Articles by Ralph Ruark

KILN CONNECTION: Understanding Variability

April 1, 2011
Figure 1. The differences in temperature and the relative heating rates in this kiln are completely location-dependent. "Variability is the enemy of quality." This has become the battle cry for
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KILN CONNECTION: Focus on Color

February 1, 2011
I am flying home as I write this column, having spent the last week working for a small company in the center of Mexico. It was a wonderful trip-great weather,
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KILN CONNECTION: On Investing

December 1, 2010
My colleagues in the ceramic industry are always trying to get funds approved in order to improve their firing systems, accuracy and temperature uniformity; add human-machine interface (HMI) systems; or
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KILN CONNECTION: Safety First

September 1, 2010
As a Gulf Coast resident, the oil deluge-no, it was not a spill-in the Gulf of Mexico still seems almost surreal. Beautiful beaches, interesting wildlife, warm waters and great fishing
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KILN CONNECTION: Elegant Burner Concept

June 1, 2010
Table 1. Heat available when firing with a cubic foot of natural gas at varying rates of XSA and preheated air temperature.One of my strong interests is energy conservation, and
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KILN CONNECTION: Elegant Burner Concept

May 25, 2010
Table 1. Heat available when firing with a cubic foot of natural gas at varying rates of XSA and preheated air temperature.One of my strong interests is energy conservation, and
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KILN CONNECTION: HMI

April 1, 2010
If you are contemplating a conversion to a computer interface system with PLC control, it's important to keep a number of factors in mind.
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KILN CONNECTION: Long Year, Indeed

February 1, 2010
To survive in this business, it’s necessary to be creative and soldier on to find the solution to difficult problems.
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KILN CONNECTION: Pulse Perfect

October 1, 2009
Kiln technology advancement seems to be more of a step-change than a gradual evolution, and the step improvement that has occurred over the last 15 years has been related to pulse firing and control.
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KILN CONNECTION: Swimming Naked

April 1, 2009
Warren Buffet once said, “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” The current high level of business curtailments and closures, along with record layoffs, tends to confirm that many companies have been operating very marginally.
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