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  1. #1
    RamsFanSam's Avatar
    RamsFanSam is offline Pro Bowl Ram
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    Grrrr....Poor Translation Rant!

    OK, here's the story:

    In January, one of our hospital's two vacuum pumps decided to destroy itself. Being an ITT Pneumotive product made in Louisiana, I figured obtaining a replacement would be fairly easy.

    Wrong. ITT sold the plant to another company. This new owner did the same, and so on. So, my quest for a vacuum pump became more difficult. Almost a week after the pump flew apart, I finally heard back from an air compressor distributor who said he could get me a similar unit.

    Wrong again. The vacuum pump he wanted to sell me was radically different. So, I again went on a search for another distributor. About another week passed, and he showed up with some information about a Dekker pump, made in Michigan. It was larger than we needed, and had features that weren't really necessary. It was also $18K (shipping not included), but it was the only one we could find that matched our needs close enough, and it would be delivered in just two weeks.

    Wrong. It was delivered last week. All 1850 pounds of it. Fun to unload from a semi when you don't have a forklift or loading dock, but with the driver's help and some engineering know-how, we got it unloaded. After devising a method to move the pump from ground level to our boiler room, which is five feet lower, we got it next to it's final location: The vacuum tank. Last Thursday, three of us came up with a solution to raise it the six feet up to the mounting plate using a hydraulic jack, a chain hoist, a come along, and a welder. After it was bolted into place, it sat until today.

    The pump I ordered has a simple 3 phase, 230/460 volt motor...made in Spain by a German company headquartered in Italy that is a subsidiary of a British company. Of course, the corporate offices are in Sweden, but the wiring diagram was printed in Mexico by a Swiss company owned by a Chezch firm.

    I know t1, t2, t3, and L1, L2, and L3. This label didn't have that. Now, I understand the need for multi-national sales, but come on, the only wording on the entire documenation was a very lousy Spanish translation, a poorly spelled Italian translation that was only half complete, and something I think was Cryllic. (It was Russian)

    I called the company I bought it from. Poor old Don came out, looked at it, scratched his head and said "I ain't never seen something like this", so I called the Dekker company up north. They said the wiring diagram was located on the inside of the contral panel - which I didn't need, since I already had a functional panel. Mr. Tech Assistance then said the diagram was not available online, nor did he have a copy since the actual assembly of the product occured in Tiawan.

    OK, I'm not a bad electrician. I looked at the sensors, sending units, switches, etc., and began disassembling the unit to see how it was wired. Not too bad, and I figured out all but a couple of things within an hour. The temperature sensor and filter alarms are the only things I still need to solve, except for the motor. BTW, did I mention that the motor didn't have an ID plate?

    I decided a Google search was in order. I found the webpage of the company, but nothing else. On a chance, I found out that the company also makes some rather large variable-speed drives for industry. OK, so I look up a .pdf document...992 pages. About 30 minutes later, I found ONE page that had an English translation.

    After looking up the European electrical terminology and symbology, I found that I needed to earth the frame. OK, that is easy...the frame has to be grounded. Those cute little fuse symbols aren't fuses, they are indicative of supply voltage...but nero, rosso, and blanco? (At least I knew blanco was white....) I also found that I needed to figure out if my motor was a delta or 'star' motor. I never heard of a 'star' motor. I was almost ready to call Dez.

    I broke out my multimeter, and I found out that a 'star' motor is a 'wye'. (Grrrrrr.) There were no jumpers, no markings on the wires, and 12 terminals. I took 2 Tylenol, took a smoke and Pepsi break, and on my way back in, I found the ID plate on the floor. Of course, it was written in Italian.

    After I got it all wired up, I was talking with my boss who is fluent in Spanish, English, French, and Portugese, and he said....

    "Why didn't you ask Carol? She was an Army nurse over in Germany and can read Chezch and Russian...."

    I came home and had a beer.


  2. #2
    AlphaRam is offline Registered User
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    Re: Grrrr....Poor Translation Rant!

    BUY AMERICAN!!!!

    lol

    I have been down the same road as you in years past with Hitachi absorber chillers, as well as probably other things that have escaped my mind through the years.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #3
    RamsNation's Avatar
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    Re: Grrrr....Poor Translation Rant!

    I have nothing to add other than I liked your story.

  4. #4
    thoey's Avatar
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    Re: Grrrr....Poor Translation Rant!

    Would the following link have helped?

    http://babelfish.altavista.com/
    This space for rent...

  5. #5
    RamsFanSam's Avatar
    RamsFanSam is offline Pro Bowl Ram
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    Re: Grrrr....Poor Translation Rant!

    Quote Originally Posted by thoey View Post
    Would the following link have helped?

    http://babelfish.altavista.com/
    It would have if the various companies would have used it before printing any documentation.

  6. #6
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Grrrr....Poor Translation Rant!

    Why didn't you ask Carol? Or AlphaRam?

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