Category Archives: Product News

Product Spotlight: EVERLINE from Universal Lighting Technologies

Interested in maximizing your energy savings? Lighting is one of the main energy outputs that companies can optimize to increase savings.

Universal Lighting Technologies is a global leader in the design and manufacturing of lighting products and control systems. Universal’s EVERLINE® LED retrofit continuum provides a range of solutions for LEDs and upgrading fluorescent to LED.

If your LED fixture fails out of warranty, instead of replacing the entire fixture, you can replace the worn driver, but it can be a challenge to select the right driver for the fixture. Universal Lighting Technologies offers a comprehensive portfolio of driver options in their EVERLINE family and can help you select the proper replacement driver for your application.

LED replacement drivers aren’t the only product from EVERLINE. Their surge protectors are capable of handling surges up to 20kV. Surge protectors are useful in that they protect the entire system so your individual lighting fixtures don’t have to be rated for such high voltages. EVERLINE surge protectors integrate seamlessly with their LED replacement drivers.

EVERLINE’s light fixtures are designed to be energy-efficient, durable, and dimmable. They have a variety of luminaires and retrofits to fit your needs:

Retrofit Kits and LED Tubes:

  • LED T8 Replacement Tubes (Type A, B): Simple installation, immediate energy savings
  • LED Tube & Drive Kit (Type C): High efficiency, uses existing sockets
  • LED Retrofit Kit: Simplifies the transition from fluorescent to LED
  • LED Professional Retrofit Kit (Pan Style): For fluorescent pan style replacement
  • LED Sign Tubes: Simple replacement for lighted signs using T12HO or T8HO lamps

Replacement Luminaires:

  • LED Professional Volumetric: clean, modern appearance
  • LED Volumetric: even illumination
  • LED General Prismatic: installer friendly standard sizes for grid lay-in apps
  • LED Strips: simple, industrial-grade strip fixture
  • LED Wraparound: popular 24 and 48-inch lengths
  • LED Linear High Bay: high lumen output for warehouses
  • LED Industrial Bay: reliable and robust high lumen output
  • LED Wall Pack: long life, low maintenance
  • LED Vapor Tight: Significantly higher efficiency and delivered lumens
  • LED Chains: High lumens, consistent color, versatile uses

If you are interested in conserving your energy usage with LED lighting, contact us or your French Gerleman Account Manager to learn more about Universal Lighting Technologies’ EVERLINE solutions.  You can also browse the variety of stocked Universal products, including pricing and quantity, on our website.


Product Spotlight: New Eaton’s B-Line Series Conduit Trapeze Support

Traditionally, strut trapeze is used for hanging and aligning conduit. Eaton has developed their new B-Line series Conduit Trapeze Support to cut down on the number of parts needed and installation time, while adding versatility.

Eaton’s B-Line series Conduit Trapeze Support eliminates the need for pipe clamps at every location, and has a Z-shape design for added strength. Most configurations exceed the maximum load ratings defined by UL/NEC requirements. The flange works with ½” or 3/8” ATR or bolts at regular intervals, and can be cut to size on the field or spliced end-to-end.

Because of its structure, the new Conduit Trapeze Support system requires up to 75% fewer parts than the traditional strut support, and can reduce installation time up to 60%.  There are three standard sizes accommodating up to 4” conduit available in lengths ranging from 12” to 120”.

Download Eaton’s guide to learn how Eaton’s B-Line series conduit trapeze support can save you time and money.

French Gerleman stocks BCTS1 and BCTS2 series in several lengths:

Catalog Number Length Max Conduit Holes Approx WT/PC (LB)
BCTS1-12 12” 1 ¼” EMT / 1” RGD 6 0.87
BCTS1-24 24” 1 ¼” EMT / 1” RGD 12 1.61
BCTS1-36 36” 1 ¼” EMT / 1” RGD 18 2.36
BCTS1-120 120” 1 ¼” EMT / 1” RGD 60 7.57
BCTS2-12 12” 2” EMT / 2” RGD 4 0.94
BCTS2-36 36” 2” EMT / 2” RGD 12 2.54
BCTS2-120 120” 2” EMT / 2” RGD 40 8.13

The BCTS3 series accommodates a maximum of 4” EMT / 4” RGD and, like the others, is available in various lengths. These are in stock at the factory, as are additional lengths in both the BCTS1 and BCTS2 series.

If you’re interested in learning more about Eaton’s B-Line series Conduit Trapeze Support, contact us or your French Gerleman account manager.  Browse our website for pricing, stock levels or to purchase this product series online.


