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Imported Electrical Process Control Equipment and Machines

We get asked regularly to install or fix electrical equipment imported to the Perth market from off-shore manufactures. Most of this equipment has been sourced because the initial buy prices is extremely competitive when compared to the same unit manufactured locally.

We are finding this trend in both equipment packages and skids such as automated

machines and process lines, and on control panels and switch boards.

What isn't immediately apparent, are several considerations that can result in a product that costs more in the long term.

Control system logic

Equipment is often specifically designed by the vendor with a set operation or process that may not specifically suit the end user. Often times we see that the customers process is different and that inefficiencies can start to occur when the process flow or automation does not meet the clients requirements.

Consideration should be given where a mixture of manual and automated processes are provided. Often where control logic is difficult, off-shore vendors will opt to provide a manual solution that may require additional labor to complete the process adding to plant inefficiency and ongoing costs in the long run.

Legacy Control Equipment

Often equipment supplied is outdated or near end of life reducing initial installation cost but increasing ongoing maintenance and support costs.

PLC's and control equipment are updated periodically and it is important to ensure equipment supplied will be supported by the manufacturer for ongoing maintenance and optimization.

It is also important to establish local support for the equipment to ensure that breakdowns and changes can be implemented in a timely manner to minimize down time.

Compliance with Australian Standards

One of the most common issues with imported equipment is compliance to Australian Standards.

Installation of electrical equipment is governed by mandatory Australian Standards and legislation and there are significant penalties associated with not complying. Common issues encountered are:

  • Type testing of LV enclosures

  • Voltage Rating of supplied equipment

  • Color coding of cabling

  • Termination methods

  • Earthing and bonding

Costs required to rectify locally or on site can be significant.

Compliance with Australian Standards

That is not to say that importing equipment is not the right solution for your business. Many vendors are able to provide a good quality product that meets a clients needs and complies with local regulations.

Creating a design brief or equipment specification is the best way to ensure that expectations are outlined to manufactures and installation contractors alike. This will also reduce project budget and schedule overrun.

Once an effective design brief has been completed the end user can go to market with confidence that pricing comparisons are like for like and that installation costs will not increase due to rectification/remedial works.

Lece can assist with preparing design brief and SOW to ensure the end user obtains the most cost effective outcome from both an installation perspective and from an operational and maintenance.

Give us a call to discuss your project and for some free advise (08) 9477 3894.

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