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July 21, 2009 A Penton Media Publication Vol. V No. 14

Maintenance Misalignment, Part 1

Electrical Troubleshooting Quiz

Failure Mode Coding

NEC in the Facility


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    Maintenance Misalignment, Part 1
    Over time, even the best maintenance program can become misaligned with the maintenance department's mission, resources, and priorities. You can have every "best practice" implemented and still be off target.

    How can you tell if your program is suffering from misalignment? Here are some tips:

    • You meet your performance benchmarks, but critical equipment availability metrics have degraded. You are doing things well, but not doing the right things.
    • You're fulfilling your mission but incur budget exceptions, such as overtime or expedited deliveries. You're trying to do things you're not adequately prepared to do.
    • You've decreased total downtime, but availability of critical equipment also has decreased. You're managing work in one direction, while the needs of your production customers are in another direction.
    In our next issue, we'll look at some tips for getting back into alignment.


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    Electrical Troubleshooting Quiz
    Your facility has a small IT room that contains its servers. Each server rack receives power through its own rack-mounted UPS. The UPS event logs show frequent voltage spikes and repeated bouts of high THD (total harmonic disturbance). This room is on its own power transformer and panel (a separate transformer/panel supplies the lights). The receptacles are all isolated ground.

    Using a UPS as a crutch instead of as insurance is tempting fate. You need to solve this problem before a UPS gets cooked. Where are the spikes and high THD coming from?

    Visit EC&M's Web site to see the answer.

    Failure Mode Coding
    The typical CMMS has a coding system for recording failure modes, and these codes typically are listed on repair report forms.

    From an analysis standpoint, how techs record the failure mode (fill out paper forms or enter data via digital device) isn't important. What they record is crucial. If the information isn't accurate, you’ll be analyzing the wrong things rather than solving problems.

    To read more on this story, visit EC&M's Web site.

    NEC in the Facility
    If you have ignitable fibers on site, you can choose the zone classification system (Art. 506) as an alternative to the division classification system (Arts. 500, 502, and 503). Although this initially seems like a good choice, beware: There’s no free lunch.

    To read more on this story, visit EC&M's Web site.

    Have you reviewed your firefighting equipment (e.g., extinguishers and hoses) lately to see if it still meets the needs of your facility? OSHA requires this equipment to be:

    • Conspicuously located. The equipment does no good if first responders can't find it. For column-mounted equipment, are the columns marked (e.g., red band around the top)?
    • Periodically inspected and maintained in operating condition. Read the dates on those inspection stickers. What system are you using to schedule regular inspections?
    • Accessible at all times. Equipment moves and other changes can block access to fire extinguishers or hoses.

    Don't conduct the review to avoid OSHA fines. Conduct it to protect the facility and the people in it.

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