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October 27, 2009 A Penton Media Publication Vol. V No. 20


CONTENTS
Maintaining Your Service Entrance, Part 2

Electrical Troubleshooting Quiz

Obvious Causes May Hide Real Causes

NEC in the Facility

Safety



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About This Newsletter
This twice-a-month
e-newsletter is brought to you from the publisher of EC&M magazine.

MRO Insider addresses topics such as:

  • Working with management and supervision
  • National Electrical Code® on the production floor
  • Safety procedures and programs
  • Troubleshooting techniques
  • Equipment maintenance and testing tips
  • Managing motors and generators
  • Trends in training and education
  • Managing energy use


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    Maintenance
    Maintaining Your Service Entrance, Part 2
    We tend to think of maintenance as testing and inspecting. However, the most neglected part of the typical service involves neither to maintain it. What is it? It’s the space around the equipment.

    Revenue per square foot is an important metric in property management. Unfortunately, people using that metric don’t always look at the means of producing that revenue.

    This mental blindness permits the misperception that space “set aside” for electrical infrastructure is "wasted," and reducing it is an improvement. So, the thinking (or lack thereof) goes, space devoted production, storage, or trafficways should never be less than 3 ft from electrical equipment; any more is a waste.

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


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    Repair
    Electrical Troubleshooting Quiz
    A new, highly automated production line was supposed to provide the competitive edge that justified not closing your plant. Now, upper management is reconsidering, because the line is unreliable and expensive to keep repairing. The spare parts costs for this line since startup have exceeded the spare parts costs of the rest of the plant. Last week alone required the replacement of three motors.

    You've been tasked with getting this line out of the “frequent failure club” before the executive meeting next week. Are there some steps that could quickly lead to a solution? If so, what are they?

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


    Obvious Causes May Hide Real Causes
    When you open a control panel to a production line that went down and find a charred circuit board, the cause seems obvious. Replace the board and you’re all set. But what caused that board to burn?
    If you have frequent failures of this nature, look for an open neutral in your 277V circuits (typically used for lighting). If a neutral is open, current will flow on other return paths — such as enclosure frames, circuit boards, and power supplies.
    This situation is also a safety problem if your 100-ohm body contacts one of those metallic objects now at 277V.



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    Operation
    NEC in the Facility
    Don't let a lack of existing service capacity force you to choose between either giving up expansion plans or taking the whole facility down so you can rip out the existing service and replace it with a larger one. The former won't please upper management, and the latter could turn into the kind of project you wish you'd never undertaken (it won't please upper management, either).

    Fortunately, there's a third option.

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


    Safety
    Fall protection includes things you wear and things you don't. It's a mistake to treat these as interchangeable substitutes. For example, it's untrue that you don't need a net because you have a harness or vice versa. Wearable and non-wearable fall protection devices work together.

    It's helpful to plan your fall protection with a 2-stage view. The first stage involves equipment and procedures that prevent a fall. For example, a mezzanine might have a railing around it, and your work procedures may call for removing all cable scraps (thus removing a slipping hazard) before moving on to the next task. The second stage involves saving you if you do fall. For example, installing a net and wearing a harness.

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


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