Set your project up to avoid disaster and remain compliant with short circuit protection

When the decision is made to launch infrastructure projects, the engineers responsible for their design undoubtedly look forward to seeing their vision come to fruition. They want to create a lasting impact, and they want to help those needing their work, but there are several ways for projects to go wrong before they can benefit those they’re being worked on for.

It is imperative that engineers know how to protect their designs, and at the forefront of avoiding significant setbacks is the prevention of short circuit events. By preventing these occurrences downtime can be reduced, damage to equipment can be avoided, and the workforce can be protected from significant injuries or death. However, when it comes to short circuit event protection, the U.S. is far behind Europe and Asia.

When it comes to U.S. electrical code, like NEC, cable cleats are not mandatory like they are elsewhere in the world. While they are designed and tested to ensure the retention and support of cables, the U.S. has lagged in the benefits. The approach to cable cleats in North America historically has involved just throwing cables into a tray with no coding, meaning if a short circuit event occurs, the cables and cable trays will fly out and immediately cause catastrophic damage. This is especially common when it comes to thermal expansion, which Panduit has created solutions to be properly ready for.

However, internationally the IEC 61914 standard has been adequately used, especially in Europe and Asia, to calculate the forces between two conductors in the event of a significant fault in order to specify the correct type of cable cleats being used in those regional projects. This European standard, not officially used on U.S. soil, especially helps with cable routing in harsh industrial environments.

Fortunately for the U.S. this disparity won’t always be the case. As American projects continue to experience setbacks because of their struggle to anticipate thermal changes and expansion, the future holds the likelihood of standards migration and harmonization. By anticipating this change, EPCs can future proof their projects to remain compliant while avoiding the disasters that come from short circuit events.

Panduit recommends the use of its cable cleat offerings – stainless steel locking tie cleats, stainless steel strap cleats, and clamp-style cable cleats – for many reasons, but one particular way Panduit benefits EPCs, is through their ability to allow for future proofing.

Stainless steel locking tie cleats feature a polyurethane cushion to prevent damage to cables and mounting brackets to secure the tie to various styles of ladder rack. These cleats are suited for lower to medium peak short circuit current requirements and can be installed using a manual or battery-operated installation tool, which helps reduce installation time.

Stainless steel strap cleats also feature a polyurethane cushion sleeve to prevent damage to cable and mounting brackets to secure the strap to various styles of ladder rack. These cleats are suited for a broad range of peak short circuit current requirements, including some of the higher peak kA requirements. A manually-operated installation tool provides quick installation.

Clamp-style cable cleats are a widely used cleat solution also suited for a broad range of peak short circuit current requirements and are the most durable for high peak kA requirements.

Not only do these offerings allow the EPCs who use them to rest assured that their projects will be successfully completed without short circuit events, but they will also be given the peace of mind that comes from knowing their project will be compliant and need no re-work when international standards are harmonized and migrated here to the U.S.

This means that, not only will the engineers creating infrastructure project designs be assured their vision won’t be altered by the potential for a short circuit event, but they’ll also know and be assured that their vision will stay intact for the duration of its lifecycle because of its adherence to any impending standards harmonization and migration.

Short Circuit Faults – Are You Protected?

When running power cable through a facility using a ladder rack, the design considerations on how to affix the cables to the ladder arise. Options such as nylon cable ties, stainless strapping, cable cleats, tie wire and, believe it or not, even doing nothing at all, are all practices that have been witnessed in the field. In addition to cable management, engineering firms must also consider the implications of a short circuit fault as part of the design process. When a short circuit fault occurs, tremendous magnetic forces repel the power cables from each other resulting in violent forces that damage everything in their path.

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Ultracapacitor vs. Battery UPS

Manufacturing companies can experience an average of 3.9 power outages per year, and when the power goes out…production STOPS! Even short power blips can be detrimental.  Every minute you wait for network equipment to restart can cost your company thousands of dollars. So what can we do about it?  Install a UPS or Uninterruptible Power Supply System! Well that’s a great start, but traditional UPS systems rely on batteries, and if your UPS battery fails, your risk of downtime goes up…the very thing we’re trying to avoid.  Batteries require maintenance and operating expenses such as inspections, testing, replacement and in most cases hazardous waste disposal.  As an alternative to a traditional battery UPS system, an ultracapacitor UPS system improves uptime and eliminates maintenance, which saves you money!  Let’s compare the two with our infographic below.

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Made in the USA?

We’ve all heard the predictions for the past several years that manufacturing will move back to the United States. Now it appears that the “crystal balls” of the industry seers were, in fact, accurate. According to a recent survey by Estrada Group titled “Where in the World”, the US is now considered the prime location for low cost manufacturing. Mexico was a close second, and China has fallen to a distant third.

More and more companies are investing domestically, rather than overseas, fostering enthusiasm for “Made in the USA” products.  Several factors contribute to this, such as skyrocketing fuel costs and increasing foreign wage scales.  Add to that the advancement in automation technologies, and companies are seeing US production with lower operating costs, and a more consistent, higher quality end product.

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