Materials To Choose For Your Plaster Pool

With summer right around the corner many people have begun to consider the shape their pools plaster is in, and others are starting to think about installing a new plaster pool.  Whichever situation describes the one you are in; Pound Pool Plastering is here to help.

Whether you are classic and want something clean and straightforward, like a simple white plaster, or you want multiple colors which can be found with pebble finishes, or something in between there is something available to fit your need.

Our pool plaster finish specialists understand the benefits and drawbacks that come with every surface product available for your plaster pool finish.  There is a lot of information to digest, especially if you are new to the pool scene, which means it is crucial to find a pool plaster company that fully understands the pros and cons of different plaster materials.  Our pool surface coordinators are experts in communicating with clients throughout the process from choosing a finish through to the day the water is filled.

Pool plaster is a unique element in that it is always submerged in water that is treated with chemicals.  It is different than other types of plaster materials.  Use the following as a guide when discovering more about different pool finishes.

Simple White

White pool plaster has been a standard finish for many pool and spa surfaces.  For as long as people have been swimming and soaking, white plaster has been around and remains a popular choice even with the introduction of new materials.  The strength of white plaster is that it offers a clean, light, blue appearance when the water fills the pool. 

It is also more affordable than other plaster options.  The concern with white pool plaster is like that of all plaster concerns in that if the chemicals within the pool are not properly maintained you can expect a change in the plaster’s appearance.  With white plaster these may stand out more than they would with a colored plaster.

Plaster Additives

Some pool owners choose to use plaster with additives added.  These additives hide the imperfections that come with time from white and colored plaster alone.  These highly innovative chemical additives are combined with the plaster before the application process.  The additives change the physical and chemical composition of the plaster and essentially strengthen the plaster, making it more durable without having to sacrifice the aesthetics and texture.  These additives do tend to add to the overall cost of the plaster but added longevity may make it worth it.

Aggregates

Another option is aggregate.  This is a special ceramic coated sand that is pre-mixed into the plaster.  There are many benefits to aggregate. 

It offers a wide range of color options from basic beige to vibrant greens.  It also creates a surface that is stronger than white plaster alone.  It is the most expensive pool plaster variant and can be susceptible to surface issues if the water chemistry is off.

There are a ton of variables to consider before choosing a material/finish for you pool!  Call the experts at Pound Pool Plastering today for a free in home consultation at (248) 476.4544. Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at https://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/

Should You Repair or Replace Your Home’s Roof?

A leak in your homes roof can cause some damage to your home and cost you some serious money if not caught and dealt with.  If water is allowed to accumulate, overtime you can expect to see saggy drywall, mold, and rotting wood frames.  When you see the damage, you should repair the damage. Call a roofing contractor ASAP.  Usually roof repairs are not simple matters.  It requires diagnostics and a detailed analysis of repairing the roof verse replacing the roof.  This guide can help.

A leak in your homes roof can cause some damage to your home and cost you some serious money if not caught and dealt with.  If water is allowed to accumulate, overtime you can expect to see saggy drywall, mold, and rotting wood frames.  When you see the damage, you should repair the damage. Call a roofing contractor ASAP.  Usually roof repairs are not simple matters.  It requires diagnostics and a detailed analysis of repairing the roof verse replacing the roof.  This guide can help.

Leaky Roofs

When your roof has a leak, it is crucial you fix it immediately.  Repairs to leaking roofs need to be permanent verse temporary.  You have a few choices when it comes to repairing leaks.

•           If your roof is sound overall besides one or two week spots the damage may just be from something out of the norm like a falling branch or a strong windstorm.  When making repairs be sure they are permanent.

•           If your roof is showing signs of wear, then making repairs will only solve a temporary problem before other leaks appear.  This will be the time you will want to start considering a new roof.

•           If you need a bit to prepare for the roof replacement, leaks can be covered with tarps or plywood until the process of getting a new roof can begin.

•           If you know you are unable to install a new roof anytime soon then go ahead and make semi-permanent repairs.  Replaces shingles, perform attic inspections, and after it rains be prepared to repair interior damage.

Roof Problems

Without ever noticing an issue, it is still crucial that you inspect your roof twice a year.  You will look for cupping, splitting, water damage, missing shingles, issues with gutters, and more.  Below are some issues that are common and how to fix them.

