An engineering firm based in Gauteng, South Africa, which fabricates mechanical parts for mining applications, required constant and clean power to keep machinery running and prevent damage to equipment as a result of power outages. However, power supply in the area is erratic and frequent outages occur, resulting in loss of productivity as the systems are switched over to backup generators. The company required an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) solution to ensure a seamless transition and provide backup power while generators are brought up and running, but had no office space in which to implement the solution. It turned to Jasco Power Solutions to tackle the challenge.

“The firm experienced frequent power outages which caused severe disruptions to its operations. Generators were taking time to start up, and during this lag, machines would stall and would have to be restarted, taking time and energy and costing money. In addition, regular power failures increased the likelihood of machinery breaking down due to sudden shutdowns. The group needed to ensure that when power went down, the transition would be seamless to ensure equipment could continue to function correctly,” Marco da Silva, managing director, Jasco Power Solutions, says.

The company’s machinery is expensive to run and requires a stable, continuous power supply. If the power suddenly fails, the shut down and start up is not only costly, it can damage the machines as well as the product that is being worked on. With the current instability of utility power, the engineering group required an intermediary solution that would provide a continuous supply of clean power in the event of an outage, to allow it to start up our generators and continue production.

“A UPS is the ideal solution for this challenge, as it provides backup power instantaneously while generators are started up. However, there was an additional challenge. The company only had space for a UPS is on the factory floor, and these solutions are not generally designed to operate in hot and dirty conditions, such as those typical to manufacturing plants. We designed and fabricated a bespoke containerised solution for the UPS, including a 100 kW scalable to 250 kW modular UPS system, an enclosure to protect the equipment, and electrical, air filtering, lighting, distribution and cooling to complete the solution,” da Silva adds.

The containerised solution incorporates a hot-swappable modular Gamatronic MegaV2 UPS system that is scalable up to 250 kW to meet growing power needs in the future. These UPS solutions offer an efficiency rate of 96% with a small footprint. Additional 25 kVA modules can be easily added on an as-needed basis to increase the power capacity of the UPS, without requiring an entirely new system to be purchased. The Gamatronic UPS is also highly energy efficient, and protects equipment with dynamic voltage regulation, ensuring that power dips and spikes do not damage machinery and delivering maximum return on investment.

When it became clear that the engineering firm’s old solution was no longer functioning effectively, it sent out a request for information (RFI) and quotations. Jasco Power was selected with a competitively priced solution. “We were selected not only on price, but also on our ability to deliver a non-standard, bespoke solution with fast turnarounds. The containerised UPS system offers a prefabricated, fully functional solution that was engineered specifically to the requirements of the customer and was switched on and up and running within two weeks. The solution has been up and running since September 2013 and has already proven its worth. In addition to delivering the full solution, Jasco is also providing emergency support and annual maintenance services,” da Silva concludes.