Wouldn’t It Be Nice If You Could Fix Problems Before They Occur?

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You can!  Discover problems within your electrical systems before they occur with the technology of infrared thermal imaging. While there is not a single electrical preventative maintenance program or field of study that can catch all problems, the most reliable and cost-effective inspection to have conducted is Thermal Imaging. It is a non-contact, non-destructive technology proven effective in the early detection of imminent failure in electrical and mechanical systems.

There are many benefits of Thermal imaging. For one, Thermal Imaging improves the safety standards of your workspace and can detect a potential problem early so no employees get hurt in a possible accident. An overloaded circuit is one of the most common types of defects that leads to fires and can be detected with infrared scanning. Stopping this sooner than later is highly important. Two, it can help to reduce downtime from failed equipment and decrease the time you spend on replacing those systems because you can plan for it. If Thermal Imaging can detect the problem early, you can adjust what you need to so it won’t become completely useless and need a replacement. Detecting problems early can also allow you to save money because paying for the services of thermal imaging is a lot cheaper than having to replace an entire electrical panel or circuit breaker system. Three, the process of thermal imaging is quick and easy, there is no need for lengthy preparations or pre-inspection work. A typical thermal imaging scan involves: walking in, scanning the different systems, looking for “hot spots”, and collecting data. It’s that easy.

A couple other things to consider would be our extensive work that goes above and beyond what our competitors do along with how dependable and reliable we are to you the customer. We at Thompson have certified Thermographers that go beyond their normal walkthroughs and actually take the time to scan each system to collect the valuable data in order to keep your facility safe. This helps to avoid any possible equipment failure or unnecessary downtime.

For any more questions or concerns regarding our thermal imaging services please don’t be afraid to call us at 844.321.3869, emails us at help@thompsonspecialty.com, or visit our website at https://www.thompsonspecialty.com/home.html

Do you trust your control systems integrator to have your best interest in mind?

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Is your Control Systems Integrator a business partner or do you think of them more as a car repair mechanic? Someone you only see when there is a problem and you never are quite certain if they are telling you a line or shooting you straight.  Do you ever have that feeling the mechanic isn’t doing something to your car to make you come back in a week or two? That trust with your system integrator is extremely important as you consider what might happen if the engine of your production systems breaks down.

Ask yourself five critical questions?

  1. Does your control systems integrator customize their work to meet your needs?
  2. Are your SCADA and IT systems growing as you grow?
  3. When was the last time your provider brought you new and innovative ideas?
  4. Are they following through when they say they will get the job done in a timely manner?
  5. Do you trust them?

A trusting relationship with your systems integrator is very important in getting the best service possible. If you can’t answer these five questions in the affirmative, then it might be time to look for a new control systems partner.  Your systems integrator should have three qualities for you to trust them. The first is for them to be ready and willing to adjust to your needs. The second thing is for them to have a good communication system in place to work around what you want. Lastly, the third one is to simply be more involved with you. If your integrator isn’t doing these things, it is time to change.

Thompson Automation has been meeting the needs of customers for more than 30 years. Thompson is not about “products” and fitting you into the mold of what the “system” will do rather we spend our time fitting the best solution around your needs.  We craft custom solutions to meet our customers’ specific needs. We can assure you that Thompson is the way to go.

If you need reliable and dependable experts to help with any of your controls and automation needs then don’t hesitate to contact us. Our information is:

Phone: 844.321.3869

Email: help@thompsonspecialty.com

Website: www.thompsonspecialty.com

It’s time you had an Arc Flash study done

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Are you ready for the new OSHA electrical safety requirements? Do you feel prepared? Have you had your Arc Flash Risk Assessment complete? If the answer is no then it is time to get started. “What is an Arc Flash?” this is one of the most frequently asked questions. An Arc Flash occurs because of a release of energy caused by an electrical arc, resulting in an explosion. The flash can reach temperatures up to 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

One of the main reasons to get an Arc Flash Risk Assessment is because the explosion that occurs is known to cause serious damage. With the extreme temperatures of the blast, burns account for around 80% of all the injuries. Any employee not wearing the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are also at risk of electric shock, blindness, shrapnel wounds, and in some cases death. The damage to your facility can also lead to problems such as lengthy downtime, extensive repairs, and even loss of profit. Often times a simple adjustment to your electrical systems like the breaker settings or the installation of a breaker disconnect can really help to reduce accidents.

