Date: June 17, 2007
Eaton Introduces New FlashGard™ Motor Control Center, The First To Mitigate The Dangers Of Arc Flash Hazards
PITTSBURGH ... Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation recently introduced the FlashGard Low Voltage Motor Control Center (MCC), an industry first, which addresses the dangers associated with an arc flash event. FlashGard is Eaton’s newest arc flash product and the first in the industry to offer features to help prevent injury from electric shock, arc-flash burn and arc-blast impacts.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an arc flash occurs when an electric current passes through air between ungrounded conductors or between ungrounded conductors and grounded conductors.
“Arc flash dangers are a critical issue for companies around the world,” said Mike Longman, vice president, marketing and PowerChain Management. “Personnel safety, lost productivity, lawsuits, fines, equipment damage and facility downtime caused by arc flash events pose tremendous threats to business. Although injuries from arc flash don’t occur every day, their severity makes Eaton’s Arc Flash Safety Solutions well worth the investment.”
Eaton’s solutions focus on:
• Enhancing Safety – Improve a facility’s overall arc flash safety through training, labeling, analysis and products that reduce or eliminate exposure to dangerous situations.
• Cost Avoidance – Reduce or eliminate unplanned downtime, equipment damage, fines, lawsuits, injuries and fatalities through improved safety practices.
• Risk Mitigation – Meet or exceed the standards from NFPA 70E-2004 "Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace" and IEEE 1584 "Guide for Performing Arc Flash Hazard Calculations".
With the help of customer focus groups, the design process of FlashGard focuses on four important factors including prevention, reduction of the time-available fault current, maintaining the unit door closed whenever possible and removing voltages dangerous to life from the unit. Eaton has rolled many features that are currently available in various electrical industry products into FlashGard to provide enhanced electrical safety.
In order to increase prevention, FlashGard offers an insulated horizontal bus, an insulated labyrinth vertical bus, shutters to isolate the vertical bus when a unit is removed and finger-safe components inside the units. To reduce the time-available fault current, FlashGard is offering an ARC Reduction Maintenance Switch (ARMS) and an applied to breaker feeding MCC to reduce “trip time” during an arc flash.
Maintaining a closed-door unit is instrumental in mitigating an arc event. FlashGard offers disconnect units from the vertical bus with the door closed and an optional remote operated racking device so an operator may advance and retract the stabs from a distance of up to 25 feet. For additional protection, FlashGard also includes a freewheeling racking mechanism that prevents overtorquing, and an interlock preventing removal of the buckets while the stabs are engaged on the vertical bus.
This feature also provides a more uniform and secure connection to the vertical bus, three-position retractable stabs, and an optional through-the-door voltage test station have also been included as key features.
The three-position retractable stabs can be set in the “Connect”, “Test”, and “Disconnect” position. It offers an electronic-protected, fuseless, 24 volts DC control and an internal unit shutter to isolate from the vertical bus while in the “Test” position. When in “Test” only finger-safe 24 volts DC are released, and in the “Disconnect” position, no voltage is present at all.
These features will allow for safe access into the unit without exposure to the main bus voltage and will serve to reduce the personal protective equipment required to complete routine maintenance. They will also protect the operator from other hazards that can occur during an arc-flash event such as arc-flash impacts and falls.
An arc flash produces some of the highest temperatures on earth – up to 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit – three times the surface temperature of the sun. These excessive temperatures cause the air and metal in the path of the arc to expand and explode, creating an arc blast.
An arc flash event releases a tremendous amount of energy in the form of thermal heat, toxic fumes, pressure waves, blinding light, sound waves, and explosions that can result in serious injury.
Eaton’s Cutler-Hammer® brand FlashGard MCC is now available through the worldwide Eaton distribution channel or by contacting your local Eaton sales office. For more information, call 1-800-525-2000.
Eaton’s electrical business is a global leader in electrical control, power distribution, uninterruptible power supply and industrial automation products and services. Eaton’s global electrical brands, including Powerware® and Cutler-Hammer®, provide customer-driven PowerChain ManagementTM solutions to serve the power system needs of the industrial, institutional, government, utility, commercial, residential, IT, mission critical and OEM markets worldwide. For more information, visit www.eaton.com/electrical/.
Eaton Corporation is a diversified industrial manufacturer with 2006 sales of $12.4 billion. Eaton is a global leader in electrical systems and components for power quality, distribution and control; fluid power systems and services for industrial, mobile and aircraft equipment; intelligent truck drivetrain systems for safety and fuel economy; and automotive engine air management systems, powertrain solutions and specialty controls for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton has 61,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 125 countries.