Replacing Shingles

During your bi-yearly roof inspection you may notice a few missing shingles.  If this is the case, you can most often fix this without the need to call in a professional.  Locate the area where the shingle is missing and using shingles leftover from the original install replace the shingle.  Remove all of the damages shingling, install fresh underlayment, and replace the shingle.  Flat roofs are a bit different and require assistance from roofing contractors that specialize in flat roofing.

Attic Ventilation

Your roof and attic need to breathe otherwise air will be trapped and ruin the insulation and cause mold which leads to rot.  Vents are a key element in roofing.  Without vents, ice can build up in the winter because no warm air would ever reach the attic.  There are four types of vents to be aware of: soffit, ridge, roof, and gable vents.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including:  roofing,  siding,  windowmasonry, chimneysgutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at https://www.kearnsbrothers.com/.

Easy Guide On Wedding Attire

Its wedding season and you know what that means, our confusion about what proper attire is for the vastly different events.  The wedding coordinators at Event Planning DC are here to help with this easy guide on wedding attire.

When the Invitation Says: White-Tie Wedding Dress Code

This is attire for the most formal event you can think of.  Attire you would wear to attend a White House reception dinner.  Ladies should wear a formal, floor length gown with conservative jewelry, high heels, and an elegant clutch.  There are no exceptions to this.  Men should choose a tuxedo with tails.  A formal white shirt should be worn with a simple colored vest and bow tie, think white, gray, or black.  Formal footwear should be worn as well like derby shoes or oxford styles.

When the Invitation Says: Black-Tie Wedding Dress Code

A step down from formal, but still incredibly dressy, black tie weddings most often occur in the evening.  There are a few more options for men and women alike at a black-tie affair.  Ladies can choose from a formal gown or a classy cocktail dress.  Dressy heels or flats can be chosen. 

If you are uncomfortable in a gown or dress a dressed-up pants suit is acceptable.  Men must wear a tuxedo, but it doesn’t have to include tails.  A black tie, vest or cummerbund are completely acceptable. 

Patent leather shoes can be worn.  If the wedding is in the summer, men may consider a white jacket with black tuxedo trousers.

When the Invitation Says: Formal or Black-Tie Wedding Dress Code Optional

This is the trickiest of tricky invitation to receive, let us help decode.  This means that the occasion is slightly less formal than black tie, so a tuxedo is not necessary, but it is still formal enough if you want.  Ladies can dress as they would for a black-tie wedding.  Men however can choose a tuxedo if they want but can also be appropriately dressed if they show up in a formal dark suit, white shirt, and conservative tie.

When the Invitation Says: Semi-formal or Dressy Casual Wedding Dress Code

This is when the time of the wedding really plays a role in how people dress.  Darker is better for evening events and lighter colors and fabrics are better for the daytime.  Ladies should choose a cocktail dress or dressy skirt and top.  A floor length gown is inappropriate. 

Heals, wedges, or flats are acceptable.  If an event is outdoors, then it is best for ladies to avoid traditional heels as they are likely to get stuck along the way.  Men should wear a suit and tie, again depending on the time of day it can be light colored or dark.

When the Invitation Says: Festive Attire Wedding Dress Code

This one is new and has a lot of leeway.  Attendees can have fun and play with their look or choose cocktail attire that is a bit more playful.  Ladies can choose a cocktail dress or super fun party dress. 

Funky accessories are okay and bold colored shoes as well. Men should wear a suit jacket however it can be jazzed up with a colorful tie and jazzy pocket square.

When the Invitation Says: Casual Attire Wedding Dress Code

This is usually the case for weddings that are outdoors or on the water.

It will be a laid-back occasion and attire is simple.  Of course, you should NEVER, let me say it again… NEVER, wear jeans, shorts, or a tank to a wedding.  Not even when it is noted that it is okay.  Ladies should opt for a sundress and wedges.  If you think it may be chilly a sweater can be worn.  Sandals and sneakers are still off limits.   Men are free to wear dress pants or khakis.  A collared shirt is recommended but a tie and sport jacket are optional.  T-shirts and tennis shoes are off limits.

When the Invitation Says: Tropical or Destination Wedding Dress Code

You must dress appropriately for the weather.  Always err on the dressier side if you aren’t sure however you want to be comfy for the weather.  Ladies can choose a sundress with sandals or wedges.  If it is super sunny a hat that blocks the sun is just fine as an accessory.  For men a sport shirt or lightweight jacket is appropriate.  Short sleeve button downs are a great option as well, consider a guayabera style shirt. Khaki pants are appropriate for men as are dock style shoes. 

