Blog posts tagged with 'switchgear'

Used Switchgear Market Growth Forecast

 

Traditionally, the used equipment industry and especially the market for used switchgear has been thought of as being counter recessionary. The common wisdom being, customers will spend money to maintain and upgrade old equipment rather than buy new to save money and to avoid the long lead times associated with purchasing and installing new switchgear.

Recent growth in manufacturing and our economy has changed this dynamic and now used switchgear, circuit breakers and parts have seen a surge in sales that looks to continue well into the future. We see the driving forces behind the growth as:

  • Increased demand for products pushes manufacturers to restart old production lines and push them to new limits.
  • Much of the switchgear that powers these lines are no longer supported by the original manufacturer because of the planned obsolescence. This creates increased demand for used and aftermarket solutions. NPE AFTERMARKET PARTS
  • Used and aftermarket solutions are typically 40-60% less expensive than purchasing new equipment, and they are available much faster and generally carry the same or better warranty as new. To add to this, the fact that personnel are already familiar with how this switchgear operates and you have a win-win scenario.
  • Increased cash flow from the economic upturn allows for maintenance and upgrades that had been previously deferred.
  • Regular maintenance and testing of switchgear and breakers will increase the life span of the equipment by decades. Older technology can be easily upgraded with options like arc flash protection, ground fault and communications. All these factors will reduce down-time and unscheduled outages.
  • For Field Service Specialist - servicing switchgear that has been obsoleted by the manufacturer will also serve as an opportunity for companies to provide other equipment and other services that field engineers can alert them to. Having your people in a plant, actively promoting your products is the best advertising you can get. 
  • Older switchgear can be repaired and upgraded to meet new demand. Many of the new products are sealed and unable to be repaired. As a result, repairs or upgrades that would cost a few hundred or few thousand dollars, and cannot be performed and users are forced to discard equipment and purchase new replacements for tens of thousands of dollars and potentially long lead times. 
  • Many customers are realizing that planned obsolescence will also render new installations of the latest whizz-bang technology obsolete, the same way their current equipment has been treated. Maintaining and upgrading current equipment just makes sense.

The bottom line is that just as a rising tide raises all boats, as the economy grows and thrives, so will the demand for used equipment dealers like National Power Equipment, where our motto is, "The right equipment, at the right price, right now!" Whether you are an end user, in the repair industry or a dealer, we strongly recommend you prepare for double digit growth in 2021 and the years that follow.

What “Obsolete Circuit Breakers” Really Means

Websters definition
Obsolete
adjective
ob·so·lete | \ˌäb-sə-ˈlēt, ˈäb-sə-ˌlēt\
Definition of obsolete
a: No longer in use or no longer useful // an obsolete word
b: Of a kind or style no longer current, old-fashioned // an obsolete technology

NPE’s definition
As relating to switchgear and circuit breakers… A product line not supported by the original manufacturer, but still commonly in use.

Why No Switchgear Parts are Really Obsolete

Many factories, government facilities, and large commercial buildings are operating on switchgear that is no longer supported by the OEM. The lights are still on, production is running, and everything is fine, until it comes to light that new parts are no longer available. What should you do?

Switchgear is one of those systems that represent a large financial investment. It’s physically large and often located in a basement, or on a rooftop or mezzanine. This makes it difficult to physically remove it if you decide to replace it and represents a large commitment of money, labor, and more importantly downtime for the building and systems. That’s time and money that could be better spent elsewhere. The solution to this problem is to find what you need on the secondary or used equipment market.

An “obsolete” General Electric AK-2-25 circuit breaker that can be found on the secondary or used equipment market.

Where to Find Obsolete Circuit Breakers and Other Used Switchgear Parts

Used switchgear dealers are often looked at as the first responders of the electrical market. They are intimately familiar with the equipment that the OEMs have obsoleted and can supply you with quality circuit breakers and parts, reconditioned to the highest standards and often upgraded with the latest materials and technology. Best of all, equipment is available with little or no lead time keeping your facility and production up and running.

At NPE, we have a saying that “nothing is obsolete.” Not only do we have thousands of circuit breakers, switchgear, and parts in stock and available at a moment’s notice, we also offer solutions for over 250 of the most troublesome, hard-to-find parts. This gives you new aftermarket replacement parts with design and material upgrades to keep your switchgear up and running better than ever. Our inventory includes items that go back to the 1940s and our staff has the experience to provide cost effective solutions for repair, upgrade your equipment, and extend its useful lifespan almost indefinitely.

Need a solution for your switchgear problems? Submit information about what you need on our NPE on the Go mobile site or contact us today to talk about your needs and how NPE can help.

