When Do You Shut Down Machines For Bad Weather? - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Many of the machine tool foundations I made drawings for had extensive grounding from the manuf.
    a grid of ground rods all around the machine, bonded with thermite junctions in place.
    I have done the same thing, no grid at the machine, just a single copper rod. The machine is grounded twice, to that rod, and then back to the shop service entrance earth ground, also since this is a sub panel off a main service the grounds are all separated from the neutrals. Since I did that and replaced a couple CNC machine power supplies (the cheap ones similar to those in PCs) and had my Fanuc black boxes populated with newer components, my issues with power drops and fluctuations during storms has stopped causing controller damage. No idea if it was coincidence or a solution.

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    When there is so much water in the building that the sharks are going after the dogs, that's when we shut down.

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    "When Do You Shut Down Machines For Bad Weather?"

    When I see an Ark floating by.....:
    Bill Cosby - Noah - YouTube

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glug View Post




    The solar array they are installing in my area has single axis tracking panels that pivot east to west. They position vertically to remove snow and clean in the rain.
    So they use energy to reposition, and are not providing power at that time.

    Doo you keep them sprayed with PAM too ?

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdmidget View Post
    Won't help at all. Grid tied solar systems go down with the grid to prevent backfeeding and killing the people working to restore service.
    This is absolutely not true. A grid-tie solar system with batteries will run independently when the grid is down, it will of course disconnect it's inverter from the grid side and monitor for utility power restoral, but it most certainly will not shut down the inverter for local loads.

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  7. #46
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    Our plant in the mountains has 12 CNC’s in 6000 sqft. We’ve lost power a few dozen times over the 40 years we’ve been here, anywhere from momentary interruptions to 4 days. Overall, the trend for us has actually been an improvement in consistent power delivery. The days when a windy day could cause power issues are gone. Our electricity company, PPL, has done a great job of clearing back the trees, replacing old poles, etc. That’s the positive.
    What drives us absolutely nuts is when the power goes out on a clear blue sky day. First thought is that someone hit a pole, and while that does happen, it is pretty rare. More often, I’ll call the emergency number, and find out that “oh yeah, we have crews in the area working on the lines making some improvements.” Grrr..Could they give us a call and give us a window? How many businesses would they actually have to call to give us a heads up? How many on life-sustaining medical equipment? In our area, not many.
    With all that said, when there is weather in the area, we look at our MyRadar app on our phones, and when there is a LOT of red bearing down on us, we shut it down. That’s our protocol: a big red cell, five minutes out. My rationale is: for all the things we can’t control, here is the one time we can. Put the machines on single block, or optional stop, carefully avoiding shutting down in the middle of a tool change, or pallet change, and just take a pause for a few minutes. I would much rather do that than scrap a part on the lathe because of an X-axis drop on a tight diameter. Or snap an endmill on the HMC because the Y-axis brake didn’t hold.
    It’s a chance to sweep up, move material around, add coolant, etc. I think of it like a mini-Snow Day. It passes and we get back at it. We have a lot to do.

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  9. #47
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    If I hear thunder or see lightning, I immediately shut down. Mostly the thunder is first, but a few times I would see a flash in the windows and that was enough for me. CNCs got powered down as did the PCs.

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    Grrr..Could they give us a call and give us a window? How many businesses would they actually have to call to give us a heads up?
    I'm not a fan of my electric company, but they always send a letter a few weeks before
    they have a planned shut down, and its usually in the middle of the night. Last one
    was from midnight to 3am.

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    I generally don't shut down for weather...Rarely have anything severe here....Lightening on occasion.
    I have industrial surge protectors on the power to the CNC 's.....
    Cheers Ross

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregSY View Post
    Running CNC machines of any size on a UPS system? Hardly feasible unless someone else is paying for it...UPS gets quite expensive as the HP goes up.

    Run a refinery or chem plant....maybe consuming 75,000HP continuously....and you're making $1M per day in profit. What do you do when the power goes out? Do you have it all on a UPS system? Nope. You shut down and lose $1M/day. That's because it's cheaper to lose $1M/day than it is to have a UPS system.
    You'd never "run" a CNC environment "off a UPS".