Another reason for having an Arc Flash Risk Assessment completed is simply because it is required by OSHA. In 2014 OSHA recognized an arc flash as a “hazard” and after that, the OSHA General Duty Clause began to cover arc flash explosions. All employers need to properly implement and document electrical safety programs that direct activity to the risks involved. All Companies must now comply and have an Arc Flash Risk Assessment completed every 5 years. The leading standard and best practice in electrical safety is the NFPA 70E Handbook. Two main points from the handbook would be that the employer is required to conduct an assessment, and must hand out the proper PPE if a potentially dangerous situation arises.

Having an Arc Flash Risk Assessment completed by qualified and trained professionals is highly important. Are you ready? Contact the experienced Arc Flash specialists at Thompson Automation and Specialty Services today to perform an arc flash analysis for your facility, complex, office, or campus.

For more information contact:

Phone: 844-321-3869

Email: sales@thompsonspecialty.com

Website: www.thompsonspecialty.com

 

OSHA’s Most Cited Violation in 2017 was TRAINING

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Given the nearly 5,000 recorded OSHA violations in 2017 related to Training it’s time to look at your companies training programs and make sure you are covered and not in violation of an OSHA rule.  Not only are nearly one-fifth of all OSHA violations in 2017 related to training, the #9 reason for citations alone was improper training related to fall protection.  OSHA is sending a very clear message to all employers; train your employees!

If you are wondering what to do then, the first place to start is with education and an understanding of what OSHA is asking you to do.  OSHA requires explicitly that the employer must train employees in the safety and health aspects of their job.  One place to find this information is in the Training Requirements in OSHA Standards, a 270-page book that provides a general overview of training standards, requirements, and related topics.  The book is to assist employers, safety and health professionals, and training directors with what they need to know regarding OSHA’s training-related requirements. You could also just start by looking at the list of most cited violations.

Ask yourself: Do your employees handle or work around dangerous chemicals?  Are we properly locking out when we work on electrical gear?  Have we conducted the proper electrical safety training or taught our employees on the proper use of fall safety equipment?  If the answer is ‘Yes’ and you are not conducting training – you better start.

As a nationally recognized leader of electrical safety and electrical preventative maintenance testing, Thompson Automation and Specialty Services is also a leader in electrical safety, preventative maintenance and technical training.  Thompson Training offers more than 60 specific courses in the areas of electrical safety and electrical preventative maintenance.  This breadth of courses provides us the opportunity to design a unique curriculum for your staff’s specific needs.  Whether the course is Electrical Safety for Non-Electrical Personnel, OSHA 30, or training on the most recent NFPA 70E 2018 updates; our expert trainers will connect with your team to deliver an impactful training session that increases your teams’ knowledge. Start 2018 off with a customized safety training plan.

SAFETY

Electrical Safety-Related Work Practices – Provide training to high-risk workers and management on OSHA requirements and the prevention of serious injuries from electrical hazards on the worksite. (OSHA Sub part S – Electrical)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Electrical Safety – Selecting, using and care of PPE used for arc flash and shock protection.

OSHA 30 – 30 hours of Regulations training over a minimum of 4 days, Introduction to OSHA, OSHA inspections, OSHA’s focus Four, (Falls, Struck By, Caught in-between, Electrocution), Confines Spaces, Ladders and Stairs, Scaffolding, Cranes, PPE, Excavations, tools, etc. (Training can be tailored to focus specific business hazards)

PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE

Electrical Preventative Maintenance Training – Infrared testing, good housekeeping practices, early failure indicators.

Troubleshooting Fundamentals – What to look for when troubleshooting electrical hazards, questions to ask.

TECHNICAL

Electrical Fundamentals – How electricity works, electrical applications, differences between the power at your house and your business.

NFPA 70E – Latest NFPA changes and how they affect your employees, NFPA & OSHA relationship

NEC® National Electrical Code Training – The latest changes to the National Electrical code and what those changes mean to your business.

If you want additional information don’t hesitate to contact us. Our phone number is 712-224-3873 and our website is www.thompsonspecialty.com. Again, thank you for attending and we hope to hear from you soon!

Jason Glover
General Manager

What does the new NFPA 70E 2018 Standard mean to you?

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The NFPA 70E has been the go-to playbook for electrical safety practices since 1979 when it was first published. To keep it updated and current, every three years it is revised to include new regulations and requirements for electrical safety. The 11th edition, also known as the 2018 version, is right around the corner and there are hundreds of minor and major revisions specifically, regarding Arc Flash that you need to educate yourself on.

