PIPELINE SEALING/ISOLATION CASE STUDY
Applications Consulting / 1 Day
A manufacturer of pipeline sealing, and electrical isolation products requested an on-site visit from our Applications Consulting Team to gain an understanding of their test application; how to safely operate their test equipment and properly record test data. Prior to the visit, the client was uncertain on how to proceed with their testing. This group was responsible for performing dielectric withstand testing on isolation joints of various sizes to ensure proper assembly. The test equipment used at the client’s facility was that of an Ikonix competitor. Due to the limited training received from the Ikonix competitor the group was unfamiliar with electrical safety testing and felt uncomfortable using the Hipot test equipment. The internal specifications for dielectric withstand testing required a 5kV ACW test for 60 seconds, with a max limit of 1mA.
Our team completed a thorough assessment of various production lines and current testing procedures. Most of the products were failing due to the Hi-Limit threshold being set to a very low value of 1mA. Our team explained that the test standards do not provide a pass/fail numeric threshold for leakage current, instead it requires a no “breakdown” requirement. The client was relieved to learn that the 1mA limit threshold can be increased to accommodate larger device under tests (DUTs), which typically exhibit higher leakage current values. Our team then proceeded to explain the fundamentals of conducting a Hipot test and safe work practices. A select amount of the clients’ DUT’s were extremely heavy, requiring a forklift to move these DUT enclosures into the testing area. It was suggested to leave the DUT on the wooden pallets while testing, as it provides the necessary isolation from ground. Together we tested sample DUT’s and began optimizing the storage of results on a PC. We noticed a trend of leakage current values increasing with the size of the DUT. We explained that this is normal with larger products since there is more surface area for the same thickness of insulation. Our team tested about 20 sample DUT’s and found two were faulty due to a direct short; this was verified by using a megohmmeter.
• Competitor equipment training and functionality
• Program, edit, and save test memories
• Safe workstation practices
• Recording test data
In the end, the group felt confident in performing their required tests and operating test equipment. Our team offered many suggestions for safety improvements such as personal protective equipment and utilization of the interlock feature with their sliding enclosure door. The client uses an old tester model, which is competitor branded, and was recommended to upgrade their test equipment for safety and accuracy purposes.