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Revamp of electrical panels at DSM
The DSM branch in Genk has high ambitions. This plastics manufacturer wants to double its capacity of 90 kilotons in coming years. Of course, their electrical panels also need to be up to the job. So they asked us: new or revamp?
“Years ago, we built the distribution and control panels for this site,” explains Service Manager Stijn Cuppens. “Now that their products are in greater demand, DSM wants to increase its output. Consequently, their electrical panels need to grow along with their ambitions. They wanted to know which solution would be best: expand the existing installation – a revamp – or have new panels designed and built?”
“Since we both build and upgrade, we could prepare a proposal for both scenarios. We made a comparison for DSM between new panels and a revamp in terms of budget, possibilities and timing.”
“The process starts with thorough maintenance of the electrical panels. This gives us a good idea and the current condition of the panels and their reliability. Are any of the materials obsolete? Are the switches still reliable? Is the copper still in good condition?”
“The results of that maintenance process, including a visual inspection, testing and measurements, are used to prepare an estimate and schedule for revamping the panels in phases,” explains Stijn. “We then compare that scenario to new panels. This provides DSM with all information they need to make an informed decision.”
REVAMP IN VARIOUS PHASES
“That decision depends on a number of factors, such as the available budget or the company’s expectations of the panels in ten years’ time. Will they be expanded again or phased out? These kinds of considerations are important. So the company needs to show its hand. Only then can we give detailed advice.”
“In this case, the panels were in too good condition to replace. And maintenance combined with a revamp was much more budget-friendly. Also worth noting is the fact that a revamp gave DSM the flexibility to approach everything in phases: first that part of production, then that one, etc. This let us tailor our schedule to their planned shutdowns.”
- Maintenance of 30 ASEA panels. Six every year.
- Revamp of power switches and other components.