Thursday, February 24, 2011

Poor Big Bird

No, this isn't a Sesame Street reference! ;-)

One day at CFC the power went out, sort of. Some of the offices had power and some didn't. Maybe a circuit breaker tripped? No, that wasn't it. Like most factories we had 3 phase power. Some parts of the building ran off one phase, and some another. One of the phases went out. This was no big deal for office equipment, but on the factory floor some of the motorized equipment required all 3 phases. If a phase dropped out while a motor was running, it could stall and even burn out. Some of the motors did burn out. Even worse, there was a reflow machine with a steel wire conveyor which ran fiberglass circuitboards through an oven to melt the solder plating to give it a nice shiny finish. The conveyor stopped moving, and the boards caught on fire and filling the factory with a nasty odor. Burning epoxy smells really, really bad.

It took a while to get all this repaired.

Outside on the curb was the cause of all this trouble. A very large bird (maybe a stork?) had decided to take a break. It chose a very dangerous place to sit and met an untimely demise. Up on the utility pole there was a large power transformer which had exploded, and on top of that? A large bird, burnt into a very black cinder, the recipient of that day's Darwin Award!

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