Facilities

Plant Exchange Articles

BAS: DATA ANALYTICS
Plant Exchange: January/February 2015
The University of Michigan’s building automation system (BAS) is at the forefront of monitoring, control and analytics, as one would expect from an institution heralded as “Leaders and Best.”...
SLA PROGRAM
Plant Exchange: January/February 2015
What can an Auxiliary building manager on campus do to keep up with the ever increasing complexity of their buildings regarding maintenance and code requirements?...
Material Reschedule Delivers for FM
Plant Exchange: May/June 2015
FM-Employee Advisory Committee: Giving employees a voice in decision making...
Central Mechanical Steamfitters Running with Water Treatment System Installation
Plant Exchange: December 2014
Water treatment systems are added to existing closed and open loop water systems to lower the pH (to prevent scale formation and corrosion) and to prevent the water from becoming a breeding ground for harmful bacteria (such as Legionella: a form of pneumonia which causes Legionnaires Disease and is, many times, fatal)....
Historic Flagpole Ready for the Next 100 Years
Plant Exchange: September/October 2014
In 2012, the University launched a survey of existing flagpoles on campus to evaluate their current condition and to repair as needed...
North Campus Region Continues to Grow
Plant Exchange: August 2014
Since its inception in 2010, the North Campus Region (NCR) has experienced substantial growth. The quantity of space maintained by our region has increased 31% over the past four years...
Facilities Maintenance Safety Committee
Plant Hospital Maintenance
Plant Exchange: June/July 2014
The University of Michigan’s Plant Hospital Maintenance (PHM) Department is made up of a very talented and skilled workforce...
Commercial Building Maintenance Graduation Celebration
Plant Exchange: April 2014
Congratulations are in order for the twenty-five recent graduates of the Commercial Building Maintenance Certification program who were honored at a graduation luncheon on March 7...
This Work Order Got Our Attention
Plant Exchange: February/March 2014
Surely every reader of the Plant Exchange lies awake at night wondering about steam traps...
Steam Trap Testing = Real Energy Savings
New Chillers in Chemistry Building
Plant Exchange: November/December 2013
Since its inception in 2010, the North Campus Region (NCR) has experienced substantial growth. The quantity of space maintained by our region has increased 31% over the past four years...
Strategic Thinking by the Central Pipefitting Shop
Central Campus West Region-Our First Anniversary
Plant Exchange: August/September 2013
The Central Pipefitting Shop is constantly seeking improvement in internal work practices to provide long-term cost savings while meeting customer expectations and leveraging the advantages of the planned and scheduled environment...
Building Automation Continues to Grow
Plant Exchange: Volumes 23 / No 2 / May/June 2013
In July, North Campus Region (NCR)-Facilities Maintenance will be celebrating its third anniversary. Our largest challenge during this period has been our continual growth in workload and staff. NCR provides maintenance services to very diverse customers and building types across North and East Campuses, including North Campus Research Center (NCRC), Housing, NCAC, and Arbor Lakes...
North Campus Region turns 3!
Plant Exchange: April 2013
In July, North Campus Region (NCR)-Facilities Maintenance will be celebrating its third anniversary. Our largest challenge during this period has been our continual growth in workload and staff. NCR provides maintenance services to very diverse customers and building types across North and East Campuses, including North Campus Research Center (NCRC), Housing, NCAC, and Arbor Lakes...
Projects by the Sheetmetal and Welding Shops
Plant Exchange: March 2013
An LSA professor is performing a research experiment with dark energy and the geometry of space. The name of the project is Big Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (Big BOSS). The array of mirrors in the photograph will be mounted on the Mayall Telescope which is located at Kitt Peak National Observatory, Tucson, Arizona...
First Year at the new FM Health Sciences Region
Plant Exchange: Volume 23 / No. 1 / January/February 2013
September 26, 2012 was the first anniversary of the Health Sciences Region (HSR). As the regional manager, I am pleased to report that our first year in the region was successful. We formed the HSR by combining the former Medical Sciences and Life Sciences Zone Maintenance and adding staff from the Central Shops...
FM Special Events Focuses on Customer Service
Plant Exchange: Volume 23 / No. 1 / January/February 2013
Whether the University is holding Spring Commencement for 50,000 guests at Michigan Stadium; a student organization is throwing a welcome party for 3,000 freshmen on North Campus, or a school is hosting an employee picnic on Ingalls Mall for 400 employees -- there are similar services from Plant Operations that are critical to making the event a success...
