Archive | 2014


6:49 pm
December 23, 2014
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After A Storm: Schneider Electric Urges Caution During Electrical-System Recovery Efforts

Recent storms that brought torrential rain, mudslides, winds and power outages to areas of the West Coast should serve as a strong reminder to all industrial operations. Given the fact that water and electricity don’t mix, restoring power to water-damaged equipment can be a dangerous undertaking.

Chad Kennedy, the Industry Standards Manager for Power Equipment at Schneider Electric, says that while businesses everywhere face increasing pressure to maximize profits and minimize downtime, they should take every precaution during power-restoration activities to  ensure the safety of all concerned. His company offers sound advice for plant personnel that might find themselves dealing with weather-related damage to their operations.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40% of businesses don’t reopen after a disaster. The response and actions taken during the first 24 to 48 hours of a catastrophic event are crucial in determining whether or not a business will fully recover.

After a natural disaster, it’s crucial to quickly and efficiently assess the damage. The following precautions are recommended to ensure employee safety and avoid costly damage both to physical equipment and the financial losses of a prolonged shutdown:

Wet electrical equipment

  • Electrical equipment that has been submerged or come into contact with water must be replaced, though there are exceptions to this rule for larger equipment, which may be able to be reconditioned by trained factory service personnel. Equipment that may be reconditioned includes:
    • Switchboard enclosures and certain bus structures;
    • Switchgear;
    • Low-voltage power circuit breakers;
    • Medium-voltage circuit breakers;
    • Low-voltage bolted-pressure switches;
    • Medium-voltage switches;
    • Motor control center enclosures and bus structure;
    • Panelboard and load center enclosures;
    • Liquid-filled power transformers’
    • Cast-resin transformers; and,
    • Busway: epoxy coated bars.
  • Attempting to dry out the equipment (in many cases) leaves portions of the current-carrying parts with damp or wet surfaces. These surfaces may be in contact with insulators or other materials that prevent them from being properly dried out and cleaned of debris.
  • Residual debris or wet surfaces may result in a loss of dielectric spacing within the equipment, and could present a hazard upon re-energization.
  • Equipment that must be replaced in its entirety includes:
    • Miniature and molded case circuit breakers;
    • Molded case switches;
    • Multi-metering equipment;
    • Safety switches (AC and DC);
    • Load centers or panelboard interiors;
    • Dry-type transformers;
    • Busway: mylar wrapped bars;
    • Solid state components;
    • Programmable logic controllers;
    • Fuses;
    • Electromechanical relays, contactors, starters, push buttons, limit switches
      and other input logic and output controls;
    • Solid state motor starters;
    • Adjustable speed drives;
    • Motor-control-center components.

Equipment with field replaceable interior components
Generally, this type of replacement is limited to a load center or panelboard type of product where the entire assembly can be removed and replaced as a unit. In this case, there is a possibility that enclosures can be reused if they have not been subjected to physical damage and if they have been properly cleaned of all debris and foreign materials.

Regarding cleaning agents and abrasives
Do not apply cleaning agents, particularly petroleum-based cleaners, to the current-carrying portions of electrical equipment to remove foreign debris, residues and other substances. Some cleaning and lubricating compounds can cause deterioration of the non-metallic insulating or structural portions of the equipment. Do not use abrasives such as sandpaper or steel wool to clean current-carrying parts of the equipment. These materials may remove plating or other conductive surfaces from the parts, which could result in a hazard when the equipment is re-energized.

Non-submerged equipment in flooded areas
Equipment in this situation should be inspected carefully by a qualified person to determine whether moisture has entered the enclosure. If any signs of moisture or damage exist, the equipment should be replaced or repaired.

Relevant codes and standards
Businesses should reference relevant industry codes and standards to ensure they are taking the safest possible route to recovery. NFPA 1600 is the overarching standard and primary document on disaster recovery, emergency management, and business continuity. For workplace safety and planning, OSHA references NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. NFPA 70B, Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance now includes a chapter on electrical disaster recovery in the 2013 edition. In addition, the National Electrical Manufacturer’s Association (NEMA) has published “Evaluating Water-Damaged Electrical Equipment” and “Evaluating Fire- and Heat-Damaged Electrical Equipment.”