Using Industrial Barriers to Segregate Pedestrians from Danger

Category : Product News

While there are many uses for industrial barriers, one of the most important is segregating pedestrians from dangerous equipment, such as forklifts or vehicles.  Industrial safety barriers are a useful tool to protect workers, guests, equipment and product.

Industrial barriers can mark and defend traffic routes, providing visual guidance for drivers.  Conversely, barriers also define walkways and safe areas for pedestrians, warning them of the potential for danger and restricting them to established routes around your facility or campus.

A-SAFE barriers are engineered to reduce risk, safeguard operations and minimize maintenance costs. Since 1984, A-SAFE has worked to innovate industrial barriers, and their patented technology is engineered to be unequalled in strength and flexibility.

When many traditional barriers are impacted, they sustain damage requiring repair or replacement.  If they are hit hard enough, the collision can rip out the concrete around their base requiring more expensive repairs. Instead of breaking when stuck, A-SAFE barriers flex, dissipate the energy and recover.

A-SAFE barriers have three layers to achieve this:

  • Inner, strengthening core
  • Impact absorption zone
  • Outer UV-stabilized color layer

Their bright yellow color makes them easy to notice, but is also inherent to the material, which means barriers from A-SAFE will not require painting. They are resistant to scratches, corrosion, water, chemicals, extreme heat/cold and UV.  They are food safe and 100% recyclable.

A-SAFE offers many types of barriers with a variety of performance levels to ensure you get the correct product for your application. These are designed to be versatile across different industries, such as: manufacturing, warehousing, food processing, airports and parking areas.

If you are interested in using A-SAFE for your barriers, contact us or your French Gerleman Account Manager.  Visit our website to learn more or request information on A-SAFE products.


Power Quality: Causes & Solutions

Does your company have reliable power quality? SolaHD defines power quality as “the sensitivity of the load to a disturbance in the facility under the customer’s control.”

Poor power quality causes various costly issues; productivity goes down while downtime goes up. Thankfully, your company doesn’t have to become a victim of poor power quality. SolaHD has a wide range of power quality solutions to keep your business up and running.

What causes power disturbances?

According to SolaHD’s research, 70% of all power quality issues are internally generated in a facility and include noise, impulses, power interruptions and voltage fluctuations (sags, swells, and brownouts). Induction loads such as motors, elevators, welders and office equipment are among the culprits which can cause these internally-generated disturbances. Wiring and grounding errors, heavy loads and poorly-specified power conversion products also can create power quality problems.

This leaves 30% of power quality issues resulting from externally generated sources including lighting strikes and utility switching issues. Even with a properly designed distribution system, you must be ready for unavoidable power issues caused by accidents and weather.

Types of power disturbances:

  • Voltage Surge: A temporary rise in RMS voltage that can cause permanent damage to hardware
  • Power Interruption: A loss of power which can cause equipment shutdown and data loss, as well as downtime and safety issues
  • Brownout: While not a complete loss of power like a blackout, a brownout is a drop in voltage which can cause hardware crashes and equipment failure.
  • Voltage Sag: A temporary drop in voltage which can result in hardware crashes and reduce the lifespan of electrical equipment
  • Voltage Transient: A narrow, high voltage impulse which can cause equipment failure or damage and data loss
  • Frequency Variation: Changes to the 60 Hz sine wave that can cause permanent damage to hardware
  • Harmonic Distortion: Distortion to the sinewave which can result in loss of system capacity
  • Electrical Noise: Low amplitude and current, high frequency disturbances which can cause software errors and system lock-ups

Solutions to power disturbances

Power conditioning, surge suppression, filters and UPS systems can provide protection against various types of power quality issues. Products like constant voltage transformers can help regulate voltage levels while providing noise filtering and surge protection.

SolaHD’s large selection of power quality products includes AC and DC UPS systems, both free- standing and DIN Rail mount. Sola offers the three basic UPS technologies of:

  • Off-line
  • Line Interactive
  • On-line/Double Conversion

SolaHD has solutions you need to protect your facility from power quality issues and keep you up and running, including surge protection devices (SPDs) for everything from the service entrance to data and signal-line protection.

If you have questions or are interested in learning more about SolaHD’s solutions to address power quality, please contact us or your French Gerleman Account Manager.  You can also browse our in-stock selection of SolaHD products on our website.