Service Level Agreements
Plant Exchange: Volume 23 / No. 1 / January/February 2013
A Service Level Agreement (SLA) allows for auxiliary funded departments on campus to receive preventive, predictive maintenance as well as corrective repair service for their buildings and equipment (general fund buildings automatically receive programmed maintenance by function of being a general fund building). We work with the customer to tailor an SLA document outlining the assets, maintenance tasks, and the duration and frequency of each task...
Restructuring Update
Plant Exchange: October 2012
Facilities Maintenance has completed the transition to a regional maintenance structure, with the simultaneous launch of the final two regions, the Central Campus West Region (CCWR) and the South Campus Region (SCR) on October 22, 2012. CCWR includes the facilities currently in the LSA and Professional Zones. These zone shops were under the supervision of Joe Fowler and Sam Hess, and both will remain in CCWR as asset supervisors...
BAS, The Short Version
Plant Exchange: Volume 22 / No. 3 / May/June 2012
Facilities Maintenance has completed the transition to a regional maintenance structure, with the simultaneous launch of the final two regions, the Central Campus West Region (CCWR) and the South Campus Region (SCR) on October 22, 2012. CCWR includes the facilities currently in the LSA and Professional Zones. These zone shops were under the supervision of Joe Fowler and Sam Hess, and both will remain in CCWR as asset supervisors...
CBM Graduates Recognized
Plant Exchange: Volume 22 / No. 2 / March-April 2012
Eighteen Facilities Maintenance staff members were honored at a luncheon to celebrate their graduation from the Commercial Building Maintenance Certification program. This partnership program between Washtenaw Community College and Facilities Maintenance Training was designed to provide a practical, structured, and accredited course of study for the University of Michigan maintenance staff...
Changing Face of North Campus
Plant Exchange: Volume 22 / No. 1 / January-February 2012
Many things have changed on U of M’s North Campus in less than two years. Facilities Maintenance launched their North Campus Region (NCR), July 26, 2010. NCR staff members have settled into their new home in Aerospace Engineering Lab - Plasma Research Building. During this 1-1/2 years, NCR staff members have also been incorporating the many new processes involved in a planning and scheduling organization...
Welcome Samantha!
Plant Exchange: Volume 22 / No. 1 / January-February 2012
I would like to announce the appointment of Samantha Brandt as our new Program Manager for Service Level Agreements for Facilities Maintenance. Many of you already know and have worked with Samantha Brandt. Samantha has been working for Construction Services since 2005 as an Associate Construction Supervisor. ..
Plant Makes Football Saturdays Go
Plant Exchange: Volume 21 / No. 6 / November/December 2011
Expect to see many familiar employee faces on football Saturdays at Michigan Stadium. Plant provides essential support honoring the Athletics Game Day Service Level Agreement (SLA) as well as filling customer service responsibilities. In addition, many employees volunteer their own personal time...
Plant Hospital Maintenance Department
Plant Exchange: Volume 21 / No. 6 / November-December 2011
Having people of an organization perform in a manner that is in alignment with organizational strategy is directly and indirectly influenced by the organization’s vision and determination to see it through. The opportunity becomes knowing how to align “what people want to do” and “what they choose to do” with the strategic initiatives of the organization, even if it means influencing change of the existing culture...
Personal Profiles (of FM Staff)
Plant Exchange: Volume 21 / No. 5 / September/October 2011
Please give a general description of relevant jobs and/or levels of education prior to employment with the university....
Custom Skeletal Display Stands
Plant Exchange: Volume 21 / No. 4 / July/August 2011
Josh Blackmon hand crafted multiple skeletal displays stands for the Anatomical Donations Program at the Medical School. The customer was interested in display stands with features that were not available in retail stores. The heavy duty stands that Josh crafted have greater stability and are much more adjustable for multiple size variations of skeletal displays than anything else available...
Making Blue Go Forward: Thirteen Graduates Honored!
Plant Exchange: Volume 21 / No. 4 / July/August 2011
On March 3, an awards banquet was held to honor the men and women that graduated from the U-M Skilled Trades Apprenticeship program during 2009-2010. A record class of thirteen graduates from a variety of trades had an opportunity to celebrate with family, friends, fellow graduates, JAC representatives, and managers while receiving public recognition for their hard work and academic achievement...
Camie Munsell, Foreman-Dental School Zone, Facilities Maintenance
Plant Exchange: Volume 21 / No. 3 / May-June 2011
What month / year were you employed with the university? What department? Position title? October/1990 - I was employed by Housing/East Quad - Cook I...