  • FEMA, Protecting Your Businesses, 2013 (
  •  NEMA Standard AB 4-2003, Guidelines for Inspection and Preventive Maintenance of Molded Case Circuit Breakers Used in Commercial and Industrial Applications
  • NEMA Standard BU 1.1-2000, General Instructions for Proper Handling, Installation, Operation, and Maintenance of Busway Rated 600 Volts or Less
  • NEMA Standard PB 1.1-2002, General Instructions for Proper Installation, Operation, and Maintenance of Panelboards Rated 600 Volts or Less
  • NEMA Standard PB 2.1-2002, General Instructions for Proper Handling, Installation, Operation, and Maintenance of Deadfront Distribution Switchboards Rated 600 Volts or Less
  • NEMA Standard ICS 1.1-2003, Industrial Control and Systems: Safety Guidelines for the Application, Installation, and Maintenance of Solid State Controls

About Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric, manufacturer of Square D equipment, works with property owners to address questions about water-damaged equipment and offers inspection, testing and reconditioning and/or replacement services. The Schneider Electric Services group can address questions about water-damaged equipment and offers a variety of services, including inspecting, testing and reconditioning of electrical equipment from any manufacturer.



6:38 pm
December 22, 2014
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MecWash Systems Introduces Maxi Parts Washer to U.S. Markets


Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 12.33.57 PMMecWash Systems has introduced the Maxi, a fully automatic, highly customizable, self-contained aqueous cleaning system that, the company says, meets the highest cleanliness standards in the aerospace, automotive and hydraulic industries.

Suitable for use with large individual components or on smaller ones with high volumes, the unit has a cleaning chamber that measures 24” W x 24” H x 32” L. For larger single components or smaller parts with higher volumes, the cleaning chamber can be extended to 40” in length, thus providing 23,040 cubic inches of cleaning volume per cleaning cycle.

The single-chamber rotational cleaning system features an ultrasonic wash & rinse, immersion wash & rinse, spray wash & rinse, hot air dry, and vacuum dry for complex components. Its wash chamber can be configured with dozens of high volume jet nozzles, which thoroughly penetrate and saturate the workload at a rate of 185 gpm. Full rotation of the workload at between 2-10 RPM exposes all surfaces to the wash and rinse solutions to ensure effective cleaning, draining, and drying. Alternately, delicate components can be cleaned via an oscillation mode that gently tips the components from side to side.

According to the manufacturer, its proven aqueous technology cleans without solvents or emissions and is effective for large and small components and those with complex geometries or that require special fixturing, as well as standard-size baskets that can hold high volumes of components per cleaning cycle.

For complicated components with extremely high cleanliness requirements, the ultrasonic wash process is followed by a flood and spray wash, an ultrasonic rinse, a flood and spray rinse, and a high velocity hot air dry cycle. If necessary, a vacuum dry cycle can follow the hot air dry.  Total cycle times range between 3 – 20 minutes, depending on the specific components to be cleaned.

For companies concerned about using a water-based cleaning process to clean iron and steel components, MecWash aqueous chemicals are uniquely formulated with rust inhibition to prevent corrosion for up to two weeks after cleaning.

About MecWash Systems
MecWash Systems offers a complete line of aqueous cleaning equipment for demanding applications in the aerospace, automotive, hydraulic, pneumatic, medical and precision-machining industries. According to the company, its technology can be found within the operations of some of the world’s most respected companies, including Rolls-Royce Aerospace, UTC Aerospace, Caterpillar, Delphi, Eaton, SKF, GE and Parker, among others.


5:52 pm
December 22, 2014
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Pinpoint Laser Systems Introduces ‘Smart’ and Easy-to-Use Microgage PRO Laser Alignment System

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 11.42.53 AMAccording to Pinpoint Laser Systems (Pinpoint), its recently launched Microgage PRO laser-alignment system sets a new standard for ease-of-use. The system operates with three primary components: a laser transmitter, a digital receiver and a “smart display.”

A precise laser beam forms a straight reference line for a machine or assembly and each receiver measures in two axial directions, horizontal and vertical (X & Y). The path of the laser beam can be a few inches up to 180 feet and the state of the art touchscreen display provides accurate readings as small as 0.0001 inch (2.5 micron). Intelligently designed receivers are available, in a variety of configurations, including convenient wireless options that improve measuring range and durability, and give users the advantage of not being tied down in the field.

