Krefeld-based ATR Industrie-Elektronik GmbH constructed a switchgear system with a total of 150 metres of enclosures for a fibreboard production plant in the United States. To ensure problem-free acceptance in Barnwell, South Carolina, the system had to be UL compliant. While it’s the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) that sets standards in Europe, in the US market it’s the standards of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) that need to be observed. And these are much stricter. For switchgear producers that export to North America, ensuring compliance is no easy task. They need expertise and skilled partners such as Rittal.
Tight time window
The plant, which will produce up to 280,000 m3 of fibreboard a year once operational, is the largest order the Siempelkamp Group, of which ATR is part, has ever had. ATR supplies the relevant plant switchgear for all Siempelkamp companies. The timing is tight. There’s a maximum of one to one and a half years from getting the order to starting up the plant. An important part of that process is ensuring the final acceptance of the plant by UL goes through smoothly. The UL standards for the US market go into more detail than the IEC standards in many instances. Before they are started up on site, plants must be signed off and approved by an inspector, who checks and certifies the various materials, components and final products to ensure their operational reliability and safety. In the case of UL, there is a stronger focus on personal and fire safety.
The locking mechanism of the enclosure is a typical detail if switchgear is to meet UL standards. This must ensure the enclosure doors cannot be opened while the system is live.
Besides knowing how to engineer a plant that satisfies UL standards, it is crucial that all the components used are – as far as possible – already listed by UL. That is one of the reasons why Rittal is one of ATR’s preferred suppliers. For example, the TS 8 series enclosures and busbar systems are already UL-certified. The climate control components and other parts such as the new energy-efficient LED enclosure lights are also UL-listed and can therefore be used without any problems. The Rittal quality lab is UL-accredited.
The relevant Siempelkamp company undertakes the engineering and electrical planning work for the switchgear. Electrical planning work is completed almost exclusively in Eplan Electric P8 before being supplied to ATR.
Punctual deliveries and consistent data management
ATR excels in terms of its international focus and absolute dependability when it comes to deadlines. All that depends on optimum collaboration with suppliers. For example, the just-in-time deliveries from Rittal are crucial to the smooth running of production. Twice a week, a huge semi-trailer truck arrives with enclosures, housings and other components. A dedicated on-site intermediate storage warehouse provides additional flexibility.
The team at ATR are already working on the future of switchgear engineering – and digitization is taking centre stage. One of their aims is to ensure consistent data management. The data on Rittal products that features on the website and in the Eplan Data Portal is accurate and complete, according to ATR. The company is already planning automatic cable routing based on engineering plans, during which cable lengths will be created automatically. To make wiring paper-free, the company plans to use tablets in planning work. Users can collect authorised documents to produce output jobs and process these at the touch of a button – in a fully regulated process.
- ATR Industrie-Elektronik GmbH
- Krefeld, Germany
Switch gear project in the US, about 150 meters long, conform with the UL norm
Just in time delivery of UL conform TS 8 enclosures and other components
UL-listed TS 8 enclosures, bus bar systems, cooling solutions, energy efficient LED enclosure lights