Welcome Sherri!
Plant Exchange: Volume 21 / No. 2 / March-April 2011
Please join me today in welcoming Sherri L. Stetten as the new FM Service Level Agreement (SLA) Program Manager. Sherri will pick up the work related to SLA’s previously completed through Paul Parzuchowski, and all of our many SLA internal process contributors. Sherri has a vast and diverse facilities background. Most recently she owned her own company, Buildwerks, a consulting company providing specialization in high risk and organizationally complex projects...
Winning Season for Plant Game Day SLA
Plant Exchange: Volume 21 / No. 2 / March-April 2011
Kudos to our colleagues in the Plumbing, Elevator, Electrical and High Voltage Shops. Because of their efforts, the Athletics Game Day Service Level Agreement (SLA) was a success. When Athletics asked Plant to provide pre-game and game day support for the newly renovated football stadium, Plant was eager to oblige. Just like the vastly renovated stadium—Plant’s services were not necessarily new, but rather ‘renovated’ in approach...
Making the Next Move Forward
Plant Exchange: Volume 21 / No. 1 / January-February 2011
Facilities Maintenance continues to focus on restructuring. In December, an evaluation of the North Campus Region was conducted by management, along with the consultant, Alidade. The assessment included customer surveys and internal assessments of staff effectiveness, schedule compliance and work order management (completion rate and adding work order details). Metrics have indicated the NC Region is well on its way to meeting its objectives of increasing effectiveness, improving efficiency and reducing costs...
Hospital Management Plans and Maintenance Staffing
Plant Exchange: Volume 20 / No. 6 / November-December 2010
The University of Michigan is home to one of the largest health care complexes in the world. It has been the site of many groundbreaking accomplishments and technological advancements since the Medical School first opened its doors in 1850. The University of Michigan Health System has truly come a long way from existing as the first university owned hospital of only 20-beds in 1869, to a health system with over 900 beds. Today, UMHS continues to be on the cutting edge of research and patient care and the U.S. News & World Report Magazine consistently ranks UMHS within the top fifteen in the nation and is among the top ten in many specialties...
Welcome Rocky!
Plant Exchange: Volume 20 / No. 6 / November-December 2010
Please welcome Ronald (Rocky) Kohler as the new North Campus Region Manager. Rocky will transition incrementally to this new role from his present assignment as HVAC Foreman within Plant Hospital Maintenance...
Keeping Our Drinking Water Fresh!
Plant Exchange: Volume 20 / No. 3 / May-June 2010
In conjunction with the City of Ann Arbor and the 2006 Michigan Plumbing Code, the Plant Operations’ plumbing shop has been assigned to develop a campus–wide backflow prevention program. The purpose is to keep our drinking water fresh and free from contamination...
Restructuring Teams Announced
Plant Exchange: Volume 20 / No. 3 / May-June 2010
The Facilities Maintenance Restructuring Project Teams are preparing the department for the implementation of new work management processes for the North Campus pilot group. Each team will be working under the guidance of our consulting partners, Alidade-MER, Inc...
Hospital Maintenance Staff Receive MECH Certifications
Plant Exchange: Volume 20 / No. 3 / May-June 2010
Congratulations are in order for four Plant Hospital Maintenance Mechanics who have recently passed the Michigan Education and Certification for Healthcare (MECH) exam at the Certified or Senior Certified level...
Service Level Agreements
Plant Exchange: Volume 20 / No. 2 / March-April 2010
Since 2000, the State of Michigan continues to reduce the General Fund dollars for Facilities Maintenance (FM). Our department’s General Fund allocation has gone from $21.9 million or $1.71/GSF to $29.4 million or 1.99/GSF in FY 2009. However, 2 million GSF has been added to our campus! Adjusted for inflation over this period, the FM budget is presently at 1.49/GSF...
Update on Life Safety Infrastructure Inspection, Testing & Maintenance Program
Plant Exchange: Volume 20 / No. 2 / March-April 2010
One of the core leading-practice documents that governs the work of the UM Fire Protection Shop, NFPA 25 - Standard for Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Systems, is being revised by thought leaders in the fire protection industry. Those leaders have recently come to the conclusion that a weekly no-flow testing of electric fire pumps may create more problems than it solves...
What’s in a Name?
