Steve Mushero spent over five years at Albany International, mostly in East Greenbush, NY (near Albany). He was part of the startup team for the new $50 million press fabric manufacturing plant pictured here (sorry for the poor image quality), as the Senior Engineer in charge of electrical,
control systems, and automation.
He built, managed, and trained numerous engineering and maintenance teams in design, automation software, advanced systems engineering and troubleshooting.
He also designed some of the world's largest and most
advanced manufacturing machinery, typically involving
multiple disciplines including robotics, natural gas,
nuclear gauging, distributed computing, industrial
chemistry, pneumatics and precision hydraulics, and
Albany International is the world leader in pulp and paper fabrics, which are used to make paper; they are the "conveyor belt" of the paper making process. Each fabric can cost up to $100,000 and typically lasts 3-6 weeks. Below is a simplified diagram of the highly-engineered pressing fabrics made at this plant.
Steve developed weaving pattern control and storage
systems for advanced 2, 3, and 4 layer weaving systems.
Following are pictures and descriptions of some of the machinery Steve built or worked on.
A $3 million Morrison 486" 4 zone needle loom. Huge machines that added soft felt fabrics to strong nylon underbelts. Planning, design, manufacturing and installation of these machines takes two-three years; this entire portion of the factory was built around this machine, whose foundations are 20 feet deep.
Steve engineered the controls and power systems on
these machines, along with over 100 improvements from
the machine pictured to its subsequent neighbor two
Portions of an ultra-precise carding line, where final felting is rolled up before going to the machine above. Generally used radioactive gauges to determine thickness. Steve engineered several radioactive data collection and analysis systems along with a complete control
system for another of these lines.
A mid-sized Morrison finishing dryer. One of these was Steve's first control system project. These are the world's largest steel rolls, weighing 25 tons and filled with 500 degree heating oil, which sets the fabrics to size and shape - these fabrics are under 100-200 tons of tension, carefully controlled by a group of industrial computers and their sensors.
A mid-sized Texo 15 meter continuous weaving loom. Steve engineered revolutionary new control systems for these and similar machines, using standard programmable logic for the first time. Such machines were the fastest in the industry. These looms are quite dangerous because a weaving shuttle weighing several pounds flies back and forth at up to 100 MPH while the lay beam impacts the woven fabric with up to a million pounds of force.
A simple user interface for one of the needle looms. Usually a touch screen run on a specialized PC tied to real-time logic and motor controllers. Typical systems had dozens of screens and thousands of hours of engineering and programming. Steve designed all of the systems and managed the entire process, typically handling several systems simultaneously.