The Case of the Non-Sensing Sensor

THE MYSTERY

One of ACES’s municipal water customers had an issue with the external display for an ultrasonic sensor, which sits above a tank and measures the liquid level. The unit was displaying a fault and the customer could not get it to reset.

THE CLUES

One of the first things the CSI (Control Systems Inspector) on the scene noticed was that the plastic cover of the stand-alone meter had been cut out, most likely allowing weather and liquid into the device.

He reviewed the manual and attempted to reset the fault, with no results. Next the CSI called the factory and walked through several more steps to reset the fault, none of which worked either.

The CSI sent the unit back to the factory.

THE PERP

As the CSI suspected, the large cut-out hole in the plastic cover had allowed rain into the unit, locking up the circuitry and damaging the keyboard.

THE SOLUTION

The factory replaced the screen, fixed the damaged portion of the cover and sent it back precalibrated.

Most likely the cover had become cracked and difficult to read, so an employee decided it would be a good idea to just cut it out altogether, not thinking through the ramifications on an outdoor device.

Now the display for the ultrasonic sensor gives a clear, consistent readout, and employees keep their box cutters in their pockets.

CASE CLOSED