Plant Exchange: Volume 20 / No. 1 / January-February 2010
You walk into a machine room with a Work Order in your hand. You see “pump 1” in front of you. Glancing to your left you see another “pump 1”. Great! So you call Building Automation Systems (BAS) and are told that there are actually three pumps using the number 1 in the same machine room. Help! Further examination of the work order and perhaps another radio call to BAS reveals that you are looking for perimeter heating hot water pump 1, not reheat hot water pump 1, or domestic hot water booster pump 1...
New BAS Manager
Plant Exchange: Volume 20 / No. 1 / January-February 2010
I am pleased to announce the selection of Tim Kennedy as the new Building Automation Systems Manager. My congratulations as well to David Anderson, as he enjoys the next big phase of his life, retirement! ...
Physics Prototype Sculpture Built by Plant’s Sheet Metal Shop
Plant Exchange: Volume 19 / No. 6 / November-December 2009
This sculpture represents the intersection of two light waves. It is reminiscent of a fundamental process in holography which was developed here at U-M by Professor Emmett Leith and his colleagues in the early 1960’s...
The FCC 800MHz Rebanding Project
Plant Exchange: Volume 19 / No. 5 / September-October 2009
The University of Michigan uses a 3-site Simulcast, 11-channel, Smartnet II Communication System with over 1400 radio users and 180 MOSCAD units throughout the campus. Interference, attributed to increasing cell phone usage, has been a serious problem for 800 MHz Public Safety and Critical Infrastructure communications...
Shaping the Future for Facilities Maintenance
Plant Exchange: Volume 19 / No. 4 / July-August 2009
The future of the Facilities Maintenance department in Plant Ops will be impacted by three newly formed planning teams. These “Initial Planning Teams” will spend the summer brainstorming, identifying, discussing and vetting ideas against hard data from FMAX to enable Facilities Maintenance to more efficiently support the University’s teaching, research and public service mission...
Fire Destroys Control Center at HH Dow: Plant Ops’ Crews Meet the Challenge
Plant Exchange: Volume 19 / No. 3 / May-June 2009
The fire started when an electrical arc-flash occurred in the motor control center (MCC) at the HH Dow building in early February. Thankfully, no one was hurt. However, the control center was virtually destroyed...
2009 Dental School Accreditation
Plant Exchange: Volume 19 / No. 3 / May-June 2009
In late March, the University of Michigan Dental School hosted a site visit by a team from the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation (ADA CODA). This is a peer-review process overseen by the ADA and is designed to ensure educational quality and promote continuous improvement of dental and dental related education...
Whatever Happened to the DACUM? Job Training Profiles Get New Breath in Plant
Plant Exchange: Volume 19 / No. 2 / March-April 2009
Many Plant Operations employees will remember the DACUM process when employee groups were interviewed regarding the many duties and skills required in their jobs. The thousands of sticky notes adorning Plant Academy white boards were transposed into a job skills training database on LearnerWeb....
Integrating University of Michigan Business and Finance Organizational Competencies into Leadership Roles in Plant Hospital Maintenance
Plant Exchange: Volume 19 / No. 2 / March-April 2009
When you go to a technical school to learn HVAC (Heating, Cooling, Air Conditioning), electrical, plumbing, carpentry, general maintenance, and a host of other related categories, you expect to master the skills of maintenance practice and technical equipment....
Keeping the Tradition: Ten Employees Honored!
Plant Exchange: Volume 19 / No. 1 / January-February 2009
In early November an awards banquet was held in honor of graduates of the U-M Skilled Trades Apprenticeship program. The dinner was held to celebrate and publicly recognize, in the presence of family members, friends, fellow graduates, and managers, the achievements of the ten Plant Operations employees who completed an apprenticeship program and became journeypersons during the three year period of time from 2006 through 2008...
Below Freezing? U-M “Closed Loop” System Keeps the Heat Moving!
Plant Exchange: Volume 19 / No. 1 / January-February 2009
“Closed Loops” are a piping system that circulates heat transfer fluid. U-M closed loops systems heat and cool university buildings and service research equipment. Unlike cooling tower systems, they are “closed” because they are isolated from the atmosphere and are usually under pressure...
Introducing...
Plant Exchange: Volume 19 / No. 1 / January-February 2009
...Jim Brown. It gives me great pleasure to announce that Jim Brown, Plumber in the Hospital Plumbing Department, has agreed to join Mechanical Systems as Foreman of Shop M3100, Plant Mechanical Systems Plumbing Shop...