The DS Switchgear Line

 

Image of DS Switchgear

The DS line of air circuit breakers has been a tried and tested product line of low voltage air circuit breakers that have been proven to be both versatile and reliable for decades. Originally, it was sold as a Westinghouse product, then the line was later sold to Square D and then Eaton Cutler Hammer.  It is widely understood that all of these breakers are interchangeable regardless of label, however the same does not hold true when replacing the switchgear parts. The switchgear cabinets have been manufactured in several locations around the country which resulted in six different lines of cabinets.  Care must be taken to properly identify which style of cabinet is in question to properly identify and acquire interchangeable parts.

The first vintage of DS switchgear was manufactured by Westinghouse in East Pittsburgh in 1969 and continued through 1973. It can be identified as having “Shop Order” (SO) numbers that start with “24Y”. The second vintage also made in East Pittsburgh through 1984 with SO numbers that started in “27Y” and concurrently with “WPA” switchgear made in St. Louis and was designated by a “General Order” (GO) number rather than a shop order number. The East Pittsburgh gear was generally marketed to heavy industrial users and the WPA gear for commercial applications.

Two more vintages came out of the St. Louis plant, designated as vintage III and IV. Vintage III was an attempt to merge the “27Y” product line with the WPA product line and it is usually designated with a prefix of “28Y”. It was a very short production run during 1984 from May through October. Vintage IV was made in St. Louis form October 1984 through May of 1990 - it continued to use the GO number system and also the “28Y” SO numbers. In 1990, production was moved to Asheville, NC and although changes had been made to the design, the “28Y” SO number system was continued.

Finding Replacement Parts for DS Switchgears

If this sounds confusing, you have a lot of company. So how does someone go about finding replacement parts to maintain their DS switchgear? If you are fortunate enough to have the original product literature (see below) it will help to some degree. However, because much of it is no longer manufactured (new) you will more than likely find yourself relying on a reputable used electrical equipment dealer like NPE. If you know the SO number, GO number and production dates it will help narrow the focus, but even within product lines things like bus size and length will change depending on the configuration and rating of the switchgear.

Cutler Hammer DS and DSL Low Voltage Power Circuit Breaker Renewal Parts -  Manual RP.22B.01.T.E.

Westinghouse Instructions for Low Voltage Power Circuit Breakers Types DS and DSL – Manual  IB 33.-7901G

Instructions for Type DS Metal-Enclosed Low Voltage Power Circuit Breaker Switchgear Assemblies – Manual IB 32-690-E

The fastest and most reliable way to get the right part, at the right price, at the right time will be with photos and measurements using the NPE "On the Go" with your smartphone. NPE "On the Go" is very easy to use, just open it up and navigate to Switchgear/Switchgear Parts, answer the product driven questions and attach photos that you’ve taken with your mobile device. This RFQ will be sent to the NPE technical staff where it will receive TOP PRIORITY! Of course, you can still contact us with your requests and questions.      

 

NPE "On the Go"

800-647-0815

info@npeinc.com

 

NPE...Your "Electrical 911"

Hurricanes, floods, lightning strikes or just a simple tree falling on a transmission line can trigger a catastrophe that shuts down power. Without power, there is no production and the cost of downtime can cost tens of thousands of dollars – per hour.

Electricity drives production in the modern world, and often times production is run on switchgear and circuit breakers that have been out of production for years, if not decades. If you call the original manufacturer and they tell you they no longer support your product line, their only option will be to replace your equipment with whatever they are currently producing. This will often entail reconfiguring your distribution system, paying big bills and waiting months for “the latest and greatest” product line only to find out that it’s less reliable than what you previously had and within a short amount of time will be obsolete as well.

So, when disaster strikes and you’re faced with these obstacles, what do you do, who do you call to restore production in the fastest and most economical way? That’s what National Power Equipment is here for. As a stocking distributor of used, remanufactured circuit breakers and switchgear, parts and our ever-growing list of aftermarket parts, NPE can supply you with the right equipment, at the right price and most importantly, right now! Our warehouses are stocked with low voltage (600 VAC or less) through medium voltage (15,000 volts or less) air and vacuum circuit breakers, switchgear, medium voltage motor starters, load break switches, and all of the parts needed to go with it. Our inventory not only contains equipment that dates from the World War II era to current, but our staff has the experience, knowledge, and expertise to get you up and running in hours, days or weeks instead of months. Think of us as your “ELECTRICAL 911”. When disaster strikes, large or small, we can assess the problem, offer a variety of solutions and start implementing them right away.

For example, consider the case of a once in a 100 years flood that incapacitated a technical center for a major automotive company. While the water was still receding NPE was on site consulting with the contractor, assessing the damage and formulating plans. Parts and equipment began arriving the next day. NPE supplied medium voltage fuses and switch parts, low and medium voltage circuit breakers, relays and tons of parts, literally anything that was needed to get over twenty load centers back online.  The first of the substations came on in a week and within eight weeks 99% of production was restored.  Overall, NPE made seventy-nine separate shipments including one of sixty-seven circuit breakers that were reconditioned and ready to go.

Unexpected outages, large or small, require two things to overcome them – experience and options. Contact us we have both.