Issue 150 July - August 2022

Please note: The issue content below is just a summary of the articles in the printed magazine.
The articles are not available on-line. Please refer to the printed magazine for the complete article.
Bremca powers up for another 50 years

While switchboard design remains the core focus of board builders today, the country’s largest switchboard manufacturer has expanded its services beyond this and now integrates switchboard, switchgear, and electrical automation solutions across a broad range of industrial and commercial applications.

Bremca Industries managing director, Andrew McLean, says Bremca now brings together multiple disciplines to provide customers a one-stop solution that includes low and medium voltage switchboards and switchgear, busbar trunking, automation, power control and monitoring, building management systems, lighting control, fire suppression and specialised enclosure solutions.

McLean says customers gain more from Bremca’s whole-of-system approach which extends from design and manufacturing to installation, commissioning and after-sales service and support.

“Our total solution capability simplifies traditional processes and removes design and integration risks while ensuring easy installation and greater operational certainty. Whether we are doing the whole job or supporting consulting engineers and installation contractors, the diverse range of engineering skills and experience our engineers provide help customers get exactly what they need at a competitive price.

“By having the right expertise built up over 50 years of operation we can deliver a complete solution in the most efficient way and give every confidence to customers that it will work the way they want it to from the moment it is commissioned. We also back our solutions with extendable warranties.”

How to certify to the new edition of a standard

One of the more confusing practices the government imposes on electricians is to work to certain standard editions and to certify their work has been carried out according to those editions. The confusion arises when the government requires certification to old, superseded versions of standards when customers require new work to be done to the latest standard.

A certifying electrician citing the latest but uncited version of a mandatory standard on a CoC risks a disciplinary hearing for breaching the Electricity (Safety) Regulations. For example, electricians are required to certify installation work to the currently cited edition of AS/NZS 3000 which is the 2007 edition and not the newer 2018 edition.

Although architects and consultants are no less bound by electrical law when they certify electrical designs, a growing number are requiring electrical contractors to install their designs to the uncited 2018 edition of AS/NZS 3000.

This creates a conflict for electricians who must install, test and connect installation work in compliance with the 2007 edition.

Inspector warned over incomplete CoC

Inspectors lodging record of inspection (RoI) results on the WorkSafe High-risk Database are being held to account not just for their own returns but also for alleged errors or omissions in the certificates of compliance that initiated their inspections.

While this response from the electrical regulator appears to have been going on for some time, the action taken by Energy Safety WorkSafe in issuing a formal warning notice to one inspector in May this year highlights the regulator’s poor operational oversight and inadequate understanding of the law governing inspection.

The inspector in this case was informed by Energy Safety that while his RoI appeared to be satisfactory, it was invalidated by its associated certificate of compliance (CoC) being incomplete. While the regulator correctly contended that the CoC did not contain all the information required by the Electricity Regulations and was therefore incomplete, the regulator then determined that the CoC was invalid and that rendered the RoI for the high-risk work inspection similarly invalid, regardless of how well the inspection was carried out and documented. Energy Safety WorkSafe identified no basis in the Regulations for this determination.

However, the electrical regulator did identify the missing components on the CoC: the failure to include a reference to when the work was done; the failure to have attached to the CoC the supplier declarations of conformity (SDoCs) that the certifying electrician relied on; and the failure to state whether the work done relied on any manufacturer’s instructions.

How to use cyberspace to improve productivity

It’s becoming increasingly common for industrial sites to connect to the internet, specifically to improve their productivity. For some, this is nothing new. But for many others, cyberspace remains somewhat of a mystery. Questions remain as to how the internet can be used by industry, who is really being connecting to, and if they can be trusted. The question remains: what value can cyberspace bring to a business and, more importantly, how will it affect the bottom line.

Monitoring is key to continual improvement

Virtually every producer now sees the need to improve what they do, just to maintain competitiveness in the market and survive in business.

It’s been known for some time that in order to produce high quality products and to do so consistently, the entire production process needs to be carefully monitored by electronic means. Close scrutiny of operations allows problems to be detected and then rectified before they start to affect output.

Better still, when monitoring data is logged, it can be subsequently analysed to identify inefficiencies within the production process. Many problem areas have been uncovered using these techniques and costs reduced thanks to the improvements made.

What can be done to improve cyber security

Industry is relentlessly marching towards the digital transformation of their processes, with one report saying OT investment will continue at a rate of over six percent at least until 2027. There are very good reasons for embracing digitisation, as it can add significant value for producers by improving their productivity and efficiency.

Digitisation necessitates connection to the internet, also known as the IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things). This is because the advantages that come from digitisation can only be realised in the cloud, using cyberspace. But connections to the internet also opens industry up to potentially devastating cyber-based attacks. Such breaches can cause significant harm in terms of both reputational damage and financial costs.

Sadly, the last few years have seen a rapid rise in cyberattacks. This is partly because of the heavier reliance on the internet, with employees able to access worksites remotely or working from home. But industry is also responsible for many of the major national utilities, so any disruption will severely impact the population. This makes industry a high value target for would be hackers.

Low-glare lighting – managing the impact on installations

Fluorescent troffers have been the go-to option for office lighting and most other spaces with a suspended grid ceiling for what feels like forever. Now replaced by LED panels or troffers, they remain an economic option of choice, providing a good uniform light source.

Fluorescents were easily maintained, simple to install and space correctly. The LED options now offer better quality light and more options in sizing, mounting, control and output parameters than ever before.

They don’t however allow for any maintenance, providing no more ability to simply change a lamp or starter and extend the luminaire life. However, they make up for this in ease of ability to hot swap to a new luminaire come failure or end of life. This makes the cheaper options a bit of an ugly nightmare in a world that is increasingly conscious of e-waste.

Managing the life of LED panels

Generally, what we mean by low-glare lighting is where the light source has been obscured to some extent to increase the visual comfort.

Take an original downlight, with the flat lens, the light source is right there. When you look across through the light, you get a great big bright splodge in your visual line. Now with a low-glare downlight, when you look across the space, you will not see the actual downlight in operation, perhaps a halo around the fitting, but that’s about it. The light will still be shining downwards on the target zone, but none of the annoying glare impeding your vision.

A really great example of where this situation is highlighted is a lounge with a TV. If you have a standard ceiling, a couch in the middle and a TV on the wall, there will often be some downlights between you and the TV. If those downlights were the flat, wide-beam-angle type and were not dimmable, good luck getting a great viewing experience in the lounge without turning them off.