Meet MABEL, the Walking Robot
Plant Exchange: Volume 18 / No. 5 / November-December 2008
The MABEL biped walking and running robot project was a very interesting and exciting initiative. It was developed by Professor Jessy Grizzle of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science...
Introducing...
Plant Exchange: Volume 18 / No. 5 / November-December 2008
Howard Portis Mechanical Systems is extremely pleased to announce that Howard Portis has agreed to take the position of Foreman of Mechanical Systems AC Shop M3700, Temperature Control and Balancing. M3700 is responsible for ensuring that the parts of our HVAC systems which most directly affect our customer’s comfort work properly...
Technicians Monitor "A Mountain of Information"
Plant Exchange: Volume 18 / No. 4 / September 2008
The everyday duties for Utilities System Technicians (UST’s) can seem overwhelming. For example sometimes requests for information come in to Building Automation Systems (BAS) on all three communication lines simultaneously...
Introducing (New Employees in Facilities Maintenance)
Plant Exchange: Volume 18 / No. 4 / September 2008
The Key Office is pleased to announce that Robert Kennedy has accepted the position of Access Control System Manager....
Celebrating Two New Elevator Mechanics
Plant Exchange: Volume 18 / No. 3 / July 2008
William Hepburn and William Clay Snyder have both earned the position of Elevator Mechanic at the University of Michigan...
LSA Zone Maintenance Wins Ergonomic Award
Plant Exchange: Volume 18 / No. 3 / July 2008
Imagine how challenging it would be to try to open an emergency access door which is being held firmly in place by a powerful suction. Now imagine that the access door can only be reached while standing on an extension ladder...
You're Super! (CARE Program article featuring Plant Hospital Maintenance Employees)
Plant Exchange: Volume 18 / No. 3 / July 2008
The Plant Hospital Maintenance Department maintains the physical environment and provides related services to support the Hospital staff in reaching their goal of excellence. “You’re Super!” is the name of the hospital’s recognition program....
What A Sight!
Plant Exchange: Volume 18 / No. 1 &2 / January-April 2008
Recently, the Millwright Shop took on the challenge of repairing the Diag flagpole. The flagpole “truck,” (the swivel mechanism on the pole top with two pulleys inside and two ropes), had jammed due to a worn flag rope and cable...
How Training and Education Sustain the Environment of Care
Plant Exchange: Volume 18 / No. 1 &2 / January-April 2008
Well-informed and well-trained personnel along with the building equipment insure the operation of the physical aspect of a healthcare facility. Successfully managing the Environment of Care (EC) requires optimizing both people and resources...
Field Trip for Energy Management Class
Plant Exchange: Volume 18 / No. 1 &2 / January-April 2008
About twenty Facilities Maintenance BOMI Energy Management and Controls class members recently got a sneak preview of Ann Arbor’s brand new Skyline High School. In spite of the frigid February weather, the facilities were kept comfortably warm...
Shop M3200 Pump Crew Keep Pumping Out Service
Plant Exchange: Volume 17 / No. 6 / December 2007
Without your heart to move blood around, you would be out of luck. Without pumps to move fluid around thousands and thousands of pipes, the University would be out of luck...
Wheelchair Lifts
Plant Exchange: Volume 16 / No. 7 / July 2007
Many facilities on campus have wheelchair lifts such as the one in this photograph. These lifts are designed and installed for the sole purpose of transporting physically challenged people from one floor level to another where an elevator does not travel...
A Field Staff Perspective on Customer Satisfaction
Plant Exchange: Volume 16 / No. 7 / July 2007
Different issues are being stressed about the different ways of measuring quality of service. Customer satisfaction has proved to be the most important one. One should be aware of what the customers really want...
Shop M3700 in the Spotlight!
Plant Exchange: Volume 16 / No. 7 / July 2007
We are pleased to announce that the Temperature Control Systems Shop has received an Honorable Mention for the Workplace 2007 Exemplary Team Award...
Building Automation Systems Grows to Over 500 Servers
Plant Exchange: Volume 15 / No. 6 / May 2007
What is a server? Aside from the person who brings food to your table at a restaurant, there are computer devices called servers that essentially do the same thing. They take orders for information from customers (clients) and deliver the requested information to your “table” (video monitor)...
Management of the Environment of Care
Plant Exchange: Volume 15 / No. 5 / March 2007
The Environment of Care (EC) goal, as defined within the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals, is to provide a safe, functional, supportive, and effective environment for patients, staff, and other individuals within the hospital...
