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July 6, 2010 A Penton Media Publication Vol. VI No. 13



CONTENTS
You and IR, Part 5

Electrical Troubleshooting Quiz

Troubleshooting PLC Digital Output Modules, Part 1

NEC in the Facility

Safety

Call for Papers


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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    Maintenance
    You and IR, Part 5
    Thermal cycling is an issue in thermographic surveys. Does your thermographic program account for it?

    When equipment turns on and off, it heats and cools — this is thermal cycling. When materials heat up, they expand. When they cool, they contract. The more severe and frequent these swings are, the greater the stress on physical components.

    Obviously, you scan intermittently operated equipment while it's running. However, it may be impractical to run this equipment long enough to bring the thermal-cycling stressed connections to the needed heat threshold.

    For intermittent applications, use the thermographic survey to look for advanced, rather than emerging, problems. Give the system an “OK” only after checking the connections with a low-ohms meter (not a DMM).


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    Repair
    Electrical Troubleshooting Quiz
    Your factory has an automated shipping dock system with 10 bays. A conveyor system feeds these bays with a chute to each bay. When the chute for a bay is full, the indicator light outside the bay door turns from red to green so truck drivers know which bay to pull up to.

    You come in on second shift to find a note that says the Bay 6 light never turns green when the bay is full. The tech tied back the position switch to simulate full, and the PLC console showed the appropriate response but no green light.

    What’s your next step?

    Visit EC&M's website to see the answer.


    Troubleshooting PLC Digital Output Modules, Part 1
    In previous issues, we have discussed troubleshooting input modules. In the examples, the output modules checked out OK. But what if they don't?

    As with input modules, output modules can be digital or analog. Typical digital outputs include solenoid control signals (energize/de-energize) and motor start/stop signals. They also include various indicating signals, such as valve opened/closed, temperature limit reached, and high level alarm.

    The actual output signals may be AC or DC, but the power isn't usually supplied by the module. As with the input modules, your first step in troubleshooting is to determine what power should be present and where it comes from.

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


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    Operation
    NEC in the Facility
    Annex C of the NEC is 58 pages long. That's even longer, by a significant percentage, than Art. 430. It's about twice the size of Art. 250. Why would the NEC devote so much page “real estate” to this resource? Is there a compelling reason? Yes. Having this information handy (in the back of the NEC) can save you time and prevent expensive rework. Annex C provides fill tables for two common families of raceway: conduit and tubing.
    • Conduit is a wiring method covered by Art. 342 through Art. 356. Each of the nine articles addresses one of the nine types of conduit.
    • Tubing is a wiring method covered by Art. 358 through Art. 362. Each of the three articles addresses one of the three types of tubing.

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


    Safety
    In our previous issue, we looked at safety tips for erecting scaffolding. Here are some for using scaffolding:

    • Ensure scaffolding is level before using it.
    • Use safety harnesses when you’re on any scaffold platform that doesn't have a guardrail or complete deck.
    • Keep surfaces free of debris.
    • Keep tools and materials to the minimum needed.
    • Lock the wheels of mobile scaffolds before using.
    Furthermore, OSHA 1926.454 requires training for each person working on scaffolding. To protect yourself, ask each person who's going up there with you if they've completed the company's scaffolding training. Ask your safety director about this if nobody seems to have taken it.


    Show & Events
    Call for Papers
    Interested in sharing your industry expertise? Speaking opportunities are still available on the Electric West 2011 conference program. The conference will take place February 22-24, 2011, at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, Calif. Contact Florence Torres, Conference Director, for more information on the event, or submit a proposal online by visiting the Electric West show site.

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