How to Select the Correct Tools for Proper Terminations

Properly terminating electrical wires is important to avoid terminal failure and potential electrical fires. Thomas & Betts has been working on improving that process for years, and now are introducing the biggest step forward in compression connections since 1957 when they trademarked “Color-Keyed” connections to reduce installer errors.

The Smart Tool+ is Thomas & Betts’ latest crimping tool, which is capable of identifying connectors and digitally recording data and uploading it to the Cloud.

Identifying Connectors

Pressing the scan button on the Smart Tool+ will cause its display to prompt to “Scan Smart Crimp.” Simply position the smart connector near the scanning location at the bottom of the tool, and the Smart Tool+ will show the smart connector material and size. The Smart Tool+ automatically recognizes and adjusts to Color-Keyed smart connector material and size based off a small chip included in the smart connector.

Crimping With Smart Connectors

Using the Smart Tool+ allows you to accurately crimp and assess the quality of your crimp.  Here are the five easy steps:

  1. Position stripped wire into connector
  2. Place connector into the crimp head
  3. Jog the Smart Tool+ trigger until red indicator flashes to verify it is properly in place
  4. Press and hold backup release valve if the crimp head needs to be re-opened
  5. Once everything is in place, press and hold trigger.

An indicator will light to signify whether or not the crimp is successful:

  • Solid green (successful)
  • Flashing red (distance or pressure not met)
  • Solid red (failed)

The Smart Tool+ keeps track of the crimps you’ve done and their data on different worksites and jobs. Temporary placeholders for site and job names can be used in the field and updated later.

 Crimping With Standard Color-Keyed Connectors

Smart Tool+ works with the standard Color-Keyed Connectors you already use. If you run out of smart connectors, there’s no need to worry. You can use the buttons on the Smart Tool+ to select the connector material and size, and the tool will record the data the same as a smart connector.

The Smart Tool+ is great tool in various markets you already use Thomas & Betts Color-Keyed Connectors in:

  • QAQC Jobs
  • Power Critical installations
  • Data Centers
  • OEM Equipment Manufacturers
  • Industrial Installations
  • Commercial Installations
  • Maintenance & Repair

Using the Smart Tool+ with the App

Where does all the data go from the Smart Tool+? Thomas & Betts has a free mobile app that works on Apple and Android tablets or phones. The tool can work offline, and stores crimp data until it’s convenient for you to transfer it to the mobile app. The crimp data can be uploaded to the cloud by installers, supervisors, and system administrators. After successfully uploading data to the cloud, active memory is automatically erased.

Thomas & Betts’ Smart Tool+ may be the right choice to help you make foolproof crimps, track data, and save time and money. If you are interested in the Smart Tool+ or have any questions, please contact us or your French Gerleman Account Manager.


Protecting Against Surges with Mersen

There are many electrical risks you have to protect against, one of the most concerning being voltage surges. These spikes in power can be extremely dangerous if you do not take the proper preventative steps. Mersen is devoted to providing companies the best in technology and putting safety first, which includes protecting against surges. They have a wide range of products, so it’s important you understand which are the best for you.

What is an electrical surge and where does it come from?

Electrical surges are extremely brief spikes or disturbances up to tens of thousands of volts. These can damage or destroy your electronic equipment. Surges can come from external sources, such as lightning or utility grid switching. However, most surges come from internal facility equipment:

  • Inductive loads stopping and starting
  • Lighting load panels turned on and off frequently
  • HVAC systems
  • Elevators
  • Welders

Why do you need surge protection?

Surge protection is required in the 2017 National Electric Code (NEC), but there are many reasons why you would want it regardless. Surges can damage or destroy your property, result in downtime, and cause safety issues. The cost of being unprotected is high, so it’s important to include power protection at the point of entry, as well as near your sensitive equipment.

To learn more about the Overcurrent and Surge Protection requirements in the 2017 NEC Code, click here to download Mersen’s Guide.

How to choose a device

It’s important to find a reliable surge protective device (SPD) to protect your equipment. Keep an eye out for the following terms when selecting the best SPD for you:

  • Maximum Continuous Operating VoltageMax RMS voltage that may be continuously applied to MOV
  • Nominal Discharge CurrentStress test to measure durability of a product
  • Voltage Protection RatingMeasurement of the limiting voltage (let-through or clamping voltage)
  • Maximum Discharge Current of Surge RatingMeasurement of longevity (not an official UL measurement)

As mentioned, surges can come from internal or external sources, and it’s important that a system is protected where the power enters, as well as near the sensitive equipment. These different types of protection serve different purposes, and it’s important you put the correct type in the correct location. The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) have three location categories which correspond to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) type designations.

