Electrician working on an industrial electrical project

How to Prepare for an Industrial Electrical Project

Industrial electrical projects are large endeavors. For this reason, careful planning and preparation needs to happen to ensure that the project is completed on-time and under budget. Poor preparation for any electrical project may result in delays, cost overruns, safety hazards, code violations, and incorrect installation.

Define Project Scope and Objectives

Work with your industrial electric contract company to prepare a detailed projects scope. This includes the specifications of the electrical work that needs to be completed, specific milestones for the project, and the deadline.

Electrician working on an industrial electrical project

Gather Project Documents

At all relevant project documents, including blueprints, architectural plans, electrical specifications, and any existing maintenance records.

Complete a Site Survey

Perform a thorough site survey to assess the existing electrical infrastructure, identify potential challenges, and gather detailed measurements for equipment placement and wiring requirements.

Get Permits and Approvals

Not having all of the all necessary permits and approvals from local officials and regulatory agencies can be an extreme headache later in the process Make sure you have them in place before the project begins to ensure it’s compliant with all building codes and electrical safety standards.

Order Supplies and Equipment

Order all necessary electrical supplies, equipment, and personal protective equipment (PPE) before starting the project to limit delays and ensure a good start for the project.

Develop a Detailed Project Plan

A detailed project schedule ensures that all of the people involved in the project understand their assigned tasks, determines responsibilities to the industrial electricians and other team members, and considers possible complications and contingencies to address them.

Establish Communication and Coordination

Setting up clear communication channels among all stakeholders–including the project manager—the electrical team, and client, is essential to coordinate and resolve any issues quickly.

Preparation is the key to a successfully completing an industrial electrical project. Doing these tasks at beginning of the project significantly reduces the number of issues and complications that may occur while it is under way. It also ensures that the project is done right—safely, on-time, and under budget.

Let Tri-State Electrical Contractors Handle Your Industrial Electrical Project

At Tri-State Electrical, we pride ourselves on answering all your questions about your industrial electrical project. For more information, or to get a quote for your industrial electrical project call us at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

High-voltage electrical work by industrial electrician in Atlanta

Why You Should Hire Experienced Professional Industrial Electricians

The average person can complete most residential electrical projects with some knowledge and expert guidance via YouTube. But industrial electrical equipment is a whole other ballgame. Industrial electrical equipment is extremely complex, handles high voltages, is highly specialized, and is extremely dangerous if installed or maintained by anyone who isn’t a trained, experienced industrial electrician.

High-voltage electrical work by industrial electrician in Atlanta

Industrial Electricians Are Safer

Inexperienced electricians endanger everyone in the building. Improper equipment installation can create fire and electrical hazards that can cause tremendous damage to the equipment and facilities, injuring or possibly killing anyone who works with that equipment. Industrial electricians receive extensive safety training before they ever get to work on an industrial electrical project and ongoing training for the equipment they work on.

Industrial Electricians Are Expert Problem Solvers

The biggest challenge that industrial electricians face is not the equipment’s installation but the environment where that equipment is installed. Interfacing industrial equipment with electrical systems can present many challenges, such as:

  • Old buildings with an inadequate electrical infrastructure to operate industrial equipment safely
  • Interfacing old industrial equipment with new electrical systems
  • Integrating new industrial equipment into an existing installation and production setup
  • Insufficient or inadequate wiring for the existing industrial equipment
  • Correctly diagnosing and repairing current industrial equipment

No solid guidelines or resources are available for some of the highly specialized industrial electrical configurations used. In addition, every industrial business has its own quirks and eccentricities that must be factored in when installing industrial equipment.

Industrial Electricians Save Time

Because industrial electricians believe in extensive training and experience to earn certificates to work in the field, they have resources and specialized equipment that other electrical workers do not. Where other electricians struggle to figure out which tools to address the issue, an industrial electrician will have the tools necessary and the knowledge to fix the issue. Industrial electricians are also familiar with the technology and industrial equipment within the customers’ industries, making finding and resolving problems faster.

