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  • Writer's pictureCraig Drabyk

Advantages of Hardware Consolidation on Construction Projects

When Omni was awarded the contract for installing all controls and pneumatic systems at a new 155,000 sq. ft. manufacturing plant, one task stood out as perhaps the most challenging. Twenty-six starters and eighteen variable frequency drives serving equipment spread throughout the facility were to be shipped loose by the vendor, leaving the challenge of how and where to locate the units and feed them with power and controls up to us. Our solution was to strategically group the starters and VFDs in seven separate control cabinets located throughout the plant.

Each of the cabinets was engineered to have one incoming feed, all internal control wiring, a main disconnect switch, electronic circuit protection, power and control terminal blocks on DIN rails, circulating cooling fans, and power indication lights on the exteriors. The UL-listed control panels were fabricated in our shop, all internal wiring was clearly labeled, and as-built drawings were adhered to the inside of the covers to simplify installation and support future maintenance and repairs. Some of the VFDs and starters serve equipment located in Class 1 Division 2 hazardous areas and wash-down environments, so those areas were avoided to eliminate the need for expensive XP and NEMA 4X control panels and enclosures.

The entire process took five weeks to complete from design and approval through panel fabrication and delivery. Omni performed the installation and control wiring and provided the vendor with startup assistance to ensure proper functionality within the wider system.

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