United Electric Creates Switch Program

Wednesday, December 9, 2015 @ 10:12 AM gHale

United Electric Controls (UE) has a new program to help companies assess their industrial switching needs and evaluate upgrade opportunities.

The program includes a guided assessment of needs for operational visibility, adjustability, safety, availability, energy conservation, economy and hazardous locations and helps determine the right combination of legacy and new digital switches that can meet them.

“A typical process plant might have anywhere from 100 to 1000 mechanical switches installed, some of which may be nearing the end of their useful lives or taking up operating space that might be filled by more productive contributors to plant control, process efficiency and safety,” said Wil Chin, director of marketing at UE.

Reliable switching is vital to plant operation performing functions ranging from controlling hard alarms, permissives, safety interlocks, blowers and fans to initiating an emergency shutdown. UE found companies are migrating to digital switches for the following reasons:
• Improved operational visibility via LCDs that display local process variables and diagnostics
• Easily adjustable set point and deadband to reduce setup time
• Certified for use in SIL 2 safety systems, capable of SIL 3
• Improved uptime to boost productivity
• Protection from hazardous conditions
• Lower total cost of ownership
• Plant modernization

UE also found, however, that some companies tend to prefer electromechanical switches to achieve:
• Limited power availability at the source
• Faster reaction time
• Lower purchase price

In the new switch assessment program, UE application experts will meet with plant managers to help identify the mix of switches that will meet their needs.