Industrial Electricians Save Money

Getting an electrical problem fixed right the first time by an experienced industrial electrician is far better than saving a few dollars by hiring a non-specialized electrician or even trying to do it yourself and needing it to be redone. An incorrect installation or repair can also result in a fire or electrical shock, which may cause significant (and expensive) damage to your equipment, buildings, and even your people.

Because of an industrial electrician’s training and experience, they can complete even difficult work quickly, getting that equipment back online fast and limiting costly downtime. Experienced industrial electricians also can identify possible issues before they become bad enough to result in downtime or damage and pre-emptively fix them when the fix is cheaper.

Looking for Experienced Industrial Electricians?

Then look no further. Tri-State Electrical is one of the premier industrial and commercial electrical providers in the Southeastern U.S. Whether you are looking for industrial electrical installation or repair, PLC programming services, or high voltage electrical services, Tri-State Electrical Contractors can deliver. For more information or to get a quote, call (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

A power distribution center installation from Tri-State Electrical, a commercial and industrial electrical contractor

Radial vs. Ring Power Distribution Systems – What Are the Differences?

Most commercial and industrial electrical system installations involve an electrical power distribution system. An electric power distribution system is between the transmission station and individual industrial and commercial customers. Typically, this power is transmitted at a lower voltage than the transmission of power over long transmission lines over great distances. The distribution system tends to step down power to commercial and industrial electrical systems.

A power distribution center installation from Tri-State Electrical, a commercial and industrial electrical contractor

The most common electrical power distribution systems include:

  • Radial Power Distribution Systems
  • Ring Power Distribution Systems

What is a Radial Power Distribution System?

A radial power distribution system is used for substations or generating stations located at the center of the customer’s location. For a radial PDS In this system, the feeders push electricity from one end to the distributors located at the other end. The energy can only flow in one direction.

Advantages of Radial PDS

  • Simple design and setup
  • Low initial cost

Disadvantages of Radial PDS

  • Not as reliable as other systems
  • A fault in one feeder cuts off power to the distributor and doesn’t provide any backup feeder

Radial Parallel Feeder Distribution Systems

There is a version of the radial power distribution system called a parallel feeder power distribution system. This doubles the number of feeders within the system, which improves reliability but adds considerable expense due to the doubling of the feeders.

What is a Ring Power Distribution System?

Ring distribution systems are designed so that every distribution transformer connects with two feeders using different paths. These feeders form a loop that starts at the substation bus bars, goes through the load area feeding distribution transformers and returns to the substation bus bars.

Advantages of a Ring PDS

  • Very reliable system
  • Fewer voltage fluctuations at terminal locations
  • Improved continuity of the power supply

Disadvantages of a Ring Main Distribution System

  • High initial cost.

Looking for an Experienced Industrial or Commercial Electrical Services Provider?

Then look no further. Tri-State Electrical is one of the premier industrial and commercial electrical providers in the Southeastern U.S. Whether you are looking for an industrial electric generator installation, a solar storage solution, or PLC programming and installation services, Tri-State Electrical Contractors can deliver. For more information or to get a quote, call (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

Industrial electrical contractors troubleshooting industrial electrical problems

4 Common Challenges Industrial Electrical Contractors Face

Industrial electrical contractors are highly-specialized workers in a highly specialized field. Although many of the challenges they encounter are not unique, awareness of them is critical to avoid damage, injury, and potential work stoppage due to these issues.

Industrial electrical contractors troubleshooting industrial electrical problems

1 – Power Surges

Where surge protectors protect personal computers and other electronic items in our homes, power surges are more common in industrial environments and more damaging because of the size and power needed by the equipment used in the building. Industrial electrical contractors understand this and design power systems that can handle these surges while protecting the company’s equipment and employees.