  • Type 1/Category C is designed to protect areas with a high risk of lighting strike, like incoming power supply panels, outside overhead lines, and service entrances.
  • Type 2/Category B is designed to protect areas with a low risk of lightning strike, often downstream of Category C, such as feeders, short branch circuits, and indoor service panels.
  • Type 3/Category A is designed to protect sensitive equipment such as outlets/receptacles or long branch circuits, and is always installed downstream of Category B.

Mersen’s SPD Products

There are many ways to protect against surges, and Mersen has a multitude of surge protection, lighting protection and power monitoring products to fit your needs.

  • SPD ComponentsThese are board level components, such as Mersen’s TPMOV and VSP fuses, which include a disconnecting apparatus in the case of a surge event.
  • SPD NEMAThese can be panelmounted and wallmounted for either the whole-facility or point-of-use equipment, and includes their STX and STZ series.
  • SPD DIN-Rail and SPD In-LineThese can be installed within industrial control cabinets, VFDs, disconnect switches or other power equipment for distribution, control and signaling.

French Gerleman has a wide variety of Mersen fuses available for purchase online. If you are interested in learning more about any of these products, or what may be the best surge protection for you, contact us or your French Gerleman Account Manager.


Are You Compliant with New Wiring Devices Standards?

No matter the industry, you cannot be too safe when it comes to electrical wiring. The National Electric Code (NEC) is regularly updated to stay at the forefront of safety. Any hazards must be evaluated and have preventative control implemented. This includes identifying threats, creating a plan and training employees on following through. Hubbell Wiring Device-Kellems offers a variety of key products, rated for the new NEC standards.

Advantage™ Series Switch-Rated Pin & Sleeve Devices

Advantage™ Series Pin & Sleeve Switch-Rated Devices meets NEC Requirements for both motor and branch disconnecting. Available in both 30 and 60 amp, the series can be used with existing IEC Pin & Sleeves, which makes it flexible and provides cost savings. There’s no doubt when you’ve made a successful connection, because when the shuttle is locked into place, LEDs illuminate.

Most importantly, Hubbell’s Advantage™ Series is designed to be clean and safe. The products can withstand extremely hot temperatures, and being sprayed at high pressures from various angles. The devices are designed for superior water ingress protection and can withstand the toughest environments.

Watertight Devices

Hubbell’s line of Watertight Devices include plugs, connectors, and receptacles; FD boxes and angled adapters; portable outlet boxes and covers; straight blade devices; Twist-Lock® devices; duplex receptacles; and spare parts.

These devices are ideal for harsh, wet conditions including water treatment plants, food/beverage processing, agriculture, outdoor entertainment and factories.

XClamp Tamper-Resistant Receptacles

The most recent NEC changes were in relation to electrical receptacles.  Tamper-resistant receptacles reduce the risk of injury by preventing foreign objects from making electrical contact. Hubbell’s line of XClamp Tamper-Resistant Receptacles are ideal for use in residential, hospitals, childcare centers, hospitality guestrooms and increasingly in schools, waiting rooms and retail.

According to NEMA, over a 10-year analysis in the U.S., more than 24,000 children under the age of 10 were treated in emergency rooms for receptacle-related incidents. Hubbell’s X-Clamp meets the NEC to help make receptacles safer. In new branch circuits NEC will allow AFCI receptacles as alternate to AFCI breaker. Dorms now also require AFCIs.

If you’re interested in learning more about these or other Hubbell Wiring Device-Kellems products,  contact us or your French Gerleman Account Manager.  You can visit our website to purchase or check current stock and pricing on Hubbell products.


ergonomic_tools

Why Should You Choose Ergonomic Tools?

 Years of labor can take their toll on workers, but long-term injuries can be minimized with the use of ergonomic tools. That’s why Greenlee is devoted to improving their tools to be more ergonomic to enhance the wellbeing of those who use them.

What are ergonomic tools?

Ergonomic tools are designed not only to decrease injuries, but increase productivity. Ergonomic tools can minimize general soreness, physical wear and tear, and lengthen the careers of workers by improving their health. When tools are optimized for usability, the job gets done faster with less physical strain.

What are the effects of ergonomic tools?

The use of ergonomic tools has been proven to positively impact not only the lives of workers, but also the bottom line of companies. A major utility switched to ergonomic tools and saw a 100% reduction of lost work day cases, a 62% reduction of OSHA recordable cases and a 10% work efficiency improvement saving 25,504 hours of work. Their annual savings came to $7,353,248.