New Service Vehicle Parking Map
Plant Exchange: Volume 15 / No. 5 / March 2007
Plant Operations, Parking & Transportation Services and the Department of Public Safety are pleased to announce that the new 2007 service vehicle guide and parking map now is available...
Welcome Jason
Plant Exchange: Volume 15 / No. 5 / January 2007
Jason Hackbarth is a second-year apprentice in the Plant Air Conditioning Department. He worked for six months in the Direct Expansion A/C shop and another six months in the Chiller Systems shop....
Keeping the Customer First!
Plant Exchange: Volume 15 / No. 4 / January 2007
This November, the Facilities Maintenance department unveiled an ambitious new customer communications training initiative entitled Customer First! This highly interactive course is designed to help our point-of-contact maintenance service providers to better serve their customers and to be sensitive and responsive to their needs...
Elevator Shop News
Plant Exchange: Volume 15 / No. 4 / January 2007
At the June 2006 Vertical Transportation Conference for Colleges & Universities [VTCCU], attendees approved the creation of a new national elevator-industry professional association called “Elevator U.”...
Improving Your Powers of Observation and Awareness
Plant Exchange: Volume 15 / No. 3 / November 2007
Within any organization, it is apparent that much of a manager’s success is borne of observation and awareness. A perceptive manager provides his or her staff with the resources, like tools and materials, that are essential to their work. In return, the workers give that manager their loyalty and productivity...
New Technology for BSRB
Plant Exchange: Volume 15 / No. 2 / September 2006
Remember watching those old Star Trek shows when Captain Kirk was walking through the ship, and the doors would open and close automatically, the lights would go on and off, and his shower would come on just by him asking...
Ups & Downs of Elevator Operations
Plant Exchange: Volume 15 / No. 2 / September 2006
Did you know...? Holding the elevator doors open will cause the elevator to “time out,” thereby shutting it down? An elevator mechanic must reset the controller when this happens...
Building Automation Systems Continued Growth
Plant Exchange: Volume 15 / No. 1 / July 2006
The Building Automation Systems (BAS) department is responsible for state-of-the-art computerized control of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor general fund buildings...
Volunteer Project: Little Big House
Plant Exchange: Volume 14 / No. 5 / May 2006
Still looking for a way to help Hurricane Katrina victims? The U-M Alumni Association will partner with Habitat for Humanity from Wednesday, May 17 through Sunday, May 21 to construct five wall sets as part of our local hurricane relief efforts...
Welcome New FM Foremen
Plant Exchange: Volume 14 / No. 5 / May 2006
We are pleased to introduce Joel Foos, Randy Fox, and Deb Ault, who are new foremen in Mechanical Systems, FM Electric, and Zone Maintenance areas. We are especially proud that all three foremen were promoted from within their departments!..
A Tradition of Workplace Learning
Plant Exchange: Volume 14 / No. 5 / May 2006
On January 19, graduates of the U of M Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Program were honored in the presence of family members, friends, foremen, co-workers, and Joint Apprenticeship Committee board members at an awards dinner held at the Michigan League...
Management and Employees: Working Together
Plant Exchange: Volume 14 / No. 5 / May 2006
A manager is a leader whose primary responsibility is to bring workers together to work as a team. Employees will learn about their managers, but they will need time, just as a manager needs time to get to know and understand the workers...
Charles Clark - Hurricane Relief Volunteer
Plant Exchange: Volume 14 / No. 4 / February 2006
My name is Charles Clark. I’ve been employed with the hospital for thirty years as a carpenter in the maintenance department. When I viewed the destruction on TV from the hurricanes, I wanted to do something to help...
VOICES of the Staff
Plant Exchange: Volume 14 / No. 4 / February 2006
In early December, VOICES core representatives met with President Coleman, Executive Vice President Tim Slottow, and senior administration to give an update of the program’s progress. Momentum is building as the VOICES program nears its one year anniversary...
Water, Water, Water: Where Does It Come From?
Plant Exchange: Volume 14 / No. 4 / February 2006
A safe and dependable water supply is often taken for granted. Keeping it flowing is a large responsibility for many in Plant Operations. All of the water that the University consumes is purchased from the City of Ann Arbor. In FY 2005, the University purchased 1,102,495,152 gallons...
Hospital Maintenance Staff Receive MECH Certifications
Plant Exchange: Volume 14 / No. 3 / December 2005
Two Hospital Maintenance Mechanics have recently passed the Michigan Education and Certification for Healthcare (MECH) exam, and qualified for promotions as a result. Congratulations are in order for the following employees for advancing their skills and reaching these milestones...
