Editor Linda Becker explains that "because I said so" just isn't good enough.

While "Why?" wasn't my first word, my parents swear that it must have been my second or third. It's just part of my analyst nature that I need to know the answers to "Why?" and "How?" just as much as "Who? What? Where? and When?" Fortunately, I've learned over the years that there's a difference between the whys I need to know and those I want to know. And while, in my spare time, I still actively pursue those whys and hows I just want to know, I've disciplined myself enough to focus on the need-to-know whys and hows most of the time.

One need-to-know why that you may not know you need to know is the source of errors in your temperature controls. In temperature-critical processes, a difference of a few degrees, or even tenths of a degree, can affect the outcome. But even the best temperature control package that money can buy will fail you if your sensors are not providing accurate and reliable signals. In "Breaking Down the Sources of Error," Kenneth C. Sloneker of Electronic Development Laboratories Inc., Danville, Va., notes that the true accuracy of a measurement device depends on all of the possible measurable sources of error and not just on the fundamental accuracy of the device. Sloneker provides a method of evaluating the accuracy of your sensors and controls that, if employed, may just provide the answer if your question is "Why aren't I getting the results I expect?"

Sometimes, the question may be "Why do I need that?" In "Process Oven Know-How," Troy Lewis of Heat-Pro by Lewco, Sandusky, Ohio, explains that most industrial ovens are specified and designed for unique processes and should never be used for another process or with different operational parameters without a thorough review of all factors related to the installation and application. Lewis outlines the pertinent standards to help you gain a broader understanding of why certain equipment may be required for one process when it isn't for another.

"Too Hot To Handle?" is the question asked about pumps for hot oil heat transfer plants. William Mills of Sterling Fluid Systems, Grand Island, N.Y., notes that there are potential hazards whenever working with thermal process fluids and explains how to be sure that your hot oil pumps are installed, operated and maintained correctly. Using the information provided in his article will help ensure many successful and safe operating hours of your thermal fluid pump.

Finally, if your question is "How can I get more life out of my thermal fluid system?" an article by Clive D. Stone of Thermal Fluid Systems Inc., Kennesaw, Ga., will provide some answers. In "8 Tips to Extend Your Thermal Fluid System's Service Life," Stone arms your thermal fluid heater operator with eight tips, and the know-how to apply them effectively, to help you enjoy a long service life from your heater.

I hope these articles will provide you with the answers you need. And if any of you know the answer to "Why is the sky blue?" -- a question my parents never adequately answered -- give me a call.

Linda Becker