The Cluttered Workshop and the Emerson Trex

Emerson Trex Improvement

A process plant can be a harsh environment; as a result, devices will occasionally need to be returned to the shop for evaluation, repair, or configuration. Unfortunately, connecting to a device in the shop to check configuration and functionality is a cumbersome process that eats up valuable man-hours.

To evaluate a device in the shop, the technician first needs to round up a power supply that is appropriate for the device. This means… Continue Reading »

What is the life expectancy of arc-rated protective clothing?

Life expectancy of arc-rated protective clothing

There are two types of clothing to which this discussion applies; one known as Flame Resistant (FR) and the other known as Arc Rated (AR). The difference is significant. All AR clothing (ARC) is FR rated, but not all FR clothing (FRC) is AR rated. The two types have different standards to which they must comply. ARC is not only flame resistant; it must also withstand the extremely high momentary temperatures generated by an… Continue Reading »

Troubleshooting pH Instruments with PIE Calibrators

Troubleshooting pH Instruments with PIE Calibrators

Troubleshooting pH Instruments using a PIE Calibrator

Instruments that measure pH are some of the most difficult devices to maintain in a process plant. While temperature, frequency & pressure sensors, under the right conditions, measure for years, the pH sensors require regular maintenance and replacement. Many technicians get frustrated when there is a problem with pH sensors and instruments not reading correctly. A PIE calibrator with pH simulation can speed up the troubleshooting… Continue Reading »

Fix It When You Find It: Hart 475 Field Communicator

Hart 475 Field Communicator

Monitoring and tracking the status of equipment in the field is an essential part of day-to-day plant operation. Field technicians are the eyes and ears of the plant, whether they are investigating a known issue or are simply monitoring assets during regular rounds. From asset management software to field tools, everything should work together seamlessly to ensure maintenance is efficient, data is accurate, and devices are healthy.

The Problems with Paper

Tracking diagnostics in the… Continue Reading »

Choosing the Right Ground Resistance Tester

Ground Resistance Tester

There are a wide variety of ground resistance testers available on them market today. These vary in design, features, and complexity, and include small handheld models as well as larger field instruments that are often packaged as part of a complete kit. These products also range in price, from few hundred up to several thousand dollars.

In this article, we discuss several critical questions to consider when selecting a ground resistance tester…. Continue Reading »

5 Key Steps to Perform a 30-day Load Study with Fluke Power and Energy

fluke power energy logger Fluke-PQ

When adding new loads to an existing electrical service or set of feeders, the first thing to determine is whether the existing system is capable of supporting the new loads. In other words, what is the highest load the system carries?

What you need to know

To determine existing equipment capacity, factor in the incoming conductor size, the ratings of the equipment, and space for new circuits. To determine present loading, you’ll need to either precisely… Continue Reading »

Digital Voltage Phasing Meter Part 2 – Phasing a Distribution Circuit

phasing tester digital voltage phasing meter

Digital Meter Provides Better Accuracy

Use the Hastings 6702 Digital Voltage Phase Meter to make sure you have voltage on both sides of power line switches/cutout fuses and check all the phases.  With the digital readout you see the small differences in the voltage reading.  Both sides of the cutout fuses should read zero volts but could possibly show 200-400 volt fluctuations.

HIpot Underground Cable

The purpose of hipoting underground cable is to… Continue Reading »

Updated Requirements for Personal Protective Equipment(PPE)

Personal protective equipment arc flash suit

Important Keys to Ensure Worker Safety

No matter how good the equipment, there is always a chance of an arc flash occurring when an electrician works on switchgear or even just turns it on. Temperatures of an arc flash can reach upwards of 35,000 degrees in less than a second, burning a person directly or causing ignition of non-flame resistant clothing or the melting of clothing into the skin. So it is very important to… Continue Reading »

Digital Voltage Phasing Meter Part 1 – Potential Testing, URD Cable Testing

high voltage phasing sticks 6702

0-40KV Digital Volt Meter for Phasing Circuits

The Hastings 6702 Digital Voltage Phasing Meter consists of high voltage resistors encapsulated inside two fiberglass housings. These resistors are connected together with a coiled cord. A digital display is attached to one of the encapsulated resistor housings. Attach each encapsulated resistor to a hot stick of appropriate length for the voltages to be tested.

Measures overhead and underground voltages, Potential Testing and URD Cable Testing. Circuit Potential… Continue Reading »

Electrical Safety in the Workplace Pt 3 – The Electrical Thermographer and IR Windows

ir windows electrical-safety in the workplace

Arc Flash Hazards and the Electrical Thermographer

The goal of any electrical thermographer is to prevent unplanned shutdowns in a manner that is reliable, repeatable and above all safe. Since thermographers work with the target equipment online and on load coupled with the fact that IR Cameras cannot “see” through panel covers, thermographers face severe safety hazards when attempting to scan electrical distribution equipment. Taking measurements with a cover removed is not a safe option…. Continue Reading »

Using HART Protocol to Manage for Quality – Martel LC-110H and HART Communications Diagnostics

Hart transmitter calibration LC110H with transmitter


In this white paper we are going to cover the basics on HART communications and the diagnostic capability of the Martel LC-110H mA (loop) calibrator.

