The Challenges Of A Plant Expansion

Manufacturing companies are elevating their revenue forecasts for the next 12 months because they are positive about the state of domestic economy. As market conditions improve, opportunities are growing and manufacturing companies are introducing new products to the market. Expansion of facilities is the best way because it is often complicated to start a new facility.

However, there is a particular challenge to expansion projects because the electrical substation also has to expand to support the needs for more energy. In most cases, substations transform voltage levels coming from the utility company so that appropriate levels of power can be provided to the facility. Often plans are insufficient for future expansion in the original design and construction of the facility. It is usually discovered that available indoor and outdoor space is limited and constrained and the company is forced to expand a switchgear building and transformer yard. Another option is to build a completely new substation in another part of the manufacturing plant.

In order to achieve a successful substation expansion, it is important to estimate the necessary capacity that will be required by the manufacturing processes and equipment. The data will help in making an informed decision on additional substation equipment like switchgear and transformers. Data derived will also provide a basis for the discussion with the utility company.

It is also critical to evaluate the effects of a power outage on plant operations. If there are critical processes, there is a need to decide whether redundant power service is necessary to back up the plant’s generators to ensure uninterruptible power supply.

Another important step is to collaborate with the utility company to make sure that there will be sufficient power to support a larger substation. The utility company must be updated with the details of the project so that they will know how much additional electricity has to be supplied. A solution has to be identified like increasing wire size or adding a new transformer for increased capacity. In most instances, electrician 24 hours is called to make an evaluation and conduct a power study. A power study is very critical for safety and reliability.