    You'd have a generator to run the shop if main power dropped, and any UPS config would only be intended to bridge the small amount of time between power drop and generator pick-up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vandytech View Post
    What drives us absolutely nuts is when the power goes out on a clear blue sky day. First thought is that someone hit a pole, and while that does happen, it is pretty rare. More often, I’ll call the emergency number, and find out that “oh yeah, we have crews in the area working on the lines making some improvements.” Grrr..Could they give us a call and give us a window? How many businesses would they actually have to call to give us a heads up? How many on life-sustaining medical equipment? In our area, not many.
    We have quite a list of things that can cause outages or blinks in the power. Buzzards roosting on transformers a mistake they do not repeat. Squirrels similarly cross the terminals. Large fisher birds sometimes short the wires and start fires underneath. First drizzly day after months of no rain will cause the insulators to conduct with all the accumulated dust from gravel roads (this also starts fires on the poles, we have responded to multiple fires on the same day when this happens). Crop dusting planes have knives attached to their rudders so if the pilot misjudge things the wire gets cut instead of tearing the rudder off and killing the pilot. I have called after a blink and this is what happened. One time it was a tree on my place falling across the line and starting a fire as well as cutting our electricity. Here is another one, wild pigs will rub against the base of poles to get the creosote on them to control the itch from biting insects, with the sandy mud from wallowing, they really wear the poles down. Many of our poles are 1/2 the diameter at the base. The wind breaks them easily then. Sometimes 3 or 4 of them in a row will go down with a gust.

    On the crop duster thing I called my neighbor who does crop dusting to tell him about that safety knife thing and he said "sshhhh, do not say that loud as we already have them and we do not want our wives to know they have used them a number of times already".

    On the 2 Omniturns that we use most often each has a 1500 watt UPS to keep the units from crashing when the power blinks. It really does not happen all that often just 20 years of being out here and in the local volunteer fire department. A lot of the fires and outages we responded to did not affect my place.

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    My brother works in Silicon Valley, he told me they have UPS (battery backups) that can do 220 or 480 volts and a hundred amps for the racks full of computers. You can get them in single or 3-phase. Not cheap, (~$50k) but they do work. That would give the guys enough time to do a proper shutdown when the lights go out.


    Quote Originally Posted by swarfmeister View Post
    In hindsight, getting those few extra hours of production time at the cost of four days of downtime wasn't such a good bargain. So I'm wondering if anyone has a formal set of hard limits in place saying that if one or more of the following conditions exist, or are likely to exist, shut this machine down. I'm looking to establish a formally documented baseline so that we're all more or less all working out of the same playbook.

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    We are at the mercy of Centerpoint Energy for our power distribution. Where I am, the power trips on cloudless, sunny days, as much as it does during inclement weather. I don't know why, but the power here sucks arse!!!
    We have to shut down machines on average 2 times a month.

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    When I was buying for laboratory instrumentation, quality double-conversion UPS systems in the 5kVA range cost $15k. They did not go up linearly in price above that, either. They got VERY expensive VERY fast. For a nice Toshiba it was likely close to $40k for something that can run one or two small CNC spindles for a few minutes. That would allow you to get the tools up out of the cuts and shut things down.

    We had power go out when a tree fell on a line a few months ago. I had just shut down for the day to go home, but the neighbor had a dozen swiss spindles running and miraculously not a single tool was in a cut! What are the chances... The last time he had the power go out he said it was several thousand dollars in broken tools and tool holders between all the machines.

    If thunder and lightning are constant and close, I'll shut down and let it pass. For me a few hours of productivity are nothing compared to any downtime due to significant damage, or trashing a tool body and big chunk of raw stock.

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    Bad weather forecast not stopping.
    A kill off all is maybe one bad part for me. For others one part is a very big oh-shit

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    ... which is why you guys need to join the national grid and have some actual regulation. Then that shit wouldn't happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pavt View Post
    ... which is why you guys need to join the national grid and have some actual regulation. Then that shit wouldn't happen.
    O-HI-O Pulled down the whole grid last time.....Join and let the goobenoor of NYS shut you all down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swarfmeister View Post
    So we have several CNC profit centers that tend to be sensitive to partial and intermittent power outages. Historically, it's been the call of the department leads and the shift supervisor to run during times of significant risk of loss of power. We're kinda in the boonies, so this is not a particularly uncommon occurrence.

    When the remnants of Ida came through we had what was likely a crash due to power fluctuation on one of our main production machines being run on second shift. Since the operator wasn't quite up to speed on how to recover, several downstream problems happened resulting in the machine being down for the next four days.

    In hindsight, getting those few extra hours of production time at the cost of four days of downtime wasn't such a good bargain. So I'm wondering if anyone has a formal set of hard limits in place saying that if one or more of the following conditions exist, or are likely to exist, shut this machine down. I'm looking to establish a formally documented baseline so that we're all more or less all working out of the same playbook.
    We shut down only if we experience the loss of one leg which has happened, that's bad for anything that runs on 3 phase. Other than that we have had many power failures and it has never caused any damage to any of our equipment . Now once the power is out of course everything gets shut down except the lights until it comes back on . I put a UPS on my computer which has saved me many hours but a UPS large enough to run much of anything else I think might be quite expensive. Lightning strikes are quite a different matter, that has never happened here that I know of, the building has a metal roof I am not sure if that offers any protection or not


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