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Motor Control Center Installations - SPI Pharma Inc.

OC Electric was contracted to perform MCC additions for equipment upgrades at SPI Pharma Inc in Lewes, DE.  Several additional buckets were added where the new motor controls and circuit protectors were installed.  The electrical work was completed on time and within budget.  Contact OC Electric LCC for more information or for an invitation to bid your next electrical project.

Electrical Motor Control Center Installations

A motor control center (MCC) is an assembly of one or more enclosed sections having a common power bus and principally containing motor control units.  Motor control centers are in modern practice a factory assembly of several motor starters.  A motor control center can include variable frequency drives, programmable controllers, metering, and may also be the electrical service entrance for a building.  Motor control centers are usually used for three-phase alternating current motors from 208 V to 600 V.

A motor control center consists of one or more vertical metal cabinet sections with power bus and provision for plug-in mounting of individual motor controllers.  Very large controllers may be bolted in place but smaller controllers can be unplugged from the cabinet for testing or maintenance.  Each motor controller contains a contactor or a solid-state motor controller; overload relays to protect the motor, fuses or a circuit breaker to provide short-circuit protection, and a disconnecting switch to isolate the motor circuit.  Three-phase power enters each controller through separable connectors.  The motor is wired to terminals in the controller.  Motor control centers provide wire ways for field control and power cables.

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Soft Starter or VFD - Which to Choose?

Processing plants are filled with motors that drive pumps, fans, augers, compressors, conveyors, mills, mixers, and other equipment.  Many of these motors need or could benefit from a reduced-voltage soft start or a variable-frequency drive (VFD).  Both soft starters and VFDs substantially reduce the electrical and mechanical shock caused by across-the-line starting, and both help reduce electrical demand by reducing a motor's start-up current.

Soft starters and VFDs can reduce field building or inrush currents and machine starting torque by as much as 30% to 75% when compared to an across-the-line starter.

In applications such as pumps and compressors, which can require many starts per hour to maintain critical process flows or pressures, these reduced starting currents result in significantly less motor heating and longer motor life.  A softer or less rapid increase in motor torque at motor starting can also greatly extend the life of belt-driven and mechanically geared equipment.

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Grain Mill Upgrades to Soft Start Technology

Ocean City Electric was commissioned by a local Eastern Shore grain mill to upgrade a number of magnetic starters with soft start technology to prolong the life of the motors and related downstream equipment.  A solid-state soft start controller controls the starting torque and current of an AC motor electronically.  Contact OC Electric LLC for more information on the benefits of using soft start controller technology. 

Soft Starters can be used in almost any fixed speed application such as:

• Commercial—HVAC fans and pumps

• General industrial—fans, pumps, conveyors, material handling, and processing equipment

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