EC: FlashGard Arc-Resistant Motor Control Center

Motion Control — Drives, motor control centers: Arc-resistant version of Eaton's industry leading FlashGard motor control center technology is designed to both prevent an arc flash event and protect personnel if an arc flash occurs. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.

October 13, 2016

In 2007, Eaton’s FlashGard motor control center (MCC) was the first arc-preventative motor control solution designed to help prevent and protect personnel and equipment from the dangers of arc flashes. Today, Eaton is delivering the next generation solution, which provides customers with an updated range of arc-resistant features to help further strengthen protection against arc flash events.

Eaton is the first manufacturer to combine arc-preventive and arc-resistant technology within a single motor control center. The solution is designed to emphasize prevention, insulation and isolation to support safety during routine maintenance operations.

Unlike conventional MCCs, Eaton’s patented FlashGard design enables units to be disconnected and reconnected to the vertical bus with the unit door closed; maintaining a dead-front barrier during maintenance operations helps enhance operator safety. The solution also incorporates Eaton’s industry-first RotoTrack racking mechanism, which is designed to provide bus isolation, stab indication and lockout features to proactively prevent the initiation of an arc flash event.

The new FlashGard arc-resistant MCC is engineered to provide the added benefit of National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) Type 2 arc-resistant construction, meaning that arc resistant designs or features are present on the front, back, and sides of the assembly. This Type 2 rating translates to enhanced safety around the entire perimeter of the MCC should an arc flash event occur.

In addition, Eaton’s Arcflash Reduction Maintenance System can be applied to the primary circuit breaker feeding the MCC to help reduce fault-clearing time at work locations downstream of the device. For added protection, an optional remote operated racking device can advance and retract the bus connections from a distance of up to 25 ft to keep operators well outside of the arc flash boundary.