Electrical Review - January February 2017

Page 1

Informing the electrical industry for over 140 years

Jan / Feb 2017 Volume 250 | No 1 www.electricalreview.co.uk

Factory safety Security - a growing concern



CoBots lead the trend in robotics

Uncertainty? What uncertainty?


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The UK’s top Manufacturing and Industrial Technology Exhibition Meet over 800 national and international suppliers under one roof in Farnborough this March at Southern Manufacturing & Electronics (inc AutoAero) 2017. See live demonstrations and new product launches of machine tools & tooling, electronics, factory & process automation, packaging & handling, labelling & marking, 3D printing, test & measurement, materials & adhesives, rapid prototyping, ICT, drives & controls and laboratory equipment. Free industry seminar programme online @ www.industrysouth.co.uk The exhibition is free to attend, free to park and easy to get to. Doors open at 9.30am on Tuesday 21st March. Pre-register online now for your free entry badge and show preview at www.industrysouth.co.uk

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NEWS Beama proposes practical action

TRANSFORMERS Transforming transformer intelligence

08 GOSSAGE Gossage:gossip

10 ENCLOSURES Meet market demand for quicker, safer and bespoke system solutions

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ROBOTICS CoBots lead the trend in robotics


20 HEATING The future of electric heating

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RENTAL Uncertainty? what uncertainty?

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22 CABLE MANAGEMENT Cabling options for today’s advanced robotic automotive manufacturing www.electricalreview.co.uk

4 | NEWS

JIB launches apprentice video and app As part of its ongoing support for industry apprenticeships, the JIB has launched two online tools to assis apprentices during their training. A new one-minute video clip firstly gives a brief overview of the JIB’s role, what the organisation does, details on ECS cards and the support the JIB can provide. Alongside this, the JIB Apprentice App provides more detailed advice and guidance specifically for JIB-registered apprentices. Available on iPhone and Android, the app features bite-sized chunks of information on areas such as ECS cards, the JIB handbook, safe isolation procedures and pay rates for JIB apprentices. In addition to the essential guidance linked to employment and training, the app also signposts to additional benefits and services such as the JIB Handtool Replacement Scheme, discounted driving lessons and counselling services. The app has been specifically designed for JIB-registered apprentices, but much of the information is useful to all electrotechnical apprentices. “Our Apprentice App is an easy reference guide for JIB apprentices so they can always have useful information to hand,” said Steve Brawley, JIB chief executive. “At the start of your apprenticeship there’s so much to take in – most of it undoubtedly gets forgotten! We hope that with the app we can be a constant source of advice throughout the lifetime of their training.” 19-yr old Joe Durant, a JTL apprentice registered with the JIB, was one of the first to view and test the app. “The entire design and layout made it extremely easy and simple to navigate without any problems - I was able to find what I wanted in literally seconds,” said Joe. “The information included in the app is very helpful, because I found out things I didn’t previously know were involved in my apprenticeship. “In my eyes it’s great for all apprentices as it gives us the vital pieces of information we seek and require for our apprenticeship and future careers.” To watch the video and link to the app visit www.jib.org.uk/new-apprentice

Electrical Review | January / February 2017

Beama proposes practical action in response to minister’s heat policy speech Beama has welcomed the Heat Policy speech delivered by Baroness Neville-Rolfe, minister for business, energy and industrial strategy, but with some words of caution and a message for BEIS officials to focus on practical actions that can stimulate the take up of low carbon and energy efficiency measures. Beama deputy CEO Kelly Butler said “Obviously we are very pleased that the government has finally issued its response to the Renewable Heat Incentive consultation which will enable us to begin promoting the heat pump technology that the Minister states in her speech is a vital part of our decarbonised heat and flexible energy system future. According to BEIS officials but not mentioned in the speech is the fact around 90% of current RHI recipients using air source heat pumps would be better off with the new RHI structure, with a more modest 60% better off with ground source heat pumps. This is good news. However, there are some practical actions missing in both the RHI response and the concurrently announced Heat in Buildings Consultation: • The lack of rules of the Assignment of Rights package is disappointing and officials must commit to delivery dates for this important part of the policy suite; certainly before the start of the next heating season.

• The government has failed to acknowledge the growing message from industry the Microgeneration Certification Scheme needs greater competition and a review to ensure it is delivering value to those who pay for it, i.e. manufacturers, installers and, inevitably although indirectly, customers. • Peer reviewed evidence to ensure mandatory inclusion of TRVs in building regulations has yet to be acted upon by BEIS and this is a gaping omission in the Heat in Buildings Consultation which claims to promote greater control. We are calling on BEIS to listen to the overwhelming supporting evidence to elevate the role of TRVs in domestic heating control minimum standards. • The market model for low carbon heat deployment is inappropriate if dealt with on a national scale and our response to the currently live Energy Market Design call for evidence will be promoting a regional heat zone model which will bring together partnerships between the heating supply chain, network operators, aggregators and energy retailers. • Beama hopes both the minister and her officials now work with industry experts as soon as possible to tackle the practical heat market issues. Theory and policy is one thing… market development planning and delivery is quite another.

Napit keeps members busy Napit has announced after successful trials in 2016 the Napit Keep Busy Scheme, powered by Quotatis, has been launched nationwide, exclusively for Napit members. The Keep Busy Scheme is a lead generation service designed to help you get extra work, build your reputation and grow your business. Napit is working with Quotatis to offer Napit members access to a full range of business tools including Smart Leads and the Smart App. The service allows customers to access Smart Leads on a phone or PC, call customers more quickly with alerts for new leads and send them quotes which they can accept online. The Smart App and Smart Dashboard that come with the system are built to take the

stress out of managing customers. There is no need for a lengthy paper trail to handle jobs - now this can be managed all from a mobile phone, tablet or desktop. Whether it’s managing workload, sending quotes to consumers or making sure payment has been made, the Smart App and Smart Dashboard can help.

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6 | NEWS

AEI Cables statement Birtley-based AEI Cables has announced it will be serving notice of redundancy on a number of employees and it is proposing to enter a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA). Following an extended period of collective redundancy consultation which started in September 2016, the company has regrettably reached the decision it is unable to continue manufacturing and that it will continue as a sales-only business. The majority of the company’s 198 employees left on or before Friday, 6 January. As part of a phased closure, approximately 40 employees will continue working until the beginning of March. Some 13 sales and administration staff will stay on working for the company after September at a location to be decided. In the CVA, employees can claim statutory redundancy pay from the government’s Redundancy Payments Office, while the company can pay creditors over a fixed period in accordance with the terms of the CVA. If creditors agree the CVA, the company can continue trading in the meantime. A spokesman for AEI Cables said: “The company has been losing money for some time and, following careful consideration of other options to avoid or reduce the number of potential redundancies, it was necessary to either find a buyer or to cease production. “Despite significant investment in the plant over the last two-and-a-half years, profitable production levels have not been achieved. With unviable output levels and without a buyer, we deeply regret that manufacturing operations will have to cease. We will be providing all the advice and guidance we can to those being made redundant.”

EnviroVent becomes NICEIC approved training centre UK designer and manufacturer of ventilation systems EnviroVent has announced the company’s training centre in Harrogate has now become a fully accredited NICEIC Approved Training Centre. NICEIC is a UK voluntary regulatory body for the electrical contracting industry and for almost 60 years, it has been assessing the competence of electricians. EnviroVent has invested significantly in its training centre to ensure it can provide the best possible NICEIC training courses for ventilation installers. The centre now boasts fully operational ventilation units that allow contractors and installers to work in real life ventilation scenarios, as well as being able to commission and set up ventilation systems. EnviroVent’s training centre will be audited regularly by both internally and externally by NICEIC. EnviroVent will be running an NICEIC

course every month, with extra courses arranged at times when demand is high. The company expects to train around 200 installers over the next 12 months - the courses allow learners to understand the need for proper ventilation, regulations and the importance of accurate installation. EnviroVent’s two day NICEIC Domestic Ventilation course is designed for experienced electricians, plumbers, ventilation installers and heating engineers that are looking to improve their knowledge and understanding of domestic ventilation systems. This NICEIC certified course has been designed to provide the skills in design, installation, testing, commissioning, handover, servicing and fault finding of ventilation systems in accordance with the latest National Occupational Standards (NOS) and Minimum Technical Competency documents (MTC).

Electrical Safety First joins government group on product recalls Electrical Safety First is among key industry stakeholders chosen to sit on a new government-backed working group tasked with delivering urgent recommendations to improve the safety of white goods - including tumble dryers. The Working Group on Product Recalls and Safety - which was established following a serious fire in Hammersmith caused by a faulty tumble dryer - will bring together expertise from the fire service, trading standards, consumer groups and industry. The group will focus on issues around the causes of fires in white goods, the mark-

ing of appliances to make them easier to identify after a fire, and a code of practice for product recalls - including the peer review of risk assessments. The consumer minister Margot James has asked the group to report back with interim findings by the end of this year. “We are delighted to be co-opted on to this group, which will”, explained Phil Buckle, chief executive of Electrical Safety First. “With the limited success of recalls and well over 200 electrical items recalled in the last four years, it is evident that the recall system needs to be amended.”

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Electrical Review | January / February 2017

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Humpty dumpty sat on a... The International Energy Agency (IEA) is the most authoritative intergovernmental body dealing with energy policy. Each year it publishes a heavyweight study into progress on its official “number one priority”. Called energy saving. The IEA Energy Efficiency Market Report 2016 is now out. This includes several important conclusions about the way in which energy use is reducing year on year in practically every developed country. And how the wealth generation to energy consumption ratio is improving fast in many developing countries too. This year, it is China that is held out for especial praise, regarding how it is meeting all its demanding targets to improve efficiency in its buildings, in its factories, in its vehicles. So euphoric is the International Energy Agency’s reaction, that it has broken with precedent, and singled out just that one country to adorn the cover of its publication. The cover consists of a tasteful, panoramic full colour view of the Great Wall of China, rolling off into the distance. Sadly a large part of the symbolism of awarding this accolade is lost. Because nowhere at all is there any building to be seen. Nor any factory. Certainly not a vehicle in sight. I fear the subliminal message from this photo may turn out to be: ‘Save energy, close down everything.’

