Maintaining Your Grounding
Repetitive Causes vs. Root
NEC in the Facility
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Working with management and supervision
National Electrical Code® on the production floor
Safety procedures and programs
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The designations "National Electrical Code" and "NEC" refer to the
National Electrical Code®, which is a registered
trademark of the National Fire Protection Association.
It's a common mistake to test something other than the
grounding system and then conclude the grounding system is good,
regardless of its actual (and unknown) condition. That mistake, in
leads to inadequate maintenance of the grounding system.
IEEE-142, the Green Book, differentiates between "static grounding"
and "lightning grounding," by which it means bonding in the former case
and earthing in the latter. Bonding, which is addressed in detail in
NEC Art. 250, Part V, isn't the concern here. Our concern is the earth
connection, because you need it for lightning protection. To understand
the maintenance requirements, it seems logical to look to the lightning
To read more on this story, visit EC&M's Web
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You've been assigned the task of solving a product
quality problem. The plant has six production lines, each for different
flavors of a baked good. The process on each line begins with a mixing
vat controlled by PLC. The dough drops onto a conveyor and passes
through an oven, and out the end comes the finished product.
The products sometimes are a bit gooey, sometimes a bit burnt. To
begin solving this problem, what should you do?
Web site to see the answer.
vs. Root Causes
No repair is complete without a failure analysis. One
goal of the analysis is to prevent the problem from recurring on that
equipment. Looking for repetitive causes allows you to reach this goal.
For example, a motor failed due to overheating. Analysis shows the
is a lack of ventilation. Add ventilation, and you prevent a repeat of
Another goal of failure analysis is to prevent the problem from
recurring elsewhere from the same cause. For example, a motor
fails due to voltage imbalance on the feeder. Other motors sharing that
feeder will fail from the same cause. We call this a root cause.
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It's essential to follow NFPA 70E, but doing so
you from only three of the many dangers that exist on the job:
How many other dangers exist? OSHA 1926 is more than 1 in. thick and
contains the safety regulations for the construction industry. Most of
these concerns exist in facilities as well. In addition, each facility
has its own quirks and process-related dangers.
- Arc flash
- Arc blast
To read more on this story, visit EC&M's Web
NEC in the
A problem facing facility managers in this time of
severe cost-cutting is getting approval for spending money on NEC
compliance. A misperception used as justification for "saving money"
through noncompliance is "we're not under the NEC." That misperception
arises because operating facilities generally aren't under the
jurisdiction of the local electrical inspector.
However, several Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) can enforce
- Fire marshal can order the facility closed.
- Insurer can revoke insurance, even retroactive to a catastrophic
- Courts can rule negligence, with civil or even criminal liabilities
(if death or injury is involved) against both the company and
- OSHA can order the facility closed.
- Electric utility can shut off power.
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