Think Casual when dressing for this type of wedding.

Wedding attire is always a little tricky.  It is always better to be over-dressed verse under dressed EXCEPT in situations where you “out attire” the bride and groom.  If you have any doubts reach out to the couple.  If you are close enough to be invited to their special day they will have no problem at all telling you how you should dress for the occasion.

Event Planning DC provides full event planning, partial event planning, wedding planning, month-of (day-of) event coordination, event styling/design and decorating services throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia, with access to local and national vendors who may provide additional services suitable for your event and budget.  We pride ourselves on providing only the highest quality event coordination, giving you and your guests the perfect day, no matter what the occasion including exclusive corporate and non-profit eventsweddingsBar & Bat Mitzvahs, community events and milestone celebrations.  More information can be found online at https://www.eventplanningdc.com.

Traditional Marketing Methods Don’t Translate into the Digital Era – CPS Can Help!

Can you even remember what it was like not to have access to the internet everywhere you went?  It is hard to imagine there is anyone out there that is not using the internet.  The number of internet users rises on a daily basis which has led to a change in the way consumer shop which means that the way businesses conduct business must also change.  Offline marketing is not nearly as effective as it once was.  Because we use marketing to connect with people when they are ready to buy, where they are ready to buy it is important that companies expand their reach into the digital world.

There is not really any way to compare print marketing with digital marketing.  They are two very different beasts however; in theory they have the same objective – to promote your products or services.  They just have very different methods of achieving this end result. 

Digital marketing is all encompassing.  It includes all marketing efforts on electronic devices and the internet.  It allows businesses to use digital channels like Google & Bing (search engines), Facebook & Twitter (social media), Email, YouTube, PPC, and other websites to connect with users. 

In order for digital marketing to be effective, a campaign must support the goals of the customer.  Connecting with users where they are and when they are ready to purchase online requires a spectrum of tactics and it is up to business owners to decide how each method can be used to market their company. 

Examples of Digital Marketing

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Pay Per Click
  • Email Marketing
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Marketing Automation
  • Online Public Relations

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the process that is followed when optimizing your website in order to land on the top of the first page of a search engine.  The first organic positions have proven to receive more traffic than websites that are placed on the second+ SERP.

SEO can be done on a website pages, off of websites, and on the backend of websites. 

On page SEO involves content creation, the text which users will reach when opening a page of your website.  Keyword research is performed to ensure your content is made up of search terms users are entering to find you.  Higher placement on search engines occurs when your website provides the solution to the users need.

Off page SEO involves the creation of inbound links. This is what gives your website authority.  The number of links back to your site from outside sources shows search engines that you have clout, which increases rankings for the search terms you care about. 

The last aspect is technical SEO.  Every website has a backend.  There are a number of platforms developers can use to create your website.  Here at CPS we use custom coded backends which means that our developers hand code each aspect of your website unlike template platforms like WordPress that use plugins.  This allows us to better focus on the technical aspects of SEO including: image sizing, structured data markup, CSS file optimization (all 3 increase the speed at which your website loads) and Meta tags (which helps with optimization).  

All three – On Page, Off Page and Technical search engine optimization are used in Google’s algorithm for placement in their SERP.

Content Marketing

Through the creation of and dispersing of different types of content assets business are able to increase brand awareness, boost traffic, and generate new leads, all of which should lead to more customers. There are several channels to create content marketing including:

  1. Blog Creation and Regular Posting
  2. Ebooks, Whitepapers, and Case Studies
  3. Infographics

Social Media Marketing

Through the use of regular updates using social media companies can increase brand awareness, boost traffic, and generate new leads, all of which should lead to more customers.  There are a number of different social media outlets that companies can use that all attract users in a slightly different way.  I am sure all of you by now have heard of Facebook however there are a number of other SM products including: Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Paid Search & Display Advertising (Pay Per Click, PPC)

PPC is a popular method of advertising your website that involves publishing ads targeted to researched keywords.  When the ad is clicked, and a user enters your website you are then charged a nominal fee. Pay per click through Google Ads is the most common PPC.  Advertising ads are placed within Google search and display networks which includes Google SERP and YouTube.  Placement is determined by your budget, keywords QS, targeted ads, and competition.  Other Pay Per Click channels include Facebook, Twitter, & Linkedin.

