In this month’s Automation Spotlight, we wanted to highlight a find from a featured manufacturer, Grace Engineered Products. A routine visit and test turned into the creation of a new product!
This account was relayed by their Regional Sales Manager, Don Sparks:
A city located in Virginia contains 411 wastewater lift stations. In a partial power blackout, two hundred stations lacked power. According to protocol, the station required a visit to decide whether the station needs to be reset or whether the power company needs to be notified. Grace Engineered technicians arrived at the scene to test for the presence of power. One agent suggested using a voltage test station. They also came up with the notion of moving the unit in an enclosure. Therefore, allowing the wastewater individuals to put the voltage test station in place without adjusting the motor control centers or switchgear. A new product was born.
The voltage test station after mounting in a suitable space, ingeniously allows the Lockout/Tagout testing to be done by only one person and takes only five minutes. In previous cases, two people visit every lift station and perform a Lockout/Tagout testing and reset the station. It is reported this the process took close to an hour, delivering incredible savings immediately with reduced travel and testing time.
It is important to note that, in the use of VTS, the energy-risk exposure was mitigated. The safer access and the associated cost savings is the reason behind the installation of the Voltage test stations on all the over four hundred lift stations.
The voltage test station can be directly wired to either the load side or the line side of the LOTO voltage source point. It can be directly wired onto the bus below the fuses to measure a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker.
This seems like a great product for any facility that lacks the manpower to adequately cover plants. The ability to get readings quickly can save more than time and money – it could prevent a disaster. If that’s not enough to persuade you, your company can even get their logo printed on the face plate!
If this product interests you, give Matthew Knight a call at 615-292-1977 EXT 105.