All electrical products generate heat and therefore have the potential to be a fire risk if not properly maintained. Worksafe have highlighted in this months’ newsletter in conjunction with the Lighting Council the need to ensure that Fluorescent and High Intensity Discharge (HID) light fittings are being regularly maintained due to the number of fire related incidents they have been involved in recently.

Most fluorescent and HID lights supplied and installed in New Zealand over the past 30 years contain replaceable power factor correction capacitors. Regular maintenance including checking and replacing aged components is essential to ensure they operate safely and efficiently. HID type lights include metal halide, high pressure sodium and mercury vapour technologies.

Proper maintenance of any lighting system is essential to maintain levels of illumination necessary for productivity, merchandising, visual comfort, safety, and security. However, Worksafe’s key concern in highlighting the need for this essential maintenance is the increased risk of failure and fire these lights pose if not regularly maintained.


If an individual component fails and remains in the lighting system, costly damage to other components can result. Major repairs can often be avoided by simple maintenance procedures and timely attention to small problems, such as replacing burned-out lamps. Preventing a problem from occurring is more desirable and economical than fixing it later. A scheduled program of preventive maintenance can save money while maintaining productivity and safety.

EAS recommends the following servicing of fluorescent and HID lights to ensure best performance and safety:

  • Lights should be serviced at least every three years and whenever fluorescent tubes and HID lamps are replaced.
  • HID lighting fixtures should periodically be inspected for lamps cycling on and off, heavy
    lamp discoloration, dim lamps, slow-starting lamps, inoperative lamps and dust and dirt.
  • When any capacitors, ballasts, lamp holders or starters show signs of ageing. These should be replaced immediately.
  • Capacitors have a life span of five to ten year. These must be replaced within the 10 year period.
  • A maintenance record of the components, the dates they’ve been checked and the dates that any components have been replaced should be
    kept.  EAS can assist you with establishing and maintaining a maintenance record for
    your lighting.
  • Any lights that are subject to high ambient or external heat will require more regular checks and maintenance. EAS recommends a six monthly check for these lights.

EAS can coordinate the whole process of maintaining and installing your fluorescent and HID lighting. Ensure your lights are safe by getting in touch with the EAS team for a maintenance check today on 07 834 0505 or [email protected]

World Emoji Day Quiz Answers

  1. A Clockwork Orange
  2. The Princess Bride
  3. Watership Down
  4. Animal Farm
  5. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy


Thermal Imaging

One of the tricky things about electrical systems is that you often can’t see faults without taking things apart.

Thermal imaging is a non-intrusive, non-contact method of detecting electrical faults that are hidden to the naked eye. Thermal imaging can be used as a fault-finding measure or as preventative maintenance as it can indicate faults that you may be completely unaware of because electrical systems are largely hidden from view. Heat is often an early symptom of equipment damage or malfunction, making it important to monitor in preventative maintenance programmes.

Thermal imaging can reduce the likelihood of unplanned downtime due to equipment failure, reducing the costs of reactive maintenance and unplanned downtime. It can also help extend the lifespan of your assets.

Thermal imaging detects infrared radiation from an object. Based on the amount of energy detected it works out the temperature. This is translated into an electronic picture or thermograph which will highlight a warm object against the cooler area around it.

Thermal images can be greyscale with cold objects depicted as black, warmer ones as tones of grey and hot ones as white or the thermal camera can add colour with reds, yellows and oranges showing the warmer objects and greens, blues and purples and blacks showing the cooler ones.

There are 3 typical methods of thermal inspection:

  • Baseline thermography Equipment is scanned when it is first commissioned or later in the lifecycle when it is operating as it should. This is then used as a point of reference for future inspections.
  • Thermal trending Once a baseline has been set, thermal trending inspections can be undertaken to compare how temperature is distributed in the same components over time. This can help detect declining performance so you can schedule downtime maintenance before you have an equipment failure.
  • Comparative thermography
    Similar components are scanned with a thermal camera under similar conditions and the results are compared. This method relies on the idea that you can expect similar or identical components under similar loads to have similar temperature profiles. Once you have three or more components its relatively easy to pick up an anomaly.


What can you check with thermal imaging

  • Electrical Panels:
    Thermal images are an easy way to identify apparent temperature differences in industrial three-phase electrical circuits. By inspecting the thermal gradients of all three phases side by side, technicians can quickly spot performance anomalies on individual legs due to unbalance or overloading. Thermal images should be taken of all electrical panels and other high load connection points such as drives, disconnects, controls etc. Ideally electrical devices should be checked when they’re fully warmed up and at steady state conditions with at least 40% of a typical load. That way measures can be properly evaluated and compared to normal operating conditions.What to look for:
    Equal load should equate to equal temperatures. In an unbalanced situation, the more heavily loaded phases will appear warmer than the others due to the heat generated by resistance.