Affiliate Marketing

Performance-based advertising includes when you receive commission for promoting someone else’s product or service on your website.  This includes video ad hosting using YouTube Partner Program and posts of affiliate links on your SM accounts. 

Marketing Automation

This type of marketing uses software to provide basic operations without users entering information uniquely.  Software enters repetitive information for users so that they do not have to do it manually in several different locations.  These scheduled automatic postings can be done in several previously mentioned areas of marketing including:

  • Newsletters
  • Social Media Posts
  • Emails
  • Lead-Nurturing Exchanges
  • Tracking and Reporting.

Email Marketing

Email is a common method that all companies use in communication with prospective, new, and current clients.   Emails can be sent often or infrequently.  Emails keep your company in constant contact with people that have previously expressed interest in your business.  If you are looking for an inexpensive way to promote an event or upcoming sale an email marketing campaign is a terrific marketing tool to use.  There are many types of emails that can be sent including:

  • Newsletters
  • Updated Blog Posts
  • A Follow Up to Website Visitors
  • Loyalty Program Member Emails
  • Customer Nurturing Emails Such as Recipes or Tips

Online Public Relations (PR)

Public relations online is similar to that of PR in the “real” world.  It gives business the opportunity to earn coverage through different digital mediums.  Traditional PR might include volunteering at a local food bank that a news outlet is covering.  You are giving to the community and in return your good will is publicized.  Online PR is similar, the channels commonly used include:

  • Social Media – Talking to journalists on different social media platforms allows you to form relationships and grows your media opportunities
  • Online Reviews – Engaging with customers that leave both positive and negative reviews allows you to add a human element to your brand and protect your company’s reputation.
  • Replies to Comments – Just as you respond to online reviews, responding to comments left on Blog posts, social media content, and other types of website materials gives you an outlet to engage with and produce conversation that centers around your company website.

Long gone are the days of approaching marketing as a one size fits all process.  In the digital age that currently exists it is important to meet users where they are and show them how your products and services meet their needs.  Everyone has a different approach when using the internet which is why digital marketing is key to ensuring that you are reaching customers where they are and when they are ready to act.  By creating a digital marketing strategy that encompasses a variety of means you are sure to reach a wide variety of users with your digital message.

Creative Programs and Systems is an all-inclusive tech company that specializes in Custom DevelopmentManaged IT Services, and Digital Marketing.  All work is done in-house, we never outsource services from custom server builds and workstations, custom software programming and phone app development, to search engine optimization and paid advertising, our professionals provide results.  For more information on CPS check out our website at https://www.cpsmi.com.

Home Remodeling for Aging in Place


There is an upward trend occurring where seniors and retirees no longer seek a life of leisure within a retirement community instead opting to age in place. There are many reasons that seniors are looking to stay in their homes longer including the fact that they are in better health and physical condition than past generations. Even though seniors are at the top of their game in 2019 there are still precautions to take in creating safe spaces within their homes.  Even though their health is better, aging still takes a toll and changes the way in which their bodies operate. 

One of the first areas that we like to focus on is the bathroom.  There are a number of hurdles that can make the bathroom the most danger room in the house for aging seniors.  Getting in and out of a tub, standing from the toilet, dim lighting, and inefficient cabinets.  Simple renovations can include:

  • Installation of a comfort-height toilet
  • Putting in place grab bars
  • Replacing standard tubs with step-through tubs or showers without a curb
  • Add sliding shelves under bathroom sinks for easy access to products kept under the sink

Stairs also create a challenge for aging family member inside and outside of the home.  Chair lifts make two story homes doable for seniors that have trouble navigating the stairs.  Exterior ramps can be installed to make entering and exiting the home safer.  Handicap ramps can be installed either permanently or temporarily and can be made from a number of materials from wood to aluminum. 

Another major issue that is present for seniors that choose to stay in their homes as they age is the issue of lighting.  Aging causes changes in vision and make it hard to see when the natural light is not present such as in the evening.  With the installation of light switches that light up at night and motion-activated lights, it is easier for seniors to move about even when it is dark out.

Age in place remodeling, otherwise known as universal design, is making it possible for seniors to stay in their homes longer.   Universal design creates an environment using products that offer safety and comfort to people of all abilities without further need for adaptation.  Glen Miller the Home Doctor has been installing wheelchair accessible ramps, renovating bathrooms, adding additional lighting, and creating safe homes for seniors and those with mobility issues. 