How does Greenlee help prevent injuries?

First, Greenlee looked into what was causing the injuries. The primary culprits were force, repetition and posture. These three components damage tissue, wears down tendons, ligaments and joints, and increases fatigue and the potential for injury.

This damage accumulates over time, resulting in scar tissue, joint damage and loss of range of motion and strength. These injuries almost never fully heal, and can result in inability to work as people age. The workforce is aging as a whole, and it is important to prevent such injuries that can plague workers even after retirement.

Greenlee launched industry-first ErgoLab, which used Electromyography Testing and test-based result to compare their tools, and design them for worst case scenarios. Greenlee aims to reduce occurrences of rotator cuff tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, elbow epicondylitis, low back pain and knee bursitis.

Greenlee’s ergonomic tools feature:

  • Improved grips
  • Decreased weight
  • Improved center of gravity
  • Battery power
  • Improved user posture

Their battery tools are designed to extend users reach to diminish shoulder strain, and their general tools decrease forces that can cause carpal tunnel. Not all injuries can be prevented, but these can be lessened with the use of ergonomic tools, and Greenlee is a good place to start.

If you have any questions or are interested in learning more about Greenlee’s ergonomic tools, contact us or your French Gerleman Account Manager.


The French Gerleman Motion Summit Recap

Recently we hosted a Motion Summit, a complimentary event at our St. Louis branch covering the latest motion control updates with Rockwell Automation and our other motion automation partners. We demonstrated tools to design, develop, and troubleshoot motion control systems.

If you weren’t able to attend, here are some highlights from the presentations:


Rockwell Automation focused on Integrated Architecture and how it incorporates Motion Control into its Logix controllers.  Utilizing one common Ethernet/IP network, Rockwell is able to connect to I/O, servo drives (CIP Motion) and safety features (CIP Safety) within those servo drives

Rotary motors and actuators from Rockwell’s VP and MP series are designed to meet the needs of various industries, including those with wash down applications. Their Kinetix Servo Drives come in a broad range, from low-power indexing drive to high-power multi-axes drives. iTRAK and MagneMotion systems have Intelligent Track Systems that allow independent control of multiple movers.

Rockwell Automation also has safety built directly into its motion products. The most common safety feature is “Safe Off”, which interrupts gate power to prevent IGBT switching. This allows the drive to be disabled safely without removing power from the drive itself.  In addition to “safe off”, there are advanced safety features such as safe speed, safe direction, and safe position which allow personnel to safely interact with moving parts of a machine while it continues to operate.  For example, to allow a machine to be cleaned or serviced while it is running, safe speed and safe direction features might be enabled on a drive.  This would allow the operator to run the machine at a speed slower than typical production speeds, and in a direction such that he cannot be pulled into the machine, yet still have the machine produce parts. Conventional safety approaches can often hinder productivity, but these advanced safety features allow all of this to be done without losing efficiency.

They demonstrated their Motion Analyzer Sizing Software that makes it easier and more efficient to size and optimize motion control systems.  Rockwell also demonstrated the Load Observer and Dynamic Notch Filter features of the Kinetix drive which dramatically reduce the tuning process and automatically compensate for dynamic loads.


 Nidec-Shimpo is an Encompass Partner of Rockwell Automation, and an ISO 9001, ISO 14001 certified manufacturer.  Their products include high precision servo gearboxes, such as inline planetary, right angle planetary, right angle worm, rotary indexing, and pancake gear sets. Their gearboxes are lubricated for life, and active centering is standard on all products, allowing horizontal installation on equipment.


LUTZE covered the standards that need to be considered when choosing VFD cables, most notably the new standards outlined in NFPA 79 2018. What are the NFPA changes, and how do they affect VFD cable?

Paragraph 4.4.2.8 in the NFPA 79 2018 Edition states that “electrical conductors and equipment supplied by power conversion equipment as part of the adjustable speed drive systems and servo drive systems shall be listed flexible motor supply cable marked RHH, RHW, RHW-2, XHH, XHHW, or XHHW-2.”  This may eliminate using THHN cabling if NFPA 79 is required.

To make sure you comply with the new NFPA 79 standards, check the cable’s specification sheet to make sure it has one of the above designations. These ensure the cables are rubber high heat resistant, water resistant, and/or crosslinked high heat resistant. Avoid any designation that begins with T, as it stands for “thermoplastic” and should be avoided.

