HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Guest Blogs

Circuit Protection Beyond the Numbers

NO RATINGS
Page 1 / 2 Next >
View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/2  >  >>
naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
You need to use the proper part
naperlou   9/19/2012 8:59:01 AM
NO RATINGS
TJ, while there are always potential problems on the maintenance end where there can be a substitution, I don't believe that this is the manufacturer's fault.  Back when we had fuses at home (sometime in the third quarter of the last century of the last millenium) we made sure we had a full set of the correct fuses on hand.  We also made sure we put the correct fuse in as a replacement.  Now, my father worked in an place where precision was paramount, so it was in his nature that we did so. 

Now, the situation you describe is probably all too common these days.  I think it becomes a management issue to ensure that you are properly equipped with spares. 

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Re: You need to use the proper part
TJ McDermott   9/19/2012 10:06:33 AM
NO RATINGS
I agree with all that you say, Naperlou, but I also believe that short-sighted management decisions lead to litigation for assigning blame when something goes wrong.

I've watched the quality of maintenance departments decline over the years - pick your reason why:  lower pay offered, staff cuts leading to overwork, running equipment longer without commesurate maintenance.  All reasons point to maximizing profit.

When a manufacturer names three similar but functionally very different items with very similar part numbers, ANYONE can make a mistake.

ATQR

ATDR

ATMR

The varying character should either be first, or last, plain and simple.

I've seen a number of maintenance departments run on a shoe-string budget (penny-wise, pound foolish) and am amazed at what the technicians can do with almost nothing.  That environment is ripe for misusing a same-sized but differently rated fuse.

LindaK220
User Rank
Iron
Littelfuse Part Number Correction
LindaK220   9/19/2012 3:55:16 PM
NO RATINGS
Just a side note - Littelfuse has an equivalent to the Bussmann KTKR - and that is the KLKR Series.  Datasheet here:  http://www.littelfuse.com/~/media/Files/Littelfuse/Technical%20Resources/Documents/Data%20Sheets/Littelfuse%20Fuses%20CC%20CD.pdf.  Have a great day!

bbrents
User Rank
Iron
Re: You need to use the proper part
bbrents   9/20/2012 2:15:58 AM
NO RATINGS
One alternative is to use a resettable polymer PTC (PolySwitch Device) instead of a fuse.  That way, after the fault condition is cleared and the power is removed, it will reset itself to the low resistance condition, and the sytsem will work again.  This eliminates the possibility of someone useing the wrong fuse.  I should point out that these devices are not designed for large power systems, but in lower votlage applicatoins and circuit board level applications, they are very useful. 

wbswenberg
User Rank
Gold
Over Current Ciruit Protection
wbswenberg   9/20/2012 9:59:00 AM
NO RATINGS
I perfer ciruit breakers in the applications I'm involved.  And the same or similar information applies.

Some of my motorcycle ciruits were over loaded.  The solder holding the fuse element melted but the element and fuse was still "good". 

We had a coffee vender that had a problem with a 50 amp CB kicking out.  Well it was very hot inside the coffe shack and the thermal CB was only working as design.  You have to get the heat out of the environment not replace the CB. 

We were challenged for 60 Hz ciruit protection for a flying test bed that used much GPTE intended for ground use.  The only manufacturer Cultler - Hammer with some slight derating.  Typical 400 Hz CBs do not open wide enought to quelch the 60 Hz arc.

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Re: You need to use the proper part
TJ McDermott   9/20/2012 10:23:22 AM
NO RATINGS
bbrents, polyfuses are in general not rated above 60V.  Class CC fuses are rated for 600V and are branch circuit rated.  That was the focus of this article.

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: You need to use the proper part
Nancy Golden   9/20/2012 11:41:41 AM
NO RATINGS
I agree wholeheartedly with your statement, "That environment is ripe for misusing a same-sized but differently rated fuse." Maintenance personnel are also not necessarily conversant with subtle nuances like time-delay versus fast blowing fuses...I had a friend that used to work on control boxes for door openers and I would shudder to see what he would pull out of a fuse holder in place of the correct fuse - tin foil, screws and pennies were popular choices.

The nature of electronics demands that folks may need to substitute parts but to do so without proper cross-referencing them is to me, very shabby work. Unforeseen problems may or may not develop with parts that are not OEM or are comparable but specs aren't exactly the same and these problems are hard to predict.

While I see your concern and the reality is, people will often make assumptions without further verification, I think having the responsibility of replacing a part should require the person doing it to make sure the part is adequate for the task. So if we are speaking about the ideal - the fuses would always be verified. But companies have to deal with reality. A smart manager would make sure there is a ready supply of the correct fuses available!



TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Re: You need to use the proper part
TJ McDermott   9/20/2012 1:09:10 PM
NO RATINGS
Nancy, I agree with your entire statement.  I was trying to make the point of where "anticipated misuse" or "product misuse".

Much as I might hate to bring lawyers into a discussion like this, this link has a rather good explanation.

http://www.phillipslawoffices.com/firmnews/products-liability/product-misuse-defense-in-products-liability-lawsuits/

It's something that must be kept in mind as a designer brings a creation to fruition.

 

 

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Circuit protection Vs Evil Lawyers
William K.   9/20/2012 10:12:02 PM
NO RATINGS
At some point the owners of equipment must assume responsibility for not behaving in a stupid manner! This is particularly applicable to fuses, and the replacement of fuses. When we mark a fuse holder with a particular fuse type and rating that is what should be used as a replacement. It is the users responsibility to install the correct fuse type and size. An individual who does not understand that is fundaamentally unqualified to do the job. It is that simple. Unfortunately the courts are choosing to reward stupidity at the expense of the rest of us.

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Circuit protection Vs Evil Lawyers
TJ McDermott   9/20/2012 11:16:23 PM
NO RATINGS
William K, I'm sure you're happy to hear that you'd make a bad lawyer.  You're thinking too sensibly.

I agree with you, and I bet most readers do too.  That doesn't change the fact that improper fuse use happens, doesn't change the fact that product misuse happens all the time.  As the link I gave stated, a screwdriver used to open a paint can is a misuse of the tool which should be expected.

The woman who initially won her civil suit against McDonalds for their too-hot coffee should have been sensible enough to expect a burn with hot liquid near her lap.  A jury disagreed and gave her a substantial award for her utter stupidity.

Luckily, an appeals judge had more sense and drastically slashed the award.

What you said is what SHOULD happen, but is not what DOES happen.

Just once, I'd like to see a news story about a judge who told the plaintiff "Are you a complete idiot?  Are you unable to pour water from a boot even when the instructions are printed on the heel?  Case dismissed for utter lack of common sense".

Page 1/2  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Guest Blogs
Businesses cutting across industries are increasingly making use of portable display stands in the UK for marketing.
Igus retrofitted a car with 56 of its plastic iglide bearings to celebrate the brand's 30th anniversary. The car is currently being driven across the US and Canada.
The first and most obvious lesson of the following story is to remember to consider creep, along with all other potential failure modes.
Medical devices will look and feel different in the next 20 years, because, as design and product development people, our criteria are changing.
The properties of stainless steel make it well suited for a wide range of applications, but many of the things engineers think they know about stainless steel aren’t true.
Design News Webinar Series
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/13/2014 10:00 a.m. California / 1:00 p.m. New York / 6:00 p.m. London
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Sep 8 - 12, Get Ready for the New Internet: IPv6
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: September 30 - October 2
Sponsored by Altera
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service