Product of the Year Competition
Cast Your Vote!
Do you want the opportunity to win $100? Then visit the
EC&M Web site by June 30 to
your vote in EC&M's Product of the Year competition and help us
to identify the best new product introduced for the electrical industry
When you visit the EC&M Product of the Year
page, an automatic poll will pop up. (Note: If you have a pop-up
blocker program, it may prevent you from seeing the poll. Temporarily
disable the program to allow the poll to appear on your computer.) You
then need to type in your contact information, choose your favorite
product, and click submit. It's that simple.
A panel of nine judges narrowed the field from 114 entrants to 24
category finalists, and now we need your help to determine the Platinum
Award winner. The competition has honored innovation and excellence in
product development in the electrical industry for the past six
touch panel is available in 6-, 8-, 10-, 12- or 15-inch versions.
Equipped with an analog touch screen that eliminates defined touch cell
boundaries, C-more's configuration software allows objects to be
scaled and overlapped without limitation. Advanced capabilities include
built-in e-mail client, FTP and web servers.
The Midwest region is showing signs of significant
growth in project spending as compared to last year (+19%), according
marketing information resources company Industrial Information
(IIR). At the end of the first quarter, the company was tracking 436
projects valued at more than $11.2 billion that are scheduled to start
this year. The majority of the investment ($3.4 billion) is scheduled
occur in Minnesota. Missouri follows at just more than $3.2 billion and
the states of Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas all have more than 50 projects
planned to start this year.
The industries leading this charge include industrial manufacturing,
power, synthetic fuels, and oil and gas transmission. IIR reports the
power industry is expected to lead all others for project activity with
more than $5.3 billion scheduled this year.
For Quick Motor
Decontactors are a combination plug & receptacle and disconnect
switch. They allow electrical equipment to be safely and easily
disconnected and connected - up to 60 hp or 200A. Since there is no
access to live parts workers can change out a motor without having to
'suit-up'. Inquire about our free trial program.
Meltric Corporation, call 800-433-7642, www.Meltric.com
Maintaining the Motor Environment,
Today's motor is well designed, and it's manufactured
high standards. So motor failures are almost never due to motor
deficiencies. The cause is often in the environment of the motor
(another cause area is misapplication -- ambient temperature normally
falls in that area).
For maintenance purposes, we can divide the motor environment into
To maintain the power supply, you obviously have to know what you're
working with. But you don't have the resources to manually check
voltages on every motor often enough. So, you must automate. For
- Power supply
- Mounting system
- Use a motor monitor. You may want to watch all important variables,
not just power. For example, monitor vibration and bearing
- Make the motor monitor a power monitoring point, and tie it into
your central power monitoring system.
Exclusive TightSight Display Helps Set a New
Standard for Clamp Meters.
They're packed with features and like nothing you've ever seen before.
When we began designing the line, we certainly started at the bottom
worked our way up. The innovative TightSight display gives you a
level of testing freedom and safety beyond any test tool on the market.
In tight, dark or bright locations, it's invaluable. Other features
a high voltage indicator will ensure that you've never felt safer.
a preview of the 600A and 1000A clamp meters from IDEAL.
You have replaced half a dozen motors in the past few
months. They're on different feeders, but they're on the same service
panel. Your facility has multiple buildings, each with its own service.
Just this building has high failure rates. How do you know if the
failures are due to power supply problems, and not other issues (e.g.,
temperature) in that building? You may have abuses such as rapidly
sequenced restarts or you may have the wrong motors for the
Where do you start?
The answer to this question appears at the end of this
Prevent Replacement Motors
You want to make sure you aren't throwing another motor
away due to the problem that toasted the previous one. It's smart to do
this while the new motor is on its way, rather than waiting until after
You can check for power problems by reviewing the power monitor logs
or by doing manual checks. Look for these problems:
- Overvoltage or undervoltage. This is rarely the cause, but
check it anyhow. If your nominal voltage is low at the feeder breaker
(or fuse), you probably have system issues. If it's fine there but low
at the load, you have power distribution issues.
- Poor power quality. Use a power quality analyzer at the
source and at the load. Repeat this with the new motor installed and
running, and then again with it running. If you have deficiencies,
your system against NEC Art. 250 Parts V, IV, VI, VII, I, and II --
in that order.
- Voltage imbalance. This is your most likely power-related
cause of premature failure. Measure each phase to ground. If the
difference between the highest and lowest measurement is more than 2%,
you must correct the voltage imbalance. This is what's making toast out
of your motors. To locate the cause of an imbalance, start with a
one-line and walk down individual circuits.
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.
Furnas series available: Old E Style, Vertical Lift, Innova 45, Innova
NEC at the Facility
When a facility has heavy downtime due to electrical
problems, it's a safe bet that Art. 250 violations abound. Here are
some of the more common ones:
- Lack of proper grounding [250.4(A)(1) and (2)]. If you have
damaging voltage spikes, this may be why. If these spikes occur about
the same time as storms in your area, schedule a test of your grounding
- Lack of an effective ground-fault current path
You establish this path through bonding, not through grounding. Without
this path, electricity will find another way back to the source --
such as through equipment power supplies and motor bearings.
- Load side neutral-ground bonds [250.24(A)(5)]. If you have
weird waveforms, inspect every power distribution panel for a
between neutral and ground. If it's there, remove it. Then check
individual equipment -- if you measure 0V between the neutral and
ground, suspect a problem.
- Other systems not bonded [250.94]. If you are a typical
homeowner, you live with this very situation. The main danger here is
flashover, which is why you bond your gas pipe to your electrical
service ground. In the plant, you may check the service entrances for
each utility, find them correctly bonded, and assume all is well. But
have you checked your communications network?
- Enclosures not bonded [250.96]. If it's metal, bond it.
Otherwise, you have differences of potential. Eliminating these
differences is why you bond other systems. But you have to complete the
job by bonding metallic bodies such as electrical enclosures and
metallic raceways. You'll find related bonding issues addressed in
250.102 (equipment bonding jumpers) and 250.104 (bonding piping systems
and structural steel).
The Practical Implications
This part of the OSHA regulations takes up about half a
page. The corresponding part of the NEC stretches across Articles 500
through 516. Both address hazardous locations. Why the difference?
Rather than spell out the details, OSHA directs you to comply with the
The word "hazardous" has a specific meaning, here: the possibility
fire or explosion due to combustible materials. Obviously, fuels are
combustible. But you may have other hazardous materials on site --
not be aware of 1926.407 violations. This can be due to process changes
or material substitutions on the one hand, and building or equipment
changes on the other.
To ensure compliance with 1926.407, obtain the Material Safety Data
Sheet (MSDS) for every chemical bought for your facility. Your
purchasing department may assist you.
You'll find fire and explosion information in Section IV of each
MSDS. Section VII will detail safe handling and storage. Review the
applicable NEC Chapters (500 -- 517) against what you learn from the
Answer to Electrical Troubleshooting
Shorten the troubleshooting time by addressing power
supply problems first. These tend to be root causes, and you may not be
able to look at other problems correctly until these are out of the
Conduct the same power supply inspection as noted above for replacement
After you fix your power supply problems, you will probably still
have premature motor failure. That's because problems seldom happen in
isolation. Where you have one, you usually have many. After you address
power, address the other issues methodically.
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