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January 19, 2010 A Penton Media Publication Vol. VI No. 2

Fuse Maintenance, Part 1

Electrical Troubleshooting Quiz

Make Procedures Helpful, Part 3

NEC in the Facility


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    Fuse Maintenance, Part 1
    You may not believe it, but a fuse maintenance program can save you money.

    The idea of fuse maintenance may strike you as odd, because it’s pretty obvious to see when a fuse fails. However, a fuse (and other parts of the fuse system) can fail for reasons other than excessive current, shutting you down for an unknown period of time.

    This is why it’s smart to include fuse maintenance in your preventive maintenance of controls and power distribution equipment, and of critical equipment such as plant air compressors. While you’re in there diligently following the recommended practices of NFPA 70B, NFPA 70E, and related standards, use the downtime to maintain the fuse systems. This involves more than just looking at the fuse indicator or testing with an ohmmeter.

    In our next issue, we’ll discuss what’s involved in implementing a successful fuse maintenance program.

    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
    The plant air system has shut down in the middle of a critical production run three times in the past month. Each time, a blown fuse had to be replaced. Because each interruption ruins the run and requires 2 hr of cleanup before production can resume, the plant manager wants you to determine what’s going on and fix it.

    One fuse was inside the compressor control panel, another at the motor disconnect, and the third at the feeder panel. Are these problems related? How can you troubleshoot this situation?

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

    Make Procedures Helpful, Part 3
    A common problem with repair procedures for complex equipment is that the sheer amount of text they include makes them unwieldy and, often, overwhelming.

    You can solve this problem by creating a “main repair procedure.” This is a manageable tool for identifying the shortest path between “broken” and “fixed.”

    A flowchart works well as the core of such a procedure. In fact, it works so well that the diagnostic flowchart is standard in the automotive repair industry. It gives people a quick way to determine which part of a much larger body of repair documentation to use for performing the needed repair.

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

    NEC in the Facility
    Does your facility have any areas used for spraying, dipping, or coating processes? If these operations run regularly, you must apply Art. 516 [516.1].

    Article 516 differentiates between a spray room, spray booth, and spray area [516.2]:

    • Spray room: A dedicated room with dedicated ventilation supply and exhaust.
    • Spray booth: A dedicated enclosure (within a room) with dedicated ventilation exhaust (ventilation supply needn’t be dedicated).
    • Spray area: An area that has some local vapor extraction or ventilation.

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

    Winter provides us with a special set of safety risks. Frostbite is an obvious one, and we wear winter gloves to protect our fingers. However, frostbite isn’t the only cold weather danger to hands and feet (especially feet). Even if your toes don’t get frostbitten, circulatory issues due to excessive cold can cause cramps and other problems.

    Protect your feet, with these simple measures:

    • Wear insulated socks over your regular socks.
    • Have a spare pair of work boots and a spare set of socks (regular and insulated) available, in case water gets into your footwear.
    • Use a chemical toe warmer if you’re in the cold for extended periods.
    • Use a heated rubber mat if you must stand on cement to work. These are similar to the rubber mats machinists use but contain a low-wattage heating element embedded in the rubber.
    • If your feet feel cold, respond to that warning sign before damage occurs.

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