An intelligent packaged power system can help you deliver smarter e-houses at a lower cost with benefits for your customers.
By Bruce Hall, senior electrical solutions engineer, Rockwell Automation
Adding more intelligence to e-houses — while managing multiple vendors and meeting tighter project deadlines — isn’t easy. But it’s a challenge that many engineering, procurement and construction (EPCs) firms must meet today. That’s why more EPCs are using an intelligent packaged power system, which consolidates electrical and process control systems into one solution.
A system that unifies electrical and process control can reduce your risks when designing and building an e-house. It can cut the number of vendors you must work with from four or more to one. This, in turn, can reduce your design time and costs. And it can reduce the potential for vendor miscommunication, which can create costly integration challenges.
Also, a unified system allows you to transition from hard-wired to a networked approach. This can reduce your material, labor and documentation costs.
Of course, a unified and digitized system also delivers benefits for your customers. It gives them one system for control, visualization, archiving and reporting. It also allows them to access real-time data from intelligent electrical devices to help operations and maintenance personnel make smarter, faster decisions.
But before making the leap to intelligent packaged power, make sure you find a vendor with the right technology and experience to implement it.
The Right Partner
In some cases, the automation vendor that already provides your process control system can simply extend its role to deliver a unified electrical and process control system.
But if the vendor doesn’t have this experience, find one that does rather than making it a first-time project. Some vendors that have experience implementing intelligent packaged power systems have helped EPCs reduce project costs by 25% or more.
Such savings can be realized by reducing installation costs, commissioning and start-up time and engineering documentation. For example, instead of wiring each component individually using multiconductor cables, everything can be connected through one Ethernet® cable.
Also, an experienced vendor that can integrate third-party products and reduce interfaces also can reduce system packaging costs by 15% compared to a “stick-built” e-house.
The vendor you choose also should be familiar with the latest communications protocols. They should be able to use IEC-61850 and EtherNet/IP™ through intelligent electrical devices to give customers access to real-time information on equipment and operating conditions.
Learn more about intelligent packaged power solutions.
The Journal From Rockwell Automation and Our PartnerNetwork™ is published by Putman Media, Inc.