Maintaining Your Service
Faster Repairs Don't Always
NEC in the Facility
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MRO Insider addresses topics such
Working with management and supervision
National Electrical Code® on the production floor
Safety procedures and programs
Equipment maintenance and testing tips
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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.
Service Entrance, Part 1
Your service equipment preventive maintenance practices
probably include voltage measurements, visual inspections, infrared
inspections, and cable testing. But do they include cable limiters?
Cable limiters are passive devices that provide short-circuit fault
protection. They are among the few devices you can install on the
side of the service disconnect [230.82(1)]. Their location here
a clue as to why you would use them, rather than relying on load-side
devices only. It's faster and cheaper to replace a few fuses than to
replace several cabinets of switchgear damaged by a short circuit
To read more on this story, visit EC&M's Web
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Several areas of the facility suddenly go dark. A quick
investigation reveals the power loss originated at the service
those areas. None of the breakers on that service has tripped.
Another service feeds from the same electric utility lines, so you
don't think the problem is at the utility. Should you call the utility
anyhow? What else should you do?
Web site to see the answer.
Don't Always Save Time
When critical equipment goes down, you inadvertently
have a maintenance window for other items that require downtime. Is
system set up to take advantage of this?
Consider the following scenario. Your facility has six production
lines, all of which feed a palletizer line. When this line goes down,
products don't go out the door. One day, the palletizer line goes down
because a gearbox seizes up. That box can be changed out in 30 min. You
have a 40-min. PM scheduled for next month on that palletizer. If you
that PM concurrent with the gearbox replacement, total downtime is 40
min. instead of 70 min. By keeping the line down for an extra 10 min.,
you eliminate half an hour of scheduled downtime.
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NEC in the
Many facilities have combustible dust and fibers, and
thus contain hazardous locations as defined in Art. 500. It can be
confusing to try to implement the requirements of the division
classification system covered in Arts. 500, 502, and 503. Thus, the
20, 21, and 22 system covered in Art. 506 can seem like an attractive
Unfortunately, things may not be what they seem. Article 506 lists
protection techniques. Five of those are new with the 2008 Revision.
of the new techniques are encapsulation techniques (maD and mbD). The
other three are protection by enclosure, pressurization, and intrinsic
Do you have the expertise to correctly determine which mix of
protection techniques to apply to a given installation? If not, find a
specialist who does.
Which form of non-wearable PPE do electrical personnel
most commonly fail to use? Arguably, it's the welding screen. Welding
screens are nominally the responsibility of the person who is welding,
and that's typically not an electrician.
OSHA requires the person responsible for the welding to erect
to protect others. But this requirement doesn't prevent you from
also setting up welding screens.
The original intention of a welding screen was to protect people in
the area from direct eye contact with the welding flash. This is
sufficient for a passerby, but insufficient for people working in the
To read more on this story, visit EC&M's Web
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