Hoffman Thermal Audits Provide Solutions to Cool Electronics and Maximize Equipment Life

Hoffman thermal audit maximizes equipment life

Summer’s coming, and the time to begin protecting your electronics, before it’s too late, is today. As temperatures rise, industrial electronics can overheat, causing malfunction and even complete device failure. In fact, statistics show that for every 18°F over room temperature, the life expectancy of an electronic device drops by 50%.

To determine thermal heat loads, and examine the stress placed on electrical devices by excess heat, Steiner is offering a FREE THERMAL AUDIT to be conducted by its Hoffman-trained and certified expert.

A thermal audit can identify problem areas and produce compelling evidence of excess heat that can affect performance and potentially damage critical equipment.

Are Your Electronics in Danger?

Keeping electronics cool is essential to maximizing the life cycle of electronic devices, reducing mean time between failures (MTBF), cutting capital expenses, and keeping production humming along.

Heat is generated internally by electronic components and intensified by external sources. Inside a cabinet, uncooled components can generate as much trapped heat as a home furnace.

Heat sources include:

  • AC power supplies
  • Controllers, drives and servos
  • Transformers and rectifiers
  • Processors and server racks
  • Radio equipment
Thermal energy from an electrical enclosure is measured during a thermal audit.

To cool the electronic and its components, the thermal energy must be transferred away from the device. There are a few basic ways to cool industrial enclosures, including using a sealed enclosure that utilizes a heat exchanger, an A/C unit that uses a fan to circulate fresh air through a cabinet, or via conductive cooling in which the heat radiates through the cabinet.

Without these measures, temperature variations can lead to everything from nuisance problems to shutdowns. Tripping can become a source of frustration, and heat stress can affect loop controllers, PLCs and more.

At high temperatures, drive performance can be derated, and I/C-based devices can behave strangely creating unusual output such as voltage fluctuation. At low temperatures, cooling below the dew point can lead to condensation and promote corrosion.

For instance, MOSFET transistors, which are voltage-controlled field effect transistors made from metal oxide and silicon components, can falter from excess heat. High temperatures can change the properties of the silicon oxide. The higher the temperature, the higher the threshold voltage that triggers an open gate. At too high of a temperature, the gate may not open at all.

Another potential heat-related hazard pertains to wiring insulation. With increasing temperatures, elasticity and strength of the insulation are reduced, and ductility can temporarily increase.

What is Tested During an Audit

When a facility is audited, the inspector looks at all the factors that could affect temperature increase. Typically, a Hoffman thermal audit examines:

  • Heat load of enclosed electrical equipment
  • Temperature ratings of the installed equipment (upper and lower limits)
  • Ambient temperature (typical and extreme)
  • Environmental conditions
    – Clean air (Type 1)
    – Dirty or wet environment (Type 12, Type 4/4X)
    – Closed- or open-loop cooling systems
    – Indoor or outdoor enclosure location
  • Maintenance and frequency of access requirements

When finished, a report is developed that will provide recommended thermal management solutions. These best practices are designed to keep electronic components cool and help minimize unplanned failures.

A thermal audit helps determine best practices for managing thermal energy.
A thermal audit helps determine best practices for managing thermal energy. Free Hoffman Thermal Audits are available from Steiner Electric.

Essentially, by removing the waste heat, efficiency can be increased while downtime and operating costs are reduced.

Allowing electronic components to run hot can be a gamble that could require a company to prematurely replace industrial drives, cause hours of automation system downtime, and create out-of-warranty conditions when cooling is not used.

Authorized Distributor

As an authorized distributor of Hoffman enclosure products, Steiner has a full-time, Hoffman-trained expert on staff. Hoffman is a leader in the design and manufacture of engineered thermal management systems for virtually any cooling application.

A thermal image captured during a thermal audit.

With Hoffman you get more than 100-combined years of thermal management engineering experience backed by extensive in-house test facilities that rigorously test computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling, thermal cycling, salt fog, sound chamber and airflow.

Request your free Hoffman Thermal Audit, or for more information, please contact your Steiner Hoffman representative or call 1-800-STEINER (783-4637).

Schneider Electric Provides Safety Switches For Infinite Applications

Schneider’s Square D Safety switches are vital components to safety and power control. They are a means to disconnect from the electrical load and provide protection to the branch circuit.

When necessary, they can be used to disconnect manufacturing equipment, heavy machinery and light commercial and residential applications from its power source. Users may need to disconnect equipment from its electrical supply for a variety of reasons from scheduled preventive maintenance to emergency stoppage.

The performance of safety switches is important to the safe operation of many industrial applications. In addition, requirements from a variety of organizations  have increased the use of safety switches in many commercial and industrial facilities.

In addition, safety switches are an NEC requirement in industrial and manufacturing facilities.  For instance, a safety switch must be in sight from all motors or manufacturing equipment and not more than 50 feet from the equipment it controls.