And risk it on one turn The City of York Council knows its enemies. It retains a list of organisations deemed to be “key risks” to the honest folk who live in that historic city. The “key risks” list is part of the government’s strategy “Prevent”, designed to “prevent” people from becoming terrorists. The list is headed by DAESH or ISIS , the so-called Islamic state, and its followers. It includes certain far-right neo-Nazi groups. It also covers some of the more violent of the animal rights group. No big surprises there. But a new category has recently been added to that list. That of anti- gas fracking campaigners. All of which means that under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, the authorities are permitted to conduct covert surveillance upon antifracking groups. With the best will in the world, it really is a travesty to suggest that anybody who doesn’t fancy their local countryside being industrialised is automatically on a par with extremists prepared to kill anybody with whom they disagree. This is definitely no way to sell the joys of such explorations to the Great British Public.

Neither borrower, nor lender be Each winter, the doom-mongers appear, warning ‘the lights are going out . That is, unless the taxpayer forks out yet more subsidies to support whichever form of electricity generation the doom-monger has interests in. With electricity sales still over 15% lower than a decade ago, this wail becomes less and less convincing each year. Even so, the latest worry-line is that coal-fired capacity is coming off the market even earlier than expected. This may just have some substance. What else explains the reason why the income anticipated by the Treasury from the carbon floor price mechanism (known to you and I as the UK’s very own industrial energy tax) had been anticipated as being £1.2bn when this financial year started? But is already being forecast by the Treasury to provide them with only a cool £1bn in revenue. As the actual tax rate charged hasn’t altered, this 20% reduction in Government revenue must be due to just one of three reasons. Either there is significantly less industrial activity than anticipated – which doesn’t seem to be true. Or that British industry is switching to less carbon intensive fuels. Or our industry is becoming more and more energy efficient, and so needing to buy even less fuel, of any type. Let us hope it is the latter reason.

Pellets of perfidy There is something faintly ridiculous that a humble renewable energy scheme is managing to bring down a government that has been in power for over a decade. But that indeed is what has happened in Northern Ireland, where the power –sharing executive between the Democratic Unionist Party (Protestant) and Sinn Fein (Catholic) has fallen out, ostensibly over the operation of the Renewable Heat Incentive. This scheme is currently operating throughout the UK. Essentially it is designed to intentivise commercial enterprises to install non-fossil fuel boilers. The enterprise in question is then rewarded for each kilowatt produced. Effectively the more electricity consumed, the more money the enterprise gets paid. I recall that when the scheme was first mooted, at the tail end of the Brown government, there were warnings by conservationists that this perverse mechanism would effectively encourage profligacy. The more wood pellets you burn, the more the government pays you. Not so, argued the civil servants. Your input costs will rise proportionately, which will discourage waste. As it has turned out, the cost of wood pellets has turned out far cheaper than the cost of each kilowatt that the government rewards the happy enterprise for consuming. The imbalance is such that the Northern Ireland government is now anticipating a £480m deficit from this scheme. Were this to be happening right across the entire UK, proportionately this would mean that the public purse would be looking at over £50bn in losses. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

Electrical Review | January / February 2017

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Quicker, safer and bespoke system solutions offering speed and accuracy Hager’s Engineered Solution service is meeting market demand for quicker, safer and bespoke system solutions for electrical installation design projects where speed and accuracy of completion is paramount. Chris Howells, product manager for commercial enclosures and accessories at Hager, explains how the company is increasingly collaborating with electrical consultants and contractors to supply a range of engineered services from pre-assembled distribution units to in-demand turnkey system packages


e all want to feel that as customers we are treated as individuals and not just another number. Human nature means we are more likely to be drawn to a service that identifies with our needs and aspirations and strives to work with us to find the solution we actually want. The same principles are now underpinning a more collaborative approach being seen within the electrical installation market as the consultants and contractors, charged with delivering challenging commercial projects, look to help, support and gain expertise from within the supply chain so electrical design project success can be guaranteed. As such, there is an increasing market appetite for the specification of engineered solutions such as pre-

Consultants are reassured by a rigorous factory-based assembly process assembled standard distribution boards, engineered consumer units and bespoke composite systems. As a result of such solutions being offered, electrical consultants are now, for example, feeling reassured by a rigorous factory-based assembly process which is, in Hager’s case, also backed by full type testing that

Chris Howells

places the compliance onus fully upon us as the manufacturer. Onsite contractors, on the other hand, can see the obvious advantages to be gained courtesy of a ‘site-ready’ solution that can drastically reduce installation times by up to 50%, remove any issues about sourcing individual components, eradicate on-site space considerations and eliminate installation complexity. Hager’s Engineered Solutions offering has made great strides in recent years as we have grown to satisfy the demands of a marketplace that wants solutions capable of tackling the specific challenges and intricacies of individual projects, and which is turning away from a previous reliance upon traditional ‘off the shelf’ answers. Today, with speed of completion a key requirement for project success, as well as the need to adhere to all the necessary safety obligations laid down by industry

regulations, there is a definite desire on behalf of the sector for a collaborative approach that sees customer and manufacturer work in tandem to devise quality-based, original solutions. Increasingly, this is how customers are choosing to work with companies like Hager, as they can see the clear benefits and obvious advantages of working sideby-side on a solution to meet a specific requirement. A big rise over the past five years in orders for pre-assembled standard distribution boards, as well as engineered non-standard consumer units that offer special configurations in standard enclosures or metal DIN rail enclosures, together with pluggable and metered options, are testament to a tangible market trend. This is also backed by a growth in business for bespoke composite systems that provide, for example, boards ready for assembly on site with apertures pre-cut to allow cable access between the various enclosures and combining panelboards with TP&N boards to create bespoke composite panels. These are prime examples of where the market is heading; with flexibility, convenience, speed and ‘peace-of-mind’ some of the key objectives for project success. This demand has focussed the development of our engineered solutions offering as we have listened to consultants and contractors and sought to align our service with the demands of the market. This has led to the availability of a


number of important practical solutions which ensure the design and installation process is seamless, cost effective and appropriate, including: Aesthetics – with the ‘look’ of the specified solution from a consumer unit up to a three-phase metered distribution board important from an aesthetic perspective, the ability to select a colour finish can help support an overall design look for the interior. This will be important in heavily used public areas such as schools and hotels. Delivery – complex builds mean pressure on logistics and on-site space constraints. However, the ability to schedule deliveries to site exactly when they are required is a practical benefit that can often be overlooked. Individual labelling – to further

Trouble free, quick and, most importantly, safe support installation ease, fully assembled solutions clearly labelled for individual rooms can underpin on-site efficiencies, especially in complex construction projects such as large schools where room type and use will vary dramatically. Simple sign posting of a bespoke solution for such spaces will contribute to achieving quicker and safe installations. Collaboration – in addition to the above, Hager’s Engineered Solutions

Team, based in Telford, Shopshire works with consultants to devise and build bespoke composite systems that can follow a specific wiring schedule so they know the final product delivered to site will be the perfect answer. Feature options such as data logging and web connectivity for remote meter reading add to the range of available solutions. With the knowledge that all Hager Engineered Solutions are fully type tested and will arrive on site conforming to previously agreed decisions around wiring, assembly, colour and identification, those connected to the design and installation of electrical solutions for the commercial market can be rest assured this part of the build should be trouble free, quick and, most importantly, safe. www.electricalreview.co.uk


STEGO launches DC Line for applications with DC power supply Our world is getting more and more digital. Complex process and control technology is increasingly gaining entry to electronic applications in the course of industry 4.0. This also involves the use of thermal management components, which are operated with DC voltage. Stego with its many years of competence in DC products is aware of these needs and now focuses on this trend. DC Line items for cooling and lighting applications mark the starting point


C or DC? This is the initial question for the electrical design of control cabinets. The decision for AC or DC voltage to supply an application is fundamental and influences the entire circuit layout as well as the component selection. DC supply, that is, the transformation of AC voltage in DC voltage before entering the enclosure for the supply of the internal components, is becoming increasingly prevalent in the course of industry 4.0 and more complex process and control technology. The electronics protectors from STEGO know these needs and have many years of experience with DC products in the segments of heating, regulating, cooling and lighting. Integrating our products into the DC Line takes this development into account. The enclosure light LED 025 Ecoline with operating voltages from DC 24 - 48 V (min. DC 20 V, max. DC 60 V) and the Filter Fan Plus FPI/FPO 018 with DC 24 V and DC 48 V mark the start in the STEGO DC Line. The LED 025 Ecoline lights in their DC variants score with high fail-safety as well as long service life (60,000 h). Glarefree brightness with daylight color temperature (6,000 - 7,000 K, 400 Lm at 120 ° beam angle) lead to true-color illumination with low power consumption (5 W). Mounting the compact LED lamp is easy with a choice between screw, clip or magnetic fixing. Optional connection for an external switch integrated on/off switch or integrated motion detector round off the features. As DC variants the Filter Fans Plus FPI/FPO 018 also prove their innovative advantages. Available in three standard sizes (92x92, 124x124 and 176x176 mm), the Filter Fan Plus is mounted easily and tool-free by means of its patented ratchet

Electrical Review | January / February 2017

mount mechanism. The outstanding air flow performance by comparison to the fan diameters is due to the innovative air-flap outlet technology, which ventilates the air more unobstructed than in conventional systems from the enclosure. With low power consumption of 2.7 W to 12 W the Filter Fan Plus impressively confirms the efficiency of the DC approach. The innovative and high-quality thermal management solutions from STEGO are committed to the principles of “STEGO Engineering”. With the introduction of the DC Line STEGO proves to be a reliable and application-oriented partner for OEM manufacturers and integrators in the field of electrical engineering.

