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December 8, 2009 A Penton Media Publication Vol. V No. 23

PRA-Guided Maintenance

Electrical Troubleshooting Quiz

Making Better Plays

NEC in the Facility



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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    The designations "National Electrical Code" and "NEC" refer to the National Electrical Code®, which is a registered trademark of the National Fire Protection Association.


    PRA-Guided Maintenance
    Manufacturer-suggested maintenance intervals are good starting points, but they aren't based on your constraints and resources. Unless you're in an ideal situation, you have to decide what to maintain, how much maintenance to perform, and how often.

    If uptime is your primary goal, then you could make these choices based on the risk of downtime. Probability Risk Assessment (PRA) is a tool for doing that. An excellent resource for understanding and applying PRA is the IEEE Gold Book, Standard 493, Recommended Practice for Design of Reliable Industrial and Commercial Power Systems.

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

    Imagine the possibilities.
    The New Fluke 233 Remote Display Digital Multimeter allows you to be in two places at once. The removable magnetic display allows you to be 30 feet away from the measurement point. See how it will expand your capabilities.

    Electrical Troubleshooting Quiz
    You just came off a facility outage and are looking at the cable testing trends. In a large percentage of these, you can see the telltale slope change that indicates insulation integrity has entered the rapid decline phase.

    You know this means the cables need to be scheduled for replacement, and you requested an outage for that purpose. Management responded by "asking" you to explain why these cables have suddenly become such a problem. A production manager even stopped by your office and remarked, "All those cables have been working just fine for a long time. Your people must have done something during that last outage to wreck them."

    How can you answer management's question, and how can you answer the sentiment expressed by this production manager?

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

    Making Better Plays
    We can borrow a technique from the best sports teams: post-game review. Video cameras are inexpensive and commonly found on cell phones. Your entire team can learn from a video of an actual repair in the field.

    Some things to look for include:

    • Safety practices. Use of PPE (or not), lockout/tagout, mechanical isolation, etc.
    • Efficiency. Number of trips for parts and tools, work methods, etc.
    • Troubleshooting. For example, was it methodical?
    This technique works only when people have proper respect for each other. Sports coaches don't use this to catch someone doing something wrong, but to help the players see how they might do things better. Add to that bulleted list this item: teamwork.

    Motors and Drives Solutions
    Motors and drives are critical elements of most machines. Visit the Fluke solution center as a resource for all your motor and drive issues. Here you will find application notes, case studies, an on-line discussion board, videos and other resources to help you deal with these complex and important issues.

    NEC in the Facility
    If you have overhead service conductors, do they comply with the NEC, Art. 230, Part II? For example, they must be of sufficient capacity to handle the load. If you've added or upgraded service equipment, this may no longer be the case. While load diversity can prevent an immediate problem, a load usage change can produce an unpleasant surprise.

    What about clearances? Are these conductors at least:

    • 8 ft above the rooftops of buildings?
    • 10 ft above grade at the service entrance?
    • 18 ft above driveways and parking lots?

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

    Protecting your eyesight should be a high priority. Your primary means of defense is to always wear eye protection any time you're on the job and not in an officially designated break area.

    Don't allow fallacious logic to guide your thinking on this. For example, whether you are on the clock or not has nothing to do with the level of eye hazard in an area.

    It's not about whether you “have to” wear eye protection. It's about protecting your eyesight.

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

    Nylon Liquid Tight Strain Relief Fittings
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