris left there.
  • Clean the floor of the power room and check all the switch boxes, and buttons are wiped clean.
  • The truck receiving area should receive special attention when cleaning since it may be the likely source of contamination in the grain elevator.
  • For the rail loading and unloading area of the grain elevator, the grain spills should be cleaned, and the spouting must be free from holes.
  • The bin tops, walls, and floors in the head house must be cleaned thoroughly. The electric motors there and the ledges should be swept.
  • Check for leaks in the grain dryers. The control panels and fan room should be wiped clean.
  • For the dust systems, you have to make sure that the grain oil systems are working and the filter systems are functioning.

You must follow this checklist before loading the grain elevator so contamination can be avoided. If you are interested to know more, you can ask KC Supply Company for more details. 

 

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How to Prevent Grain Entrapment

When you work with a grain bin, one of the things you need to be careful of is grain entrapment. Did you know that you could be up to your waist in grain in as quickly as 10 seconds? And did you know that you could be completely entrapped in grain in as little as 25 seconds?

Entrapment scenario

Experts have noted these two scenarios that could lead to grain burying people in a bin:

  • When grain is pulled out from the bottom of a bin, the grain shifts and forms a funnel that can trap a person.
  • When grain forms a crust, it could create an air pocket. Grain entrapment could happen if a person breaks the crust and falls into the hole. The rest of the grain could shift to fill the uncovered space.

Statistics show that one to three people in Nebraska die each year due to grain entrapment. Many more people in other areas like Kansas City are at risk of this deadly situation. So how do you prevent such a situation from happening? Here are some ways you can do so.

Store grain properly

Proper management of stored grain is the best preventative measure. This makes sure that the grain you keep does not form a crust or go out of condition. This reduces the risk of grain entrapment. You will not have any reason to enter the bin to move things around.

Use tools

If the grain does form a crust, use tools to break it instead of letting a person enter the bin. A long rod is a good tool to prod and break the crust from outside the container. You can also use a grain vacuum.

Practice safety precautions

If you need to enter the bin, make sure that the worker has a safety harness for security and emergency measures.

For more questions or if you need to buy some safety equipment, contact KC Supply Company. We provide a wide range of monitoring and safety equipment that you need for your business.

 

 

 

 

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Grain Bin Safety Week 2020: In Support of Improved Agricultural Safety

In what is fast becoming an annual tradition, agricultural professionals and industry leaders join forces in support of Grain Bin Safety Week, to be held on the 16th to the 22nd of February, 2020.

Gear and Training for First Responders

This year’s celebration will feature a Nominate Your Fire Department Contest, running from the first day of the year all the way to the 30th of April. Grain rescue tubes and life-saving training will be awarded to nominated departments and will be vital in preventing accidents in grain bins and silos. This contest is sponsored by KC Supply, the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety, and several other allies in the crusade for safety.

To date, more than 2000 first responders have benefitted from the training and supplies provided by the contest, representing members of fire departments from more than 20 states. The skills and tools were put to good use in 2015 when a man was saved from a grain bin by the Westphalia Fire Department of Kansas.

 How To Participate

To nominate your local fire department, simply state in writing how your local fire department and community would benefit from having a grain rescue tube and grain bin entrapment training. Answers can be sent via email to agcontest[at]nicc[dot]edu, or directly to the event website. Answers can also be sent in via physical mail, addressed to NECAS, Grain Bin Safety Ag Contest, 8342 NICC Dr., Peosta, IA 52068.

To be valid, nominators must provide their name, job, contact number, email address, and home address, along with the name, phone number, and address of the emergency rescue team or fire department to be nominated.

To further spread the word about the importance of safety in and around grain bins and silos, promotional materials can be made available upon request. While national statistics for the relative safety of the agricultural profession in general, and grain storage units in particular, seems to be improving, death and serious injury remain real possibilities to be guarded against.

 

 

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Safety 101: Cleaning and Maintaining Your Gas Detection Devices

Environments that expose workers to potentially dangerous gases and explosive atmospheres require gas detection devices to ensure the workers’ safety. However, a lot of workers are very complacent about the maintenance of these monitors, thinking that their experience is going to keep them safe.

But relying on experience alone can have its drawbacks. For instance, many hazardous gases do not emit unique smells. Also, in some cases, by the time that workers smell gas, it is probably too late to contain the leak. 

It is advised that organizations practice proper protocol when it comes to the upkeep of these detection monitors. Here are some tips to ensure that they are working as they should: 

Set regular service intervals

As with other safety materials, gas detection devices come with the manufacturer’s recommendation of when they should be serviced. The monitors should also be calibrated frequently as a wrong reading could make the difference between a safe and hazardous environment. These devices can suffer from calibration drift, particularly when they are exposed to phosphates, and they are used in extreme environments that can compromise the integrity of the device. 

Keep them clean 

Every equipment should be checked daily for cleanliness, signs of damage, and power supply. If the monitors are dusty or continually exposed to dirt, then they could deteriorate, and this would affect their efficacy. Do not use alcohol-based or solvent-based cleaners as they can contaminate your instruments. 

Bump testing 

Workers should conduct bump testing on gas detection devices daily before they enter the environment. Bump testing exposes the device to a certified challenge gas so workers can see if the instrument is functioning as it should. Bump testing, together with regular calibration, ensure that employees are working at optimum environments. 

KC Supply Co understands that a lot of lives depend on the accuracy of these detection devices. If you are looking for industry-recommended monitors, look no further than KC Supply. They have the materials you need to keep your employees safe.

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Cleaning and Maintaining Your Respirators

Respirators are essential, especially when you are working in hazardous environments that are littered with dust, hazardous fumes, gases, and vapors. They protect users by filtering out airborne particles, chemicals, and gases.

Given how important they are to employees, it is only proper that OSHA and other government bodies are mandating that respirators be properly maintained and cared for.

If you are using one religiously, here’s how you can keep your safety device in tiptop shape.

  1. Don’t just put it on–inspect it. 

Carefully inspect your respirator every time before using it. Check if there are tears, cracks, or dirt in the material, and scrutinize if the face seal is still snug. Also, check your exhalation and inhalation valves, gaskets, and straps for any tell-tale signs of wear and tear. Your lenses should also be free from anything that can impair your vision.

  1. Clean it.

Go with OSHA’s Mandatory Respirator Cleaning Procedures. This calls for removing and disassembling components and discarding or repairing any defective parts. Next, you are expected to wash the components in warm water with a cleaner or a mild detergent. This step is followed by a thorough rinsing of the product in clean, warm water. Then, the components must be hand-dried. You are then to reassemble the pieces and test that everything works as they should. It may seem like a cumbersome process, but remember that your respirator may be the only thing between you and hazardous chemicals.

  1. Maintain it.

Make it a point to clean your respirators after every use, so that the dirt and grime wouldn’t be stuck for a long time. You should also store your respirator in a cool, dry place, and you can also use a storage bag for added protection. If you are storing your respirator, then remove the cartridge and store it in a container to avoid contamination. Finally, have a schedule as to when your cartridge should be changed, or when you should have a new filter.

KC Supply Co understands that it may be difficult to clean and maintain your respirators the first time around. But with proper guidance and practice, you can get the hang of things in no time.

 

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