STEGO - PERFECT THERMAL MANAGEMENT Since it was founded in 1980, Stego Elektrotechnik in Schwaebisch Hall, Germany, has been developing, producing and selling an ever-growing range of products for the protection of electric and electronic components. All STEGO products for cabinets and enclosures – heaters, fan heaters, filter fans, LED-lamps, thermostats, hygrostats and accessories - are aimed at reaching optimum climatic conditions in the most varied environments, ensuring that all sensitive components work reliably at all times. Stego is now represented at 12 locations and by more than 200 sales partners worldwide. www.stego.co.uk




STEGO ‘the protector of electronics’ have developed a new filter fan series. This series has a more effective airflow and significantly increases air volume, thanks to its unique air-flap outlet technology, and only one filter mat. But there is more …



STEGO UK Ltd. | Unit 12, First Quarter Bus. Park | Blenheim Road, Epsom | Surrey KT19 9QN | www.stego.co.uk



Diversity and the skills gap The construction and engineering industry faces a considerable threat: namely the workforce is ageing, yet not enough young people are joining to take their place. At the same time, the industry faces major challenges over the prevalence of men and the general lack of diversity. Alex Meikle, ECA director of skills and employment (pictured), explains


ust this month, the Greater London Authority released data which showed 96% of higher-level apprenticeships in construction or engineering in London during 2015/16 were taken by men. While the Guardian recently reported findings from the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) which indicated that 92% of UK engineers are men and 94% are white. It’s therefore clear if we are to succeed in securing the industry’s future and closing the skills gap, there is a need to look further afield when recruiting, and seek out a diverse, dynamic workforce. The industry’s reputation and perception among the public has been highlighted as one reason for the ongoing lack of diversity, and efforts are being made to improve this. Carolyn Mason, ECA’s head of education and training explained “too often, the exciting, innovative projects that our sector delivers go unheralded because they’re only one element of a construction project... people who could have careers in engineering contracting don’t consider it

People aren’t aware of the breadth and depth of what’s on offer because they aren’t aware of the breadth and depth of what’s on offer”. Sneha Doshi, ECA’s senior employee relations advisor, added “people from minority backgrounds have parents who emigrated to this country but who were originally from middle-class backgrounds... they’d rather their children went into what Electrical Review | January / February 2017

Alex Meikle, ECA director of skills and employment

they see as more ‘white-collar’ jobs.” Rob Driscoll, director of legal and commercial at the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), said assumptions about physical limitations or difficulties with health and safety regulations are deterrents for those with disabilities. However, emerging success stories are helping to change the perception of the industry. One such role model is Sam Jones, a JTL ambassador who works for ECA member-organisation Melvin John. Jones was selected to represent the UK in the JIB’s Overseas Apprenticeship Exchange Program to New York City in 2015. She has since represented the UK at the BWI Women’s International Global Conference in Nepal and recently spoke at a diversity seminar at the London Southbank University, organised by the ECA and BESA. Since the start of this programme, the number of female applicants to apprenticeships managed by JTL has doubled, and JTL’s equality and diversity

officer, Yasmin Damree-Ralph, said ambassadors from BAME backgrounds are now also involved and hoping to replicate the success of their female colleagues. Driscoll said work with the charity Blind in Business provided insight into employment of the visually impaired in the construction industry. ‘For a long time, the construction industry wasn’t considered an option for the visually impaired,’ he explains. ‘But there is an increasing reliance on programming and computer work, and the development of software makes this work possible for those who might have difficulty on a construction site.’ There are also government grants available to cover any additional costs to the employer. Despite these efforts, however, there may be elements of unconscious bias and a tendency to employ locally or based on referrals within a pre-existing community. Joanna Constandis, an environmental labourer who speaks positively about her experiences as a woman in the industry, admits while training she “received confused looks and questions about my reasons for being in the group. Assumptions were made that I wanted a career in quantity surveying or admin.” Driscoll suggested in order to overcome these deep-rooted issues, diversity needs to be put to employers as a business case, and Mason said the ECA and TESP are considering a certificate scheme by which businesses are awarded gold, silver or bronze depending on their commitment to recruiting a more diverse workforce. However, we plan to tackle this, the need to close the skills gap should remain at the forefront of our minds; with exciting new projects and developments in technology adding to the already growing interest in the industry, we must take advantage of this new, diverse talent pool and to help ensure a positive future for the industry.


CoBots lead the trend in robotics The biggest trends in the robotics industry include collaborative robots (CoBots), a move towards high precision applications and the rise of the Internet of Robot Things (IoRT). Here, Richard Hurst, product manager at Harmonic Drive AG, looks at the latest technological advancements, such as high precision gears, that are allowing these trends to move from the periphery of the industry into the mainstream


etween 2010 and 2014, robot sales reached 171,000 units globally, a rise of 48% on the previous four years and representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17%. This is according to research by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), which also identified China as the world’s biggest buyer of industrial robots with a 25% share of the worldwide market. However, this rapid pace of development is nothing new. The history of modern robotics is a short one, with much of the innovation in the sector happening in the last fifty years. If we look back, we can see that credibility in the industry was really established with the advent of the first industrial robot, created by American inventor George Devol in the 1950s and patented in 1961. Devol’s invention was significant for a few key reasons, not least of which was the robot’s ability to offer freedom of movement through six axes. It also demonstrated the effective use of hydraulic power and was capable of lifting payloads of up to 250kg. So what makes this latest surge in growth significant? Taking a closer look, we can see that improvements in integrated technology such as motors, drives, controls, gearing systems and sensors are really driving demand across sectors including automotive, industrial automation and the electronic semiconductor market. These technological advancements are leading to some unique and never before seen innovations and trends. Having specialised in high precision gearing systems for as long as industrial robots have been around, here at Harmonic Drive, we have also experienced a similar demand for gearing systems

Electrical Review | January / February 2017

precision and the wider adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT).


Richard Hurst, product manager at Harmonic Drive AG

that are lighter, more compact and more powerful. In the last decade alone, our focus on meeting our customers’ increasingly demanding requirements has resulted in a 90% increase in the torque-to-weight capacity of our gearing component sets — improving from an average of 310Nm/kg to an extraordinary 580Nm/kg.

We are now witnessing a shift in the industry based on three new trends As a result of these developments, we are now witnessing a shift in the industry based on three new trends. These include the rising popularity of collaborative robots, the demand for ultra high

CoBots are set to mimic and learn from humans. Picture this: a small electronics assembly plant consisting of dozens of assembly lines is operated by a handful of human workers and yet productivity and efficiency is higher than was ever achievable with all-human setups. How is this possible? CoBots, of course. Previously reserved for heavy industrial applications and confined to cages to prevent accidental injury to human workers, six axis robots are quickly moving to applications traditionally only deliverable because of the dexterity inherent in human hands. We are now reaching a point where the integration of previously disparate electromechanical components is making small desktop robotic arms a reality. Motors, gears, bearings, housings, sensors, control electronics and connectors can all deliver a high level of performance in a small package. In many cases, a human worker can stand next to a robot, hold its hand, and guide it through a delicate task. This movement is perfectly recorded in real-time and the software can begin to automatically programme the necessary commands allowing the robot to repeat this task again and again. Increasingly sophisticated computational and algorithmic intelligence further allows the robot to ‘learn’ and improve tasks as it becomes more experienced.

NEW HEIGHTS OF ACCURACY Anyone that has threaded the eye of a needle will appreciate the dexterity and finesse required to complete the

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task. Now imagine doing this at high speed with the same level of accuracy, repeatedly for 24 hours and then you will come close to understanding the demands placed on modern semiconductor manufacturing. Applications including material handling, automotive manufacturing and dispensing in pharmaceutical and food processing would simply be unable to achieve the high volume and high quality output they currently enjoy, without high accuracy robotic automation. In particular, wafer-handling robots used in the semiconductor industry — to produce the computer chips used in our everyday devices — have the challenging task of stacking silicon wafers into a cassette tower by accurately detecting wafer presence and position. This task is completed by calculating the wafer centre to an accuracy of 5000ths of an inch to reduce errors. This is only achievable with the zero backlash, and lightweight high precision gears used in the robotic arms. Accuracy will continue to play a major role in the next decade as we witness the advent of surgical robots, where surgeons can perform operations remotely, without the need to be physically present.

THE INTERNET OF ROBOT THINGS There is no doubt the IoT has already made waves in the world of consumer electronics. The increased use of Electrical Review | January / February 2017

embedded sensors, along with higher bandwidth broadband and mobile speeds is set to revolutionise public transport, driverless cars, smart wearable medical devices, as well as building HVAC and lighting management. This trend for IoT enabled devices is also spreading to the industrial automation sector. Amazon recently brought its robotic fulfilment model to the UK. Having purchased a robotic manufacturer for over £530m in 2012, the online retailing giant is working hard to realise drastic efficiency improvements in its fulfilment process. Before long, we can expect orders to show up at our door within hours of clicking the buy button. Apart from reliable sensor data, the hardware behind these robots needs to deliver long-term reliability. It is no use making efficiency savings in the short term if parts such as gears and motors need to be replaced every quarter. Managing maintenance schedules, reliability and return on investment is essential if businesses want to make the transition to highly automated industrial setups. The trend for collaboration, high accuracy and the internet of robot things is well underway. The rapidly changing robotic environment will continue to pose both challenges and opportunities for small and large businesses alike. Businesses that respond quickly, adopt and integrate these technologies will be the ones to gain the most competitive advantage.

USHERING IN NEW AGE OF ROBOTICS Harmonic Drive UK, has launched CSF-2UP, a new gearbox range designed for medical technology, robotics and measuring-instrument applications. Expected to be worth US$7.85bn by 2020, according to MarketsandMarkets, the smart and collaborative robotics sector is particularly dependent on compact and ultra lightweight gears. The zero backlash capability of the CSF-2UP gearbox range, combined with its lightweight and compact features, makes it ideal for use in high precision positioning tasks in applications with limited space, such as jointed arm robots, measuring instruments and various uses in the growing medical technology market. “We are increasingly seeing collaborative robots being used alongside human workers,” explained Graham Mackrell, managing director of Harmonic Drive UK. “The problem is that much of the gearing technology available on the market is simply not adequate for balancing power to weight ratios with precision and speed in a package that is compact and lightweight. This is why we have developed the CSF-2UP. Not only is this new gearbox extremely light and flat, it also offers a high degree of rigidity, which we’ve achieved by designing the cross roller bearing so that it connects directly on the output flange. “This results in a very precise output bearing that has a high tilting capacity so that heavy payloads can be directly attached without further brackets or supports. This has proven to be a space saving design and we’ve designed the drive flange in such a way that a motor can be mounted compactly and with ease. We also have the ability to customise interfaces to suit customer requirements,” concluded Mackrell.

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The future of electric heating The future of energy is uncertain, with government debates over renewable installations, coal SRZHU VWDWLRQV FORVLQJ DQG FRQFHUQV DERXW JULG VXSSOLHV LW¡V GLIĂ€ FXOW WR NQRZ ZKLFK ZD\ WR turn when it comes to choosing an energy system for heating. Here, James Harding, category manager at Newey & Eyre, explains why electric heating is not just viable for today, but for the future too


s we all know, the matter of heating, particularly in the colder months, remains one of the hottest topics on the green agenda. Heating energy is by far the biggest slice of UK household energy use, with the Energy Savings Trust1 estimating that more than half the money spent on fuel bills goes towards providing heating and hot water. Therefore, as fuel costs rise, having an efďŹ cient and cost effective heating system is vital, and it’s one of the main steps consumers and businesses alike can take to reducing their carbon footprint. Yet, despite the ErP Regulations and Part L Building Regulations tightening up, the efďŹ ciency of gas boilers aren’t 100 percent efďŹ cient and even natural gas burning produces Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), a common air pollutant2. In fact, authors of a report published by the UK Energy Research Centre have said reducing gas in domestic properties is a critical challenge in meeting the emissions

Heating one of the hottest topics on the green agenda 2050 targets3. Electric heating, however, will convert 1kWh of electricity into one unit of heat, making it a 100 percent efďŹ cient option that gets the green thumbs up. Adding further to the green credentials, electric heating is easy to integrate with a variety of different renewable sources such as solar PV panels, providing even further opportunities to achieve increased Electrical Review | January/February 2017

James Harding

energy efďŹ ciency within buildings. But, this holistic capability doesn’t just offer opportunities to create a greener home; it also presents a platform for considerable economic savings through feeding the electricity supply needed from the renewable elements. This is a particularly cost effective option in a commercial environment where there is a greater space to facilitate larger scale renewables such as a solar farm or wind turbines. More so, what makes electric heating so great is that electricity is, of course, everywhere. While gas may have been the most common option for many domestic and non domestic buildings in previous years, mains grid gas is restricted to certain areas and 15 percent of the people in the UK are not connected to the grid4.