  • Roller, chain and belt conveyors
    Thermal imaging is especially useful for monitoring low-speed mechanical equipment like conveyors. Overheating signals the impending failure of many different electrical and mechanical conveyor components, from motors, gearboxes and drive to bearings, shafts and belts.What to look for:
    Any hot spots, paying special attention to differences in temperature of similar components operating under similar conditions. For some conveyor components such as drives, thermal imaging complements other condition monitoring technologies such as oil analysis, vibration monitoring and ultrasound.


  • Motors & Drives:
    Ideally motors should be checked when they are running under normal operating conditions. Thermal cameras can capture temperatures at thousands of points at once, for all of the critical components – the motor, shaft coupling, motor and shaft bearings and the gearbox.What to look for:
    All motors should list the normal operating temperature on the nameplate. While the thermal camera can’t see inside the motor the exterior surface temperature is an indicator of the internal temperature. As the motor gets hotter inside it also gets hotter outside. This will help identify where further investigation is required into the cause of the overheating such as inadequate airflow, impending bearing failure, shaft coupling problems and insulation degradation in the rotor or stator of the motor.


  • Steam systems:
    Thermal images of steam systems compare the temperatures of system components which indicates how effectively and efficiently they are operating. Using a combination of ultrasound and thermal inspections significantly increases the detection rate of problems in steam systems.What to look for:
    Steam traps are valves designed to remove condensate as well as air from the system. During inspections, both thermal and ultrasonic testing should be used to identify failed steam traps and whether they have failed open or close. In general, if a thermal image shows a high inlet temperature and low outlet temperature (<100°C) that indicates that the trap is functioning correctly. If the inlet temperature is significantly less than the system temperature, steam is not getting to the trap.


The EAS are highly skilled in carrying out thermal imaging. To check the condition of your vital equipment get in touch with the EAS team today on 07 834 0505 or [email protected].




Riddle Answer – July 2020

Riddle One:


The anwer is 73

The witch holding a broom and wand is worth 15

Each wand is worth 7

If you look closesly there are 4 broomsticks that = 12, therefore a broomstick is worth 3

Final equation

A broom (3) + A witch without a wand or broomstick (15-7-3=5) x 2 wands (14)

3 + 5 x 14 = 73 (remembering your BODMAS or BEDMAS rules)


Riddle two:

1. Green. Yellow, red and blue are primary colors, green is not.

2. December. The other months have only 30 days.

3. Calculus. The others are cloud types.

4. Cabbage. The others are vegetables that grow underground.

5. Shovel. The others have prongs.

Riddle Answers – June 2020


The Answer is 042

Didn’t get it right? Check out these instructions for how to solve it.



The answer is 23

pair of shoes = 10
Boy = 5
Double burger = 4
One shoe = 5
Boy with 2 burgers = 9
One burger = 2

One shoe + (Boy with 2 burgers x one burger)

= 5+9×2

= 5 + 18

= 23

Planned (Preventative) Maintenance

Planned maintenance allows you to maximise the performance of your plant by ensuring that it stays running safely for as long as possible without any unplanned downtime.

Planned maintenance means you consider how to ensure your machines run effectively and plan when the work or maintenance needs to be done so it has the least impact on production. For instance, changing the oil in your car when the oil light comes on is not planned maintenance, you are now having to take action because an alert has been sounded. Scheduling and changing the oil in your car because it has done a certain amount of kms and is due for an oil change is preventative maintenance.


The planned maintenance schedule for your business will depend on the specifics of your plant and equipment. Factors that may contribute to it include:

  • Running hours
  • Number of items produced
  • Distance travelled
  • Seasonal
  • Or other measurable factors.

The types of planned maintenance that may need to be carried out include:

  • Changing lubricant
  • Part upgrade/replacement
  • Machine upgrades
  • A check of all equipment should also be done to proactively identify any potential performance problems.


Planned maintenance activities may also be developed after experiencing ongoing faults. For example, EAS were called out to look at a variable speed drive (VSD) running an extraction fan which kept overheating and tripping in summer. While doing this job, our team conducted a check of the VSD cooling system – checking whether filters needed to be changed, removing dust build up from fans, clearing cooling fins and checking the cooling system was fit for purpose. By programming these activities into a planned maintenance schedule, the recurrence of breakdown was reduced.