A key performance benefit of the Schneider safety switch is its ability to break load. A locked motor can draw six to eight times motor full-load current. In an emergency situation, it’s important to have a safety switch with enhanced load-break features such as those featured in Schneider’s switches. A key element of Square D safety switches is its blade and jaw construction that has been designed to manage heavy motor loads and arc interruptions.

Multiple types of disconnect switches are available, and the switch that work for you depends on a number of factors in your working environment.  Steiner’s expertise can help make the appropriate choice. Steiner stocks a large inventory of safety switches ready for pickup at one of our convenient locations or on-time delivery to your facility or job site, including: general duty, heavy duty and double throw switches in single and multiple pole, fusible and non-fusible.

Here is a look at some of the most common safety switches.

General Duty Safety Switch
Schneider Electric Square D General Duty Safety Switch
General Duty Safety Switch

One of the most go-to safety switches are those that are considered General Duty (GD) safety switches. These are designed for residential and commercial applications and where durability and economy are prime considerations. Typical loads are lighting, air conditioning, and appliances. They are suitable for use as service equipment when equipped with a factory or field-installed neutral assembly or a field-installed service grounding kit as applicable.

  • Voltage: Maximum voltage of 240 V
  • Current Rating: Max amperage of 800 A
  • Enclosure: Available in Type 1 and Type 3R enclosures
  • Certification: UL Listed, File E2875
  • Standard: Meets or exceeds the NEMA Standard KS1
Heavy Duty Safety Switch
Schneider Electric Square D Heavy Duty Safety Switch
Heavy Duty Safety Switch

Visible blade heavy duty safety switches are designed for applications where maximum performance and continuity of service are required. All heavy duty safety switches feature a quick-make, quick-break operating mechanism, a dual-cover interlock and a color-coded indicator handle.

  • Voltage: Maximum voltage of 600 V (ac/dc)
  • Current Rating: Max amperage of 1200 A
  • Enclosure: Available in Type 1, Type 3R, Type 4, Type 4X, Type 5, Type 7, Type 9, Type 12 and Type 12K enclosures
Double Throw Safety Switch
Schneider Electric Square D Double Throw Safety Switch
Double Throw Safety Switch

Double throw safety switches are designed for manual transfer of one load between two power sources. The units are tough and reliable to provide emergency back-up power connections in accordance with Article 702 of the National Electrical Code, ANSI/NFPA 70.

  • Voltage: Maximum voltage of 600 V (ac/dc)
  • Current Rating: Max amperage of 600 A
  • Enclosure: Available in Type 1, Type 3R, Type 4, Type 4X, Type 5 and Type 12 enclosures
Make Selections EZ

These safety-switch options, and others that are more specific in application, come with multiple options such as various difference in amperage and voltage. In some cases, the question is whether to use fusible or non-fusible switches.  Fusible safety switches combine fuses with the switch in a single enclosure. For both fusible and non-fusible safety switches, when the circuit is open, the safety switch disconnects the load from its source of power, while closing the circuit reconnects the load.

The Schneider Electric Safety Switch EZ Selector can guide you to the most appropriate safety switch for your required application.
The Safety Switch EZ Selector can guide you to the most appropriate safety switch for your required application.

With all the product variables from application to enclosure type, voltage to amperage applications, selecting the appropriate safety switch can be a challenge. Schneider Electric has made the process simpler by developing the EZ Selector system.

The EZ Selector tools ask simple “click-to-answer questions,” and the user is self-guided through a process that ultimately leads to the right product for the application.

Order online or call 1-800-STEINER (783-4637) to speak with a Steiner sales representative for more information on Schneider Square D Safety Switches.

Hubbell SystemOne Floor Box Design Central to More Power and Easy Installs

Find what you need at Steiner FLOOR BOX CENTRAL. Our inventory of Hubbell floor boxes is the largest in the Midwest. Don’t overpay for next-day freight charges. Get your floor boxes today at one of our convenient locations.

While there learn about the variety of Hubbell product SKUs and mass inventory of floor boxes, fire-rated poke-throughs, covers, electrical outlets, HDMI ports, USB plugs, RJ jacks, and other options that make up Steiner FLOOR BOX CENTRAL.

Central to Hubbell’s products is their compatibility. They are designed to work in tandem, including the SystemOne line, and that compatibility lets architects, designers, contractors, owners and all of those in the design chain create an aesthetic that remains constant from the first floor to the penthouse.

This provides Steiner’s customers with many choices. Hubbell’s concept is the antithesis of Henry Ford’s famous quip that customers could have their cars in any color they wanted, as long as the color was black. That would not cut it in today’s marketplace.  Consumers want choices. That is true of a car and everything else, even devices as tried-and-true as a floor box.

Hubbell’s SystemOne floor box line is now available for concrete, raised access and wood floor applications.