Electricity doesn’t pose this problem for installers and end users because it is connected everywhere. And, with one of the Governments’ key growth strategies focussed towards creating more housing, particularly in greenbelt areas, electricity offers a guaranteed heating source that’s easy to install and expand upon. Electric heating offers a cost saving too. Despite gas becoming equal to, if not slightly cheaper than electricity interms of day-today running, electricity presents dramatically lower installation and maintenance costs. The installation of electric heating costs around ÂŁ1000ÂŁ2000 whereas, a gas boiler installation costs over ÂŁ30005. Due to these ďŹ nancial savings and the speed at which electric heating can be installed, it is fast becoming the preferred choice for the affordable housing market and for apartments6. Finally, for the installation, a big beneďŹ t of opting for electric heating is ease of installation. Unlike gas systems, electric heating is not an invasive installation job, it doesn’t require pipework or a ue like a WET system, which means even in large commercial constructions it can be ďŹ tted simply and quickly. This ease of installation also means that should ofďŹ ces, retail spaces or even homes be extended, additional heaters can easily be added. So, with a lower outlay, wider availability, ease of installation, 100% energy conversion and the ability to connect to renewable technologies, electric heating is sure to be a worthwhile option for years to come. While once a niche market, the reality is that electric heating is quickly coming to the forefront as viable alternative heating option, amid what continues to be a volatile energy landscape. After all,


with the benefits of optimised efficiency, reduced installation and maintenance costs, widespread availability of electricity and ease of installation for the busy installer, what’s not to like? Therefore, with the heating season now in full swing, electric heating is one hot opportunity installers should take stock of. 1http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/ home-energy-efficiency/heating-and-hotwater. https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/assets/ documents/reports/aqeg/nd-summary.pdf http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/scienceenvironment-35632075 http://www.thegreenage.co.uk/heatinghome-without-mains-gas/ http://www.britishgas.co.uk http://hvnplus.co.uk

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Cabling options for today’s advanced robotic automotive manufacturing Although robots have been used to assemble cars for 50 years, the pace of implementation is increasing rapidly. New production techniques are being developed by manufacturers as they VWULYH IRU EHWWHU SURGXFWLYLW\ DQG SURÀWDELOLW\ -XVWLQ /HRQDUG GLUHFWRU LJXV H[SODLQV


uto manufacturers are no longer just replacing the human positions with robots on traditional, straight assembly lines. Manufacturing Engineers are now rethinking the production ow to obtain lower build times and gain a higher level of exibility. Multiple car models can now be built simultaneously on the same line giving a new level of customisation. Collaboration between robot stations is now widespread thanks to the ability to integrate different types of functions, ranging from logistical to welding, painting and machining robots. Often multiple sophisticated 6-axis robots can be seen located in these demanding environments, operating in cramped conditions and at very high speeds. Power and signal wiring to the robot servo motors is provided by the manufacturer and is located and secured internally, while cabling to the robot’s head and grippers is externally mounted and installed during the integrating and commissioning stage of the robot cell. This external cable is normally enclosed inside a protective hose and, with a 6-axis robot, subject to a great deal of rigorous movement. This in turn can lead to premature cable failure and costly production downtime, primarily due to three main modes. As the robotic arm rotates and moves in and out during the production cycle, the cable management hose can fall into the robot’s working area. This leads to damage to the cables, connectors or hoses. Ideally the cables are kept as short as possible, but with a 6-axis robot rotating up to 360 degrees, a signiďŹ cant amount of slack is needed to allow all possible rotations and positions The wiring harnesses often consist of a

Electrical Review | January / February 2017

Fig 1: The triex RS system enables customers to reduce process costs.

variety of cables in addition to traditional current carrying copper types. Fibre optic cables, if subjected to tight bend radii, can crack; this can reduce data rates dramatically. Data bus signalling often needs shielding to protect against electromagnetic emissions that can lead to data corruption.

Manufacturing engineers are conscious of any production downtime due to preventative maintenance As robots are increasingly subjected to harsh environments, externally mounted cables and connectors are now more vulnerable. Paint mist, metal splashes from welding operations and sealing pastes can damage cable hoses and clog cable retraction devices.

Manufacturing engineers are also very conscious of any production downtime due to preventative maintenance, upgrades or machine change-over times. The replacement of a traditional solid, corrugated hose means that copper and optical cables have to be threaded through carefully to avoid damage. Reattaching connectors will often require special tooling and knowledge. Plastic energy chains are one solution to the issues with corrugated hoses. As the name suggests, the energy and signal cables are enclosed in a robust, exible ‘chain’, made up of plastic links. These chains come with either circular or rectangular link sections depending on the application. Circular versions are designed speciďŹ cally for use on multi-axis robotic arms. Rectangular links are used primarily where simple two-dimension travel is required, for example in material handling systems or at the base of rotating robots. The use of tribopolymer parts eliminates any need for external lubrication, as they are self-lubricating. The modular format with the igus triex

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TRE energy chain system, for example, means cables can simply be pressed in, without the need to remove connectors. The chain still provides a smooth outer contour to avoid any ‘snagging’ on the robot and can rotate up to +/-10 degrees per chain link. Cable retention and retraction systems are now more sophisticated. Energy chains can now be purchased with internally fitted pre-tensioned springs for use with smaller robots. This allows a simple, slide mechanism to retract the cable quickly to avoid entanglement with the robot arm. These systems are capable of retracting up to 500mm of cable, yet have a low loading on the robot arm. Response times are extremely fast and can handle the high 800mm/s2 acceleration speeds required, for example, in painting applications. Important too, is that these systems have space-saving designs for confined applications, yet still have less deflection points to avoid stressing fibre optic cables. Some manufacturers offer full turnkey designs that are compatible with more than 100 robot models and brands for quick and easy installation. The complexity of cabling requirements on modern robots has also increased with the use of copper, fibre and now CAT 7 cables. Fortunately, there is a variety of solutions on the market that allow the on-line configuration and ordering of specialised cable solutions designed for use with multi-axis robots. To ensure the

NOVEL ENERGY CHAIN SYSTEM INCREASES UPTIME FOR JAGUAR LAND ROVER Jaguar Land Rover has reduced the downtime on one of its factory robots by 66% thanks to installing equipment from leading energy chain specialist, igus. triflex RS is a very compact multi-axial energy supply system that safely houses the energy cables, and as a result, enables manufactures to increase reliability and make operational cost savings. Jaguar Land Rover was experiencing a high rate of problems on a robot in its car factory. This was caused by the cable management hose, as it kept falling into the robot’s working range. The company identified a need to reduce the downtime, and called on energy chain specialists igus for a reliable solution. Igus recommended its triflex RS 6-axis robot energy chain, which has been developed specifically for applications in harsh industrial environments. Since the robot has been equipped with new energy chain system, Jaguar Land Rover has achieved a significant increase in uptime as the triflex RS universal module pulls the energy lines back after every movement, keeping the working range free. The triflex RS energy chain is lightweight, cost-effective, has a high torsional stability and a small bend radius and pitch, which all combine to solve the common design problems for applications in confined spaces to safely carry the energy supply. Compatible with more than 100 robot models and brands, the Triflex RS system is extremely versatile, user-friendly, easy to install and provides an excellent long service life. The internal retraction force prevents loops forming in the working area of the robot and keeps the energy chain close to the robot’s arm for smooth running. It also allows easy cable access and visibility at all times, ensuring easy maintenance. Together with all the other parts in the triflex R range, as well as the igus CFRobot cable range, this system offers a complete energy chain solution for virtually any robot applications. “We are delighted to have worked with Jaguar on this application and achieve such positive results,” says Justin Leonard, director at igus. “At igus we can provide our customers with technological advances in the robotics industry, enabling them to reduce process costs and with the triflex RS system, all the requirements from large welding robots to small palletising robots can be met.” In addition, igus offers a complete range of special cables for use in torsion applications, designed for use in the triflex RS energy chain system. These comprise chainflex CFROBOT bus, motor and control cables as well as fibre optic cables. selected cables are suitable for use with energy chains, it is recommended that care is taken on supplier selection. Some

manufacturers have in-house test systems to demonstrate reliability after millions of cycles; igus uses such test data in an online tool where the user just needs to enter the type of cable, speed, acceleration, bending radius and travel distances to calculate the cable’s service life. New product announcements by robot manufacturers show no signs of slowing down. Although this is great news for the industry, in turn however this may lead to new challenges for the production engineers as new applications and installation methods are developed. Fortunately, innovative designers of energy chain systems are also investing in new materials and solutions to ensure these demands are met.

Fig 2: Compatible with more than 100 robot models and brands, the igus triflex RS system is extremely versatile, user-friendly, easy to install and provides and excellent long service life

Electrical Review | January / February 2017


OMICRON extends spectrum of IEC 61850 testing solutions


he IEC 61850 international standard for power utility communications defines two types of communication to be used for substation protection, control and automation: real time communication with GOOSE and Sampled Values on the one hand and Client/Server (C/S) on the other. For all these cases OMICRON, as a market leader for IEC 61850 testing solutions, offers internationally well accepted testing tools, such as IEDScout or Test Universe with its configuration tools for GOOSE and Sampled Values. Now OMICRON has extended its portfolio with a new solution for protection testing with SCADA (Client/Server). Thanks to Test Universe v 3.10’s new IEC 61850 Client/Server test module, engineers responsible for the commissioning, developing, maintenance, testing and troubleshooting of protection systems in Substation Automation Systems based on IEC 61850 (Ed. 1 and Ed. 2) can conveniently test the C/S communication during protection testing. The module creates a way to integrate an automated test of IEC 61850 SCADA communication in a Control Center document. Being the first Test Universe module that directly communicates with the device under test, it allows users to load the IED description from an SCL file, to configure a connection to the IED via Ethernet, to connect to the IED, to read data from the IED, to set the mode in the IED, to output signals as a “stimulation” for

the IED, and to create an automated test. All information in the IED’s data model is available for measurement and assessment. www.omicronenergy.com/en/products/all/secondary-testingcalibration/test-universe/

IEC 61850 is my topic … … and as a software developer in the Power Utility Communication field, I work on exciting and trend-setting products. Through our developments we are able to offer efficient IEC 61850 testing tools for protection and SCADA engineers. One example is DANEO 400, which uniquely records and analyzes all conventional signals, as well as GOOSE and Sampled Values on the substation communication network.