Strategic Planning: A Team Effort for Hospital Maintenance
Plant Exchange: Volume 14 / No. 3 / December 2005
A strategic action plan for the Hospital Maintenance Department was created through an internal department survey involving a series of meetings with the staff. The staff were asked to identify the opportunities and challenges that exist operationally within the department...
U-M Fire Extinguisher Shop
Plant Exchange: Volume 14 / No. 3 / December 2005
The fire extinguisher shop has been in place for nearly six months and was created through the cooperative effort of OSEH, DPS, and Plant Operations...
Plant Ops to Assist In Disaster Relief
Plant Exchange: Volume 14 / No. 3 / December 2005
Earlier this year, the Gulf Coast region was hit by several major hurricanes, most notably Hurricane Katrina. These storms ravaged many communities and displaced thousands of residents throughout several states from Texas to Florida...
Remembering Dave Corwin
Plant Exchange: Volume 14 / No. 2 / October 2005
In August, the Chemistry Zone bade farewell to David Corwin, Maintenance Mechanic III, upon his untimely death at age 55...
Electrical Safety
Plant Exchange: Volume 14 / No. 1 / August 2005
Many of you are familiar with the National Electric Code NFPA 70. It is the minimum standard for the installation of electrical equipment. In the next few years, you will become equally familiar with NFPA 70 E, the National Electric Safety Code...
The UM Apprenticeship Program: A Gateway to a Career in the Skilled Trades
Plant Exchange: Volume 13 / No. 6 / June 2005
Are you interested in a rewarding career in the skilled trades? Not intimidated by a five-year commitment involving long hours of classes and study after work? Do you have an excellent work record, knowledge of maintenance-related subjects, and excellent communication skills? You may be interested in applying for a position as a Skilled Trades apprentice...
Hangtags-Improving Communication with Customers
Plant Exchange: Volume 13 / No. 3 / December 2004
The Elevator Shop, Millwright Shop, Roofing Shop, Sheet Metal Shop, and Welding & Machine Shops have developed door knob hang tags for improved customer communications...
On the Horizon
Plant Exchange: Volume 13 / No. 2 / October 2004
In writing and preparing this article under this title, I was reminded of my childhood days and trips I would take in our family sedan. In my backseat boredom, brought on by the endless grain fields and grass pastures of western North Dakota, I remember watching the telephone and power poles on the shoulder of the roads coming up one-by-one in an endless supply...
Major Training Effort for HVAC Shops
Plant Exchange: Volume 13 / No. 1 / August 2004
This summer, the staff of the Campus and Hospital HVAC shops had a great opportunity to update their skills. With the recent merger of our Steam Absorption AC mechanics and our Mechanical AC mechanics into one new classification, there was a great need to get all of our AC mechanics fully versed and certified in the maintenance and operation of chillers and the use of the newer chiller control systems...
Restored Fountain on the Ingalls Mall
Plant Exchange: Volume 13 / No. 1 / August 2004
The fountain, "Sunday Morning in Deep Waters", on the Ingalls Mall was designed by sculptor Carl Milles in the late '30's and installed in 1940. Over the years the plumbing system that supplies water to the various spray heads had deteriorated, which resulted in little or no water spraying from many of the jets...
BOMI Graduates
Plant Exchange: Volume 12 / No. 6 / June 2004
Congratulations are in order for the several Plant employees who have recently completed the requirements for certification by the Building Owners and Managers (BOMI) Institute. The BOMI Institute is an internationally recognized leader in commercial property education...
Craftsperson Honored for Service to JAC
Plant Exchange: Volume 12 / No. 6 / June 2004
On April 22, Facilities Maintenance electrician John Bishop received a plaque in honor of his seven years of service to the University of Michigan Joint Apprenticeship Committee (JAC). John was presented with the award, to much applause from his peers, by Lowell Hanson and Tom Sullivan at the U-M Skilled Trades Board's monthly meeting...
Shops Produces Physics Sculpture
Plant Exchange: Volume 12 / No. 5 / April 2004
"An electron trapped in a magnetic field" is the description Jens Zorn, professor of physics, used to describe a new outdoor sculpture that was unveiled Feb. 5. The sculpture was designed by Zorn and fabricated by several Plant Operations employees...