Hubbell provides its range of multi-gang floor box products in various shapes and sizes and in a variety of colors and finishes. If you want a floor box with a rectangular or round cover with nickel coating that goes into a concrete floor, Steiner FLOOR BOX CENTRAL has it. PLUS, we can supply matching poke-throughs with a 8-in. nickel-plated round cover that can be used in wood, tile, and carpet covered floors.

SystemOne Features

Hubbell’s SystemOne floor box line has many features, including:

  • Wide range of colors and finishes from 2-gang to 10-gang boxes that maintain aesthetics throughout a facility.
  • Choice of rectangular or round covers.

    Hubbell’s floor boxes are available with rectangular and round covers.
  • Ability to match floor box and fire-rated poke-through covers.
  • Removable knockouts for 2 in. conduit to meet expanding A/V and data requirements.
  • Easy mount device plates and pre-wired receptacle options.
  • Additionally, they are ADA compliant and feature recessed connectivity, low-profile flanges, and egress doors that hinge inwards.
Expanding Capabilities

Today’s buildings require increasing powerful technical capabilities that also must complement building aesthetics.

While wireless devices are a growing component of any building design or renovation, many, if not most, devices still need wiring. And, these devices are not all conveniently located next to a wall outlet or other receptacle. Today’s commercial facilities such as multi-story schools, hotels, hospitals, retail facilities, and office buildings, require floor boxes and fire-rated poke-throughs to supply a growing and multi-faceted array of equipment with needed power, and needed data access such as USB ports and audio/video technology requiring HDMI outlets.

With this in mind, Hubbell’s SystemOne line enhances functionality and provides increased power, data and audio/visual capacity in a variety of ways.

SystemOne subplate allows for added power, data and A/V capacity.
SystemOne subplate allows for added power, data and A/V capacity.

For example, floor box functionality is expanded with insertable subplates with which installers can create a combination of power options. The boxes can be all power, all data, or a combination of power and data. They can include Hubbell’s USB receptacles that provide 3.8 amps worth of recharging power, and a 20A electrical power outlet as well as HDMI ports, RJ-45/Panduit jacks for Ethernet network cables and more. The options are seemingly endless and growing.

Fast and Convenient

Another great benefit of Steiner FLOOR BOX CENTRAL is the ability for customers to get products fast and without exorbitant overnight freight charges when you pick them up at a Steiner Will-Call Counter. Another option is to have the floor box products delivered directly to the job site.

To take advantage of these savings, buy online and pick up your order at one of our convenient locations. For more information, call 1-800-STEINER (783-4637) to speak with a Steiner FLOOR BOX CENTRAL specialist.

Kohler Natural Gas Generators More Efficient than Ever

Get peak performance from natural gas generators

While diesel has been the conventional fuel of choice for backup generator sets because of its initial capital cost advantages, things are changing as regulations, costs and technologies have evolved, and, because of that evolution, natural gas generators have gained in popularity.

“Over the past 15 years, there have been numerous performance developments in gas generator set technology to improve fuel efficiency, reduce exhaust NOx emissions and increase ratings,” according to Clay Hardenburger, senior staff applications engineer for Kohler Co. Hardenburger is the author of a new whitepaper, Gas Generator Set Performance Characteristics, that takes an in-depth look at characteristics of natural gas powered generators, the fuel used, their applications, and more. (To get a copy of the free whitepaper, click here.)

Kohler's standby commercial generators can run on propane or natural gas.
Kohler’s standby commercial generators can run on propane or natural gas.

“These key development characteristics combined with incentives to develop renewable energy biogas fuel sources have moved the industry forward to consider gas generator sets as the preferred electrical power generation technology for continuous duty applications when paralleled with the utility,” writes Hardenburger. “In addition, recent expansion of natural gas fuel sources in the United States has resulted in low fuel prices, which is also driving the marketplace to utilize gas generator sets for standby and prime applications typically served by diesel generator sets.”

Kohler Co.’s Power Division offers a slew of EPA emissions-certified LP and natural gas generators in the up to 400 kW range, delivering an installation-ready product for residential power and light commercial applications. Kohler also developed a new line of large natural gas generators that are designed specifically for standby, prime or continuous power applications in the North American market. The large gas gen sets range from 425 kW to 1300 kW (and growing). For applications that require larger industrial generator sets, contact Steiner’s Power Systems division experts and they can help you choose the most appropriate generator.

The 14/20 kW RESA Kohler home generator
The 14/20 kW RESA Kohler home generator.

These natural gas generators run on relatively clean burning fossil fuels such as propane. The lower emission gaseous gen sets significantly reduce carbon monoxide and particulate emissions.

Get your generator locally from Steiner

Steiner Electric, a local authorized distributor of Kohler products, offers an extensive inventory of residential and commercial generators that primarily operate in standby-rated mode utilizing LP or NG fuel.

