For The Love Of Manufacturing

As a manufacturing company, we are always excited when Manufacturing Day comes around. This past year in Manufacturing has been unlike any other we have faced. As with our fellow manufacturers, COVID-19 disrupted the production line in ways that forced new procedures into effect. This change had to happen fast to ensure safety and productivity. As we reflect on this past year, we want to take the time to share with you some fun background on manufacturing, show you who we really are, and why we all love what we do here.

What is MFG Day?

Manufacturing Day is a time to show the world the importance of manufacturing and to spread knowledge to inspire the next generation of makers. We are pleased to open our doors (virtually) to show young creators how intriguing the world of manufacturing can be. 

The U.S. manufacturing industry is faced with a shortage of highly skilled creators to fill the jobs our country needs. In fact, by 2028, the U.S. will need to fill 4.6 million manufacturing jobs

The top priorities of Manufacturing Day as listed by the Manufacturing Institute are:

  • Change the perception of careers in manufacturing to reflect its true status as the most advanced, high-tech industry in the country.
  • Re-establish the U.S. as the global leader of manufacturing education.
  • Advocate for education and job training policies that strengthen the U.S. manufacturing workforce.

Did you know?

That, on average, a job in manufacturing pays more than $84,000 a year in salary and benefits? Simply put, modern manufacturing is the path to a secure career and future.

Who are we?

Goodway Technologies is a global manufacturer and marketer of industrial maintenance solutions for commercial HVAC, facility management, manufacturing, power generation, maritime, and other industrial applications. Simply put, we make solutions to help people get their jobs done efficiently, effectively, and safely. For over 50 years we have manufactured and shipped from the bustling Stamford, CT. 

Do What You Love

Here at Goodway, we love what we do. As you walk down the production line benches you will see Goodway creators hard at work. When asked why they like working as a manufacturer the number one answer was satisfaction. The satisfaction that a creator gets at the end of the day because they created something with their hands is undeniably powerful. Here at Goodway creating goes one step further; the solutions being created helps keep the world safe. Whether those solutions are for a dirty cooling tower that helps keep occupants safe from Legionella or a surface sanitizer system that helps keep business up and running safely. But we are not all work and no play. Not a day goes by with a little fun. The production floor is filled with classic pop and rock ballads that can be heard being sung throughout. The benefit to being a smaller manufacturing company is that here, from the veterans who have been here for more than 25 years to the newbies who have just started out, we are a family. 

 

Next Steps:

LEARN MORE AND VIRTUALLY MEET THE GOODWAY CREATORS

3D Printers: Danger In The Dust

3D Printer

By now, there’s no doubt that you’ve heard and read about 3D printing. Maybe it’s the neighbor down the road making little parts with their system, or you’ve seen a YouTube video on how it works, or perhaps you’ve heard of it in manufacturing rapid prototyping.  Well, 3D printing is all of that and more and is one of the fastest-growing areas in global manufacturing. 

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, has been gaining traction over the past decade as a preferred method of part and product production for both hobbyists and industrial manufacturing companies. It is a very cost-effective way to rapidly produce both simple and complex shapes in a prototyping environment. The materials used range from flexible to rigid and from metals to plastics, with new materials created regularly. 3D printing has given inventors and engineers the ability to move through concepts to create a finalized product in a fraction of the time. In years past, prototyping may have included developing expensive wooden models, or handcrafted resin versions. However, 3D printing is proving to be a more cost-effective method for low-volume manufacturing than standard molding practices, and the sky’s the limit in terms of what you can make as there are many shapes you can make on a 3D printer that would not be feasible to make otherwise. 

The Three Most Common 3D Printing Methods: 

  • FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling): melted plastic is extruded through a hot nozzle to create very thin layers that are printed one at a time to create a 3D print.
  • SLA (Stereolithography): the part is created by an ultraviolet laser that draws each printed layer in a bath of liquid thermoset resin that solidifies once the laser hits it. The build plate recedes further into the liquid bath to create room for the next layer to be printed. 
  • SLS (Selective Laser Sintering): the part is created by a high-power laser that sinters either powdered metal or plastics together. The build plate recedes further into the liquid bath to create room for the next layer to be printed. 

The Dangers in 3D Printing

As promising and safe as this technology sounds, there are still some inherent dangers, with the largest being dust explosions. All 3D printing methods produce dust and other small particles that can become airborne quickly, and remain airborne for some amount of time.

Many materials are combustible that may not seem like it at first, such as metals and some plastics, but when those materials are small enough, it does not take a lot to cause them to ignite. For any sort of combustion to take place, there needs to be a fuel source, an ignition source, and oxygen, all of which are often very present in a manufacturing environment. To become explosive, a cloud of dust and some sort of confinement of that dust need to be present. One of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of a dust explosion is using a dust collection system that recirculates the air through filters specifically designed to remove dust. By removing the dust, you have eliminated the fuel source for a dust explosion to take place.

Additionally, and most importantly, is to eliminate the risk of open electrical sparking or exposed electrical current. This is generally accomplished by using specific industrial vacuum systems that remove static and is certified for use with hazardous and explosive materials. In the USA, businesses use the National Electric Code (NEC) designations to identify what systems are approved for what type of flammable materials. It is best to familiarize yourself and your safety personnel with these NEC codes before investigating your specific vacuum options.   Goodway Technologies offers a quick review of NEC codes that you can refer to here and a variety of wet and dry industrial vacuums certified for hazardous and flammable material pickup, in electric and air-powered models.