Transforming transformer intelligence Stephen Gibbs, ABB’s service manager for transformers in the UK introduces the challenges SUHVHQWHG E\ DQ DJLQJ WUDQVIRUPHU ÁHHW DQG H[SODLQV KRZ RSHUDWRUV FDQ JDLQ LQVLJKW LQWR the condition of critical assets by using transformer intelligence to monitor key performance parameters in real time


n transmission and distribution systems, nobody likes a surprise, especially not when it comes to critical plant like transformers. However, critical transformers have the potential to keep their operators awake at night. Many UK units are approaching the end of their life and are subject to new demands due to the transition towards renewable energy, with load profiles that were never anticipated by the designers. Sudden failure of a key transformer has major costs for an operator, in terms of regulatory penalties and loss of service but also in terms of reputation and safety, bringing intense scrutiny and pressure. Add to this the retirement of skilled technicians and loss of their knowledge, it’s little wonder that condition-based monitoring has much to offer operators so that they can anticipate problems before they arise and take action. What is essential is to maintain transformers sustainably. The goal is to meet performance targets while investing in maintenance only when it’s needed, with longer maintenance cycles, less maintenance activity overall and limited outages. This relies on a shift from time based maintenance to predictive maintenance, which itself needs the ability to sense, monitor and evaluate performance of transformers in real time. In response, ABB introduced transformer intelligence in 2016 as a solution that combines sensors with condition-based monitoring and analysis. The benefits are reduced risk of catastrophic failures and unplanned outages at the same time as optimising maintenance, increasing productivity and better overall management of asset lifecycles. The solution includes dissolved gas analysis (DGA) as well as monitoring of oil level and pressure, Electrical Review | January / February 2017

capability to drill down to see the condition of individual units. This gives technicians the tools to initiate predictive maintenance and enables the option of enhanced management of an operator’s entire fleet. Being compatible with IEC 61850 communication, data can be accessed locally, as well as at the substation control centre and the operator’s central point for fleet condition-based monitoring and diagnostics. It is also shared with ABB’s own service centre, which has on knowledge and insight from transformer assets worldwide.


tap changers and bushings, and partial discharge monitoring, all of which are important indicators of transformer health. From sensors to visual interface to action Within Transformer Intelligence, CoreTec is an online condition-based monitoring system that keeps a close watch on up to 30 of a transformer’s mission-critical functions. Advanced software simulation gives operators the ability to forecast transformer performance and lifetime, enabling predictive maintenance. The software gives a visual overview of entire fleets of transformers as well as the

More than one in ten grid disturbances have their roots in a failed transformer. Of these, nearly 40 percent arise from problems in the windings, a sixth from tap changers and a third from failure of bushings. With windings and tap changers often being encapsulated inside the body of the transformer, both are vulnerable to declining quality of the mineral oil that insulates and cools them – so by keeping an eye on the quality of transformer oil, operators can gain valuable knowledge about the condition of their assets. During aging, the mineral oil breaks down, as does the other form of insulation inside transformers, which is cellulose paper wrapped around the windings. Both the cellulose and oil break down over time as moisture, hydrogen, acids and other components. As this contamination grows, the process is accelerated, increasing the risk of failure, making DGA one of the most powerful tools to identify at-risk transformers. That is why the CoreSense gas sensor is central to Transformer Intelligence. It houses a solid state palladium electrochemical sensor to monitor for hydrogen, plus a solid state capacitive


sensor for moisture. The sensing elements are combined with a thermal element that ensures a steady flow of oil through the sensor using convection. It is complemented by a range of devices that measure oil level, oil and winding temperatures and oil pressure.

The sensors are modular and can be deployed as needed These include an eBR (Bucholz Relay) that monitors for accumulation of gas and a TMU sensor for monitoring bushings and tap changers. Together the sensors are modular and can be deployed as needed. They are suitable for retrofit to existing transformers from any OEM (original equipment

manufacturer) and because they have no moving parts, the entire scope of Transformer Intelligence is maintenancefree for 15 years.

METAL PROCESSOR BOOSTS PRODUCTION BY 18% One recent example comes from a customer in the metals industry that wanted to increase the capacity of its installation by 15% with a payback of less than three years. The operator called in ABB to review the condition and potential of its installation, which included a 40-year-old rectifier transformer and 18-year-old booster transformers. We recommended an action plan that included some repair and revision of on-site arrangements, as well as implementation of online condition-based monitoring and remote supervision of the transformers. This is complemented with 24/7 data analysis to trigger maintenance when needed and reporting on a quarterly basis and on request.

Since implementing transformer intelligence, the operator’s production has been boosted by up to 18% over four years with no loss of production and no major investments.



Circuit breakers - are you using the right micro-ohmmeter? One of the most common uses for micro-ohmmeters is to check the contact resistance in high- and medium-voltage circuit breakers. Circuit breakers come under a great deal of stress, as they are required to break high-voltage circuits, often under load. The arc generated by the switching action can damage the face of the contacts, and this can lead to catastrophic failure of the breaker or other downstream substation equipment


ircuit breakers are critical items of substation infrastructure. They are used to switch parts of the network in and out to provide isolation for purposes such as planned maintenance and, as part of the protection system, to remove the power in the event of a fault. If they fail to operate there can be serious consequences for the rest of the network. Arcing at the contacts creates carbonised layers on the contact faces. Over time, these layers will build up and the live contact area will be reduced or become pitted, leading to an increase in contact resistance and heating. This reduces the efficiency of the circuit breaker and can lead to failures that in an active transmission or distribution system could result in the loss of a substation. One effective way of guarding against such problems is to regularly check circuit breaker contact resistance. However, this resistance should be very low, typically of

The accuracy and resolution of the micro ohmmeter are important the order of tens of micro ohms, which means that it can only be reliably measured with a very accurate micro ohmmeter that has good resolution. The accuracy and resolution of the micro ohmmeter are especially important as the carbonised layers may only increase the contact resistance by a small amount, but the consequences of this small change can Electrical Review | January/February 2017

Contact reistance testing is clearly desirable, but the next thing is to decide is the test current to use

make a huge difference to the performance of the breaker. The excessive heat produced as a result of the increase in resistance can actually weld the contacts together and this may result in the circuit breaker not operating at all when called upon to do so!

TEST AT 10 A OR 100 A? Contact resistance testing is clearly desirable, but the next thing to decide is the test current to use. Is 10 A enough, or does it need to be more? Let’s be honest, it’s easiest to take a battery-powered micro-ohmmeter to site. There’s no messing around with power supplies and long leads or dragging heavy generators into inaccessible substations. So for years, many engineers have been using battery powered 10 A micro-ohmmeters such as the DLRO10 for measuring circuit breaker contact resistance because these instruments are convenient and they appear

to do what’s needed. But do they really? High-voltage circuit breakers operate at currents much higher than the 10 A produced by one of these micro-ohmmeters. This means that they may not react in the same way as they would if they were tested with a current closer to their normal operating level. For example, the carbonised layers may resist an injection of 10A but pass a higher test current, leading to differences in the readings. This might result in the circuit breaker failing the test unnecessarily. It is a definite fact that the stability and reliability of the micro-ohmmeter readings increase at higher currents as the very small voltages being measured are captured more reliably. This issue is recognised in IEC and ANSI standards which both recommend higher test currents for testing circuit breaker contact resistance: 100A is the minimum for ANSI/IEEE standard C37.09, while IEC62271100 stipulates that any test current between 50 A and the rated current of the circuit breaker may be used.


Inconveniently, most high-current microohmmeters are 100 A, 200 A or even 600 A mains-powered units, which need the associated power supplies or generators to power them while they are in use. It is partly this time-consuming set up that has limited the adoption of high-current circuit breaker testing. There are, however, now two solutions to this problem. If you want the smallest possible instrument, Megger has a handheld battery-powered 200 A micro-ohmmeter specifically designed for circuit breaker applications. Offering class-leading performance, it uses a supercapacitor to inject a high current for a short duration to give highly accurate readings. On the other hand, if you are looking for more flexibility, the new Megger batterypowered DLRO100 is designed to suit a wide range of applications including circuit breaker contact resistance measurement. It provides a test current of up to 100 A and is capable of supplying a steady current

for tests of a longer duration than those possible with the supercapacitor instrument. Either way, there is now absolutely no excuse for measuring circuit breaker contact resistance with low test currents.

Megger’s new instruments offer circuit breaker testing that meets international standards, while having the convenience and portability of go-anywhere battery power.



