How to eliminate arc flash

by Shane Whitaker
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Recently, arc flash has become a great concern among many bakeries’ engineering and maintenance staffs. An arc flash is an electric explosion that occurs in an electrical system with sufficient energy to cause substantial damage, fire or injury.

As a precaution, engineers or maintenance personnel would have to wear fire protection suits to work on mixers’ electrical panels, but equipment manufacturers today design systems to prevent the possibility of arc flash. By isolating the power going into the panel, Shaffer Manufacturing, a Bundy Baking Solutions company, Urbana, OH, improves employee safety and meets bakers’ requests to prevent arc flash, according to Terry Bartsch, Shaffer’s vice-president, sales.

“By putting the potential hazard inside of a separate enclosure, when you open up the panel and go through the circuit breaker, it is safe to work on,” he said.

Topos Mondial Corp., Pottstown, PA, uses all touch-safe components so no exposed metal contact points can cause arc flash within the panel, said Damian Morabito, the company’s president. These components feature plastic over exposed metal.

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