Glen Miller the Home Doctor is a licensed general contractor servicing Livingston County and the surrounding areas.  Glen offers a wide range of services including home maintenance plansage in place remodelingkitchen and bathroom remodelingfinished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/.



2019 Facts About LASIK and LASEK

Laser vision correction is more widely accessible today than ever before.  Eyeglasses and contacts can be a thing of the past with just a few clicks, a consultation, and simple surgery.  Vision correction with a laser is the most common surgery in the United States.  Roughly over 600,000 laser eye procedures are done every year.  Not only is it the most common surgical procedure, it is the most successful as well.  Laser vision correction is performed in an attempt to cure Myopia, Hyperopia, and Astigmatism. 

There are two main types of laser vision correction which include LASIK and LASEK (PRK).  One is not better than the other.   The right treatment to correct your vision will depend on your diagnosis, age, and lifestyle.  In general, the differences include:

LASIK – This is a type of refractive surgery that is used to correct myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.  A microscopic protective flap is created to allow access to the inner cornea.  After this is done a laser light is used to reshape the cornea surface gently which alters focusing power and will improve your vision.  The protective flap is then positioned to protect the eye and help in the healing process.  Patients most often report an instant improvement in their vision after treatment.

LASEK (PRK) – This type of surgery is similar to LASIK however uses a different method to expose the cornea for treatment.  Instead of a flap like in LASIK, LASEK is done directly to the surface of the eye and then the laser is applied. To protect the eye and provide protection after surgery a bandage contact lens is put over the eye.  Vision improvements occur over time in a gradual process.  The bandage contact lens is taken off about a week after surgery. 

Both LASIK and LASEK are considered safe medical procedures.  There are risks however they have significantly lower complications then other procedures.  They have been proven to be safe procedures.  20+ million people since 1996 have had some type of laser vision treatment to correct vision impairments.  As with all medical procedures as technology advances the risks involved lessen.  Technological advancements make laser vision safer, less invasive, and quicker recovery times.

Many laser vision correction candidates want to know about the likelihood they will go blind after LASIK and LASEK.  Although there are risks involved, there has never been a case where LASIK was the primary cause of blindness to a patient.  That is not to say it can’t happen however there is a likelihood of 1 in 5 million that LASIK would be a primary cause of blindness.  If you think about it in other terms there is a 1 in 1.2 million chance of becoming a movie star, 1 in 3.75 million chance of being bit by a shark, and 1 in 12,000 of lightning striking you.

Common side effects of laser vision surgery include:

  • Dry Eyes
  • Glare
  • Halos
  • Starbursts
  • Ghosting

Most of the side effects experienced will disappear as healing occurs.  It is important to take care of yourself during the healing process in order to experience the best outcome.

As with anything, your odds of something going wrong decrease significantly when you choose a reputable facility such as Rohr Eye and Laser Center and top laser correction surgeons like Dr. Rohr When you are looking for a local laser vision correction facility it is critical to look for experience, technology, and reviews. 

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to suit your lifestyle and visual needs.  As a leader in laser vision correction and cataract surgery, our goal is to help you achieve the best vision possible without glasses or contact lenses.  More information can be found online at https://michiganlasik.com.

Stain Control for the Rust In Michigan Irrigation Systems

Rust is a common element in water that is flowing through Michigan irrigation systems.  One way that homeowners can ensure that this rust doesn’t cause staining to outdoor furniture, landscaping, or siding is to install a water treatment system that offers irrigation stain control.  Reynolds Water Conditioning Company offers a system that is designed specifically for this purpose.  In these systems a concentration of a bio-degradable solution is injected into the irrigation stream as it enters the irrigation system.

Irrigation stain control water treatment systems help to prevent the formation of rust and red water staining outdoors.  The solution that is injected into the water is safe in preventing stains without harmful acids and chlorides.  Not only does the solution prevent staining it protects against corrosion, pitting, and plant life damage. 