So, what does all this mean to you the employer? Why should you care?

Complying with consensus standards can be difficult. NFPA 70E offers electrical safe work practices for the industry. The NFPA 70E is a how-to-comply instruction manual for several of OSHA’s regulations including electrical hazard assessments and how to select the appropriate PPE for electrical hazards. It is however ever changing and keeping up with all the changes can be difficult.

OSHA enforces compliance to NFPA 70E using Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, which is commonly referred to as the GENERAL DUTY CLAUSE, as the basis for implementation. As the employer, you “shall furnish to each of its employees’ employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees.” As a result, companies can be cited by OSHA for non-compliance of NFPA 70E.

It is more important than ever that you utilize a third party that specializes in Arc Flash Risk Assessments and has the experience and knowledge of the OSHA and NFPA 70E requirements. Call Thompson Automation and Specialty Services today at 844.321.3869 to learn more and to find out how we can help you stay compliant with OSHA and the new NFPA 70E standards.

www.thompsonspecialty.com

 

‘The Industrial Internet of Things’ (IIoT) Should Matter to Your Manufacturing Operation

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Manufacturing operations of all shapes, sizes, and types are using the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to achieve substantial competitive advantages, and improve profits.

The Industrial Internet, also sometimes referred to as Industry 4.0, is the connection and linking of concepts such as big data, analytical tools, and decision making, and connected networks with traditional industrial equipment.  It is about collecting and applying data to make better decisions, run facilities more efficiently, and in the end to improve profits. The IIoT is in the process of revolutionizing manufacturing.

Some ways that the IIoT has impacted traditional industrial manufacturers, food processors and those in agricultural processing is by improving the collection of system data that allows better record keeping, inspection tracking, and analysis in functional areas such as predictive maintenance, safety, and supply chain.  The IIoT advantages can be especially beneficial in those areas.

The promises of the IIoT and the changes that Industry 4.0 are bringing are no longer ‘coming attractions’.  They are here and for companies that embrace the potential of the IIoT there are substantial competitive advantages, increases in profit, and new opportunities abound.  This is a concept that deserves your attention.

If you have more questions or are looking for ideas and more information on the IIoT or other best practice automation programs give the experts at Thompson Automation and Specialty Services a call today.  Given their 30+ years of experience as an automation solutions provider, Thompson specializes in the development of custom controls and automation programs for customers across the country.   Thompson Automation is not about “products” and fitting you into the mold of what the “system” will do rather we focus our time fitting the best solution around your needs.  Crafting custom solutions to meet our customers’ specific needs is what we do.

www.thompsonspecialty.com

 

Thompson Automation Supports Technology Field Day at Loess Hills Elementary

 

Thompson Automation was excited to participate in a Technology Field Day at Loess Hills Elementary on October 26th.  The idea was born from a conversation between Kent Grange of Thompson and John Beeck the principal of Loess Hills.  As a technology-centric elementary school, it was a great opportunity to connect these young students with the technology used by Siouxland businesses.

A select group of local Siouxland Business’s presented to 5th graders as a showcase the various skills needed for different careers, with a large focus on literacy and technology.   “We were able to share with the students the different things that can be done with the programming and technology skills they are learning,” said Jason Glover of Thompson Automation.  “It was a really fun chance to help these students see what they do in school are the skills they will need in a career.”

The event was so successful that there is now talk about making the Technology Field Day an annual event.  Thompson’s participation was also part of a larger corporate program to be active in our communities and support local events.

Keep Your Electrical Gear Clean and Tight

Electrical failures often can be avoided and good preventative maintenance programs can help predict the imminent failure of equipment.  According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the failure rate of electrical equipment is three times higher when electrical preventive maintenance programs are not performed. This tells us that electrical failures can be avoided.

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But what should be included in a good electrical preventative maintenance program (EPM). There are so many things that could be done.  Equipment maintenance, cleaning, and thermal imaging are just a few of the things to be considered.  However, where does one put the priority?  Just consider the top causes of failure in electrical system: loose connections, improperly installed parts, defective/inadequate insulation, foreign objects causing short-circuiting, overloading inadequate capacity, and the accumulation of dust, dirt and oil.  All things that can be prevented with routine and systemic electrical inspections.

Common in all these causes of electrical equipment failure is gear not being clean and well maintained.  Here are things to keep in mind when developing an EPM.

