Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 17


VOICE FROM THE FIELD

ONE?

Rebekah's Top 5 Tips
1. Invest in quality and proper installation of
equipment.
2. Don't oversize pumps just for the sake of
oversizing. Specify for flexibility instead.
3. Work closely with vendors who can provide
strong technical expertise.
4. Follow manufacturer's storage instructions for
parts and spare equipment.
5. Always install an inlet pressure gauge on
pumps and pressure-regulating equipment, in
addition to the downstream gauge.

all the information you possibly can. You
can't always do this from the other end of a
telephone."
Once she has as much information as
possible, the real work begins. "When
I have all the information, then I can
break down the problem into testable
hypotheses," she said. "We can determine
answers to questions like, 'What, beyond
the obvious, could be contributing to
the issue?' and 'What do we know about
recent changes in the system?' Nothing is
in isolation.
"Then I think about it and try to
reframe the question. If it's something
that's really stumping me, I try to describe
it in three ways-with words, with
diagrams, and with math. The hardest,
the way that makes me think most closely
about the problem, is usually in the
math. I may go back to my textbook and
think about the principles at work. Or I
may draw a diagram and discuss it with
someone with a different knowledge base
than me. I try to get a different angle, and
think about it in a granular way so I can
process it differently. I come up with lists of
possible causes and try to figure out how to
test each one."

Essence of the person
Even when she is not working, Macko's
engineering side creeps in. "It's just who I
am," she said. "And I wear the 'nerd' sign
like a badge of honor."
For example, in her ceramics class,
while the other students were creating
pots and bowls, Macko enjoyed making
pinhole cameras. "For me, pottery is a
OCTOBER 2016

ARE YOU THE

Rebekah Macko has been
a senior systems engineer
with Geiger Pump &
Equipment in Aston, PA,
for eight years.

nice marriage of engineering, planning,
and creativity," she said. "You draw things,
sketch them out, and make plans. I would
make the pinhole cameras out of clay,
throwing the body of the camera on the
potter's wheel, make a lid, and plan for
the pinhole, shutter, and holder for film to
adjust for focal length. Exposing polaroid
film through the pinhole you can get
all kinds of wild images. This is how an
engineer does pottery, I guess. I always had
the best measuring tools. Others would
say, 'I really love the visceral feel of the clay,'
and there I was with my protractor."
Determined in personal and professional challenges, Macko draws inspiration
from the famous Marge Piercy poem, "To
Be of Use," which describes the importance
of putting your shoulder into your work
and getting things done right. "We are not
doing philosophy here," Macko said. "We
have to get it right. We can't take short
cuts, because if we make mistakes, it will
be seen. I believe that if you are going to
do something, do it right. This philosophy
rolls into my everyday life and with
everything I do. My son doesn't have to
become an engineer, but I hope he grows
up to be determined and creative and
enthusiastic about the world around him.
I hope that he can always find something
interesting in everything in his corner of
the world." MT
Michelle Segrest has been a professional
journalist for 27 years. If you know of a
maintenance and/or reliability expert who
is making a difference at their facility, email
her at michelle@navigatecontent.com.

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MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM | 17


http://www.spminstrument.us http://www.spminstrument.us http://www.MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology October 2016

Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 1
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - Cover1
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - Cover2
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 1
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 2
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 3
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 4
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 5
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 6
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 7
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 8
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 9
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 10
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 11
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 12
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 13
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Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 15
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 16
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 17
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 18
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 19
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Maintenance Technology October 2016 - Cover3
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - Cover4
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