Now that we know how we go about preventing future staining it is important that we remove the rust stains that have already formed.  Landscape rocks are one of the most versatile materials that can be used when creating a natural space.  When rocks are exposed to the elements a natural unattractive red staining can occur.  It can come from the rust in the irrigation water and from a chemical reaction between irrigation water and iron that can be present on landscape rocks.  Most stains can be removed by using an oxalic acid bath or a combination of powdered clay and liquid rust remover.  There are also a number of over the counter products that remove rust all of which can be found at local hardware stores

Cleaning Small Landscaping Rocks

To safely clean your landscaping rocks first removal the built-up dirt and debris. Place larger rocks in a bucket.  Put on some rubber gloves and safety goggles combining one gallon of distilled water with one pound of oxalic acid crystals.  Mix carefully with a wooden spoon until crystals are dissolved.  Pour the solution slowly over the landscaping rocks to avoid splashing.  Use enough solution to cover the rocks.  Let this sit until rust no longer remains.  Add baking soda slowly to the oxalic mixture to neutralize it.  This will cause the mixture to bubble and foam up.  Once this process stops you can remove the rocks from the bucket with rubber gloves.  This mixture can be disposed of down the drain.  Rinse the landscape rocks with a garden hose. 

Cleaning Large Landscaping Rocks

Rinse landscape rocks with a garden hose.  Put on rubber gloves and mix rust remover with powdered clay to make a thick paste.  Apply a thick layer to the stains with a spatula.  Allow the paste to sit for 24 to 48 hours.  Cover with plastic wrap or a large tarp to allow the paste to dry completely.  Once the mixture is dry you can scrape it off with a plastic knife.  The rocks should then be washed off with a garden hose.  If rusts or stains remain the process can be repeated. 

Tips for Cleaning Rust

  • Test the acid solution/paste on an area of hidden rocks before cleaning the lot.
  • If the paste leaves marks on the rocks use a wet cloth and polishing powder to buff them out.
  • Always wear rubber gloves and eye protection.
  • Work carefully to avoid splashing on your skin.
  • Use caution to prevent breathing in dust from the oxalic acid and removed paste.
  • While cleaning keep pets and children away from the area.

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditionerswater filtration and purificationreverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at https://reynoldswater.com.

Is It A Good Idea to Purchase A Pre-Owned Linear Accelerator?


Not every facility needs to purchase a new linear accelerator.  There are many times where a slightly used LINAC will serve the purpose of the facility at a fraction of the cost of a new one.  Some facilities however, benefit from the purchase of new equipment.  It really just depends on a number of variables to determine if a used, new, or refurbished linear accelerator is the solution for your facility.

When a facility needs the newest technology on the market, it is obvious a used or refurbished LINAC will not benefit them.  This is also the case if you are not looking to replace the machine anytime soon.  A brand new or almost new linear accelerator is a better option for facilities that don’t want to replace their machine in the next ten to fifteen years and are looking for the latest and greatest technology. 

The struggle between buying new, refurbished, and used radiation oncology equipment is a struggle many facilities face.  It is probably important to note however, that the minute you use a new linear accelerator it becomes used.  So not every used machine is “used” to the same extent.  Used and refurbished linear accelerators can be suitable for facilities under certain circumstances including:

  • When your facility is treating less than 8 to 10 patients a day, the revenue you are producing will not sustain the expense of a new machine.
  • Areas where reimbursement is low, and your clinic needs to be profitable to continue providing treatment may be better suited to purchase a used or refurbished unit.
  • The machine will be used in a limited capacity and doesn’t necessarily benefit from the latest technologies.  These circumstances may include using the machine for research, treating animals, or non-medical, industrial purposes.
  • Your facility will be able to afford the latest and greatest in the next couple of years but just can’t without first building a profitable practice.
  • You are opening a new medical center and don’t have the resources to secure financing on a new machine. 
  • You are moving to a new location, can’t afford downtime, and need to be able to treat patients during the process and currently only have one machine.
  • If your facility needs a back up to prevent downtime in patient care during maintenance and repairs on your main LINAC.
  • A new facility is being built but you need a temporary way to treat patients.
  • When the hardware aspect of treatment is not as important as the software.  Used and refurbished equipment can have updated software installed when your budget doesn’t allow for both upgraded software and hardware.

Obviously, brand new, state of the art equipment when purchasing linear accelerators and CT scanners is something all facilities desire, it is not always the most practical situation.  Purchasing used equipment doesn’t mean that your facility is operating with technology that is necessarily out of date.  Often newer style equipment can be acquired with little use.  It is important to remember just because it is used it doesn’t mean it is used up.  Used simply means that at one time or another it has been in use for patient care.  It could be the latest Varian model used for treatment in a facility briefly.  Used equipment can often save facilities a great deal of money in machine costs and financing.

