Panel to 3-Phase
When our customer came to us for a boiler controls upgrade, the Gain Control team swiftly and expertly developed a strategy to fit their needs, deadline, and budget. With our innovative approach, we developed industrial controls that were compatible with their new system, safe, and easy to operate – all at an amazing price and timeframe.
Our customer was in the middle of an upgrade of the boiler controls for a large institutional building. As part of the upgrade, the feedwater pumps were switched to higher efficiency 3-phase 480 VAC models. The existing control panels were originally designed for single phase 208/240 VAC pumps – and as a result the control panel could not be used. Since the customer already had an accepted bid on the job, there was very little room in the budget for drastic changes, and the timeline was tight.
To protect the timeline from supply chain disruptions, we proposed reusing durable components with long life cycles like push buttons, terminals, and the transformer and enclosure. The reuse of components also allowed the budget to stretch to include adding automatic control using an Allen-Bradley MicroLogix PLC, ethernet connectivity, and a touchscreen for easy operation.
The last goal was to increase operator safety by re-wiring the electrical panel using best practices like utilizing wire ducting, finger-safe terminals, logical design, and clean wire routing. Please compare the following photo with the completed panel above. You will see all the fuses in the original electrical control panel are exposed, and the wire routing is open and unprotected by wire duct.
Laying Out Components
Once we removed all the components from the back panel, we temporarily laid them out using scraps of wire duct. This allowed us to arrange the components in a logical way, while maintaining open space to meet code and help
keep components cool. After we were happy with placement, everything was traced with erasable markers. All mounting holes were drilled and tapped in a separate part of the shop, away from the clean room – assuring that metal shavings couldn’t get near electrical components.
Wiring In Progress
Wiring began once the back panel was populated. We started by grounding components that required it. Then we wired
the panel in the following order: high voltage AC, 120VAC, 24VDC and finally Class II wiring. The photo to the left shows the panel partway through the wiring process.
The last steps were to put the back panel in the enclosure, wire all buttons on the door, and land those wires on the correct terminals of the panel. Doors take a substantial amount of time to wire correctly. In the photo on the right, you can see how perfectly the wires are attached to the door. You can also see how the small touchscreen was fitted in next to the buttons that we re-wired.
These were the upgrades and additions to the industrial control panel: 208/240VAC upgraded to three-phase 480VAC, Allen Bradley MicroLogix 850 PLC, 4” touchscreen, finger-safe fuse holders, proper wire ducting, panel identification tags, ANSI (American National Standards Institute) safety warning labels, terminals so field wiring can be landed safely, and a networking switch so it can be connected to the plant network.
As you can imagine, our customer was thrilled with the results. We replaced an aging and outdated boiler control panel with a safe, reliable, and state-of-the-art control panel to improve efficiency and maintain a more comfortable interior environment for patrons.
This boiler control panel upgrade is just one example of the innovation that our customers
expect from us, and we deliver every time.