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  • Writer's pictureCraig Drabyk

Successful Electrical Shutdown and Restart at Operational Manufacturing Facility

Omni Instrumentation & Electrical Contractors, Inc. was contracted by a previous client to provide power and controls for a new fluid bed and granulator system. This would require meticulous planning to safely and successfully shut down and restart a good portion of the electrical system of a manufacturing facility.

Because power would need to be interrupted from the main switchgear to multiple components and systems including distribution panels, motor control centers, transformers, and many others throughout the facility, we first needed to determine precisely what would lose power so the facility’s production team could plan accordingly. Certain systems would be methodically turned off and brought back online again, and any systems left running would allow production to continue in small batches. After a thorough analysis of electrical panel schedules and single lines, we identified all of the affected components.

The shutdown commenced on a Friday at 5 a.m. according to plan. Omni assisted maintenance personnel with assessing the full functionality of standby/emergency systems such as lighting, critical exhaust and HVAC systems, process equipment, boilers, and PH waste and neutralization, as well as power to control panels, HMIs, PLCs, and the like.

The emergency systems functioned extremely well. Automatic transfer switches operated within an eight-second time frame, and the generator ran loaded and without incident. The UPS, which had been sized at installation for future capacity, performed as expected.

Finally, power was restored, all facility systems went back to normal operation, and the generator went into its cool-down cycle. Only one anomaly was identified during the process: two small pumps that were supposed to have been on emergency power were not. This issue was immediately rectified.

The owner was pleased to have simultaneously completed both the electrical shutdown for the new equipment and a live functional test that was part of the facility’s new annual SOP.

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