Radparts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts for Linear Accelerators and Radiation Oncology equipment.  Radparts provides high quality, user friendly, low cost parts support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. More information can be found at https://www.radparts.com/.



Kitchen Organization When Remodeling Is Not An Option Provides Optimum Flow

As we are cleaning our homes this spring many of us will be looking for ways to increase functionality in our spaces, especially in our kitchens.  If a kitchen remodel isn’t in your future, organizing the existing space to optimize the flow is your next best bet for enhancing the purpose of the space.  Optimal flow comes from creating usable space.  It can be a little overwhelming at first, but the results will create a kitchen that is flows at peak capacity.

Don’t think you need to empty out your entire kitchen and start from scratch.  All that will do is make the process seem impossible.  Small changes overtime will create a kitchen space that is optimal for day to day life and family gatherings.

Tips to Improve the Flow of Your Kitchen 

  • Incorporate Baskets and Wire Holders

Any type of basket or holder that keeps things in one space make a space more organized.  Labeled baskets for fruits and vegetables that don’t have to live in the refrigerator are practical and stylish.  Kitchens are often the central gathering location for kids and homework.  Having a basket labeled for each of your children stored under a kitchen island are not only aesthetically pleasing they are practical for keeping homework centrally located.  Baskets are fun and functional.

  • Charging Stations

Creating a single spot where electronics can be charged prevents counter clutter.  Charging stations can be installed inside a drawer with the installation of a smart drawer.  Ports are now sold specifically for this purpose however a simple power strip with USB ports can be used as well.  Using a drill, you will want to put a hole in the back of the drawer.  Thread the electrical end of the power strip out the back and plug it into your electrical outlet.  Using Velcro attach the back of the power strip to the back of the drawer.  It’s really that simple to remove the clutter of charging electronics from your counter. 

  • Spice Rack

It is no longer optimal to use valuable counter space to house a bulky spice rack.  Organizing spices can be done in a number of ways.  If you have unlimited kitchen drawers, creating a spice drawer using tightly sealed spice containers creates easy access to spices.  Another popular option is to install a hanging wire racks attached to an upper cabinet door to neatly store spices.  Adding magnets to the back of spice containers allows for simple storage of spices on the side of a refrigerator.  There are a number of ways that homeowners can replace those bulky spice racks for smaller space savers. 

  • Baking Cabinet

For bakers having a space dedicated to baking supplies is super helpful to increasing the function of your space.  These items are used frequently and thus should be organized and accessible. Turning a cabinet into a space that houses everything you needs is made easy with the installation of key hooks.  These hooks store measuring cups and spoons without taking up valuable “floor” space in the cabinet.  Mixing accessories can also be hung on hooks to keep them up off the base of the counter.  Stack mixing bowls so that smaller bowls nestle into larger ones.  Standing mixers can be accommodated by moving the shelf upward.  This space will be a favorite for the bakers in your house.

  • Pantry

Pantry shelves are often cluttered and there is not a lot of organization going on, but it doesn’t have to be.  With the addition of a few lazy susans, labeled wicker baskets, wire baskets, and clear containers, your pantry can be transformed.  Salad toppings, snacks, and more can all be grouped together and placed in a labeled wicker basket.  If you are preparing a salad you can simply remove the basket with salad toppings.  If the kids are looking for a snack instead of rummaging through granola boxes the snacks are all in one spot.  Wire baskets allow for easy can storage and allow you to see what is in each basket.  Lazy susans allow you to make use of the corner space in a pantry where you can organize oils, syrup, peanut butter, and items that need to stand. 

Small appliances can also easily be stored in the pantry now because you have space now that the clutter is eliminated.  Don’t forget the floor also has purpose.  Using plastic show mats is a great way to protect your floor.  By putting small felt pads on the bottom mats can easily be moved about as well. 

  • Under the Sink Organization

Small plastic baskets, hooks, and a tension rod can transform the space under your sink.  If you are like so many of us, finding the spray you need is like wading through a trench.  The spray you need is always in the back and is only able to be accessed by removing everything else.  Installing a tension rod allows you to hang sprays for easy access.  Kitchen brushes can be hung by installing small hooks and baskets can be used to separate and organize extra sponges, plastic gloves, and additional cleaning supplies.  Baskets are easy to remove so there is never a need to remove everything to get the one chemical you need.

