Industrial Project Spending
Capital and maintenance spending in America's
manufacturing heartland should meet, or exceed, 2005 expenditure
according to marketing information resources company Industrial
Information Resources (IIR). Ohio and Illinois are considered the big
money states in this region. IIR is currently tracking more than 190
active projects worth in excess of $9.6 billion in Illinois and more
than 200 active projects worth in excess of $8.5 billion in Ohio. On
other hand, Michigan and Kentucky are showing slight spending decreases
mainly due to project cancellations in the power industry sector. IIR
reports that since 2001, there have been 17 power-related projects,
ranging from proposed grass root plants to expansions and modifications
at existing plants, worth more than $4.4 billion, that were scheduled
begin construction this year that have either been put on hold or
AutomationDirect's new C-more touch
panel is available in 6-, 8-, 10-, 12- or 15-inch versions. Equipped
analog touch screen that eliminates defined touch cell boundaries,
C-more's configuration software allows objects to be placed, scaled
overlapped without limitation. Advanced capabilities include built-in
e-mail client, FTP and web servers. www.automationdirect.com/photoelectric
Your insurer probably requires your facility to have
emergency lighting that complies with NFPA 101 (Life Safety Code). This
standard requires emergency lights to activate if you lose power (which
would presumably shut down normal lighting).
With a distributed emergency lighting scheme, the individual units
are battery operated. If you have such units, you must regularly test
them. Look at the manufacturer's recommendations, and adjust your PM
With a centrally power emergency lighting scheme, you don't have the
hassle of all that battery testing and maintenance. Such a system
typically powers the lights from a transfer switch -- the other
of power is typically a UPS or generator. This brings design issues
question (for example, will the generator kick in on a feeder
but our focus here is maintenance.
You must ensure your emergency lights work upon loss of main power.
Rodents, corrosion, and other factors can defeat these lights, even
the alternate power source (e.g., generator, batteries) is intact.
Follow the manufacturer's recommendations, but adjust for the
environment. In the friendly environment of an office (emergency
lighting is typically integrated into the regular ceiling lighting
system), maintenance is minimal. But where the lights are "standalone"
or are in a harsh environment, maintenance needs increase.
Plant air systems are critical in many facilities.
Maintenance involves far more than replacing worn hoses and fixing
reported air leaks. Commonly overlooked areas for improvement
- Actively inspecting for air leaks, using leak detection fluids
and/or sonic leak detectors. The benefit of this practice is
air consumption, which, in turn, reduces load on the compressor motor
and moisture in the system.
- Vibration inspection of motor and compressor (the compressor is
the motor load), using vibration analyzers and vibration
The benefit is extended motor life and reduced energy costs.
- Power monitoring for voltage imbalance and low voltage at the
motor. The benefit is reduced energy costs and avoidance of
premature motor failure.
- Automatic lubricators. If your pneumatic tools operate from
your plant air, they likely have automatic lubricators that run on the
same supply. Ensure these are clean and have the correct lubricant for
the application. Following this practice eliminates a common cause of
Beware - Arc Flash Hazard
Pin and sleeve plugs & receptacles can be dangerous if operated under
load. To prevent accidents install Decontactor Series switch rated
and receptacles. They are a UL rated plug, receptacle and disconnect
switch in one device. 100 kA short circuit ratings protect users in
fault conditions. Inquire about our free trial program.
Meltric Corporation, call 800-433-7642, www.Meltric.com
Electrical Troubleshooting Quiz
You have an emergency lighting system that runs from
generator power. The generator kicked in, but the lights failed to
operate during a recent power outage. What are the initial steps you
should take to fix this problem?
The answer to this question appears at the end of this
Plant Air Motor Replacement
These motors are typically 200 hp or greater, so they
are expensive, heavy, and difficult to remove and replace. They are
part of a critical system. So the last thing you want is to finish the
repair and replacement work, only to find the new motor is defective.
prevent that, have the motor balanced before it's shipped.
When the motor arrives:
Be sure to align the motor to its load and mounting pad before
energizing it. Failure to do so may result in damage to the motor and
other equipment upon energization. For a motor this large, use laser
alignment. Take care not to overtighten the mounting bolts, or you'll
warp the motor feet and induce vibration.
- Test the rotor for shipping damage by manually rotating the
- Perform an insulation resistance test. This provides baseline data
for PM, but also provides a quick pre-installation check.
SureTest®Circuit Tracer Takes Testing
to a New Level
The new SureTest® Circuit Tracer provides unparalleled
levels of precision and performance. The innovative, super-bright
SwivelDisplay rotates the reading for the user. In addition, the
exclusive displayed numeric value (0-99) and variable tone/pitch
maximizes the ease-of-use when identifying breakers, tracing wires and
finding opens/shorts. For more information on our circuit tracer kits,
NEC on the Production Floor
A common misperception on the factory floor is that NEC
Article 220 calculations are neither necessary nor binding. This
misperception arises for a number of reasons -- none of which account
for the basic physics of electricity.
When you calculate conductor sizes per Article 220, you satisfy the
minimums for safety. But those sizes may prove insufficient for
reliability or efficiency, and they restrict your ability to expand or
upgrade. You may exceed Article 220 requirements to optimize
performance and flexibility, but you must meet Article 220
requirements to prevent disaster.
The Practical Implications
Worn tools just aren't safe. In fact, OSHA regulations
prohibit a company from allowing employees to use them. Employees who
won't tolerate flawed company tools often fail to see the flaws in
personally owned tools.
Good tradespeople tend to treat their tools with near reverence. How
can you part with that electrician's knife your dad gave you when you
got your journeyman's license, just because the handle is "a bit worn?"
And you simply don't notice that the knurls on your ratchet handle are
now worn nearly smooth. Sure, you'll replace a broken tool. But
replacing "old trusty" just because it's a bit worn seems somehow
Compounding the problem, supervisors are often hesitant to enforce
1926.301 for personal tools.
How can you get past these mental barriers, so you can do your job
safely and efficiently? One way is to form a buddy system. You and a
coworker agree to inspect each other's hand tools on -- for example
-- the third Friday of each month. Agree ahead of time that whatever
one buddy says about the other's tools is binding, and you'll replace
worn tools without argument.
Replacement Contacts for Motor Starters & Contactors
Quality, low-cost electrical contacts for industrial motor starters &
contactors. Repco replacements for Allen-Bradley, ABB, Clark,
Cutler-Hammer, Furnas, GE, Hubbell, Siemens,
Square D & Westinghouse. Large inventory & application help.
ABB series available: Type EG, Type EFLG, Type EH, Type EHDB, Type
Answer to Electrical Troubleshooting
First, determine if this system ever worked. If so,
determine when it last worked and what has changed since then. If the
answer is no (or if you're unsure), use the "divide and conquer"
strategy to isolate the cause. Be sure to make lockouts/tagouts where
- Start by inspecting and testing the transfer switch -- while
switches are extraordinarily reliable, a failure is possible. Most
likely, though, you will find the problem by checking the connections
and wiring interconnections.
- Next, disconnect the load (lights) from the transfer switch and
provide temporary power to the lights from that location. If the lights
work, the problem is on the transfer switch supply side. If the
generator puts out, the problem is between the generator and the
transfer switch. If the lights don't work, the problem is between the
transfer switch and the load -- look for a cause common to all the
lights, such as a circuit breaker.
- Continue the process of "divide and conquer" until you isolate the
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