2 – Power Loss

Whether due to storm damage, accident, or planned maintenance, industrial businesses must keep running regardless of the situation. As a result, industrial electrical companies provide a variety of backup power generation sources such as backup generators or off-grid power sources such as solar and wind. In most industrial environments, downtime is never a good thing.

3 – Worn Out Equipment

Most industrial equipment gets a lot of use; as a result, wear and tear are inevitable. However, some of these problems are easy to resolve because they are designed to be replaceable, such as bulbs, fuses, and switches.

Other problems require some troubleshooting, and because of the nature of industrial equipment and environments, this may require industrial electrical troubleshooting to identify the issue. This type of troubleshooting requires extensive knowledge and experience with the company’s environment and variety of equipment. In addition, this type of troubleshooting may involve using highly-specialized equipment for issues that are particularly difficult to track down.

4 – Defective Wiring

Wiring is the most common point of failure within industrial electrical equipment and, in many ways, the most dangerous. When wiring isn’t installed correctly, is the wrong gauge for the job, or the insulation is worn away, it is unsafe and sometimes tricky to find. A knowledgeable industrial electrical contractor can help mitigate these issues and fix them when they encounter them.

Let Tri-State Electrical Contractors Provide Industrial Electrical Services for Your Business

Tri-State Electrical Contractors understands what modern industrial companies need in the ever-changing, complex world. We provide superior industrial electrical services, including equipment installation, troubleshooting, PLC installation and programming, the install of electrical equipment in new industrial plants, and much more. We can handle any commercial or industrial electrical work you need quickly and competently. For more information, call us at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

Industrial electrical services partnered with the CORE Safety Group

Who is the CORE Safety Group?

The CORE Safety Group is an organization with vast knowledge and considerable experience with the safety challenges in different industrial environments, including construction, manufacturing, mining, municipal, oil and gas, transportation, and power industries. This experience includes credentials from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, including:

  • Certified Safety Professional (CSP)
  • Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST)
  • Occupational Health and Safety Technician (OHST)

These certifications identify the CORE Safety Group as the premier safety and health practitioners and leaders in this area.

Industrial electrical services partnered with the CORE Safety Group

Services Offered by the CORE Safety Group

Our leadership members at CORE Safety Group have degrees in Occupational Safety Management and hold credentials that are certified through the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, and offer services such as:

  • Safe Assist Program – For a specified number of hours each month, CORE provides a Safety Manager to serve as your organization’s Safety Manager, to provide customized safety management services to meet your company’s specific safety needs. The Safety Manager works closely with your team to provide training, schedule safety inspections, and other services.
  • Safety Audits and Risk Assessments – Because of CORE’s broad, cross-industry knowledge, they are well-suited to provide safety auditing and risk assessments that effectively mitigate risk and prevent safety issues specific to your industry.  
  • · Mock OSHA Inspections – These help ensure that your company can pass OSHA inspections and provide the training necessary to build awareness of the safety issues that may result in violations.

Benefits of an Industrial Electrical Services Company with CORE Safety Group Certifications

So how does hiring an industrial electrical services company with CORE Safety Group Certifications benefit your business? Here are a few of the ways:

  • Assurance that Electrical Work Meets or Exceeds Safety Requirements – Because electrical work interacts with almost every major system within industrial infrastructures, it is critical for the safety of your property and people that all electrical work is done right.
  • Reduces Accidents and Injuries – Industrial electricians with CORE Safety Group Certifications deliver work that understands how that particular business uses electricity and implements it correctly, resulting in fewer incidents.
  • Improves the Company’s Reputation for Safety – Because of high-quality electrical work and the reduced accidents and injuries that result, the company gains a reputation for safety which builds confidence in the goods and services your company provides.

Tri-State Electrical Contractors Partners with the CORE Safety Group

Tri-State Electrical ensures that the industrial electrical services they provide meet or exceed all OSHA requirements. For more information or a quote for our commercial or industrial electrical services, call (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

PLC being programmed by an industrial electrician from a PLC programming company in Knoxville

How Do Industrial Control Systems Use Data?