Even without remodeling your kitchen you can create a flow that is practical and improves the functionality of the space.  Simple changes to the way we use the space can completely transform any kitchen.

JFC Remodeling is a full-service licensed contractor out of Howell, Michigan.  Specializing in kitchen and bathroom renovations, flooring upgrades, and home remodeling services.  More information can be found online at https://jfcremodeling.com/.

Preventive Maintenance Keeps Equipment Running Longer


Heavy machinery used in manufacturing requires continual maintenance in order to keep it running at peak efficiency.  Poorly maintained machinery will run poorly and breakdowns cost money not only for repairs but also in downtime.  When machinery is not maintained, safety is compromised. 

Professional Tips for Maintaining Machinery and Electrical in Manufacturing

  • Keep Up to Date with Operator Training

Most large scaled machinery will have multiple operators.  Manufacturing facilities running three shifts will have operators on each shift as well as others to fill in when necessary.  When using any tracking software for machine maintenance it is important that operator training for equipment is part of the checklist. Correct machine operation is critical in maintain machinery. 

Operators should be trained in visual inspection as well.  When a piece of equipment is first introduced into a manufacturing facility it should be thoroughly inspected by the operators who will be using the machine. This is also a good time to provide critical operator training and to put in place a training schedule.  When machinery is updated all operators need to be included in additional training. Not only is there employee turnover to account for, but overtime operators will become relaxed which will lead to breakdowns in proper techniques. On going training helps to eliminate this. 

Equipment manuals should be kept up to date and revised as needed.  These manuals should be kept within the vicinity of the equipment so that operators have access to them when needed.  A shorter manual can be used for ease of reference on common everyday operations. 

  • Apply Lubricants Liberally and Frequently

Manufacturing components move all the time.  Lubricants can reduce the friction that is caused from all of these moving parts.  A regular maintenance schedule involving lubrication not only extends the machines lifespan and the longevity of the electrical components and parts working within the machine.

Lubrication is one of the most importance aspects in machine maintenance and should be checked on a regular basis.  It is critical that signs of excess oil and grease build-up are tracked as well as cracks in oil seals and leaks.

Using the correct lubricant for the machine and the components within is important.  Be sure to use the oil and grease that is recommended by manufacturers when lubing up electrical components. Checking lubricants helps in the diagnosis of problems in large machinery.  Experts can analyze the particles in used oil.  The makeup of the contaminants can indicate the part of the machine that is suffering from excess wear and breakdown.

  • Examine Machinery for Signs of Wear

Machinery in manufacturing facilities often operates at high temperatures, with vibration, shock, and friction that contribute to the overall breakdown and wear of heavy machinery and electrical components and parts within.

  • Machine vibrations come from belts and gears that are not in alignment.
  • Shock comes from accidents and poor operation techniques.
  • Increased temperatures come from extensive use, friction, improper lubrication, and worn our parts.
  • The age of key machine components can cause deterioration. Belts can warp, seals can crack and dry out, bolts loosen and stretch.  The age of large scaled machinery needs to be tracked and monitored to avoid a compromise to the safety of your machine.   

When you notice that moving parts in your heavy machinery is beginning to wear and tear it is important to perform necessary maintenance as soon as possible.  The replacement of worn parts is essential to the health of your equipment.

  • Keep the Facility Clean and Maintain Clean Equipment

Heavy machinery and the facility that contains it should be kept free of contaminants and as clean as possible.  Seals and filters should be examined to ensure they are in good order.  It is crucial that manufacturing equipment and the components within are kept tidy.

  • Maintain a Record of Maintenance and Repairs

Record keeping of repairs and maintenance on equipment is beneficial for so many reasons.  Over time patterns will emerge and you will be able to anticipate when components will fail.  Detailed records of preventive maintenance such as checking fluids, electrical systems, and components within.  Moving parts are especially important in maintenance. 

  • Moving components create friction.  These items need to be inspected for wear and replaced on a regular basis. 
  • Gears need to be lubricated often. 

Following these steps will extend the lifespan of manufacturing equipment and heavy machinery.  With the exuberant costs associated with large scaled equipment and machines, increasing your ROI with regular maintenance and replacement of electrical components you can extend the usable time of these pieces. 

J & P Electrical Company is a full-service electrical company that supplies contractors, end users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, bud ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers.  More information can be found at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com