Fuse Maintenance, Part 1
Make Procedures Helpful, Part
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.
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
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
In our next issue, we’ll discuss what’s involved in implementing
a successful fuse maintenance program.
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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.
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
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
NEC in the
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
- Spray area: An area that has some local vapor extraction or
To read more on this story, visit EC&M's Web
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
- 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
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