The Microgage PRO’s onboard microprocessor supplies step-by-step instructions for the user and allows for the storage of thousands of measurement readings with notes, all inside a durable industrial enclosure that is easy to hold and use in the field.

Pinpoint notes that by using the three basic Microgage PRO components, long assemblies, machinery, and fixtures can be measured and aligned with great precision over long distances. Adding other Microgage accessories, the company says, allows users to measure and align flatness, squareness, parallelism, bores, spindles, and many other geometric parameters.


5:10 pm
December 22, 2014
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Emerson Process Management Adds Powerful Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) Gas-Analysis Technology to Rosemount Portfolio

Emerson has announced the acquisition of Cascade Technologies Ltd., of Stirling, Scotland, a manufacturer of gas analyzers and monitoring systems that incorporate Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) technology.

By measuring multiple gases simultaneously, QCL technology can help companies improve industrial-emissions monitoring, production efficiencies and environmental compliance. The technology will added to the Rosemount Analytical gas-analysis portfolio of Emerson Process Management.

According to Emerson, QCL technology provides a step-change in gas analyzer performance through its increased sensitivity, speed of response and fingerprinting capability. The company says these advancements provide a “powerful solution” for industries like petrochemical, food and beverage, marine, automotive and pharmaceutical. Terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.



10:28 pm
December 17, 2014
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Machine-to-Cloud e-F@ctory IoT Gateway from Mitsubishi Electric Delivers Real-Time Energy-Management and PdM Data





Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc., and ILS Technology (ILS), a Telit company have announced their collaboration on the e-F@ctory IoT Gateway, Mitsubishi Electric’s new Machine-to-Cloud (M2C) industrial appliance for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. This Internet-enabled gateway is powered by the deviceWISE IoT platform from ILS for seamless and secure M2C connectivity and data transfers.

According to the two companies, the new e-F@ctory IoT Gateway improves information visibility and accessibility for energy-management applications. The appliance provides the ability to macro-process data and transform it into actionable information prior to sending it to the cloud. Once the data is stored in the cloud, charts are automatically created to provide real-time visual key performance indicators.

“For years, companies have been aggregating data from a variety of devices and storing it in a database in its raw format or in spreadsheets. Rarely is it used to provide any value to the organization,” said Sloan Zupan, Senior Product Manager, Mitsubishi Electric Automation. “With the e-F@ctory IoT Gateway, customers can identify which facilities, production lines, work cells and shifts are underperforming compared to other areas of the organization.”

Editor’s Note:
Additional information about the e-F@ctory IoT Gateway and Mitsubishi Electric Automation’s comprehensive line of factory automation products and solutions is available at



4:48 pm
December 17, 2014
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Acquisition of Emerson’s Power Transmission Biz Expected To Be ‘Transformational’ for Regal Beloit

According to Mark Gliebe, Chairman and CEO of Regal Beloit Corp. (Regal), its planned acquisition of Emerson’s massive Power Transmission Solutions (PTS) business will be “transformational” for his company. Terms of a definitive agreement that the two parties entered into earlier this week call for Regal to pay approximately $1.4 billion to Emerson for PTS.

Commenting on the deal, Gliebe noted the ability of PTS to help broaden Regal’s portfolio, diversify its end-market exposure and strengthen its global footprint. “PTS brings complementary products and well-known brands, but more importantly, a very talented team who are experts in their markets, as well as very strong operators,” he said. “We are excited to have PTS as part of the Regal family, and we look forward to growing with them in our future.”

Currently part of Emerson’s Industrial Automation segment, PTS reported over $600 million in revenue for 2014. Headquartered in Florence, KY, it employs more than 3000 people around the world. The business designs, manufacturers and supplies supporting services and solutions for couplings, bearings, gearing, conveying and drive components under brands that include Browning, Jaure, Kop-Flex, McGill, Morse, Rollway, Sealmaster and System Plast.

PTS will become part of Regal’s newly defined Power Transmission segment. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015.

About Regal Beloit Corporation
Regal Beloit is a leading manufacturer of electric motors, mechanical and electrical motion controls and power generation products serving markets throughout the world. Headquartered in Beloit, WI, it maintains manufacturing, sales and service facilities throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia. 


6:18 pm
December 16, 2014
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Yaskawa America Introduces Intelligent iQpump Micro Drives

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 11.11.26 AM

The Drives & Motion Division of Yaskawa America, Inc. has announced the release of the iQpump Micro intelligent pump drive, An extension of the company’s proven iQpump1000 drive technology, the new product has been designed to provide simple, reliable, cost-effective microdrive control for variable-torque pump loads through 25 HP.