As industrial control systems handle bigger and more complex tasks, there is a growing need for IT data management and support to help coordinate the industrial control system, and secure it as well. As a result, industrial control systems depend more and more on Big Data to help plan, optimize and improve operations at your industrial company.

PLC being programmed by an industrial electrician from a PLC programming company in Knoxville

This can take many forms, such as enhanced automation of your industrial processes to improve accuracy and efficiency, detailed reporting that measures every aspect of the production process looking for ways to improve the overall process, or helping managers and engineers identify and resolve problems before they result in a production slowdown, or worse yet, a complete work stoppage.

What Kind of Data Does Industrial Control Systems Handle?

Industrial control systems collect and use many different types of data. This can be the primary data that runs and controls the equipment or enhanced functions such as coordinating the operation of multiple systems, managing production speed, and also delivering data gathered by sophisticated sensors installed within the system. Because of these enhancements, the industrial control systems require software with customizable configuration and reporting to manage the production process. The industrial control system communicates via a wired or wireless signal that updates the data constantly. This interconnectivity between the industrial control system and the equipment that it runs makes it vulnerable to threats both outside and within the business.

Why is Data Security Important?

Cyberattacks on industrial companies are becoming more and more commonplace in today’s world. The tight-knit interconnectivity between the industrial control system, the equipment that performs tasks, and the networks and data architecture that support them make it vulnerable to outside attacks from hackers. But internal issues such as equipment failure, employees bypassing the system’s operation, or external factors that prevent peak efficiencies such as temperature, humidity, or other environmental conditions.

Luckily, the tight integration between today’s industrial control systems and Big Data makes it easier than ever to spot problems, whether caused by internal conditions or an outside cyberattack, can be configured to detect these issues before they can cause production problems.

Let Tri-State Electrical Contractors Help with Your Industrial Control System Installation and Maintenance

At Tri-State Electrical, we can handle every aspect of your industrial control systems. From providing the industrial electrical work to supply your equipment with power, to providing the PLC programming needed to run your system. in the Southeastern US? For more information, give us a call at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

Solar storage system Chattanooga

What is Solar Storage?

Solar storage (AKA solar battery storage) is a technology that allows you to use solar power in your home or business even after the sun has set. Because solar panels only generate energy during the day, there needs to be a way to use power at night. This is where solar storage comes in. Solar storage is a set of solar backup batteries that store solar energy until it needs to be used either at night or during outages.

Solar storage system Chattanooga

What Are the Benefits of Solar Storage?

Energy independence is the biggest benefit of using a solar storage system. Previously solar energy could only be used during the day, and solar storage changes everything. Solar battery systems allow solar energy to be used at night, during outages, or whenever power is needed.

Lower energy bills is another massive benefit to using solar storage. Being able to supply all of your energy from the sun can significantly reduce your energy bills. In fact, you might be able to sell excess power back to your electricity supplier in some cases.

Secure Source of Power

As residents of North Carolina discovered last year, a big storm has the potential to damage electrical infrastructure severely, and people might end up without power for many hours or even days. A solar storage system is independent of the electrical grid and can be self-sustaining during an emergency. Even if the rest of the electrical grid is down in your area or neighborhood, a solar storage system allows you to live normally and help others during trying times.

Environmentally Friendly

The source of solar energy is free and reduces the amount of energy needing to be produced by fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas for the world as a whole. You can significantly reduce or even eliminate your need for energy from energy companies with solar battery systems.

Increase the Value of Your Home or Business

Adding solar panels and a solar battery storage system is highly sought after in many areas within the country. Energy-independent buildings can raise the value anywhere from 4 to 6%, a significant amount. When adding this to the energy savings you get, the value of a solar energy system is clear.