What cables would LUTZE recommend using considering this? DRIVEFLEX VFD cable is the most flexible in its class, easy to strip, route, and terminate, safer and more efficient. DRIVEFLEX VFD cable also has the lowest capacitance, highest impedance, full shielded, reduces shaft voltage, bearing failures, and nuisance tripping. Not to mention, it is also code compliant with the new NFPA changes.


LinMot specializes in linear motors, guided actuators, and servo drives. their linear servo motors reach speeds greater than 200 inches per second, with forces up to 610 pounds. They are tested out to two billion cycles, and have high energy savings compared to air cylinders. They also offer a unique combination linear-rotary actuator which has both a linear and rotary motor in one package – ideal for capping applications.  LinMot also integrates the safe torque off feature in their servo drives.


MTS Sensors is recognized as an industry leader in sensing technologies and solutions that enable feedback control for automation and safety applications. They make precision absolute linear sensors with resolutions of 5 micrometers and lengths up to 787 inches.  They offer a variety of output signals which include an Ethernet/IP interface for seamless integration with Rockwell controllers.

In industrial markets, MTS Sensors provides rugged and reliable sensors which can reduce maintenance costs, increase uptime, and enhance safety. Examples of temposonic industrial markets include machine/tool, steel, paper and wood processing, plastics and rubber, wind, metal forming, food and beverage and medical equipment.


Tolomatic is an Encompass Partner of Rockwell Automation that manufactures both rod and rodless mechanical linear actuators.  They offer a variety of solutions in linear motion using both ballscrew and belt-drive technologies.  Food-grade applications would benefit from their USDA-approved, stainless steel, IP69K washdown-rated actuators.  They also demonstrated their online sizing software for properly selecting an actuator and highlighted their “Your Motor Here” feature which is a library of motor adapters for over 100 different servo motors from a variety of manufacturers.

If you are interested in learning more about any of these products or the information covered in our recent Motion Summit, contact your French Gerleman Account Manager.


Switchgear Lifecycle, Technologies & Safety Seminar Recap

Recently we hosted a Switchgear Lifecycle, Technologies & Safety Seminar covering the product life cycle, preventive maintenance, and planning for future capacity. If you couldn’t attend, here are a few highlights from the seminar.

Electrical systems are essential to almost every other system a building has, and maintenance is required to keep them running properly. All equipment eventually reaches the end of its useful life, but well-maintained equipment lasts 35 years on average, as opposed to 17 years for unmaintained equipment.

Electrical equipment was never designed to go without maintenance.  In fact, when it was installed, you should have received an owner’s manual and maintenance guide.  Loose connections or mechanical parts are responsible for more than 30% of electrical losses, and electrical system components are 3x more likely to fail without preventive maintenance. If in doubt of what proper preventive maintenance for electrical systems includes, refer to the NFPA 70B for details to prevent equipment failures and worker injuries.

Below are key recommended preventive maintenance services according to NFPA 70B:

  • Voltage and current measurements
  • Harmonic voltage and current measurements
  • Ultrasonic testing
  • Infrared thermography
  • Visual Inspection

Checking for voltage imbalances, drops and the intended voltage ratings for your equipment can elongate their useful lives. The use of infrared thermography does not interrupt uptime for any of your equipment, but picking up excess heat readings can indicate poor connections or excess load. Qualified, experienced electricians can often visually identify and fix issues on the spot which non-qualified maintenance personnel may not notice.

Visual inspections are incredibly useful in preventive maintenance, although they cannot be solely relied on as the only type of preventive maintenance.  Regular switchgear maintenance should include cleaning, inspecting for physical damage, checking insulation resistance, and reinsulating windings as appropriate. Circuit breakers 225 amps and above should be electrically trip tested to ensure they operate correctly.

An arc flash risk assessment should be included with your regular preventive maintenance. Arc flashes occur when an electrical arc passes through air, phase to ground, or phase to phase, and can cause serious injury and damage. The risk assessment will help you determine if there are any current hazards to address, and estimate further precautions to take against arc flashes by referring to the NFPA 70E.

Finally, an important part of preventive switchgear maintenance is preparation for an electrical system failure. Uninterruptable Power Supplies (UPS) ensure power continuity to maintain process control in the event of a utility power failure. There are many solutions to provide backup of information, power continuity, control panel protection, and surge protection to keep your electrical infrastructure running smoothly.

For more information on the information covered in the Switchgear Lifecycle, Technologies & Safety Seminar, contact your French Gerleman Account Manager.