Models rated for residential and light commercial applications include the 14/20kW RESA models that feature Kohler’s PowerBoost Technology for improved starting power. The generator can easily start and run a 5-ton air conditioner. The 38/48/60kW RCL model offers quiet operation and the Fast-Response II excitation system that delivers excellent voltage response and short-circuit capability using a permanent magnet alternator.  The 60kW ERESB model for light commercial application, which utilizes NG and LPG gas, and depending on voltage achieves

The Kohler 38/48/60 kW RCL generator.
The Kohler 38/48/60 kW RCL generator.

a multitude of standby ratings for both gas types. The 80 to 150Kw ERESD models have numerous features including the Fast-Response X excitation system, and sophisticated control systems.

The Kohler 60 kW ERESB generator.
The Kohler 60 kW ERESB generator.

In addition to Steiner’s large inventory of generators, as a registered, certified distributor of Kohler generators, generator experts are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for emergency situations. In addition, all Steiner generator experts undergo rigorous training programs that must first be completed and are routinely updated.

Burn it Lean, Burn it Rich

These models operate differently depending on the fuel used, mixture of air and fuel, applications and other factors. Often, there are tradeoffs such as between power and efficiency.

To help straighten out the web of generator options, and best understand the unique factors of each, Hardenburger’s whitepaper addresses the

The 80/100/125/150 kW ERESD model generator for light commercial applications.
The 80/100/125/150 kW RESD model generator for light commercial applications.

performance characteristics found in gas generator sets that utilize different fuels and engines, power factor, generator set rating, load requirements, and more parameters.

Fuel sources, for instance, typically come in two categories: methane-based fuels sources and hydrocarbon-based fuel sources. As Hardenburger explains, methane-based fuels such as pipeline natural gas are for use in high-compression ratio, lean-burn engines. Hydrocarbon-based fuel sources such as propane can be used in low-compression ratio, rich burn engines.

Hardenburger says that gas engines are classified as either lean-burn or rich-burn combustion types. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages depending upon the application.

Lean-burn engines are associated with high-electrical efficiencies, and are typically used in continuous parallel with the utility applications as a primary power source because of limited transient response capabilities. Whereas rich-burn engines are usually associated with applications where transient load response is more critical than fuel efficiency. They are typically applied in emergency standby applications where the generator set system is the secondary power source when utility power is not available.

Rich-burn engines are a better choice in applications where large transient load changes above 30% are required. An LPG fuel source can be utilized in these applications without derate if low compression ratio engines are utilized.

Kohler large natural gas generator
Kohler offers natural gas generators at up to 1300 kW. For more information about your application, contact your Steiner Power Systems application engineer at (847) 956-3098.

Lean-burn engines are a better choice in applications where the utility is always present, and the required operational capacity exceeds 8,000 hours per year. Fuel efficiency is a key consideration in continuous applications, so engines with high compression ratios are typically utilized. Heavy hydrocarbon fuels such as LPG cannot be utilized in these applications without significant engine derate.

To help understand the basics of gas generator characteristics, their benefits and tradeoffs, download the Kohler whitepaper, Gas Generator Set Performance Characteristics, or reach out to your local Steiner Power Systems application engineer at 1-800-STEINER (783-4637).

 

 

Siemens SINAMICS V20 Drives Minimize Costs and Maximize Efficiency

When it comes to variable frequency drives, tradeoffs may need to be made. How much power do you need? How much space do you have? The  SINAMICS V20 family of AC drives might just be the answer to these typical questions.

These Siemens-produced, SINAMICS branded VFDs come in a variety of frame sizes and output ratings for when you need a low-power drive to smoothly start and stop a motor or to control speed and torque during operation of an increasing number of a basic motion sequences.

The SINAMICS V20 AC drive family is an economical, compact, rugged and reliable group of drives that bring versatility, and ease of use and installation to 40-hp and under plant and machinery construction, individual automation, and drive solution applications.

SINAMICS V20

With seven frame sizes, the SINAMICS V20 can be individually adapted to the particular application or user requirements using various options such as an external Basic Operator Panel (BOP), connecting cable, filter, braking resistors, shielding, and more.

The power range is:

  • 0.12 kW to 30 kW (1/6 hp up to 40 hp).

The voltage range is:

  • 1AC 200V … 240V (–10% / +10%)
  • 3AC 380V … 480V (–15% / +10%)

The newest and smallest of the SINAMICS V20 family of drives are the FSAA and FSAB models that save more than 30% in mounting space compared to the previously smallest model, the SINAMICS’ FSA model (90 mm (3.5 in.) x 150 mm (6 in.)) . With a width of just 68 mm (2.7 in.) and a height of 142 mm (5.6 in.), the AA and AB models both have the same footprint, but different heatsink depths.

The SINAMICS V20 Quick Selection Guide can help yo determine the most appropriate V20 drive for your application.
The SINAMICS V20 Quick Selection Guide can help you determine the most appropriate V20 drive for your application.

