Ensuring reliable power for mission-critical applications in industry isn’t as simple as offering a range of standard power protection products, even if they are very good products. For many Secure Power applications found outside of the information technology (IT) room environment, power protection, power distribution, and cooling products that provide reliability must be adapted for the needs of a particular industry.
The term Secure Power refers to the importance of providing reliable, quality power to digitized machines, equipment and control systems that exist outside of a data center environment. This could be a safety system or control system on an oil rig, a navigation system on a ship, or piece of imaging equipment in a hospital or clinic. These mission-critical systems carry out vital business or production processes that must have high availability. They also generate data that is used to monitor, analyze, and fine-tune the mission-critical processes.
Secure Power solutions are typically based on some of the same types of product that are used to provide reliability in a data center. A prime example of this is uninterruptible power supply (UPS) products. UPSs ensure that data centers have clean, quality, reliable power.
What many people in business and industry might not realize is that UPSs are also widely used on plant floors, in hospitals, or in many types of “infrastructure” applications, such as elevators in office buildings or the specialized systems used in airports or within railway and mass-transit systems. However, a standard UPS that would be a fairly routine and appropriate purchase for a data center environment might not meet the needs of a Secure Power application.
For example, think of the specialized needs of navigation or other systems used in the marine industry. The electrical architecture on a ship may be unique to that ship or class of ships, and the space requirements on a ship’s bridge or communications room might be very confined and customized, making it difficult to install just any UPS into the application. Another example would be the temperature or humidity fluctuations found on an outdoor application such as an oil rig. Because of special needs such as these, one of the biggest considerations in Secure Power for industry and infrastructure is that the Secure Power supplier be flexible enough to adapt products to fit very specific or even custom requirements.
While some Secure Power applications can use fairly stock products, others need to be designed from the start with Secure Power needs in mind, rather than modified in the field at the time of installation. For example, there may be a need for electrical and mechanical changes such as ingress protection (IP) level, color (“RAL” color system) changes, or customizations pertaining to transformers, shock absorption, skids, door blocking, or voltage. In the case of Schneider Electric, we also offer the GUTOR industrial range of products, which have a long and successful tradition of being customized to meet the needs of specific customers and industries.
The ability and willingness of the Secure Power solution provider to adapt and design products for specific industry needs is an important consideration for both end users and channel partners. Of course, the Secure Power solution provider also needs to be able to offer a full range of more standard products, since in some scenarios, a stock product will do the job. But ultimately, many Secure Power solutions need to be purpose built for the needs of an industry application. When you have a Secure Power solution provider who can combine this flexibility to adapt products to industry needs, and combine this with global reach, teams with vertical industry experience, and technical knowledge that spans multiple domains, then you have a well-rounded Secure Power solution provider.
If you would like to know more about what Secure Power can do for your industry, contact your Schneider Electric representative, and for further background, read this brochure. As an example of how Secure Power solutions are shaped to the needs of a particular industry, take a look at this solutions brochure for the marine industry. We also offer a Web page with access to information on UPS solutions for Industry, Infrastructure, and Marine.