CAE: The top 10 FAQs CAE specialist EPLAN is in constant dialogue with its customers, and its trained specialists are always on hand to answer their questions. To help current and potential CAE software users, we’ve compiled a list of the questions that are asked most frequently, in the hope that everyone ZLOO EHQHÀW IURP WKH VKRUW DQG WR WKH SRLQW DQVZHUV 1. What are the most important points I need to consider when I’m choosing an electrical CAE package for electrical applications? We always advise engineers and designers to opt for a dedicated electrical package, rather than a package that was developed primarily for mechanical applications, and just ‘happens’ to offer electrical facilities as a bolt on. The reason for going with such a package is that the supplier will have focused on the actual needs of electrical users from the very beginning, and will therefore have a better understanding of their challenges and be considerably more responsive and supportive. 2. Will I need to invest in new computer hardware to run a good electrical CAE package? These days, most electrical CAE software

Electrical Review | January / February 2017

can reliably run on any standard and fairly modern computer, as long as there is a reasonable amount of free disk space and it has a recent version of Windows. The good news is that the best CAE packages don’t require the use of special or complex hardware, as the creators of the software will have designed it to ensure compatibility with the great majority of business PCs. EPLAN for instance also offers a service where as part of the implementation of any software, they verify and advise on IT infrastructure and setup – all for the customer’s peace of mind. 3. If I invest in electrical CAE software, how will I know that I’ve installed and configured it correctly so that it will give me the best possible results? If you chose to work with a leading supplier of electrical CAE software, chances

are they will do everything you need to ensure you’re using the software to its full potential. They will have the right tools at hand to check and validate your installation, making sure that the software is configured in such a way that it will work reliably and give the best possible results. What’s more, modern CAE software is based on a flexible and modular concept, whereby users can customise their software based on their individual requirements, to optimally manage all of their day-to-day challenges. 4. I’ve heard that electrical CAE software is hard to get to grips with, and that you have to put in a lot of time to start using it well and getting benefits from it. Is this true and if not, what is the real situation? Learning how to use a new piece of software does not happen overnight and




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chances are users will find some elements more challenging than others. A good CAE provider will, however, offer comprehensive training, with a choice of attending one of the regularly held courses or arranging for an engineer to come to your site and deliver a bespoke course to meet your specific needs. 5. National and international standards are very complex these days and sometimes they’re hard to get to grips with. Can CAE software help me with this challenge and, if so, how? Good electrical CAE software certainly can! A well-designed CAE platform should offer comprehensive functional support in the implementation of codes and standards. Guidelines for understanding and using existing standards and for incorporating them into specific designs should also be included. Ideally, electrical CAE software will go further than that by allowing users to develop their own corporate standards, based on optimal templates and the use of high quality design and master data. 6. I’m under constant pressure to cut costs and to turn jobs around more quickly. How can electrical CAE software help me to address these challenges? CAE software can alleviate many of the pressures design engineers face. Faster engineering through use of “modular design” where the modules only have to be developed once and can be used over and over again as templates; automation of tedious processes like wire numbering and production of documentation; elimination of errors that saves time on tests – these and many other features will certainly help to address the tight deadlines. 7. Staying up to date with the changes in components is a real problem – the Electrical Review | January / February 2017

manufacturers we use are continually updating their products and it’s hard to be sure we’re working with the latest data. How can CAE help us to address this problem? An enlightened electrical CAE supplier can ensure that this doesn’t happen! The leading supplier makes sure that the latest component data is made available and easily accessible, all in one place, via an online data portal. This helps companies make significant time savings in engineering design, while simultaneously enhancing documentation quality through rapid access to data on thousands of components and devices. Access to a data portal, with powerful search and filtering functions for device data are some of the features one needs to look for when selecting electrical CAE software. 8. Our customers, quite rightly, demand very high standards of documentation, but producing this documentation and making sure it’s accurate is time consuming and costly. How much help can I expect from an electrical CAE package? The best electrical CAE packages will automatically generate almost all of the key documentation like wiring schedules and bill of materials, and they will do it accurately! The only things you may need to write yourself are the operating and maintenance instructions. This way record keeping and reporting becomes easy, fast and error-free! 9. I don’t see much point in investing in a CAE package because our jobs are all so different from each other that we have to start the designs from scratch every time. Is there something I’m missing? Companies often say this and then they’re surprised to find that there is actually quite

a lot in common between all of the jobs they do. Take motor starters, for example. Whether you’re designing a control panel for a conveyor system or a pumping installation, the motor starter circuitry is likely to be the same. Good electrical CAE software takes advantage of this commonality. Users can work with existing templates for commonly used design elements or develop their own. This aids standardisation and makes it easy to adhere to corporate standards, based on optimal templates and the use of high quality design and master data. This encourages excellence at all design levels and enables the building of knowhow by classifying and storing previously validated information as part of the user’s own data. Good software will enable users to create the basis for joint project planning and consistent modularisation of engineering data. This puts the design engineer in a position to accurately reproduce and consistently reuse all relevant data throughout the entire product life cycle. 10. OK, if I make the big investment of money and time in electrical CAE, how can I be sure the package I buy is going to be supported long term? I certainly don’t want to find I have to learn a second package, and possibly end up with incompatible files! If software longevity and reliability is what you’re after, then simply look at the company providing the software – if they are a trusted industry leader that have been around for decades, then you’re on to a winner. Furthermore, is they are able to offer consultancy services at a high level, strong ongoing relationship with customers and show industry knowledge, then you have made the right choice. This makes them not only future proof but also recession and legislation proof, should any difficulties arise along the way.





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Uncertainty? What uncertainty? During times of economic uncertainty, it is often prudent for business leaders to diversify their companies’ products, services and markets to mitigate their risk exposure. Matt Collins, business development manager at ide Systems, explains


n the same way that many businesses are now adjusting their strategic outlook in light of Brexit, others are using the opportunity to enter into new markets. Following a similar period of uncertainty in 2015, after the global oil and gas price crashed, load bank specialist Crestchic and power distribution specialist ide Systems teamed up to take on the Middle East power rental market. It may come as a surprise to learn some of the world’s biggest companies started out life in a very different form to the brands we know and love today. For example, Twitter started life as a podcasting service, Starbucks used to sell coffee machines, Nokia began as a paper mill, Hewlett-Packard specialised in electrical testing products and even Apple teetered on the brink of bankruptcy before Steve Jobs launched the iPod. Similarly, Crestchic found itself in need of an adjustment to its business model when the global price of oil and gas crashed. One of a group of companies owned by AIM-listed Northbridge Industrial Services plc, Crestchic is the world’s largest specialist load bank manufacturer, having sold and hired equipment to companies worldwide for over 25 years. “Following the oil price crash, our parent company Northbridge plc faced a growing risk-exposure to a portion of its investment portfolio, which consists of businesses serving the oil and gas market,” explained Chris Caldwell, European rental director of Crestchic. “To mitigate this risk, we adjusted Crestchic’s strategic focus to capitalise on the growing power market.” The rapid growth of social media, online services and cloud computing in recent years has given rise to an increasing dependence on temporary and emergency backup power supplies, which are used to power the new wave of data centres. This is particularly true in applications such as financial services, hospitals and commercial buildings. Here, the use of load banks to test mission-critical power supplies is equally as important as the power supplies themselves. With a product range designed and manufactured in the UK, Crestchic has established successful rental operations in countries including the UK, France, Germany, Singapore, China and the USA. Generator rental companies typically purchase Crestchic’s load banks, transformers and critical testing equipment to fill a shortfall in their supply inventory.

A FRESH PERSPECTIVE As part of its diversification strategy, Crestchic spotted an opportunity to gain increased market penetration in the Middle East where Northbridge plc already operated a Crestchic Middle East (CME) rental fulfilment warehouse, as well as Tasman, an oil and gas tools business, in Jebel Ali, UAE. In order to deliver Electrical Review | January / February 2017

a full portfolio of rental equipment, Crestchic turned to powerdistribution specialist ide Systems. Based in Cannock, Staffordshire, with outlets in London and Glasgow, ide Systems specialises in the rental and bespoke engineering of products including distribution boards, changeover systems, inline protection, and cabling. They typically supply sectors such as events, construction, commerce, healthcare, and military. “Having already worked with Crestchic to supply rental equipment into France and Germany, we were keen to join forces to take on the Middle East rental market,” explained Ian Thomas, managing director of ide Systems. “We entered into a joint venture and used a revenue sharing model. We supplied the capital investment for the rental equipment while Crestchic supplied the facilities and the team required to manage the day-to-day rental operations. “Our research in the Middle East showed that it was ideally located to make a significant impact on the rental market and provide easy access to neighbouring regions including North Africa and India, as well as the wider Middle East and Asia.” Many GCC countries are still recovering from the 2009 global economic crisis, with average economic growth in the region forecast at 1.8% according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Countering this trend, Dubai has certainly bounced back much faster thanks to its more diversified economy and is now set to experience 3.7% economic growth in 2016. This is despite estimates by the IMF showing low oil prices in the Arabian Gulf will result in the loss of $140bn in export revenue. Part of the reason why Dubai has bucked the economic downturn is the government’s creation of economic hubs such as the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA). Boasting one of the Middle East’s busiest ports, the Jebel Ali Free Zone is a state-owned free economic zone designed to provide foreign businesses with a low-tax, low-bureaucracy, environment that delivers extensive infrastructure supported by excellent logistics. Taking advantage of this opportunity, ide Systems provided a suite of electrical equipment ranging from power distribution boards, automatic changeover systems, switches, inline protection, cabling and more. “However, simply supplying the equipment was not enough,” continued Thomas. “We faced some key challenges unique to the Middle East. We had to make some minor modifications to the equipment to withstand the extreme temperatures, especially for outdoor use and at events. “Because the ambient temperatures can potentially cause internal components to fail, we adapted the equipment to include forced ventilation and added solar-gain shields to the housing to limit


thermal issues. Many of the larger power distribution boards also needed to be adapted with caster wheels, trolleys and cradles for larger corporate events.” As well as making technical modifications, the weaker regulatory framework in the region posed a challenge. To overcome this problem, the company ensured that all equipment was tested and certified to the highest levels, going beyond the regulatory requirements. “One of the weaknesses of the Middle East rental market is that many providers simply don’t test equipment properly,” explained Thomas. “This means that businesses who want to rent equipment cannot be entirely sure whether it was tested 12 hours ago or 12 months ago. “To overcome this, we replicated the success of our testing procedures used in all of our other rental facilities across the world. When a piece of rental equipment comes back, our rental engineers immediately clean and service the equipment before completing a series of compliance tests. These tests ensure that the equipment continues to operate within regulatory limits. Variables such as electrical insulation and systempolarity, as well components such as the residual circuit device (RCD) — a device that protects against electrical shock — are all tested, before electronic certification is issued. Only once this has been done, is the product is ready to be hired out to the next customer.” The final challenge the team faced was after sales service. If equipment malfunctions during use, the typical response is to send out a factory engineer — the specialist involved in the manufacturing process — from the UK to the customer site. However, this is neither time-efficient nor cost effective in the long term. “Although our rental engineers — those individuals running the day-to-day rental operations at the Jebel Ali site — are well trained, we often need to call on the expertise of the factory engineers,” explained Caldwell. “This is particularly important for jobs where bespoke equipment has been supplied. To limit our reliance on callouts, especially for jobs where equipment can be

replaced or alternatives installed, ide Systems made sure that the widest possible range of rental equipment was available.” Having overcome the challenges, the joint venture delivered on its promises. Not only have both companies won new contracts to supply some of the biggest temporary power businesses in the region, customer feedback has also been positive. “Our customers are telling us they are finally happy to have a one-stop-shop for their rental needs in the region,” said Caldwell. “Before we set up shop, one of the biggest difficulties customers had when they experienced a shortfall was having to approach their competitors. This left them in a difficult position where they could neither negotiate for preferred equipment nor on price.” The joint venture has helped Crestchic mitigate its group’s risk exposure and expand into wider segments of the critical power market for data centres, financial services, commercial cloud computing and IT. Similarly, ide Systems, having already secured contracts to supply businesses in the Philippines and South Korea, is now looking to replicate this success in countries such as Australia. “My advice to other business leaders thinking about using joint ventures is to pick your partners well,” Caldwell concluded. “Having a good understanding of the market, of manufacturing standards, of testing regimes and working with someone who shares your vision is vital. Choose and develop your products wisely and do your market wresearch before taking the plunge. By doing that, you can ensure that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

WHAT UNCERTAINTY? While Brexit continues to have political and economic implications for businesses across the world, it also highlights the importance of taking a globalised approach. By using tactics such as joint ventures, businesses can dip their proverbial toe in the water without taking on the business-risk in the process. And who knows, it might even lead to a previously undiscovered and much welcomed new change of direction.