Yaskawa notes that although some end-users with light-commercial, industrial, agricultural and ground-water well-system applications have been interested in a more cost-effective simplex and multiplex constant-pressure pump-control solution, they haven’t wanted to sacrifice what they’ve come to enjoy with the full-featured iQpump1000. The recently released iQpump Micro drive meets their needs: Many of the same software features and control along with the same programming style as iQpump1000, but in a package that saves cost.

The iQpump Micro is available in NEMA 1 and NEMA-4X rated models. NEMA 3R Configured Packages are also available.

About iQpump technology
According to Yaskawa, its family of iQpump drives reflects a variety of package options and an exceptional level of advanced, comprehensive pump and motor protection, yet offers ease of setup and diagnostics designed for pump operators and service technicians. Integrated pump-specific software allows for a wide range of pumping applications, from constant-pressure, -flow and geothermal to multiple pump-booster systems, wet-well lift stations and many others. As process variables change, iQpump technology automatically adjusts pump operating conditions to meet system demand, while maintaining pump performance and protection.


9:52 pm
December 14, 2014
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From Our Perspective: The Study

kennewmugBy Ken Bannister, Contributing Editor

In 1964, Professor H. Peter Jost published the results of the world’s first major study on the effects of “Lubrication, Friction and Wear.” His research had been commissioned by the British government, which was keenly interested in these effects on the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Jost’s study proved to be sensational. Industry was astounded by its documentation of the costs associated with poor or ineffective lubrication practices. He found that reversing the trend and making lubrication practices more effective could conservatively save British industry 20% in maintenance and repair costs; 20% in lubricant costs; 7.5% in energy costs; and significant downtime. For his part, Jost received a knighthood and, more important, assured his legacy by naming the study and practice associated with lubrication, friction and wear: He called it “Tribology.”

Six years later, in the hallowed halls of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dr. Ernest Rabinowicz built on Jost’s work and completed his formative study on the “Design, Friction, and Wear of Interacting Bearing Surfaces.” This led to his publication of the seminal tribology text Friction and Wear of Materials, and assurance of his legacy as a lubrication pioneer with the “Rabinowicz Law” that stated, “Every year, 6% of the GDP is lost through mechanical wear.” In his studies, Rabinowicz concluded that 70% of bearing-surface loss of usefulness (bearing failure) is attributed to mechanical wear (50%) and corrosion (20%). Both of these wear mechanisms, we now know, are entirely preventable with Good Lubrication Practices (GLP).

Fast forward 50 years: Great strides have been made in the science of Tribology, particularly in the fields of lubricants and bearing-surface technology—progress that has been driven primarily by the automotive industry and U.S. space program. Additionally, the past 10 years have witnessed significant growth in lubrication awareness through training and certification of lubrication-related personnel by the International Council of Machinery Lubrication (ICML), the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE), and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Lubrication-delivery systems have also greatly improved, especially in the area of electronic control and programming, and are now affordable to the point that their return on investment (ROI) can be measured in weeks and months in most cases.

Yet, despite our innovation and knowledge in these areas, in my capacity as an asset-management and lubrication specialist, I still see too many needless lubrication-related failures and ineffective lubrication practices in every type of industry. But why? Industry needs more than anecdotal information.

With that in mind, I recently worked with the editorial team at Maintenance Technology magazine to develop and conduct a comprehensive (37-question) online reader survey entitled “State of the Nation’s Lubrication Practices.” The Lubrication Nation’s response to it has been significant.

We asked the who, what, when, where, why and how pertaining to your lubrication practices and received a healthy number of fully completed responses from a variety of industry sectors, including manufacturing, automotive, natural resources, pharmaceutical, food and facility management. The results are telling.

In the next few pages, we share some of what our survey told us about North America’s lube practices and provide an initial explanation of what those responses indicate. Look for upcoming articles in Lubrication Technology and on that respond to and expand on the needs revealed by the study.

For now, please turn to page 4 to read this first article. Over time, I challenge survey respondents and those who were unable to participate in this study to use its findings as a lens through which to view your respective organizations’ states of lubrication; resolve to make positive changes in your practices; and always celebrate your lubrication-program successes. Good luck!