In the digital age, industrial companies are under pressure to become faster, leaner, and more connected. As a result, industry 4.0 projects have become a top priority for many businesses. To support this trend, manufacturers must upgrade their facilities with smart production systems and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors. These upgrades enable organizations to reduce costs and streamline processes by digitizing manual tasks and integrating automated controls into their machinery.
However, industrial electrical projects can be challenging for designers and engineers. These types of projects require specific knowledge about safety standards, electrical codes, construction materials, equipment performance requirements, and much more. Moreover, you need to understand how these elements will impact your design so that you can meet project requirements without sacrificing safety or efficiency.
Define your project requirements
Every new electrical project starts with requirements. These include both functional and non-functional requirements, as well as project constraints. Here is a list of items to consider when defining your project requirements:
Functional requirements: What tasks does the system perform? What are its outputs? What process does it improve? Non-functional requirements: What is the system’s lifespan? How much energy does it consume? What is the system’s operating environment? Project constraints: What is the budget for the project? What are the project deadlines? What materials do you have access to?
Review of current equipment
Before you plan your new electrical system, you must have a clear understanding of your current equipment. This includes the type of equipment, its mounting location, power requirements, and wiring. After conducting a thorough review, you can create a map that shows how each piece of equipment is connected to the rest of the system. This will help you identify any issues or challenges with your current set-up so that you can plan your upgrades accordingly.
Some common issues that you should look for are: – Existing equipment that is no longer suitable for its current purpose. For example, a transformer that was installed when the building was constructed, and may be undersized for the current load. – Faulty wiring that is connected incorrectly or may have become damaged over time. – Inefficient wiring that could be re-wired to increase the capacity or reduce energy consumption. – Poor grounding and bonding that could lead to safety issues.
Plan your wiring routes and locations beforehand
Before you start connecting wires, you must decide on the routes for your new electrical connections and location of junction boxes. You should plan your wiring routes and locations beforehand because it will make the actual installation much easier to complete. When deciding on wiring routes, you need to consider the following: –
Location of existing equipment and cables – Make sure that your new wires don’t interfere with existing connections or create a safety hazard.
Wiring requirements – You need to meet the relevant electrical standards, such as National Electrical Code (NEC) requirements. You also need to consider voltage drop, ampacity, and the system maximum load to avoid overloading circuits. –
Ease of installation – You should avoid routes that are difficult to access or require lots of drilling.
Avoidance of environmental hazards – You must avoid areas that are exposed to moisture or dust, as well as any nearby sources of electromagnetic interference.
Select the right tools and materials for the job
As you set out to install new equipment and wiring, you will need to purchase various tools and materials. You should select the right electrical tools for the job, such as a wire stripper, crimper, or voltmeter. You should also select the proper materials for the wiring, such as copper or aluminum wiring, as well as insulation and terminations.
You also need to consider how these materials will be installed in your facility. You should follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the best installation methods to avoid damaging the equipment. You must also meet NEC standards for installation methods and materials.
Ensure worker safety and platform reliability
As you design electrical systems for industrial environments, it is important to meet all safety standards. This includes ensuring proper grounding and bonding of all systems and equipment. Non-industrial grade components may not meet electrical codes. Therefore, you should always use industrial-grade equipment for your electrical systems. When selecting electrical components, you need to think about their reliability. You should choose components that are highly durable, resistant to wear, and have low maintenance requirements. This will help you reduce downtime and maintenance costs.
We have our Industrial Electrical Projects team experienced in electrical experts and project managers available to assist you in meeting the electrical engineering needs of your business. We ensure that every project is succeeding by completing it within budget. If you’re seeking an electrician for your large industrial electrical project, call us.
Industrial electrical engineering projects present unique challenges compared to other types of electrical projects. For example, you must consider factors like the environment, equipment, safety, and existing wiring. You can reduce these challenges by starting with a clear project plan, inspecting current equipment, and selecting high-quality materials. You should also put safety first and follow the NEC codes throughout the project.
When you complete the project, you will see the benefits of the upgrades. You can improve production, automate processes, and reduce costs by digitizing operations and integrating IoT sensors into your system.