Life Safety Course in Firestopping Systems
Plant Exchange: Volume 12 / No. 5 / April 2004
On February 24, about 90 staff members attended a seminar on Firestopping Systems, presented by Cheryl Van Hovel, Fire Safety Specialist, and Alan Hartley, Hilti account rep for the University...
Hospital Maintenance Mechanics Receive MECH Certifications
Plant Exchange: Volume 12 / No. 4 / February 2004
2003 was a very good year for the Hospital Maintenance staff seeking to demonstrate that they had acquired skills and knowledge needed for promotion within the Maintenance field. Five staff members passed the Michigan Education and Certification for Healthcare (MECH) exam at either the Certified or Senior Certified level...
ICLE Recognizes Plumber
Plant Exchange: Volume 12 / No. 4 / February 2004
On November 19, the staff of the Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) held a reception to present Zone Maintenance Mechanic Joe Slowins with a Silver Arrow Award for his outstanding customer service...
Hospital Mechanics and Their Bright Idea
Plant Exchange: Volume 12 / No. 4 / February 2004
When UM Health System Maintenance plumber Steve Hnidy and steamfitter Phil Duncan submitted their idea for saving the University money on hot water supply costs, there was no way of knowing that their idea would be the #1 cost saving idea submitted to the UMHS in the Year 2003...
Plumbing Shop's "Fab Four"
Plant Exchange: Volume 12 / No. 3 / December 2003
On October 1, Dave Gilbertson and the Plumbing Shop held a pizza luncheon to celebrate four of their staff members passing the recent State of Michigan Plumbers License exam...
New Apprentices
Plant Exchange: Volume 12 / No. 3 / December 2003
We are happy to extend a warm welcome to the new apprentices who have been selected in 2003. The Joint Apprenticeship Committee selected these four qualified employees from a highly competitive pool of over 90 candidates...
Ambassadors at the Front Line
Plant Exchange: Volume 12 / No. 2 / October 2003
The customer service mantra continues within our quest to fulfill our Vision 2005 Strategic Plan...
Apprentice Designs Ergonomic Solution
Plant Exchange: Volume 12 / No. 1 / Summer 2003
A few months ago, when the Sheet Metal Shop received a new sheet metal shear machine, Apprentice Don Paschal began to toy with the idea of designing a bench to catch the heavy sheet metal as it comes out of the shear, and lift it up safely from the floor...
Electrical Measurement Safety
Plant Exchange: Volume 12 / No. 1 / Summer 2003
On June 11th over 150 electricians; HVAC, elevator, and maintenance mechanics; and engineers attended a seminar on Electrical Measurement Safety. Those who attended became more aware of the hazards associated with making electrical measurements and learned to minimize and avoid them...
Apprentice Program Graduates Honored
Plant Exchange: Volume 11 / No. 3 / Winter 2003
On October 24, recent graduates of the U of M Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Program were honored in the presence of family members, friends, foremen, co-workers, and Union leadership at a Recognition Dinner held at the Michigan League...
UM Skilled Trades Apprentice Program
Plant Exchange: Volume 11 / No. 3 / Winter 2003
Currently, the UM offers apprenticeships for the following skilled trades groups: Air Conditioning/Refrigeration Mechanic, Cabinet Maker, Carpenter, Electrician, Elevator Mechanic, Industrial Electrician, Pipecoverer, Plasterer, Plumber, Sheet Metal Worker, Steamfitter, Telecommunications Specialist, and Welder...
Service Level Agreements
Plant Exchange: Volume 11 / No. 3 / Winter 2003
We are currently involved in creating SLA's - Service Level Agreements - with our customers. What are service level agreements (SLAs)?
Window AC Initiative
Plant Exchange: Volume 11 / No. 2 / Fall 2002
In response to the Plant Operations Strategic Planning Initiative - Vision 2005, Dave Beurer of Mechanical Systems tracked service requests for window a/c units from 2001 and earlier. He learned there was high demand for window a/c service work during high temperature and humidity days...
Med Inn Flood - Teamwork at Its Best
Plant Exchange: Volume 11 / No. 2 / Fall 2002
On the evening of Tuesday, July 9, 2002, Hospital and Plant Maintenance groups received an emergency call from the Med Inn at University Hospital; no power. A flood in the basement had caused the electrical substation to fail...
AC Shop Launches New Program
Plant Exchange: Volume 11 / No. 1 / Spring 2002
As Plant Operations continues to refine its focus on improving customer service, scheduling work more efficiently and mounting a proactive preventive maintenance program, the AC shop has taken this message to heart...

Content modified: Sep 21, 2015