Factory safety – smarter Those manufacturers embracing the Connected Enterprise, Industry 4.0, smart manufacturing and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) approaches and technologies are starting to see safety as a key function of performance. Put simply, if you are not looking at the safety practices, performance, DQG FRPSOLDQFH RI \RXU IDFWRU\ DV D ZD\ RI LPSURYLQJ RSHUDWLRQDO HIÀFLHQF\ DQG RXWSXW \RX may be falling behind

DATA AS CURRENCY Turning data into information starts with connectivity and when it comes to manufacturing, that means merging information technology (IT) and plant-level operations technology (OT) - two historically separate systems - into a single, secure network that provides a seamless foundation for real-time connectivity and information sharing. – a connected enterprise Navigating the connected enterprise and IIoT can seem a little daunting. Ask any manufacturers what it means to them and you probably won’t get the same answer twice. In a way that is the power of it. First, it’s a process of continuous improvement driven by data, so there is no speciďŹ c end point. Second, the ‘things’ in IIoT are, well, things. They can be anything – any device or process – and most devices are becoming ‘smart’ and can offer back data and operational change via the network. So, while no two factories are the same, no two Connected Enterprise or IIoT realisations will be either. But at the heart of the concept is data – data which must be turned into contextualised, actionable information delivered to the relevant people, to have value.

CONNECTIVITY TO UNLOCK THE BENEFITS A connected enterprise offers numerous beneďŹ ts for improving the efďŹ ciency, productivity, and overall performance of the factory through better visibility and data management, operational efďŹ ciencies, quality management, asset utilisation, inventory management, and workforce efďŹ ciency and knowledge retention. Electrical Review | January / February 2017

But how can these kinds of beneďŹ ts be used to help drive safety performance improvement? It begins with the use of contemporary safety technologies that combine machinery and safety control into one platform. These systems are less susceptible to nuisance shutdowns than hardwired safety systems, which can help improve productivity and proďŹ tability. But they also offer another key beneďŹ t: access to safetysystem data, including: • Device status • Event Sequences • Operational status • Stoppage codes • Error or fault codes • Motion monitoring • Event counters or timers • NotiďŹ cation of safety logic changes By harnessing this data and the greater connectivity available, safety and operations professionals can work together to: • Improve safety-system visibility • Better understand safety risks • Enhance safety • Reduce safety-related downtime • Transform operations with safety in mind • Evaluate safety system use or misuse • Improve compliance


REDUCE SAFETY-RELATED DOWNTIME Better visibility into safety-system performance and stoppages can help determine the root cause of shutdowns. Safety and production data can also be combined to understand the frequency, duration, time, and location of safety-related shutdowns. Armed with this information, safety and operations professionals can work together to develop mitigation plans to improve productivity. This could be as simple as having discussions with operators on a single production line or shift where downtime issues are most frequent. It also could involve updating procedures if specific downtime issues are common throughout an operation, such as when operators use a safety shut-down to stop a machine as a short-cut, when in fact the issue is maintenance related or routine. Additionally, improved safety-system diagnostics can alert operators and technicians to where safety-related failures are occurring during runtime operations. This can simplify troubleshooting and lead to faster downtime resolutions. The diagnostics can even be used in predictive analytics to identify leading indicators and address machine issues before they become machine failures.

questions to ask during an assessment include: • Are we using contemporary, integrated safety systems? • Is safety data manually collected or is it automated in a data-collection system? • What safety data is already available? How is it reported? • Does equipment or machinery have central network connectivity? • Could safety data be collected using an existing datacollection platform?

DETERMINE MEANINGFUL DATA AND INFORMATION This is where safety, operations and other team members specify the safety-system data they need to support their goals. Important considerations at this stage include identifying: • What data must be captured • Where and how it will be collected • How it will be contextualised and delivered as actionable information • Who will receive the information • What actions will result from the information

IMPLEMENT OR UPGRADE SAFETY SYSTEMS EASE COMPLIANCE The safety data required for compliance and reporting purposes is largely collected through manual audits today. This can be a time-consuming process that requires valuable work hours, results in production downtime and can be subject to human error. By integrating auditing functions into the HMI and controller, organisations can automate and speed up the auditing process, free up personnel to focus on other priorities, and reduce the likelihood of errors. Also, any abnormalities can be flagged in operational dashboard or reports to help plant personnel quickly spot and address potential issues.

IMPLEMENTING FIVE KEY STEPS TO SMARTER SAFETY While these benefits are more easily realised in a fully connected enterprise, they also can be achieved in an iterative process as companies become increasingly connected. However a company approaches this, making the most of safety in connected, information-enabled operations is a process that can begin now.

ACTIVE EHS REPRESENTATION Connected operations span people, processes, and technology. A cross-functional team should be formed to include not only operations and IT stakeholders but also environmental health and safety (EHS) professionals. Only by having a seat at the table can EHS professionals define their goals as part of a larger, companywide strategy. This should come naturally to any company that is committed to the three Cs of safety – culture, compliance, and capital.

ASSESS THE CURRENT STATE The fastest route to improving safety begins with understanding where your company is, right now. Key

Safety-system data is already available in an integrated safety controller. Implementing changes could be as simple as merely specifying the right data coming out of the controller by creating new tags for each access point. This data can then be contextualised within a plant’s existing EMI software and delivered to safety and operations personnel in the form of relevant, actionable information via EMI dashboards.

ANALYSE AND OPTIMISE Getting information to workers is important, but so is getting workers to act on the information. That’s why incorporating safety-system information into daily operations is critical. For example, analytics should be included in daily production meetings, and standard procedures should be developed for collecting, analysing and interpreting data. With these elements in place, safety professionals can monitor and refine all aspects of safety in the enterprise as part of a continuous-improvement program. This could include expanding the amount of data collected, or it could include setting higher goals in areas such as improved visibility, lower incident rates and reduced downtime. Safety professionals can also use the safety-system data to better measure and meet their business safety goals. It’s important to remember becoming a highly-connected enterprise is an ongoing journey. The technologies and opportunities within it will continue to evolve. Companies should be mindful of this and constantly seek opportunities to improve their future state. Those companies actively pursuing a connectivity enhancement programme as part of their approach to the Connected Enterprise revolution are already benefitting from a step-change in safety management that is not only helping make their operation a safer and better working environment, it’s also delivering value to the bottom line. Is your factory losing ground www.electricalreview.co.uk


Security – a growing concern Are you missing out on £2bn of business? Neil Baldwin, sales director of ESP, examines the opportunities for electrical contractors in the booming electrical security sector


hether you already have a foot in the door of the security sector or are considering entering, opportunities abound for the security-minded contractor. Economic uncertainty intensifies the need to identify and pursue business opportunities in growing markets and the security systems market is one of them. World security is also an issue. We have never been on a higher state of alert in the UK and because of that people are more conscious of having security. The police are encouraging us to use CCTV to protect homes and businesses and as a manufacturer we are constantly developing our products to make them as userfriendly and reliable as possible. With businesses and homeowners seeing the value of investing in security to protect their premises and properties, and seeking the appropriate measures to do so, the UK security market continues to grow. According to a report published by AMA Research, the total UK electronic security market, comprising electronic access control, intruder alarms, CCTV and associated services, is estimated to have been worth approximately £2bn in 2015, at installed prices. In 2015, CCTV sales were estimated to account for a 50% share by value, followed by intruder alarms with 30% and access control Electrical Review | January / February 2017

with 20%. Technological developments and cloud-based solutions have continued to drive the market. The market for intruder alarms is mature and competition remains high with other security products, such as CCTV and access control – particularly systems which can be monitored remotely. Intruder alarms as standalone products in the commercial sector are in decline. The access control market has remained stable during recent years. There has been a gradual shift to wireless and networked systems, which are forecast to continue to drive replacement sales. Opportunities for electrical contractors within the security products sector are primarily in the domestic market and small commercial premises, where the requirements for specialist knowledge and ongoing service contracts are less important. The majority of electronic security installations in the domestic sector are intruder alarms, along with access control systems, which are predominantly installed in apartments. Home automation is a growing application area and is currently experiencing double digit growth. This market provides significant opportunities for electrical contractors to offer an integrated package, e.g. security products, lighting, climate control, home entertainment, that can be centrally controlled.


Sources covering the sector such as Ifsec, Keynote and Basec are forecasting double-digit growth for the product ranges that ESP covers. Yet, as it stands, security remains a sector largely untapped by the electrical contracting market. Security is still considered to be a specialist area and as such comes under the remit of the professional security installer. There is no reason for the electrical contractor to shy away from these products and this sector. We are putting a lot of time and investment behind getting the message out there. The electricians already have the necessary skills and, with the right products and some training, they can take advantage of the potential this sector offers.

KEY FACTS AND CONSIDERATIONS It is estimated the UK has 4.9m CCTV cameras. Following the 2011 London riots, Scotland Yard published 2,200 prosecutions were made due to the use of CCTV footage. Installation of CCTV in schools reduces vandalism by 90% In 2015 Met Police Commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, said: “CCTV cameras should be installed by homeowners and businesses to help detectives solve crimes in the age of austerity.” Detective chief superintendent Mick Neville spoke about CCTV at Ifsec 2015 and commented the biggest challenge facing police when it comes to CCTV is downloading images, especially as 80% of CCTV owners can’t use their own systems. His top tip for businesses wanting to improve the way they use surveillance is – know how to connect the CCTV to the internet so the police can remotely view it. While there has been a proliferation of surveillance cameras in the UK, there has also been an issue of poor image quality. It is estimated 50% of cameras in privately-owned CCTV systems generate poor images – they’ve never been updated and for the police this presents a huge problem as they cannot use the images for evidence to help make convictions

IN THE FRAME ESP has developed a solution to the challenge of poor image quality with its new HD View CCTV range, which introduces the very latest AHD (analogue high definition) technology, to offer installers a professional, highly affordable CCTV range that delivers superior image quality. It is easy to install, and simple to set up; for wholesalers it is an essential tool that will help in the replacement and new build sectors. With AHD, high definition digital video can be transmitted easily over existing coaxial cabling - the same cabling used for existing standard resolution analogue systems. Remote view comes via a cloud-based system and comprises a few easy steps for installation. Access control is another area of the security sector where developments continue to be made. ESP has relaunched its access control range with a simplified collection of products under the brand name, Aperta (Italian for open). With two main components – door station, with optional access control keypad and the hands-free monitor – the Aperta range utilises two-wire technology, and is supplied with a single power supply. The new two-wire technology provides easy installation, with the requirement for only two connections to be made at any one point within the system.