The V20 family of rugged devices, which are IP20 rated and can be EMC filtered, are tailored for operating pumps, fans, compressors and conveyor belts as well as for basic drive applications in the process and manufacturing industries.

Ease of use and installation

One of the V20’S benefits is ease of installation. The units can be wall mounted, push through mounted for efficient cooling, and side-by-side mounted to reduce required cabinet space. Typically, drives need to be 2 in. apart for cooling purposes, but with heat sinks located judiciously to release heat through the top and bottom of the unit.

The unit itself is easy to use. A Parameter Loader makes it easy to program and speed up commissioning. This modular, plug-and-play device easily installs to the face of the drive. The device uses a memory card that allows more than 100 parameters to be installed such as motor specifications, voltage, current speed, application deceleration rate acceleration rate and other pertinent data, says Jovan Cetkovic, Motion Specialist with Steiner Electric.

Additionally, “cloning” is possible by installing the same parameter loader on different drives.

Without the parameter loader, users access a basic operator panel on the face of the drive. Utilizing the BOP, all parameters can be programmed giving the user full control of the drive in terms of speed and other factors.

In addition, there are terminals on the face of the drive that allow for direct wiring for analog I/O control.

The SINAMICS’ V20’s feature a Keep Running Mode that keeps the output load running even in the event of power fluctuations, overvoltage, overcurrent, or other power stability issues.

Energy savings is achieved in several ways. For instance, the SINAMICS V20 drive makes it easy to save money through the use of an ECO mode that ensures that the motor current is automatically adapted to the load state. In addition to that, the drive is capable of DC bus couplings such that a drive regenerating can share power with other drives.

The drive also features a Hibernation Mode that reduces energy consumption when the drive is not in active use.

It also features an integrated braking chopper from 7.5 kW to 30 kW (10 hp up to 40 hp). When a motor is de-energized and coming to a stop, it changes from a motor to a generator producing energy. Resistors dissipate energy so the VFD’s capacitors are not damaged. This power can also be used during drive regeneration.

The V20 drive family has a number of accessories that can be used. For instance, a new extension module is available to increase the number of inputs and outputs of the SINAMICS V20 400V converter.

Mounted onto the converter, the module provides 2 additional digital inputs and 2 relay outputs to the converter. The module increases functionality. For example, it can now be used for multi-pump control, where one V20 can control a maximum of four pumps.

Equipped with connection ports on its front- and backside, the module may be used in combination with other accessories of the SINAMICS V20 such as the BOP, the BOP interface, and the Smart Access web server.

Worldwide access
The SINAMICS V20 Smart Access webserver module option is mounted on the converter. It allows wireless commissioning and operation via smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
The SINAMICS V20 Smart Access webserver module option is mounted on the converter. It allows wireless commissioning and operation via smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

SINAMICS V20 Smart Access is a tiny drive-mounted web server module that turns a mobile device or laptop into a virtual operator panel, allowing it to commission, operate, diagnose, and maintain the AC drive.

An embedded graphical user interface (GUI) enables easy use of the SINAMICS V20 in every phase of operation.  It requires only a few steps to set-up and no installation or download of additional software is needed.  The onboard Quick Set-up Wizard provides users a fast and easy commissioning procedure, enabling all the following: motor data can be entered and checked, connection macros for digital inputs/outputs can be activated, application macros can be selected and activated for pumps, fans, compressors and other devices plus the common and frequently used parameters on the drive can be set for motor start, acceleration, deceleration, and min./max. speed.

For more information contact a Steiner application specialist at 1-800-STEINER (783-4637).

Modify Your Hoffman Enclosures With Ease

Modify Your Enclosure Fast

In an increasingly automated world, manufacturing control panels can be a production bottleneck, a time consuming and costly manual process. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Steiner can help you take the chore out of modifying your electrical enclosures, and let you get back to helping your customers and doing the contracting work that actually makes you money.

Whether you need modified one-off panels or require complex modifications to vital enclosures or subpanels, let Steiner automate the process with its Hoffman Certified Modification Center, aka the ModCenter293. Utilizing our available production capacity, broad range of capabilities, and experienced technicians, we can help you slash your production costs and lead times. Our engineered solutions can help you design and select the right electrical protection solution for your application.

The ModCenter293 take the manual labor out of enclosure modification.
The ModCenter293 take the manual labor out of enclosure modification projects.

Manufacturing control panels is traditionally a labor-intensive process with a lot of steps: drilling and tapping, milling and mark up. A typical enclosure might require  marking each hole and cutout location, drilling pilot holes and expanding those holes with larger bits, and using a jig saw to do the final cut out. Then, of course, there is the post-processing work: the deburring, filing sharp edges, performing general clean-up work. Those are just a few of the potential manual processes that might be required. After all that, you might still find holes off centered or threads misaligned.

