2013 Product of the Year finalists: Electrical Safety

Finalists in the Electrical Safety category for the Plant Engineering 2013 Product of the Year competition.

By Amanda McLeman November 18, 2013

K-frame breakers

The Series C K-frame breakers are designed to enhance personnel safety, minimize equipment damage, and improve uptime. Engineered for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and critical applications, the Series C K-frame circuit breakers combine two methods of arc fault reduction with energy-reducing maintenance switching and zone selective interlocking to enhance safety for maintenance and operations personnel. The 240- and 400-A K-frame breakers support essential applications with the ability to remain online and avoid tripping when a ground fault is present, while simultaneously alerting personnel. These breakers also include zone interlocking that is engineered to reduce fault-clearing times, enhancing personnel safety and minimizing equipment damage.


Shunt trip safety switches

Eaton’s integrated shunt trip safety switch line enhances safety by providing a means to remotely open a safety switch electrically. The switches’ visible means of disconnect—providing the ability to verify blade disengagement from the stationary contact when the switch is in the “off” position—further enhances safety. When incorporating an emergency stop, safety interlock with other equipment, or similar means, the remote operation capability of the shunt trip switch no longer requires personnel to manually open the switch with the handle. These switches can be configured to meet additional needs of safety applications in industrial and commercial environments.


Large generator circuit breakers

The VCP-WG circuit breakers from Eaton are engineered for large generator applications and interrupt high fault currents of power systems. The circuit breakers were designed to protect high-powered generators with up to 75 kA interrupting capability and high dc fault content. Ideal for OEMs, these generator breakers can be applied across numerous industrial, process, and commercial systems. The VCP-WG circuit breakers are an Eaton Green Leaf solution and meet stringent standards of sustainability and efficiency. They incorporate environmentally friendly vacuum interruption technology and avoid the use of sulfur hexafluoride, which contributes to the greenhouse gas effect.


Medium-voltage vacuum circuit breaker

The VCPW-HD medium-voltage (MV) vacuum circuit breaker is designed for utility, industrial, and commercial applications. This 38 kV circuit breaker is engineered to provide reliable and robust circuit protection in a compact, environmentally friendly, and reliable package. The VCPW-HD breaker is designed to protect transformers, capacitor banks, motors, busbar sections, and cable. The compact MV breaker is engineered to withstand demanding environmental conditions, and is suitable for high altitude, shock, vibration, and high ambient temperatures. The VCPW-HD’s compact, modular design has dielectric strength with solid insulation that is encapsulated in epoxy resin material, eliminating live conductors in the breaker cell.


Fuse selecting program

The Fuses Made Simple program is designed to help users easily select and specify the right fuse. The platform is a grouping of the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) low-voltage, branch circuit fuse portfolio into three tiers of protection and four fuse families—all based on key performance and protection characteristics. Each tier offers distinct levels of performance benefits to help customers speed up specification and selection, while clearly identifying the level of protection. Inside the protection tiers are four distinct fuse families, each represented by a unique color: Low-Peak (yellow), Fusetron (green), Limitron (black), and General Purpose (grey).

Eaton’s Bussmann Business

Surge protective devices

The SurgePOD line of surge protective devices (SPDs) has been expanded to include Heavy Duty and Pro models. The Type 1 UL 1449 3rd Edition Listed SPDs are ideal for loadside and lineside protection. Both the Heavy Duty and Pro models feature a compact, UV resistant NEMA 4X enclosure that is easy to install and versatile for indoor or outdoor applications. The voltage specific models allow users to precisely match and protect electrical systems and equipment. Both models of SPDs include the easyID LED status indication allowing users to quickly and easily check the status of the device.

Eaton’s Bussmann Business

Armoured cable gland

The Terminator II TMCX cable gland is an armoured barrier, non-armoured barrier, and TECK armoured gland used to terminate cable in hazardous locations. The cable gland is designed to minimize the opportunity for incorrect assembly and to increase corrosion resistance while maintaining integrity in the harshest environments. A simple selection process and field preparation aid the user to ensure the right gland is selected for the application. The Terminator II TMCX is complete with an integral dam to facilitate liquid pour, and its union design reduces the number of times the gland has to be assembled and disassembled during installation.

Eaton’s Crouse-Hinds Business

Ground fault circuit interrupter

The SB6100 Series Industrial Shock-Block is a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) that meets UL 943C Class C and Class D requirements. With high trip level standards and advanced filtering technology, this GFCI protects industrial workers against dangerous electric shock. The interrupter senses a ground fault and then opens the circuit as quickly as possible, and is designed for systems up to 600 V and high leakage currents. Target applications of this industrial GFCI include electrical cabinets supplying power to pumps, paint booths, washers, mixers, welding equipment, and other high-voltage machinery subject to wet conditions or wash down cleaning.


Portable appliance tester

The PAT450 is a portable appliance tester designed to test the safe operation of electrical equipment. This tester features 10- and 25-A bond tests with high duty-cycle designed for fast testing, easy operation, and all-day use. The PAT’s 250- and 500-V insulation tests sensitive electronics. A USB port enables convenient downloads, and a barcode scanner and thermal transfer barcode label printer can be used with the tester when hooked up to this port. A unique restart feature on the PAT450 allows the unit to restart instantly from the same menu where it was unplugged when moving from room to room.



The USGCC (class CC) and USGM (midget class) UltraSafe fuseholders from Mersen are equipped with industry-proven and patented CAGE CLAMP technology. This technology significantly improves system reliability by maintaining a very low contact resistance easily withstanding corrosion, vibration, and temperature cycling. The CAGE CLAMP technology also eliminates the need for routine torque maintenance required by standard screw-type terminations. The USCGG and USGM fuseholders feature IP20 finger-safe protection, a compact footprint, DIN-rail mounting, and quick, easy, and tool-free fuse change-outs. The fuseholders are tested and certified by global standards organizations UL, Canadian Standards Association (CSA), and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).


Safety relays

Sirius 3SK1 is a flexible and modular range of safety relays for monitoring and controlling systems with simple safety requirements, such as emergency stop or protective door monitoring. The product range takes the form of a clearly structured modular system so that plant operators can quickly, simply, and economically assemble an appropriate and safe configuration. The Standard and Advanced basic units are available with relay or semiconductor outputs so that the Sirius 3SK1 is able to efficiently cover every kind of application situation. The system portfolio is rounded off by modules with additional connections for actuators or sensors and a power supply.

Siemens Industry Inc.

Author Bio: Amanda McLeman is the research director and project manager of awards programs for CFE Media and Technology.