If you now see the value of a solar storage system, why not the best solar storage system electrical contractors in the Southeastern US? Tri-State Electrical Contractors’ industrial and commercial electricians are licensed in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and (soon) Florida. We can handle solar storage systems or any commercial or industrial electrical project you need to be completed quickly and competently. For more information, give us a call at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

Power Distribution Center electrical contractor Atlanta

What is a Power Distribution Center?

Power distribution systems are a critical part of any electrical power system. To transfer electrical power from its source to where it is used, requires a power distribution center.

Power Distribution Center electrical contractor Atlanta

A power distribution center (PDC) regulates the distribution of electrical power to equipment at an industrial plant, homes in your neighborhood, or systems on your car.  Typically, a switchgear supplies power to the PDC.

How Do Commercial and Industrial Electricians Use PDCs

For commercial or industrial electrical work, power distribution centers tend to be large enclosures of electrical equipment housed in an electrical room, on the roof of a building, or even a separate dedicated building somewhere on the company’s property. Commercial and industrial electricians use power distribution centers to manage the raw current coming from the electrical source and feeding it to all of the systems that require it within the building or property.

Components of a Power Distribution Center

No PDCs will be exactly alike. The components within the PDC depends on the amount of energy needed, location, how the energy is being used, etc. But most PDCs have the following components:

  • Housing – Most electrical equipment is delicate and requires protection from extreme weather (high-winds, torrential rain, severe heat and cold, and much more). Housings protect the equipment within the PDC, as well as keep the weather, temperature extremes, vermin, and other annoyances out.
  • Transformer – Transformers convert incoming high-voltage electricity to a lower voltage to be distributed throughout the building or property. loads such as motor control centers (MCC’s). Feeder breakers for these loads will be located on the PDC. PDC’s will often contain additional protective relays, monitoring equipment, fuses, terminal points, etc.
  • Motor Control Center – This component controls some or all electric motors from a central location. These can be mini-PDCs themselves using a shared power bus for each section. These may include a motor starter, fuses or circuit breaker, and power disconnect. Each section may also include push buttons, indicator lights, variable-frequency drives, programmable logic controllers, and metering equipment.
  • Safety Equipment – Such as fuses and circuit breakers.

Power distribution centers are a common feature for commercial and industrial electrical projects, so it is critical to have PDC experts handling your installation. So why not hire the best commercial and industrial electrical contractors in the Southeastern US? Tri-State Electrical Contractors’ industrial and commercial electricians are licensed in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and (soon) Florida. We can handle any commercial or industrial electrical project you need to be completed quickly and competently. For more information, give us a call at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

Industrial electrical services Birmingham

How to Secure Your Industrial Control Systems

Cyberattacks appear in headline news daily, and industrial control systems are high-value targets because they are vulnerable and can cause great turmoil if disrupted. Because of this, many hackers have shifted their attention to industrial control systems over traditional IT systems.

Industrial electrical services Birmingham

Why Industrial Control Systems Are Vulnerable

There are many reasons why industrial control systems are particularly vulnerable to hacker attacks:

  • Industrial control systems now rely more on connectivity than ever before for basic operations and keep things running smoothly.
  • Because these systems often are comprised of equipment from many different vendors, each part within the system has different security measures in place, meaning that one software vulnerability can allow hackers into the entire industrial control system.
  • Industrial control systems do not have the same security oversight as traditional IT systems.
  • Equipment within these systems often includes software that cannot be updated or patched.
  • Industrial control systems equipment is typically used by manufacturing personnel, who don’t often have IT experience, especially with cybersecurity

Industrial control systems consist of operational technology such as sensors, programmable logic controllers, actuators, and even robots that manage, monitor, and maintain the systems—the more interconnected the systems, the greater the damage that can be done overall.