All-and-all, not a fast, precise or repeatable solution.

Engineered Solutions

Considering that a 36-in. by 48-in. electrical enclosure could have 40 to 50 holes and cutouts and a back panel could have as many as 200 holes with taps, the ability to accurately and expeditiously customize enclosures is vital. Especially at a time when customers are demanding shorter build times, and accuracy and quality requirements are increasing.

Steiner can help contractors meet customer mandates. Dan Williams, manager of the Steiner Electric Custom Products Group says, “By automating labor-intensive modification tasks we can increase productivity, quality, and flexibility. We can produce holes and cutouts in minutes, not hours, and when we are done the holes are precise and clean and ready to populate.”

The ModCenter293 features software that integrates seamlessly with CAD DXF files and other file formats to push jobs forward.

The CNC unit handles enclosures up to 93.7 in. by 86 in. and back panels up to 93 in. by 94 in. It can process a variety of materials including mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper and PVC, polycarbonate, amd glass-reinforced plastic (GRP).

It features smooth, low-vibration movement of the cutting head, which is precision ball-screw spindle driven. Minimizing vibration helps extend tool life, but more important to our customers is that it processes materials fast and accurately. For instance, it can process up to 78 in. per minute (2000mm/min) in mild steel.

Automatic tool changer that holds up to 21 tools.
Automatic tool changer that holds up to 21 tools.

An automated tool changer with a magazine that holds up to 21 tools to perform all necessary drilling, milling, tapping, circular  milling – all the processing steps required for enclosure modifications.

Vertically oriented and operating in multi-axes, the unit grabs a tool and makes all the cuts that it can with that cutting tool, moving along a preprogrammed cutting path, before exchanging the cutter with another tool to continue the process.   The CNC machine operates along these vertical lines, explains Williams. “It rides on this plane, modifying whatever is on the plane.”

A flexible machine, the ModCenter293 allows for fast changes if needed.  “We are like an on-site job shop,” says Williams.  “Our number one priority is to make sure our customers get the enclosure they need for the job, at a competitive price, and get it on time, every time.”

Vast Array of Options

As an authorized Hoffman Distributor, Steiner offers the largest inventory of Hoffman enclosures in Northern Illinois. And these enclosures can be modified to specific requirements. In fact, by combining standard enclosures with available modifications, thousands of unique enclosures are possible.

This enclosure example shows a variety of holes and cutouts possible with the ModCenter293.
This enclosure example shows a variety of holes and cutouts possible with the ModCenter293.

Standard options available include:

  • 100+ standard paint finish options
  • Dimensional changes
  • Holes and cutout options
  • Studs, nuts, and tapped holes
  • Installation of standard accessories
  • Ventilation options

Hoffman enclosures are UL-certified to comply with all relevant specifications including UL, CSA, NEMA, CE, and IEG classifications. Some models are UL explosion-, chemical- and corrosion-proof, and some are IP-rated to prevent dust and water ingress.

Our factory trained Hoffman Enclosure Specialist, Bret Bevers, can assist you with product and technical application information, training, research, design and special quotation for your enclosure needs.

“The range of enclosures are remarkable,” says Bevers. “We can make them from a variety of materials and in all different types of classifications. For instance, a contractor might need a NEMA 1 enclosure or a multitude of different enclosures with different ratings.”

Stainless steel can be appropriate for food and beverage projects, and special coatings can be applied to the stainless steel to prevent corrosion. A corrosive environment might require special coatings to protect the enclosure from dangerous and corrosive gases or harsh liquids.

“The options are great with the Hoffman line,” says Bevers. “Each one has its own character.”

So, come and get modified enclosures without the hassle of measuring, drilling, cutting or any of the other tedious operations that are required.

To help you select or design the most appropriate enclosure for your application, contact Steiner at 800.783.4637, visit our website, or Email:  modificationcenter@stnr.com

 

Siemens Circuit Breaker Expands Design Possibilities

Siemens 3VA Molded Case Circuit Breakers

A circuit breaker such as the Siemens new 3VA molded case circuit breaker line is an essential piece of safety equipment that protects critical infrastructure from the harmful effects of short circuits and overloads.

MCCBs rank among the most important safety components in low voltage power distribution.  An estimated 30 million MCCBs are installed each year around the globe.

Siemens 3VA5 molded case circuit breaker.

The new UL-certified series of 3VA molded case circuit breakers from Siemens was designed for low-voltage power distribution in buildings, infrastructure, and industrial applications. But the line was not just designed to protect devices today, but to grow as applications demand and needs change.

Siemens 3va electrical circuit breaker line is built around a modular concept with a variety of models and accessories.

Steiner Electric has placed in inventory Siemens 3VA products that meets the needs of Chicago-area contractors, electricians, MROs, OEM personnel and more.

The 3VA Family

This wide-ranging list of devices include multiple circuit breaker types, auxiliary switches and alarms, a variety of trip options, and the lugs and wire connectors that keep it all together.

