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August 24, 2010 A Penton Media Publication Vol. VI No. 16

You and CMMS, Part 1

Electrical Troubleshooting Quiz

Troubleshooting PLC Analog Output Modules, Part 2

NEC in the Facility



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MRO Insider addresses topics such as:

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  • 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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    You and CMMS, Part 1
    At a minimum, your computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) should do the following:
    • Record and track material usage and labor costs.
    • Capture information on inventories.
    • Control the work-order system.
    • Provide equipment data and history.
    • Schedule and track preventive/predictive maintenance.
    • Link all critical information in a relational database.
    • Provide some analysis functions.
    • Export data to spreadsheet and database applications for analysis.
    Very likely, it does all of these things and more. But are you making use of these features? More importantly, what are you doing with the information once you have it? We'll explore these areas more in depth in future issues.

    Perform two-man jobs alone.
    Now you can work in two places at once. With the new Fluke 233 Wireless Remote Display Multimeter you don’t need the help of another person when reading the display.

    Electrical Troubleshooting Quiz
    A PLC controls the rate of water flow to a continuous mixer. The operators are reporting that batches have recently started coming out far too thin (too much water). Preliminary troubleshooting has established the input side of the water control loop is problem-free. That is, simulated inputs to the PLC always produce the correct response in the PLC. The water valve has been stroked, and it works perfectly.

    Where do you need to look for the problem?

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

    Troubleshooting PLC Analog Output Modules, Part 2
    Does the module's output correspond correctly to its input? Determine that by forcing the PLC output to 10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 90% and measuring on the output terminals at the corresponding range. For example, if it's a 4mA to 20mA module, then at 10% input from the PLC you should measure 5.6mA (10% of 16mA + 4mA).

    If you don't get the anticipated results, disconnect the field wiring and use a test load (typically 250Ω to 1,000Ω; your loop simulator instrument should provide this). If the results are correct, the problem is in the field wiring. If you get incorrect results, then replace the module. However, don't replace the module until you've verified the field wiring and devices in the output loop are OK, or you may be replacing that module again.

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

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    NEC in the Facility
    In our previous two issues, we discussed how studying Example 3(a) in Annex D is beneficial. Example D10 is another NEC resource worth spending time on. Unlike D3(a), it includes a figure that illustrates the application.

    The problem is one of determining feeder capacity for six identical elevators. This isn't a typical application in MRO for facilities, but the example provides useful insights to apply to other applications.

    The example uses five steps to arrive at the total feeder ampacity.

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

    A few basic rules for hand tools:

    • Good workmanship requires good tools, and so does safety. Clean and inspect your tools after each use so they are ready for the next use.
    • Count all tools used for any given space before entering and after exiting. This is how you prevent the "someone left a wrench across two phases, but we didn't know that when we energized" problem.
    • Carry tools in a tool pouch, not in your pocket.
    • Screwdrivers are for driving screws; pry bars are for prying things apart.
    • Using socket extensions for any kind of impact work can cause them to shatter; respect them accordingly.

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