Damage that Hackers Can Do Through Industrial Control Systems

So you might think hackers can’t do any damage if they can access the conveyor belt system used in shipping and receiving, but you would be completely wrong. Here are some of the ways hackers can do damage to your company by hacking industrial control systems:

  • Access primary IT systems or more critical systems by moving into these systems laterally.
  • Steal trade secrets and intellectual property.
  • Obtain confidential information such as customer lists, marketing plans, policies and procedures, etc.
  • Secretly monitor internal traffic and other data such as email.
  • Take control of manufacturing, operations, or infrastructure equipment and cause damage, sabotage operations, or even hold it hostage.

Tips for Keeping Your Industrial Control System Safe

So what can you do to protect yourself from this damage? Take these actions:

  • Create security policies for the industrial control system equipment specifically and ensure that everyone follows them.
  • When purchasing new equipment for your industrial control system, be sure that it has a means to update the software and/or hardware for the system so that newly discovered vulnerabilities can be addressed.
  • Assign an individual or team that works with IT to maintain the control system equipment and make sure that hackers cannot get into the system through industrial control system equipment.
  • Hire an industrial control system specialist who understands the importance of security and designs these systems to maximize operational security.

The moral of the story is that don’t allow the security of industrial control system equipment to be forgotten or fall through the cracks. Create awareness of security vulnerabilities and ensure the key individuals know how to address them. Don’t put your whole organization at risk by allowing a security breach to occur via your industrial control systems.

Hire the Best Industrial Control System Specialists in the Southeastern US

Tri-State Electrical Contractors do not only install electrical equipment for commercial and industrial customers all over the Southeastern United States but also can help you install and configure industrial control systems for your operations securely. For more information, give us a call at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

Industrial electrical services Atlanta

What is Industrial Electrical Maintenance?

Because most modern industrial electrical systems are well constructed and durable, facilities managers and owners of an industrial business may be lulled into a false sense of security about their electrical systems. As a result, they might overlook issues until it is too late. Unfortunately, this usually results in a costly repair or replacement of electrical components or, worse yet, brings production down.

Industrial electrical services Atlanta

For these reasons, industrial electrical maintenance is essential for uninterrupted and efficient operations for all industrial businesses.

What is Industrial Electrical Maintenance?

Because of the complexity of modern industrial equipment, industrial electricians need to be familiar with many different types of equipment and the theory and technology behind it. In addition, industrial electrical maintenance involves a general understanding of monitoring, testing, diagnosing, repairing, and replacing elements of an industrial electrical system. This includes being knowledgeable about the National Electric Code and local zoning and regulations surrounding electrical work.

Areas Industrial Electrical Maintenance Cover

In addition to the general knowledge of electrical systems, today’s industrial electricians need to be familiar with the standard technology used within industrial electrical systems such as:

  • Generators
  • Transformers
  • Hydraulics
  • Pneumatics
  • Lighting Systems
  • Surge Protection
  • Battery Backup Systems

Industrial electricians need to be familiar with computerized control systems integrated with the electrical equipment and high-tech diagnostic equipment to help identify and resolve problems before resulting in an expensive repair or downtime.

This means that industrial electricians need to use and thoroughly understand the software that drives these integrated solutions and how to use it to ensure stability and detect problems before they become serious issues. They do this by implementing preventive maintenance for these systems.

Preventative Industrial Electrical Maintenance

Downtime and data loss keep industrial business owners awake at night. Problems that are minor issues early on can become huge issues at critical moments. For example, the company’s backup generators need to be ready to fire up as soon as there is a power outage. If those generators have not been inspected or tested, they might not start at a crucial moment. Preventative industrial maintenance can help avoid these issues. Some of these issues include:

  • Overloaded or old wiring
  • Inadequate lubrication for industrial equipment
  • Excess vibration
  • Worn out parts

Industrial electricians need to be experts at many different types of equipment and have a clear understanding of the system’s vulnerable areas and how to prevent problems before they occur.

Hire the Best Industrial Electrical Contractors in the Southeastern US

Tri-State Electrical Contractors’ industrial electricians are licensed in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and (soon) Florida. We can handle any industrial electrical project you need to be completed quickly and competently. For more information, give us a call at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com today.