Plant Maintenance….Let the Battle Begin!

The last of the grayish snow heaps are melting away, the grass is already mocking me, the hedge is winking at me with it’s now tiny green leaves promising a massive trim job in only a few weeks and the truckload of mulch will be delivered this weekend.  Ahhhh….spring is here at last.  Time for the battle to begin.

Equipment maintenance will be on my mind this weekend, or more likely under my fingernails, as I clean and sharpen my tools of battle.

However, industrial plant and equipment maintenance are probably on your mind all year long, but spring is always a great time to sweep out the cobwebs and get your industrial equipment in better working order.

Plant Maintenance to Consider:

If your industrial gear is working just great for now, then remember this….early spring is the time to seriously cut back most of your ornamental grasses, perennials, and summer blooming shrubs.  There’s always that tall, cool glass of iced tea or a cold frosty beer at the end of the day’s battle while you relax on the porch and survey all your hard work.

Got questions about your industrial repairs?  Give us a call at 800-605-6419.  Got questions about your spring yard work?  Call your local landscape company…I’ll be outside doing battle!

Five Easy Steps to Installing an Industrial Network

Industrial Network Installation Giving You a Headache?“Where the heck  do I start?” you might ask.  Installing an industrial network can be a big fat headache, but there is help out there.  I just read this really great article in Automation World (a useful website, by the way) that breaks this process down into five steps.  Here’s a helpful link for you:

If you need your industrial network PLC repaired or PAC repaired, our expert tech team is ready to help.  Call our helpful customer service reps at 800-605-6419 or check out our website at  Meanwhile, enjoy the article “The Five Easy Pieces of Network Installation”.

See OSHA Top 10 Violations For Fiscal 2010

Safety violations are just NOT funny.  Take a gander at OSHA’s top 10, most frequent violations for FY2010 and either pat yourself on the back for NOT being on a top 10 list or get your house in order if you DO find yourself on this list.  Just sayin’… No names listed of course, violations only…

  1. Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451)
  2. Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501)
  3. Hazard communication standard, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1200)
  4. Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053)
  5. Respiratory protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134)
  6. Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout) general industry (29 CFR 1910.147)
  7. Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment, general industry (29 CFR 1910.305)
  8. Powered industrial trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178)
  9. Electrical systems design, general requirements, general industry (29 CFR 1910.212)
  10. Machines, general requirements, general industry (29 CFR 1910.212)

The costliest OSHA violations, as in highest penalties for FY 2010, are:

  1. Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501)
  2. Electrical, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.403)
  3. Safety training and education, construction (29 CFR 1910.21)
  4. Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout) general industry (29 CFR 1910.147)
  5. Machines, general requirements, general industry (29 CFR 1910.212)
  6. General duty clause (Section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act)
  7. Excavations, requirements for protective systems, construction (29 CFR 1926.652)
  8. Lead, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1025)
  9. Grain handling facilities (29 CFR 1910.272)
  10. Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053)

What To Do About Loose Connections

Got Loose Connections?  Get Expert Industrial Electronics RepairWow.  Loose connections…now that’s a “loose” term if ever there was one! 

Connection problems are indeed responsible for many non-functioning electronics of all sorts. 

Note the key words are connection problems because the problem may very well NOT be looseness at all.  So step away from the torque wrench or worse-yet the screwdriver. 

What seems like a “loose” connection could be just that, but electronic problems are more often the result of bad connections caused by:

  • Oxidation of contacts
  • Corrosion of contacts
  • Dirty contact surfaces
  • Cross threading
  • Wrong bolt or screw
  • Wrong connection sizes
  • Broken conductor stands away from the fitting

Tightening the connections in any of the above scenarios will not fix the problem and may make it worse.  Connections that are disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled have a higher repair success rate.

It should also be noted that tightening connections as part of regular maintenance can often be the cause of problems, not the cure. 

Truly loose connections result in higher resistances creating excess heat, one of the biggest causes of electrical fires. 

Loose, under load terminals result in arcing which damages the threads and causes microscopic pitting.  Then, even if the terminal screw is retightened, it will not properly compress the conductor and will reseat  only to the point where the damage occurred.  You still end up with overheating and inoperative equipment, or maybe even a fire.

Equation:  Clean contact surfaces and the proper exertion of force and pressure = good connections.

If you are sure that your connection(s) need tightening, always use a torque wrench with appropriate torque values as set by the manufacturer or codes to avoid over-tightening.

How often should you inspect connections?  If your shop is clean, climate-controlled and reasonably vibration free, once a year.  A dirty, high vibration shop should have more frequent inspections.

For most shops, sending your printed circuit boards and other industrial electronics to an expert for electronic repair and inspection is the way to go. 

At ACS, our techs do it all day every day.  After being repaired and inspected, your entire unit, not just the connections, will also be under warranty for one year.  Check out our website at or call our customer service team at 800-605-6419 for assistance.