2012 POY Finalists: Power Transmission
Finalists in the Power Transmission category for the Plant Engineering 2012 Product of the Year competition.
Operator safety switchgear
Eaton Corporation’s Arc-Resistant Front-Accessible Switchgear provides centralized control and protection for low-voltage power distribution equipment and is engineered to enhance operator safety. The front accessible design minimizes equipment footprint for utility, industrial, data center, institutional, hospital, and water facilities. The design also allows the equipment to be installed against the wall and eliminates the need to meet the National Electrical Code requirement of 36 in. of rear clearance. With an optional ANSI Type 2B rating for the front-accessible arc-resistant switchgear, the operator can be protected while the low voltage control or instrumentation compartment doors are open.
Molded-case circuit breakers
Eaton Corporation’s 2- and 3-pole molded case circuit breakers (MCCB) provide front-accessible and front-connected equipment with ease of maintenance. Drawout feeder MCCBs are available in 20 A to 600 A. The drawout MCCB switchboard and drawout MCCB panelboard may be submitted for almost any application. Breakers on the drawout MCCB units are inserted and removed through a mechanical removal system similar to other drawout designs associated with switchgear. For greater density and reduced space, the breaks are horizontally mounted in a traditional panelboard group mounted way.
The Power Xpert Solar 1500 kW inverter is designed to improve plant levelized cost of energy, maximize energy harvest, operate in harsh environments, and adhere to safety standards. The inverter for utility-scale, solar applications converts dc power into clean ac. Eaton created the inverter to use an MV pad-mount transformer, which is connected to the inverter via a direct-coupled throat connection, reducing cable requirements, pad size, and commissioning time. The Power Xpert Solar 1500 kW features a wide Maximum Power Point Tracking voltage range, which maximizes inverter operation time to boost energy harvest.
Eaton Corporation’s Series 6001 energy storage grid-connect inverter features proprietary electronics and provides improved stability for wind and solar energy customers. The inverter is designed to allow users to achieve full battery storage potential because of a large dc operating voltage window. With a 20-year life for utility applications, the Series has rated magnetic, liquid-cooled power modules with over seven million hours mean time between failure and a rugged enclosure for harsh environments. The Series inverter provides the required grid support, including low-, zero-, and high-voltage range, stand-alone/black start operation, islanding detection, utility communication, and full four quadrant operation.
Mid-size bevel speed reducers
The new upgraded series is a mid-sized family of right angle spiral bevel speed reducers and gearmotors. The Cyclo BBB4 has a combination of features that results in a highly reliable, efficient, and durable gearbox. The all-steel internal construction, featuring Cyclo or planetary inputs and the ductile iron housing, provides unmatched ruggedness. Interchangeable with the Cyclo BBB3 series, the redesigned Cyclo BBB4 series has been optimized for increased power ratings. A new F size yields higher torque and accommodates larger shaft diameters. Sumitomo also introduces 46 new standard ratios, along with 87 optional ratios with this generation of Cyclo BBB4.
Bevel speed reducers
The new Cyclo BBB5 series is a compact, energy-efficient family of right angle spiral bevel speed reducers and gearmotors. This series has been optimized for direct shaft-mounted applications. Similar to the Cyclo BBB4 Series, the Cyclo BBB5 has a combination of features that results in a very reliable gearbox. The all-steel rotating components, featuring Cyclo or planetary, exclusive bevel outputs, and compact housing design provide top performance without thermal limitations. To enable customers to precisely define operating speeds, Sumitomo introduces more than 100 ratios with this new 5 series of Cyclo BBB.
Electric linear actuator
Thomson WhisperTrak Electric Linear Actuators maximize design flexibility and improve performance and user comfort in personal mobility, rehabilitation, and medical equipment applications where reliability, small size, and low noise are design considerations. The actuators comply with all relevant certificates and are built in accordance with ISO 9000. A sealed, IP67 enclosure allows the electric linear actuator to provide maintenance-free operation throughout its lifetime. The actuators are rated to provide at least 10,000 cycles at maximum load. The actuators operate at 12 Vdc or 24 Vdc and can handle static and dynamic loads up to 2,000 N at speeds up to 5.8 mm/sec.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.