After price, performance and safety issues have been addressed, the two most significant concerns of operators commissioning control and instrumentation systems for remote sites and processing plants are usually reliability and long-term costs of ownership. LTCO for field equipment almost invariably far outweighs the initial costs (purchase price is usually well under 10% of the total) and maintenance issues, especially those that may lead to downtime, have the potential to cause enormous financial loss. Thermal problems are the direct cause of most malfunctions and shutdowns of electronic and electrical equipment. The reliability and correct functioning of electronics systems depend on keeping components within operational temperature parameters. As a rule of thumb, MTTF (mean time to failure) is cut in half with a 10°C rise in temperature.
Read the full article in the May issue of PBSI
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