One great way to help ensure smooth operation and continual
uptime in many production processes is the use of torque
monitoring. Implementation can be as simple as a single torque limit
switch that trips a local alarm (for example, to let the operator know
to clear a jam). A more complex system might include a low torque
shutoff switch, high torque cutoff switch, and analog torque sensor tied
to a process control system. A low torque switch may indicate, for
example, a broken coupling. In a sheet-fed system, it might indicate the
sheet ran out. A high torque switch typically indicates a load problem,
such as a jam in a grinder.
Analog monitoring allows you to do all kinds of things with
trends. Maintenance-required conditions can produce a trend change. A
quick corrective response between production runs often eliminates
production downtime for those conditions.
Some examples include:
- Sheet feed alignment is moving out of
- Gearbox (multiplies torque) is malfunctioning (due to
lubrication, coupling problems, alignment stray).
- Boxes are jamming together due to a conveyor roller
grip on accuracy.
62 Mini non-contact thermometer is the perfect introduction to
infrared (IR) thermometers for the professional. With the best accuracy
in its class, the Fluke 62 Mini offers quick and reliable surface
temperature readings. Rugged enough for industrial environments with its
protective rubber “boot, the 62 Mini also comes with a handy nylon
Maintenance is buying too many of a particular circuit board
as a replacement part. During your initial fact-finding, you discover
Armed with just these facts, what should you recommend?
- The four main production lines each use this
board in six places.
- About 90% of the failures occur in the same two particular
places in each line.
- At each cabinet using this board, the 120V supply power
waveform is severely distorted.
- At one line, you measure 2,917 ft of wire run to its supply
- Each cabinet is grounded per the manufacturer's installation
Visit EC&M's website
to see the answer.
A power analyzer can help you stop the circuit board smoking
problem. Severe waveform distortion in the incoming AC power supply to
the cabinet can produce an unhealthy environment for circuit boards. So,
you need to assess that power.
With the power analyzer, view the waveform. Some distortion is
OK; power supplies can handle it. But if the distortion is severe and/or
the waveform is flat-topped, a high harmonic load is interacting with
the supply power (or possibly many harmonic loads on several branch
The distortion is related to "source impedance," which is
basically the opposition to current flow between this point of use (the
cabinet) and the supply transformer.
To read more on this story, visit EC&M's website.
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Commonly misunderstood/misapplied terms, part
- AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction). Contrary to a
widely held misperception, the AHJ may be someone other than the
electrical inspector (who perhaps hasn't set foot in your facility since
it was built). In fact, your facility may have multiple AHJs, any one of
which can shut it down. For example, your insurer's representative
inspects your facility and finds problems. If your facility doesn't meet
certain requirements within a specified time, it won't be insured while
operating. If your company leases its building, the owner is also an
- Building. The NEC often says, "…building or
structure." What's the difference? A building is a type of structure,
but a structure is not a type of building. A building stands alone, or
it's cut off from adjacent structures by fire walls (with all openings
protected by approved fire doors).
- Conduit. Conduit is an enclosed wiring method, but not
all enclosed wiring methods are conduit. Electrometallic tubing (EMT) is
often erroneously called conduit. If you look in Chapter 3, you'll find
various wiring methods — each with its own article.
- Conduit body. Interestingly enough, not just conduit
systems have conduit bodies; so do tubing systems (e.g.,
The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires the
manufacturer of a hazardous material to conduct a hazard evaluation of
that material before selling it. HCS also requires your employer to
conduct a hazard evaluation before permitting the use of that material
by its employees or on its premises. But did you know the HCS also
requires you to conduct hazard evaluation before using a hazardous
material? It's easier than it may sound.
Begin the evaluation by reading manufacturer-supplied product
hazard information. You'll find this on product labels and the Material
Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for that product. While HCS requires your
employer to obtain the MSDS and make it accessible to you, things don't
always go according to plan or regulations. If you make the effort but
can't obtain the MSDS, have you satisfied the HCS requirements? The
answer to that question is it's the wrong question. Only you can ensure
your safety. Contact the manufacturer for a replacement MSDS.