Exactly what is HART Communication?

In today’s process plants, most new field instruments are smart digital instruments. The most common class of smart instruments incorporates the HART protocol, with more than five million HART instruments in use in 100,000 plants worldwide. HART, an acronym… Continue Reading »

Electrical Safety in the Workplace Pt 2: NFPA Compliance, Arc Flash Analysis & PPE

personal protective equipment arc flash helmet

NFPA 70E – The Safety Standard

NFPA 70E defines the safe parameters for personnel working on electrical equipment. Although adherence is not a legal requirement, the standard provides a benchmark for most industries to demonstrate compliance with OSHA’s General Duty clause. An employer adopting the guidelines offered in NFPA 70E demonstrates a clear commitment to safe working practices and the protection of employees from shock and arc flash hazards.

According to the standard, if personnel will… Continue Reading »

Ralston Block and Bleed Valves Make Your Gas Last Longer

Block and bleed valve for calibration

Keep Gas in the Tank

  • Conserve compressed gas by venting only the gas that needs to be vented in a device under test and nothing more…….
  • Brass and Stainless Steel, 3000 psi & 5000 psi working pressure
  • NPT, male & female quick-test fittings

Ralston Block and Bleed Valves are an excellent accessory for doing pressure calibration with a Ralston Volume Controller, Nitropak, Calibration Manifold or other calibration device. This unique valve helps conserve compressed gas by venting only… Continue Reading »

Electrical Safety in the Workplace Pt 1: Arc Flash

Arc flash near electrical panels

Concerned About Arc-Flash and Electric Shock?

Electrocution is the obvious danger faced by anyone working on or near live electrical equipment and it is clearly important to understand shock hazards and wear appropriate protection. However, most electrical accidents are not the result of direct electric shocks. A particularly hazardous type of shorting fault—an arc fault— occurs when the insulation or air separation between high voltage conductors is compromised. Under these conditions, a plasma arc—an “arc… Continue Reading »

Is My AC Rotor Bad?

Surge tester motor windings large

Can I Rule it In or Out as the Cause of Failure?

Rotor bar problems are infrequent, in most applications. But, when they occur, they are easy to overlook.  A lot of time is wasted on diagnosis when a rotor bar issue is not obvious.  The guesswork about rotor bars being good or bad can easily and quickly be eliminated for a motor that can run.

There are about 15 different ways to check for fractured… Continue Reading »

CALIBRATION TECH BRIEF: BK Precision 4010A – VCG Out of Tolerance


The Out of Tolerance Solution

We had two BK4010A generators in for calibration in the JM Test Alexandria Lab recently, and all parameters except one were well in tolerance.  The out of tolerance condition was the Voltage Controlled Generator(VCG) frequency section of the verification.

Briefly, the verification consists of the following:
Set the Frequency Range to 200 kHz, and the dial to 2 (setting the frequency to 200 kHz).  Apply a… Continue Reading »

MultiRAE – Portable Multi-Threat Monitors with Wireless Capabilities

Multi-gas detector MultiRAE Lite

MultiRAE portable multi-threat monitors combine best-in-class gas and radiation detection capabilities with wireless connectivity and Man Down Alarm to help elevate the safety of workers and responders, and reduce facility downtime.

MultiRAE Family Instruments

Understanding Cable & Antenna Analysis Part 1

Cable and antenna system cell tower


The cable and antenna system plays a crucial role of the overall performance of a Base Sta­tion system. Degradations and failures in the antenna system may cause poor voice quality or dropped calls. From a carrier standpoint, this could eventually result in loss of revenue.

While a problematic base station can be replaced, a cable and antenna system is not so easy to replace. It is the role of the field technician to troubleshoot the… Continue Reading »

Validating the Hysteresis of Pressure Switches on Pipeline Pigging Systems

Pipeline testing equipment


A pipeline integrity services company needed to accurately test the hysteresis1 of the pressure switches used to control their pigging systems. We will show how using a Druck DPI 802 pressure indicator/loop calibrator is an improvment over previous testing methods and pipeline testing equipment.