As part of EAS’ planned maintenance activities for our customers we:

  • Check the correct installation and operation of circuit components
  • Conduct thermography reports
  • Carry out a general check of various cabinet/area cooling systems
  • Check the condition of all electrical components associated with the CCT for example noting worn cables, contactors, relays, tripped overloads, any loose cable terminals, noisy/vibrating motors;
  • Conduct lighting inspections
  • Check all isolators/e-stops, safety barriers/guards are in place, function and are fit for purpose.

These checks enable maximum efficiency as the EAS team are able to gather the necessary parts, operate to best practices and ensure the asset is shut down safely before starting work. Because the work is planned the actual maintenance is generally completed quicker, safer and more effectively that if the asset failed unexpectedly.


Major Benefits of Planned Maintenance

The main benefit of planned maintenance is that it allows work to be scheduled to minimise its impact on production. This may mean scheduling planned maintenance during times of the year when there is less demand, where there is an upcoming window where the plant will be off or carrying out maintenance at night when most of the facility is not operating.

Other direct benefits of planned maintenance include:

  • Reduced unplanned equipment downtime
  • Improved overall equipment performance.
  • Reduced repair costs as problems are fixed while they are minor.
  • Better planning of spare parts use and ordering.
  • Ensuring manufacturer’s requirements for warranty compliance are met.
  • Reduced overall maintenance costs.
  • Improved cashflow for the business as costs can be planned for and spread throughout the year.


Implementing a Planned Maintenance System

Implementing a planned maintenance system requires the involvement of everyone affected by the timing and quality of maintenance. This includes the maintenance department, production, safety and external contractors. Of course, senior management who will be approving any costs associated with the work will also need to be involved.


Working with EAS on your Planned Maintenance programme

EAS are experts in maintenance and reliability. Our experience working as part of a manufacturing team means we understand your timeframes, the need to balance budgets and we’re always on the look-out for ways to benefit your business.

When EAS carry out your planned maintenance, we can upload your data into our management software so we can alert you when your next inspection is required.

If you would like help with carrying out your planned maintenance or developing a planned maintenance plan for your business, get in touch with the EAS team today on 07 834 0505 or [email protected]

EEHA – Electrical Equipment in Hazardous Areas

In electrical engineering a hazardous area is a place where a fire or explosion hazard may exist due to:

  • flammable gases or vapours
  • combustible dusts or ignitable fibres

which may be present in the air in quantities sufficient to produce explosive or ignitable mixtures.


Where are hazardous areas found?

Places like oil refineries, chemical plants and sewerage treatment plants are areas where hazardous gas vapours may be present; however, many companies don’t realise dust can also create hazardous areas in places such as food and beverage manufacturers, plastics factories and recycling operations.


Typical industries with hazardous areas:


Due to the risks associated with these hazardous areas, staff accredited with an EEHA qualification need to take responsibility for installing and maintaining any electrical equipment in these areas. The electrical equipment installed in these areas must also be specifically designed and tested to ensure it doesn’t cause an explosion either due to arcing or its high surface temperature.

While the development of technology and rigorous health and safety practices have improved the safety of today’s manufacturing operations; the inherent risk of combining electrical equipment and hazardous areas still exists. Therefore, staff working in these areas must carry EEHA certification.


EEHA qualified people can:

  • identify hazardous areas
  • understand hazardous area drawings
  • understand explosion protection techniques
  • are skilled in equipment installation in these areas
  • are familiar with procedures for breakdowns and the maintenance of equipment in hazardous areas
  • ensure all hazardous area dossiers are updated.

At EAS we have team members certified in EEHA and can assist you with the full process of installing or maintaining electrical equipment in a hazardous area.


Electrical equipment in hazardous areas

Explosive atmospheres have different chemical properties that affect the likelihood and severity of an explosion. Every substance has a differing combination of properties, but it has been found that they can be ranked in similar ranges, simplifying the selection of equipment for hazardous areas. This table shows the different classifications applied to electrical equipment.


Another important consideration when selecting equipment to be used in a hazardous area is its temperature classification. The surface temperature of electrical equipment which may be exposed to the hazardous atmosphere needs to be tested to ensure it does not exceed 80% of the auto ignition temperature of the specific gas or vapour in the area it is being used. The different temperature tiers are:

All electrical equipment installed in a hazardous area should carry ICE/Ex certification which states what zone it can be used in and the temperature it has been rated to.