  1. Keep your gear clean. The buildup of dirt and metal debris in an electrical enclosure can cause arcing and arc flash explosions. A second issue brought about by the buildup of dirt and debris is an increase in heat and the temperature of the electrical equipment.  Restricted airflow and an increase in the temperature of gear decreases the quality and usable life of the equipment.  Finally, a dirty environment also creates a hospitable home for rodents and vermin. Dust is not your only enemy in dirty environments and lurking to cause problems.
  2. Keep your gear tight. Loose connections are a major cause of electrical failures. Greater than 75% of the problems uncovered during routine thermal imaging inspections are loose connections. Thermography (infrared scanning) is a common way to identify areas that need repair but must be done while the gear is energized. While the gear is off and being cleaned why not take an extra minute to check and tighten those loose connections.

If you have more questions or are looking for ideas and more information on best practice electrical preventative maintenance programs give the experts at Thompson Automation and Specialty Services a call today.  Given their 85+ years of experience as an electrical contractor, Thompson specializes in the development of custom electrical preventative maintenance programs for customers across the country.  Thompson understands the importance of keeping facilities safe, efficient and operating at peak performance and can custom tailor a program for you.

www.thompsonspecialty.com

Nebraska Safety Council Conference and Trade Show

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Thompson Automation and Specialty Services was pleased to support the Nebraska Safety Council Conference and Trade Show October 11th and 12th, 2017 at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel in Lincoln, NE. This exciting conference brought together a larget group of safety professionals to keep current on a broad range of issues, get valuable training, and network with colleagues and industry experts. Jason Glover of Thompson was there to discuss some of the new OSHA, NFPA 70E, electrical safety and preventive maintenance needs for the varying industries in Nebraska.
 
Thompson strongly supports the Nebraska Safety Council and WorkWell mission of enhancing Nebraska’s safety initiatives by offering professional training, education and technical assistance. Great training and great technology allows the industry to propel itself forward and provide innovative solutions to solve Nebraska largest safety issues. Thompson Automation and Specialty Services provides automation & controls support and specialty electrical services to help our customers operate their facilities more efficiently, keep in compliance with government and safety standards, run electrical systems at optimal energy efficiency levels, and help reduce the ever-growing energy costs. Services like Arc Flash Risk Assessment, Thermal Imaging, Breaker Testing, Electrical Preventative Maintenance, and courses in Electrical Safety Training all help keep a work environment safe and free from accidents.
Contact us today for more information on how we can help your business operate safely, energy efficiently, cost-effectively, and in compliance for years to come.

South Dakota Safety Council

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Thompson Automation and Specialty Services was pleased to join the South Dakota Safety Council October 4, 2017, at the Sioux Falls Convention Center as they celebrated their 25th Annual South Dakota Safety & Health Conference!  This exciting conference brought together the largest group of safety professionals to keep current on a broad range of issues, get valuable training, and network with colleagues and industry experts.

If you were there you could have had the chance to hear a presentation on ARC Flash OSHA/NFPA 70E requirements by Jeff Bennett, Thompson Automation, and Specialty Services Corporate Safety Director.  Supported by OSHA, the current NFPA 70E changes bring a new level of regulations that employers must understand when it comes to Arc Flash, PPE and training requirements. This training program covered some of the important changes in the 2015 NFPA 70E regulations and gave attendees a better understanding of those requirements and what employers must do to protect their employees in the case of an arc flash event.

“Whatever your organization’s size or industry, if you’re responsible for workplace safety and health, this was a must-attend event in South Dakota”, expressed Jason Glover, General Manager of Thompson Automation and Specialty Services.  “If you could not make it and are interested in more information on Arc Flash safety and your requirements under OSHA and the NFPA contact us and he can help you out.  It is critically important that you understand these changing and complex regulations.”

For more information on Thompson Automation and Specialty Services reach out to us at 844-321-3869, visit our website at www.thompsonspecialty.com, or email us at help@thompsonspecialty.com.

The South Dakota Safety Council has a long history of effective programs, strong regulations, and dedicated professionals working together for safety.  The South Dakota Safety Council, a private, not-for-profit organization, has been dedicated to promoting safety and health for more than 68 years. They provide safety, health and risk avoidance training and services. Membership in the South Dakota Safety Council helps employers prevent injuries and costly claims, increase productivity and stay competitive. If you wish to join the 400+ employers who are members. Take a look at what membership can do to strengthen your safety and health programs. Learn more at: www.southdakotasafetycouncil.org/memb/benefits.cfm.