Perspectives: Plant InSites

Don’t Trust Data Sheets

Entries often don’t correspond to actual equipment performance

By Andrew Sloley, Contributing Editor
Jun 10, 2016

Our industry uses the term “data sheet” to refer to a description of what equipment is supposed to do. Yet, such sheets often list specifications or estimates rather than hard data. Nevertheless, the term “data sheet” leads many engineers to automatically assume the numbers on it accurately represent what the equipment should do. It’s difficult to avoid jumping to this conclusion even after years of experience — indeed, some people never learn to question entries. Unfortunately, this leads to confusion and errors that can undermine equipment troubleshooting and plant modifications.

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