Cast Your Vote for the
EC&M Product of the Year!
You and IR, Part 1
Conquering PLC Gremlins
NEC in the Facility
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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.
Product of the Year Competition
Vote for the EC&M Product of the Year!
Would you like to help pick the prestigious EC&M
Product of the Year winner and qualify for a chance to win $100? If
you're an EC&M subscriber, make your vote count by visiting the
EC&M Product of the Year category winners list. To review
products, click on the links for each of the 33 category winners to
a brief description and view a photo. Once you're finished with your
review, visit the
polling page, enter your contact information, choose your favorite
product from the drop-down menu, and click submit.
help us identify the 2010 EC&M Product of the Year Platinum,
Gold, and Silver award winners. As an added incentive, three lucky
voters will be randomly selected to receive a $100 gift check.
voting poll will remain open through 5 p.m. on June 18, 2010. Please,
only one vote per EC&M subscriber. Any votes received from
manufacturers, PR firms, or non-EC&M readers will be
You and IR, Part 1
In the previous five issues, we discussed insulation
resistance (IR) testing. However, there is more than one kind of IR.
This abbreviation also stands for infrared radiation, which forms
basis for infrared thermography. The word “thermography” is similar
to the word “photography,” except we substitute thermo (meaning
heat) for photo (meaning light). Thermography is basically a matter of
working with pictures of heat.
In the early 1990s, thermography was expensive and cumbersome.
Although moving the carts of equipment required for a single scan
take a village, it did take a crew. Few facilities could afford
thermography for maintenance.
Today, there are light, handheld thermographic cameras.
advances have reduced prices and lowered the training requirements for
effective use. Nevertheless, just adding infrared scans to your PM
schedule doesn't provide you with an effective thermography program.
The deeper your understanding of how to correctly take and interpret
those "heat pictures," the more effective your thermography work
becomes. Learn more in the next issue of MRO Insider.
Fluke 233 Remote Display Multimeter
What would you do if you
could be in two places at once?
The NEW Fluke 233
wireless remote display digital multimeter with removable magnetic
display allows you to be 30ft away from the measurement point. Perfect
for those difficult measurements where display viewing is challenging.
The conveyor on a PLC-controlled packaging machine
occasionally stops for no reason, and operators are unable to restart
it. This problem has occurred on four occasions. Each time, the tech
gone through the PLC logic, found nothing wrong, and simply restarted
Is the process of just checking the control logic really solving
problem each time? Nobody can come up with a better explanation, yet
nobody can say why this seems to work. How can you determine what's
really going wrong?
Web site to see the answer.
In our previous issue, we noted that, for
systems, problems rarely occur inside the PLC. However, what if:
This means the problem is in the input module, PLC, or output module.
- You have the proper incoming signals for your control loop, and
- You can simulate outputs at the field terminations and get the
correct control action?
In the previous newsletter, we discussed how to use the
divide-and-conquer method to troubleshoot a PLC system. Now, use this
method to determine if the problem is in the I/O modules (the most
To read more on this story, visit EC&M's Web
Surround yourself with Confidence - with the NEW U1000B Agilent
Agilent’s family of Handhelds puts a wealth of
important features and capabilities in your hands. The family
of DMMs, Oscilloscopes, LCR Meters, Clamp Meters and a Multifunction
Calibrator, offers technology from the largest Test & Measurement
NEC in the
How big do your feeder and branch conductors really
to be? You may be undersizing conductors by using the ampacity tables
Art. 315, if you ignore 90.1(B) and the FPN in 315(A)(1). That FPN says
the tables don't consider voltage drop. As noted in 90.1(B), following
NEC requirements makes installations essentially free from hazard but
not necessarily efficient.
Voltage drop is just one issue to consider when designing for
efficiency. For example, if the loads have low power factor, high
harmonics, and/or high wave distortion, they'll draw more current to do
the same work. You can correct power factor and harmonics only so much
before further correction is impractical. Thus, conductors will carry
some “bad power.”
To read more on this story, visit EC&M's Web
Each year, OSHA reports on the types of injuries that
happen on the job. Every year, injuries from improper ladder use are
high up on the list. Follow these general tips:
- Use only insulated (fiberglass) ladders.
- Before you use a ladder, inspect it. If it's damaged (e.g.,
bent rung), remove it from the work area immediately. Put an “Out of
Service” or similar tag on it.
- Keep the area around the ladder clear of tools and materials.
- Ensure the ladder is level and standing on something that won't
- Rather than carry tools when climbing a ladder, use a rope and
bucket to raise and lower tools.
- Allow only one person at a time on a ladder.
- If you must work from a ladder, face the ladder when doing so. Also
face the ladder when going up or down.
- Use ladders only for purposes they're designed for. Propping one
of a scaffolding board, for example, isn't such a purpose.
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