TECHNICAL SUPPORT – A DISTINCT ADVANTAGE For those electrical contractors who would like to add fire and security equipment to their product portfolio but who feel they do not have the core knowledge and confidence to do this, any opportunities for training and education are vital. ESP currently offers a number of free in-house training programmes which are aimed at contractors and wholesalers and designed to cover product awareness - with a general overview of the different products available; CCTV, access control and external area protection – as well as a more in-depth course covering addressable fire training, where demonstration equipment is provided to allow the attendees to learn the skills of building and commissioning a fire system. Where manufacturers are investing in the provision of training and support programmes, they are helping educate contractors and giving them the product knowledge, skills and confidence to take on security installation projects and ultimately increasing their share of this growing sector. Medium-term growth prospects for the overall electronic security market are positive. The commercial end use sector is set to perform well and investment in the transport sector should also stimulate growth. The growing integration with IT systems in order to facilitate easier monitoring and control through IP addresses and mobile devices is likely to continue.


Barbican Exhibition Halls, London 8th February 2017

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DILO Armaturen und Anlagen, a specialist manufacturer of SF6 gas handling equipment, has developed a new remote commissioning unit. With the new CommGuard Web device it is possible, for the very first time, to fill gas insulated components, such as porcelain insulators, with SF6 gas to a constant gas density in a controlled and safe way. Fine hairline cracks may occur on porcelain insulators for circuit breakers during transportation or as a result of material stress. Filling the breaker with SF6 gas may lead to dangerous bursting of the insulator. Thanks to the CommGuard Web filling unit it is now possible, for the very first time, to fill gas compartments in a controlled and safe way from a distance of up to 100 m. The operator controls and monitors the fully automated filling process via a secured WLAN connection using a smartphone, tablet or laptop from outside the danger zone.

According to fire and security products supplier, ESP, there are still a lot of installers who are unaware that a fire isolator switch is a legal requirement with all new fire alarm systems being installed in the UK - coming under the BS539 Part 1 Standard. ESP’s recently launched BS5839 compliant Fire isolator Switch provides a secure method of isolating the mains supply feeding a fire system control panel and is crucial for fire system maintenance. The supply can only be isolated by an authorised person, by means of a key lock switch and switching is restricted by key operation. The key is removable in both ON and OFF positions and without the key, a tool would be required to disconnect the power. A neon indicator is provided to indicate mains present at the switched output. Bold red, durable casing ensures easy visual identification.

As a means of demystifying LED driver technology Fulham, the lighting component and electronics specialist, has produced a technical white paper on the subject. Entitled Lifting the Lid on LED drivers, the paper looks at the critical issues about LED drivers and how they influence luminaire performance. This new white paper from Fulham is available to be downloaded now at www. fulham.com/PDFs/Fulham-Lumoseries-WhitePaper.pdf and will be of great help to luminaire designers in ensuring they make informed specifying decisions and so obtain the right solution that best meets their design and budget requirements.

DILO Armaturen und Anlagen 01233 879216 http://bit.ly/DILO_CommGuard

ESP 01527 515150 www.espuk.com

CONVERSION OF GENERAL LED LIGHTING FOR EMERGENCY OPERATION Mackwell, a provider of technology solutions for the global lighting industry, has launched a new compact emergency LED driver in Standard and DALI AutoTest versions to enable the conversion of general LED lighting solutions for integrated emergency function. The ELEDD MIDI system is available in two model types; ELEDD MIDI 55 and ELEDD MIDI 200. ELEDD MIDI 55 can drive DC loads ranging from 6 to 55 V, the output being SELV compliant. ELEDD MIDI 200 can drive DC or AC loads ranging between 50 to 200 V with full-pole isolation of the output provided by an incorporated changeover relay. Both models have built-in adaptability that automatically senses and adjusts the output of the emergency driver according to optimal current level for rated duration and for efficient matching of voltage to the load.

Mackwell Electronics 01922 458255 www.mackwell.com

Fulham +31 72 572 3000 www.fulham.com



As part of its commitment to supporting the next generation of electricians and inspiring others to take up electrical apprenticeships, Martindale Electric was delighted to sponsor this year’s SkillElectric 2016, the electrical industry’s skills competition. The challenge was set over a two day period and saw eight top apprentices from around the UK carry out a series of practical tests and tasks at the NEC, in a bid to secure a place at the World Skills Event in Kazan, Russia in 2019. The event was organised by the two charities, NET Services, specialists in accreditation of electrical skills, and Worldskills UK. Using top of the range safe isolation kits, which were donated by Martindale Electric, apprentices were faced with a selection of workplace scenarios, typically faced by electrical installers.

When it comes to cable entry points, installation engineers often need nerves of steel. Indeed, if enclosures are being set up directly at the place of use, installing the cable entry point by fitting cumbersome connectors through the gland plates is often an arduous and time-consuming job. This is where easy-install solutions are called for – such as connector grommets from Rittal. Without the right system, pre-assembled cables are always going to present a challenge when it comes to cable entry points. Thanks to connector grommets from Rittal, there is a simple, flexible solution for introducing pre-assembled cables into the base area of housings and enclosures. The sealing system features a modular design and comprises an outer cover made of polypropylene with thermoplastic elastomer and a rubber seal. This versatile system can create a secure seal that satisfies the IP 55 standard around cables with a diameter of between 8 and 36 mm.

Martindale Electric 01923 441 717 www.martindale-electric.co.uk

Rittal 01709 704000 www.rittal.co.uk




The LED Group is pleased to announce the recent promotion of John Humphery to UK & European managing director. In his new position, Humphery will draw on his extensive sales and marketing experience to bring fresh energy and a harmonised approach to the company’s European business. Humphery said, “The development of a harmonised European sales and marketing approach is a key element of our group growth strategy. I am delighted to take on this new leadership challenge and very much look forward to capitalising on our sales people’s superb capabilities, excellent brand equity and exciting product portfolio in order to maximise our global reach.” The LED Group is also pleased to announce the recent promotion of a key member of its sales management, Mick Slein (junior) to commercial director.

Scolmore has introduced a range of smart switches to its iNELS Smart Wiring Accessories collection, making it easier than ever for installers to provide an upgrade to an existing wiring installation. Putting additional switches in more practical or convenient locations, for example, or the option to add two-way dimming, are all possible without the need for extra cabling. The smart switches are compatible with Click iNELS RF wireless control systems to offer automated lighting control and they can be used with the iNELS switching and dimming receivers and unlike conventional dimmers, they allow you to dim from two locations.

CRITICAL EQUIPMENT PROTECTION Combining a tough rugged construction with stylish design, the range of polycarbonate cabinets offer excellent protection for a wide range of equipment such as control panels, keypads, AEDs and other important devices. The tough UV-stabilised polycarbonate housing can withstand the severest of knocks prevent any vandalism or accidental damage to the protected device. There are various sizes available to accommodate any device in need of added protection. The polycarbonate cabinets allow the protected device to maintain all-round visibility, functionality and accessibility. They mount on the wall enabling devices to be stored in a central location. These cabinets are secured with a thumb lock, allowing easy access to the protected device, but provide a physical deterrent to discourage inappropriate or unauthorised use. Key lock facility is also available





Available in all leading electrical wholesalers and stockists

Digital version available to browse and download www.ledgrouprobus.com

Secure online ordering system for stockists www.robusdirect.com

LED Group +353 17099000 www.ledgrouprobus.com

KEEP TRANSPORT, STORAGE AND LOGISTICS SOLUTIONS SUSTAINABLE In 2015 Wincanton implemented Thorn Lighting’s HiPak Pro LED high bay luminaires at The Railshed, part of the company’s Corby facility, to reduce energy consumption and increase sustainability whilst providing a well-lit working environment. Lighting accounts for a significant proportion of site energy costs across the company’s facilities so The Railshed presented the perfect opportunity for Thorn to install LED lighting as a means of achieving Wincanton’s environmental goals. Thorn Lighting’s HiPak Pro LED high bay luminaires were the ideal solution, providing the option of a narrow beam angle for the newly installed racks and a wide beam angle for the open areas. A total of 64 luminaires were installed, each with an output of 14,000 lumens.

Thorn 01388 420042 www.thornlighting.co.uk

Electrical Review | January/February 2016

Scolmore 01827 63454 www.scolmore.com

CHANNELLING THE POWER Wieland Electric has supplied its Metalynx2 structured wiring system to enable the channelling of power and lighting within the newly redeveloped Belmont in the centre of Uxbridge, West London. With the use of Wieland products, the project exceeds regulatory requirements in the provision of a sustainable and innovative solution, and it is anticipated the CAT A office redevelopment will result in the building achieving a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. Metalynx2 is perfect for use in efficient installation of lighting circuits and other power requirements located above ceilings as it is easy and quick to install making it the perfect choice for contractors.

Wieland Electric 01483 531213 www.wieland.co.uk

STI 01527 520999 www.sti-europe.com

HIGHER-PERFORMANCE SUCCESSOR TO WIDEBAND OPTICAL SPECTRUM ANALYSER The AQ6374 is the successor to the Yokogawa and ANDO-branded AQ6315A wideband optical spectrum analyser. Featuring diffraction grating based monochromator technology delivering highprecision measurement performance and accuracy, an enhanced user interface and an air purging feature, the new instrument offers engineers a powerful benchtop tool for general-purpose optical spectrum measurements over the wavelength range from 350 to 1750 nm. By inheriting and enhancing the control technologies originally developed for the AQ6370 series, the AQ6374 model achieves superior operability and measurement speeds up to 40 times that achieved by the AQ6315A.

Yokogawa Europe BV +31 (0) 88 464 1190 www.tmi.yokogawa.com


Contact the sales team 0207 933 8974 Lighting