Wendy Maxey

Wendy Maxey
Content Editor

As editor, Wendy’s job is to conceptualize, create and make sure all EECO content is relevant and accurate. A former journalist, Wendy loves meeting people and telling their stories. Wendy’s reporting skills have been put to good use at EECO through internal and external customer interviews.

Wendy has an English degree from Roanoke College (she won’t tell you her graduation year)! She enjoys spending time with her five-year-old son and kayaking.

In some factories where just a fraction of time offline can wreak havoc on the bottom line, diagnostic insight into how your network is running is invaluable. Hardware, such as connections and switches, is critical. Too many industrial environments are ripe with standard office hardware. For years, the unmanaged switch has been the mainstay of…

The surge in Ethernet adoption, combined with lower hardware costs, is rapidly changing how we interact with “smart” control and power devices. Manufacturing facilities on the road to modernization can incorporate smart devices, such as newer variable frequency drives (VFDs), with little to no retrofitting. This eliminates the need to rip and replace, which can…

For many industrial plants, connectivity of control system components can be difficult and expensive. Wireless EtherNet/IP provides an easy way to overcome obstacles and extend your network to remote devices. Consider this example: Plant operators at a large Southeastern steel mill needed a low-cost way to control the roll-up doors in the mill’s cooling area.…

Motor protective relaying has evolved in utility power and industrial systems since protection was introduced more than 100 years ago. Many large industrial plants today still rely on thermal motor protection commonly based on bimetallic relays. While these relays work to shut down motors in dire situations, they aren’t effective at diagnosing and predicting future…

It’s no secret that motors are the backbone of manufacturing. Therefore, maintaining optimal health of a motor is a critical and endless focus of plant operators. At the heart of any motor is the overload relay, which – historically – protects the motor by detecting and reacting to temperature changes in the current. Thermal overload…

In our last post, we talked about step one of our progression plan — conducting the Installed Base Evaluation (IBE) as a blueprint for modernization. Conducting an IBE can help manufacturers get a handle on what they have, what they don’t have and what they need in the plant. This was the case for Oreo-brand…

So far we have introduced the concept of smart manufacturing, building on the topics of network connectivity, smart devices and progression. The need to modernize aging equipment is usually the basis for action, but other events such as emerging projects could also spawn activity. This post introduces a three-step, functional smart manufacturing process, to identify…

U.S. manufacturers are lagging when it comes to smart manufacturing (SM). According to a 2014 Manufacturing Outlook Survey by the American Society for Quality, only 13 percent of U.S. companies are implementing SM. However, it’s important to note that of those organizations that say they’ve adopted SM: 82 percent claim they have experienced increased efficiency 49 percent experienced fewer…

There is a new Industrial Revolution on the horizon, one that promises to turn the current state of manufacturing as we know it on its head. This new future blends information, technology and human intelligence in a way that will fundamentally shift the way products are made, sold and delivered. In its simplest definition, Smart…

When he’s not casting from his fishing boat at midnight on Smith Mountain Lake, Brian McDonaldson is likely monitoring operations at one of Rockingham County’s largest manufacturing plants – from his smart device. McDonaldson is the reliability manager at WhiteWave Foods, makers of Horizon Organic milk, Silk Soy milk, International Delight coffee creamers and other…