Cast Your Vote for the
EC&M Product of the Year!
You and IR, Part 2
Troubleshooting PLC Digital
Input Modules, Part 1
NEC in the Facility
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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
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polling page, enter your contact information, choose your favorite
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help us identify the 2010 EC&M Product of the Year Platinum,
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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
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You and IR, Part 2
A fundamental question to ask when analyzing anything
is, "Compared to what?" With no point of reference, facts and figures
can grossly mislead you. It’s the same with infrared thermography
— you need benchmarks.
Most thermographic cameras provide for various benchmarks, such
When you later analyze images and spot temperatures, you'll be looking
for the deltas between benchmarks and readings. If this is the latest
a series of trended surveys (including perhaps a baseline survey), then
you can compare the deltas over time. An area or object with a rise in
delta will be easy to spot graphically.
- Ambient. What's the temperature outside that cabinet?
- Background. What's the temperature inside that cabinet?
- Reference. What's the temperature of the side panel surface
of that cabinet?
Fluke 233 Remote Display Multimeter
What would you do if
you could be in two places at once?
The NEW Fluke
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.
You report in on the night shift to discover that a
solvent day tank overflowed three times that afternoon. However,
operators say the tank is properly supplying the process.
The notes from the responding tech include:
With this information on hand, what should you do next?
- Tested level switch by operating rocker. Meter shows voltage change
when switch operates.
- Simulated open signal to tank fill valve, and it functions
Simulation was done by forcing logic in PLC.
- Unable to test further, due to time constraints.
website to see the answer.
PLC Digital Input Modules, Part 1
By definition, digital inputs are either on or off.
Thus, verifying the absence or presence of voltage is a critical part
troubleshooting digital input modules. But what voltage should you look
for? That depends on the power source for the input loop(s) in
The following are some basic facts about input loop power
To read more on this story, visit EC&M's website.
- The input module usually isn't a loop power source.
- Although 120V is common for digital loops, other voltages are also
- There are two types of digital input, differentiated by their power
source: isolated and non-isolated.
- Non-isolated inputs are powered by a common source. For example,
wiring diagram shows a non-isolated input module with L1 (common power
source) feeding an array of input devices displayed in ladder fashion.
- An isolated input is on its own channel and may be powered by its
own source. If your system had four such inputs, then the wiring
would again show an array of input devices displayed in ladder fashion.
But this time, they wouldn’t share L1. Instead, each would be
by L1a, L1b, L1c, and L1d.
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How do you find the ampacity requirements that apply to
your facility's power distribution wiring, and which of the many
ampacity tables in Art. 310 is the right one?
To answer the first question, we can quickly cut Art. 310 down to
size. About half of it is for 2,001V or more, and everything from
onward is for 2,001V or more. The parts that typically apply to
facilities end at Section 310.15.
The requirements in 310.1 through 310.14 are general requirements.
Then, you have 310.15 and the next section is 310.60 (2,001V and
This means that, for purposes of calculating ampacity, your
are in 310.15 (unless you're working power distribution at greater than
To read more on this story, visit EC&M's website.
Some ladder safety rules depend on the type of ladder
Three rules for extension ladders include:
Three rules for step ladders include:
- Secure the ladder so it can't inadvertently slide out from under
you. One way to do this is to tie a lower rung to an anchor point
- Leave at least three rungs of overlap between sections, or get a
- Extend the ladder so it reaches 3 ft above the top supporting
- Open it completely, and lock the braces.
- Rest all four feet on level footing.
- Stand only on steps that are below the top step.
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