When installing electrical equipment in hazardous areas it is essential that:

  • Checks are done of existing hazardous area inspections and drawings.
  • A hazardous area drawing and dossier is created, if it does not already exist.
  • All electrical equipment to be installed carries ICE/Ex certificate.
  • Installation of new equipment is carried out by EEHA qualified electricians.

EAS can coordinate the whole process of maintaining and installing electrical equipment in hazardous areas for you. From inspections, drawings, installation, testing and certification. EAS can deliver you a complete turnkey solution.

If you’re planning a new equipment installation in your plant, which is classed as a hazardous area, or need to conduct maintenance on equipment in hazardous areas; get in touch with the EAS team today on 07 834 0505.

When it comes to safety precautions and installation practices in hazardous areas, our team does not cut corners.

Time to check your smoke alarms

Over 80% of fatal New Zealand house fires start through smoke alarm neglect, which is why it’s crucial that heat and smoke detectors are installed and regularly maintained. Smoke and heat detectors should be maintained on a six-monthly basis which is why we are often reminded to check them at the beginning and end of day light savings. Now, while we are all spending more time at home is a great time to make sure that you have the right detectors installed and that they are operating correctly.


Types of smoke alarms:

Smoke detectors, or smoke alarms, use either photoelectric or ionisation sensors to detect smoke.


Ionisation alarms

Ionisation alarms are most effective at detecting fast-flaming fires that burn and spread quickly. However, they can be prone to nuisance alarms from cooking and steam so shouldn’t be located near your kitchen or bathroom.

Ionisation smoke detectors use a small amount of radioactive material to ionize air in an internal chamber to allow a constant current that flows back and forth between two metal plates. Once smoke enters the chamber it mixes with the ionised air causing the current flow to stop which will sound the alarm


Photoelectric alarms
Photoelectric alarms are best at detecting slow smouldering fires, which can burn for hours before bursting into flame. Photoelectric alarms work in a similar way to ionisation alarms but instead of an electric current they use a beam of light. When smoke enters the chamber, some of the light is scattered and hits the sensor, triggering the alarm.


Dual sensor alarms
These contain both an ionisation sensor and a photoelectric sensor, so they provide the best and worst features of both types. They can be a good option, but as with any ionisation alarm, it’s not recommended to installed them near a kitchen or bathroom.
Other types of alarms:

Heat Detectors
Heat detectors sound an alert when a temperature increase is detected.

This type of detector is usually used in rooms that aren’t frequently occupied, as they take a little longer to detect a fire than a smoke detector, however the benefit they offer is that they have fewer false alarms as they do not react to steam, dust, humidity or precipitation.

Heat detectors are also a good option for kitchens, as they will not be set off when you accidentally burn your toast.


Carbon Monoxide alarms

Carbon monoxide is a waste product of gas heating so if you have a gas heating system it is worth installing a carbon monoxide alarm in case the heater develops a fault.


What type of smoke alarms should you install?

The NZ Fire Service recommends that you install hard wired and interconnected smoke alarms so that if one alarm is set off they will all sound an alert.

If you are unable to install hard wired alarms, they recommend the use of long-life photoelectric smoke alarms. These have an inbuilt long-life battery, so you don’t need to worry about replacing it (or it going off in the middle of the night when the battery runs low), you simply replace the whole unit every 10 years.

EAS can help you with installing smoke alarms in your home – both long-life and hard wired solutions. If you would like assistance with annual testing, we can help with that too. Just give us a call on 834 0505 or [email protected]


How many smoke alarms should I have?

The NZ Fire Service recommends that you install a smoke alarm in every bedroom, hallway and living area as smoke alarms cannot detect smoke through a closed door.

The NZ building code is slightly less stringent and requires an approved smoke alarm to be fitted in every escape route (hallway) and within 3m of a bedroom door.

The Residential Tenancy Act requires landlords install and replace expired smoke alarms with long-life battery photoelectric alarms.


Regular testing & maintenance:

Smoke alarms provide an important safety measure for your home or business but it is essential that you maintain them so they can provide you with piece of mind.
We recommend you check your ionisation smoke detectors monthly. This can be done by spraying a can of smoke, which can be purchased at the likes of Bunnings, near each detector head to ensure it is sensing the smoke and reacting as required. On your home alarms, there may be the option to instead use the test button to check the alarm.



If you would like help with installing or maintaining the smoke alarms in your home, get in touch with the EAS team today on 07 834 0505 or [email protected]

Riddle answers – May 2020 newsletter

1.  It was daytime so he could easily be seen.

2.  No. Because he is dead!

3.  Wednesday. All the other days are mentioned more than once.