 

Siemens 3VA5 circuit breakers are available in 125 A and 250 A
Siemens 3VA5 circuit breakers are available in 125 A and 250 A frames with a variety of options for each.

Steiner offers these breaker boxes based on two Siemens 3VA5 frame families.

  • The 125 A frame is a 3-pole breaker box with 25 kA @ 480 V interruption rating that come in models that trip at 15 A, 20 A, 50 A, 100 A, and 125 A.
  • The 250 A frame has a 35kA @480 V interruption rating, and trip circuits are rated at 150 A, 200 A, 225 A, and 250 A.

Both devices require minimum space because of their compact design. The footprint for the 3VA5 125 A frame model is 3 in. by 3.8 x 5.5 in. and the footprint for the 250 A frame is 4.13 in. x 4.21 x 7.28 in.

Safe Tripping

For safe operation, the 3VA5 Siemens circuit breakers are based on the concept of thermal magnetic trip units (TMTUs). These TMTUs are two separate tripping mechanisms – thermal and magnetic—that are built into the same device.

In a thermal-magnetic circuit breaker, the trip unit includes elements designed to sense the heat resulting from an overload condition and the high current resulting from a short circuit.

The thermal safety component works on thermal inverse-time, meaning the higher the current, the faster the breaker trips. The thermal element is a bimetallic strip, which means it has two different metals bonded together that have different thermal expansion characteristics. As that strip warms up, the thermal differences cause the metals to twist and bend and eventually contact a trip bar causing the contacts to spring open.

The second safety component is the magnetic trip. The circuit breaker has a trip unit that senses a magnetic field generated by current to detect a short circuit. This type of circuit breaker trips immediately when a short circuit occurs, but delays an appropriate amount of time before tripping in the event of an overload.

Array of Design Options

Steiner offers a wide range of Siemens’ internal accessories that can fit in any of the 3VA products. They can be adapted flexibly, quickly and easily to individual specifications. Color coded for simple installation process, they are designed to always be installed at the correct position in the circuit breaker.

A door mounted rotary operator. Just one of the many options available from Steiner.
A door mounted rotary operator. Just one of the many options available from Steiner.

Accessories include multiple operator options, including door mounted rotary operators that come either with illumination, which provides a clear indication of the switching position, and without an illuminating kit.

Also available is the Max Flex flange mount operating system that allows the user to locate the circuit breaker almost anywhere within an enclosure. It uses a flexible cable that connects to a breaker operator mechanism and a handle located on the enclosure’s flange.

Also available are auxiliary and alarm switches that can be integrated with all sizes of Siemens breakers. The switches snap for easy installation and to swap out as needs change.

3VA9, UL, UVR undervoltage release
The Siemens 3VA9, undervoltage release switch.

Auxiliary switches can be used to operate indicator lights, relays or other accessories to provide the breaker’s status. Alarm switches indicate that the circuit breaker has tripped due to an overload, short circuit or ground fault. A shunt trip will trip a breaker remotely, and an under voltage trip release will activate when voltage shuts off or dips.

So, when looking to install new or replacement breakers, consider the 3VA5 products that offer myriad design possibilities.

Hubbell Disconnect Switch Enhances Safety with LED Phase Indicators

Hubbell Insight Circuit Lock with LEDs

The National Electronic Code requires that disconnect switches be in the line of sight of a user, motor and the equipment the motor drives. This allows the motor to be shut down for maximum safety. Now, Hubbell Wiring Device-Kellems has upgraded its 30amp disconnect switches to include LED lights that takes this line-of-sight visibility to the next level.

The company has introduced technology, dubbed inSIGHT™, that incorporates six LED phase-indicator lights. Three LEDS show the status of the line side and three lights represent the load side wiring. The electrical status of each phase is within sight and clearly displayed on the cover so that users are provided a secondary way to confirm make/break on all phases prior to removing the enclosure cover. For example, if there is a welded contact or dropped phase the operator can determine that a problem exists (see Fig. 1).

Hubbell non-metallic disconnect switch with LED lights

With an ever growing focus on safety improvements, Hubbell disconnects provide a difference you literally can see.

Hubbell phase-indicating disconnect switches are available in non-metallic, and stainless steel square top and sloped top versions. Replacement covers are available for upgrades to existing installations.

LED lights from Hubbell Wiring
Fig. 1: LED lights provide users with the status during different phases of line and load wiring.

The 30A Circuit-Lock Disconnect Switches are available with or without a jog switch to slowly move the motor forward or in reverse. Customers have the option to either purchase the entire disconnect unit or an LED replacement cover for compatible existing 30A Disconnect Switches.

As with most NEC-certified disconnect switches, when locked in the “off” position, the high-visibility red rotary handle complies with OSHA lockout/tagout requirements. When in the “on” position, the cover cannot be opened.

