The Light Green Machine Institute

30 Mar 16: How do we calculate the impact of motive equipment in LGMI?
I had lunch last week with Mark Townsend of Louisiana Helicam. 

Mark is on the leading edge of using RPAs (or drones if you prefer) in pulp and paper mill applications.  One area he is impacting is measuring chip piles.  He is winning contracts to replace piloted airplanes for the purpose of doing monthly inventory measurement of chip piles.

Admittedly, this is something of an esoteric exercise path I am leading us down this week, but it is demonstrative of the changes that are coming on all fronts that can impact how we build and operate the mill of the future.

Let's assume Mark's RPA, which weighs less than ten pounds with its camera, is replacing a Cessna 172, which weighs 2,450 pounds (maximum takeoff weight).  Mark wins the award of the year for weight reduction!  But not so fast...Mark has to drive to the site in an SUV that likely weighs more than the Cessna, although the fuel use is likely less than the Cessna. 

However, take this down the road a few years. Will RPA use for chip pile measurements and so forth become so simple that the mill will own their own RPA?  That is a real possibility.  For we see RPAs going from being specialized tools handled by experts such as Mark to being treated as "merely" another instrument in the mill.
We would like to hear from you. Please send an email to [email protected] 
with "LGMI Frontiers" in the subject line. 

As always, your comments will be appreciated.

Comments from last week:

Cast iron used to be used far too much, and still is in some cases
However, it has its advantages.  Inherent vibration damping is one.

Reasonably good corrosion resistance for things like valve bodies and pump casings.   Many water and wastewater applications are well served by CI.
Of course its poor tensile strength and welding properties mean that it should be replaced by plastics or steel in many cases.

Neil McCubbin


Your flash back to the 70's brought back memories of warehouses full of casting forms and molds.  There were acres of them.

The only places where castings continued on machines, past the early eighties, was when the OEM had a foundry, the mold was already done and if multiple pieces of the same design were required. Think felt roll bearing housings and dryer frames. 

One of my jobs was designing the casting drawing of the Beloit dryer section gear cases with integrated oil channels for each bearing.  Today the gear cases are gone by design (silent drive) and as you mentioned because of cost of energy to run a foundry.

Castings will disappear from the landscape as 3D printing evolves.  That, I'm absolutely sure of.
Bryan Creagan


Think light!

Brian Brogdon, Ph.D.
Executive Director


Jim Thompson

Send us your comments by emailing Brian Brogdon
or Jim Thompson!

Support the Light Green Machine Institute every time you shop at Amazon.

We have been accepted by Amazon for their program.  Every time you shop at Amazon on the site, you can support the LGMI.  Just follow this link to set this up.
The Light Green Machine Institute is a 501C3 Delaware Registered Corporation. If you are interested in making tax deductible donations to our initiatives, please email [email protected] for information.