The machines and equipment have been installed and commissioned, the supplier has gone through the hand-over routine and is no longer on-site. So what happens next? Now it is up to the plant operator to ensure that everything keeps running smoothly and efficiently. And then come the pitfalls and the headaches – which are often down to legislative requirements and insurance conditions.This is why Blumenbecker Automatisierungstechnik is now providing its customers with a new service. 'No-one knows our clients' equipment better than us', says Holger Tigges, Team Manager work contracts & Services. 'So who would be better equipped to carry out all the inspection and maintenance work?' The current Ordinance on Health and Safety at Work (BetrSichV 2015) and the Statutory Accident Insurance Regulations require German-based companies to carry out regular tests on all their electrical installations and equipment.
These tests include:
According to Tigges 'many companies do not realise that these tests are required by the legislators'. Failure to comply can have serious consequences: loss of insurance cover, criminal prosecution and claims for compensation against those responsible in the event of damage or loss. And in such cases the legislators will want to see a complete and continuous record of the testing and inspection work.
As Blumenbecker Automatisierungstechnik will be familiar with the workings of the machines and equipment on site, it will usually be possible to dispense with time-intensive induction and interface clarification procedures. This means that the plant operator does not have to tie-up his resources unnecessarily. The inspection protocols are stored in a database and can be retrieved any time at the client's request for presentation to the authorities and insurance companies. 'For our clients the benefits are obvious', explains Tigges. 'Henceforth they will not have to worry about whether an inspection date was kept or not, as we will take care of all that automatically. This provides legal certainty at all times and represents a real bonus for all concerned.'
Another reason why this new service was developed is that it represents the perfect addition to Blumenbecker's well-known testing service for mobile plant and equipment.
'Modern production lines impose huge stresses on switchgear and drive systems', explains Tigges. 'Thanks to the latest thermal imaging techniques, potential sources of risk can now be identified at an early stage and safely eliminated.' This prevents plant breakdowns and avoids production stoppages.
'This service is a major plus for us in every area', confirms Thomas Meier of the TEO AöR Telgte Waste-water Treatment Works. 'Potential defects and danger areas can be identified early on. Electrothermography is a preemptive way to maintain plant availability'.
Thermography is not just a means for providing preventive fire protection but can also have significant cost benefits. Insurance companies often offer discounted rates to customers who regularly apply preventive measures of this kind.
Even when all kinds of shielding is in place, electromagnetic faults can still make their presence felt and affect the reliability of the data transfer process. The specialists from Blumenbecker Automatisierungstechnik have measuring instruments to track down these problems and will recommend the measures needed to ensure that they cannot reoccur. Once the network analysis has been completed, the operator will be provided with the appropriate certification in line with the manufacturer's specifications and requirements.
For Harald Golombek, Managing Director of Blumenbecker Automatisierungstechnik, the new service is the logical outcome of the company philosophy: 'We provide answers to the needs of our customers. That is why we are investing in an unusual kind of service for a switchgear manufacturer, but one that will help our clients by leaving them free to concentrate on their core business. In doing so we are underlining the fact that Blumenbecker is more than a supplier of switchgear systems – for we consider ourselves to be a service partner supporting our customers.'