Powderpart Inc. Dust Explosion of 2013

To give an example of a dust explosion that has happened in an additive manufacturing facility, we will look at the Powderpart Inc. dust explosion in 2013. This dust explosion resulted in the third-degree burn of an employee, and one willful and nine serious violations of workplace safety standards. This explosion occurred due to several reasons including ignoring manufacturer safety instructions, locating ignition and fuel sources too close together, unsuitable electrical equipment and wiring for a high explosion risk location, lack of employee training in explosion dangers, and general lack of awareness of the risks at hand. Accidents usually happen when several mistakes are made, so it is essential to make sure that safety standards are being adhered to. Make sure to identify all hazards, train all personnel in the dangers present, and that danger is identified correctly.

Additive manufacturing has opened a whole new world of possibilities for the manufacturing industry. Still, like all manufacturing, there are risks involved, and it is essential to take the necessary steps to reduce the likelihood of those risks coming to light.  Explosion-proof vacuums can play a big part in providing a safer environment for additive manufacturing. It is also essential to listen to manufacturer recommendations, especially when concerning safety and follow all OSHA guidelines to create a safe working environment for the employees in the additive manufacturing industry.

 

Next Steps:

Check out Goodway Explosion Proof Vacuums.

Use our Vacuum Buying Guide to find the vacuum for your needs.

Need a HEPA Vacuum? See Goodway’s Guide to Selecting a Top Quality HEPA Vacuum

Why Safety Training Can Positively Impact Profitability

In 1970, the year Congress enacted the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), nearly 14,000 workers were killed on the job in the United States. Over the next ten years the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) established regulations for workplace safety, inspection procedures, and limits on harmful materials in the workplace. OSHA’s policies were developed and implemented throughout the 1970s and by the 1980s, the positive effects of the agencies work were apparent. By 1989, the number of workplace fatalities averaged 6,359 per year down more than 50% from 1970. In 2017 fatalities had dropped even further to 5,147. In states where written injury and illness prevention programs (IIPP) are mandated by state law, research indicates those states had workplace fatality rates as much as 32 percent below the national average. The establishment and enforcement of safety regulations have saved tens of thousands of lives.

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Heat Exchanger and Boiler Maintenance: Chemical Descaling

Have you ever ironed a pair of dark pants only to have small white flakes fall out of the iron’s steam holes and make white streaks across your clothes? This is especially a problem in older irons that have never been cleaned. Your iron is in many ways like a commercial steam boiler. After a long time making steam, a boiler can clog up with white flakes and get trapped in the boiler system. This white buildup in both the steam iron and the boiler is a layer of calcium and other minerals called scale, or sometimes limescale. As the water evaporates, the minerals in the water don’t turn into steam when the machine is in use; they are left behind to form scale inside the equipment.

As annoying as those little white flakes are for your dark pants, imagine what those deposits do to the heating elements of large industrial equipment like boilers and heat exchangers. On some equipment, the scale buildup can be inches thick. An inch, or even a much thinner layer of scale is more than an annoyance, it’s a serious maintenance problem that diminishes system efficiency, reduces heat transfer, and increases operating costs. Just like maintaining and cleaning your steam iron, facility managers have to do the same for their heat exchangers and boilers.

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How FSMA Impacts Food and Beverage Manufacturers

The food and beverage industry have evolved significantly over the past 10 years. The rules for the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) have changed food and beverage manufacturing by having companies focus on preventing their products from being contaminated rather than limiting the scope of contaminations.

“FSMA is the largest overhaul of government regulations since the 1930s,” says Evan D. Reyes, National Account Manager at Goodway Technologies. “The intent is to tighten regulations on food processing, ultimately to provide safer food for consumers.”

The law now requires that companies in the food and beverage industry to exert tighter control of operations as well as provide documentation and tracking of every ingredient used throughout the enterprise.

At the same time, organizations are under increasing pressure to keep customers happy and save money but not skimp on quality. Poor quality can have wide-reaching effects on food and beverage companies because just one recall can bring a business to its knees.

“To be successful, food and beverage manufacturers must stress closed-loop quality, traceability across the value chain, and compliance throughout the process,” according to the recent “Impact of FSMA: Taking Stock of the F&B Landscape in 2016” report from Aberdeen Group.

Because of the increased attention on the industry, food and beverage companies cannot risk even one shipment that is not of the highest quality, the report notes.

That means food and beverage companies will most likely have to make changes to their operations to ensure compliance with the law.

To do that, organizations must have compliance and traceability built in from the start. Constructing a program that works and complies with FSMA takes “the right technology tools, proper document management and real-time visibility across the enterprise,” according to the report.

Reyes says for food and beverage manufacturers to achieve the goals of FSMA, they must focus on hazard analysis, preventive controls, and good manufacturing practices.

There are a number of tools and services to help companies comply with the FDA’s regulations, including food safety consulting companies that can help manufacturers transform sanitation programs and meet FSMA compliance, Reyes says.

“Besides consulting, investing in the right tools and technologies can really improve sanitation results, product quality, and food safety and help you prevent cross-contamination and get you up to the FSMA compliance level,” he notes.

Additionally, Reyes says suppliers should also help their food and beverage manufacturing customers meet FSMA compliance. Goodway can help by making certain you have the right sanitation equipment in place.

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