This company offers a variety of services to assist oil and gas companies assess the condition of their pipelines. These pigging systems are sent into… Continue Reading »

Choosing the Right Cable Test Tool

Guide to Choosing the Right Cable Test Tool to Meet Your Testing Needs

New cable test tools, designed to perform various tasks at various price ranges, are emerging at a rapid rate in today’s competitive market of cable test equipment. All cable test tools are useful for specific applications and users, but not all meet TIA/ISO performance standards and certification warranty requirements. It’s important to… Continue Reading »

The State of the Cabling Certification Industry

The New Normal: Multi-Everything

This white paper explores the state of the cabling industry – where it has been and where it is going. It evaluates what it takes to succeed in the face of an exponentially greater need for cabling contractors to manage multiple environments, media, standards, and technologies. In this new multi, multi, multi world – the new normal – what do cabling… Continue Reading »

Cable Testing Basics – Certification, Qualification and Verification

Cable Testing

Whether installing new cable, or troubleshooting existing cable, cable testing with a unit like a Fluke Networks DTX-1800 plays an important role in the process. Common tests for datacom cabling include length, wiremap, attenuation, NEXT, DC loop resistance, and return loss.

As networks evolve, so do the requirements of the cabling infrastructure to support them. New standards are continuously being developed to provide guidelines for cabling professionals when installing, testing,… Continue Reading »

Transformer Testing with a Megger DLRO10HD

DLROHD10 digital low resistance ohmmeter

Avoid Unexpected Outages with Regular Testing

Regular testing of transformers can help identify problems that reduce system performance and can lead to unexpected outages. The dc resistance of a transformer winding can indicate the internal temperature of the winding when the resistance at ambient is compared to the hot resistance. The ideal test method is to make resistance readings at one minute intervals as the hot winding is cooling, using a Continue Reading »

Why Measure Low Resistance?

Digital low resistance ohmmeter Megger DLRO10HD

Megger DLRO10HD 10 Amp Digital Low Resistance Ohmmeter

Measuring low resistance helps identify resistance elements that have increased above acceptable values. The operation of electrical equipment depends on the controlled flow of current within the design parameters of the given piece of equipment. In the modern age of electronics, increased demands are placed on all aspects of electrical circuitry.

Low resistance measurements, with a unit like a Megger DLRO10HD 10 Amp Digital… Continue Reading »

How Insulation Resistance is Measured

Resistance Readings Considered Relative

You have seen that good insulation has high resistance; poor insulation, relatively low resistance. The actual resistance value

s can be higher or lower, depending upon such factors as the temperature or moisture content of the insulation (resistance decreases in temperature or moisture). With a little record-keeping and common sense, however, you can get a good picture of the insulation condition from values that… Continue Reading »

What Makes Electrical Insulation Go Bad, or Cause Insulation Degradation?

Insulation Degradation Can Be Fast or Slow

When your plant electrical system and equipment are new, the electrical insulation should be in top notch shape. Furthermore, manufacturers of wire, cable, motors, and so on have continually improved their insulations for services in industry. Nevertheless, even today, insulation is subject to many effects which can cause it to fail – electrical… Continue Reading »

What is “Good” Electrical Insulation?

A High Resistance to Current is Key for Insulation

Every electric wire in your plant – whether it’s in a motor, generator, cable, switch, transformer, etc. – is carefully covered with some form of electrical insulation. The wire itself is usually copper or aluminum, which is known to be a good conductor of the electric current that powers your equipment. The insulation must… Continue Reading »

How to Determine Phase Rotation on a De-energized Motor

Motor and Phase Rotation Tester – Megger

  • Complete phase-sequence and motor-rotation testing in one instrument
  • Ensures correct phase hookup in one easy test
  • Rugged and portable tester
  • Performs additional polarity and continuity checks


The Megger 560060 Motor and Phase Rotation Tester permits the electrical contractor or industrial maintenance electrician to permanently connect and tape the terminals of the motor being installed, without having to first energize the motor… Continue Reading »

Primary Injection Test System – SMC Raptor

Multifunctional Primary Testing System

The SMC Raptor C-05, C-15, C-25, C-35 is a smart test set designed as the definitive solution for the main primary test applications required in the commissioning and maintenance of substations, marking the difference with respect to existing equipment now being used. This new generation of primary injection test equipment makes primary injection testing easier, faster and more convenient.

The system consists of a Continue Reading »

Evaluating Calibration Tolerances Can Save You Trouble

Calibration Tolerance

Is Losing Business Worth the Risk?

Having an instrument not meeting specifications is bad for the owner or operator of an instrument and bad for the manufacturer.  It can be costly. The owner may need to take special action to mitigate the
problem, perhaps even recall work done. The manufacturer may lose customers’ trust. Clearly, it is a situation to be avoided. Without due consideration, out-of-tolerance conditions may be much too likely to occur.
Continue Reading »

NIST Numbers… What Are They?

What are NIST numbers

What is the official NIST Number on my report?

The official NIST number, or the number that NIST uses to keep track of reports, is a long number containing the number for the Division performing the service, the number the NIST Calibration Program Office generates, and the year the service is performed. This number should be on every page of the report. For example, a typical number for our Division (821) is 821/123456-97.

Many reports will… Continue Reading »