Hubbell's stainless steel sloped top disconnect.
Hubbell’s stainless steel sloped top disconnect

Designed to be tough, reliable and provide exceptional performance in the most grueling conditions, the disconnect switch’s IP69k rating means that it can withstand high-pressure, high-temperature washdowns. The units have been tested to withstand extremely hot water (176degF) and high-pressure water spray (1450psi) from various angles. In other destructive testing, the device is placed in a dust chamber for 8 hours while a vacuum attempts to pull dust into the sealed housing.

HHubbell's stainless steel square top disconnect.
Hubbell’s stainless steel square top disconnect

The switch is also certified by the NSF for use in food processing applications, and is UL Listed for Type 4X, which means that it can be used for either indoor or outdoor applications. It is also listed for Type 12 enclosures, which are enclosures constructed without knockouts for indoor use to protect personnel against access to hazardous parts, and to provide ingress protection for the electrical contents.

Features:
* Six highly visible integral phase identification LEDs
* External LEDs provide secondary means of visual confirmation of make/break on all phases
* Cover cannot be removed with switch in the “ON” position
* Certified by NSF for hygiene in Food Processing applications
* Highly visible red handle which meets OSHA LO/TO capabilities
* Available in 30 Amp non-metallic and stainless steel versions, with or without JOG switch
* UL witnessed IP69k and UL Type 4X and 12 Environmental ratings

 

Square D Road Warrior Trailer Rolls Into Steiner Electric

Industry leader Square D loaded up its new Road Warrior Trailer with some of its newest and most innovative products and is making appearances at three Steiner Electric branches in August.

From ready-to-install (RTI) panelboards to surge protection devices with myriad mounting options, meters, diagnostic devices and energy management systems, the products on display in the Square D Road Warrior Trailer are designed to speed-up installations, reduce mistakes, call backs and component lists.

The Road Warrior Trailer makes three stops at Steiner Electric in August. The first is Aug. 8, from 11am to 1pm, in Elk Grove Village. On Aug. 15, the trailer rolls into Rockford, and two days later it appears at the St. Charles branch from 10am to 1pm.

Units on display include ready-to-install (RTI) panelboards such as the NQ panel, which is designed to meet 240Vac maximum rating applications and offer powerful circuit protection. Additional features showcased include a group mounted (factory installed) SPD unit, finger guard on incoming wires as per new code, and CAFI and DF breakers.

Another line on display is the the HomeLine Plug-on group of circuit breakers and load centers that help contractors save time on installation, and meet NECs code regarding arc and ground fault requirements.

Homeline Plug-on features on display include, Plug on Neutral CAFI and DF breakers, incoming wires finger guard, push-to-test DF breakers, and Group mounted SPD.

Also on display is the QO load center for applications ranging from agricultural to industrial, commercial to residential with indoor and outdoor versions available. The QO is a load center and circuit breaker family that comes in single and three-phase, ¾ in. circuit breaker width, 30  to 400 amps, 2 to 42 circuits and separate flush or surface mounted covers.

Additional features on display for the QO Load Center (Plug on), include the finger guard requirement, Plug on Neutral CAFI and DF breakers, the Qwik Grip wire management system, hinged Trim with adjustable dead front, and Visi-Trip breakers.

Other items on display include EZM corner section metering, Wiser Energy Load Center, which features a new load control with all-inclusive CT’s and communication package for metering, and a whole range of SPDs in unit mount, group mount and side mount.

Come See The Square D Road Warrior Trailer in August
• Elk Grove on Tuesday, Aug. 8, from 11am to 1pm
• Rockford Branch, on Tuesday, Aug. 15, from 11am top 1pm
• St. Charles on Tuesday, Aug. 17, from 10am to 1pm
Lunch provided during each event.

Come and Qualify for The 2017 IDEAL National Championship

Do you consider yourself one of the country’s best electricians? If so, test your abilities at the qualifying rounds of the IDEAL National Championship being held at Steiner Electric’s Rockford facility on June 22, and its Elk Grove Village facilities on June 29.

The events coincide with customer appreciation days at the two venues. In Rockford, Steiner will host its 20th Annual Pig Roast, which, in addition to the electrical competition, will also feature new products and prizes. The following week, in Elk Grove Village, Steiner will host its Great American BBQ.

It was at a Steiner event last year that the 2016 IDEAL National Championship winner, Greg Anliker, qualified to move on in the competition.  Anliker, an electrician with 20 years’ experience, will defend his title as the country’s best professional electrician at this year’s Championship Weekend, Nov. 10-11, 2017, in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

Will you make it through the gauntlet of challenges to get a chance to challenge Anliker as this year’s champ?

In the IDEAL National Championship qualifying rounds, contestants are required to demonstrate problem-solving and physical skills across four categories: wire cutting, stripping, termination, and testing through a multi-station speed test judged by fastest completion time and overall accuracy of the wire connection.