Legrand bring the (horse)power

14/08/2019

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Opened in April 2018, Magna’s high-pressure vacuum die casting facility in Telford specialises in producing advanced lightweight aluminium parts for the automotive industry. Operation of the 225,000sqft manufacturing site places significant demands on power supply. In order to create a long-lasting and highly efficient power infrastructure, the contractors turned to commercial power distribution specialists Legrand UK & Ireland for the answer.

The Midlands is renowned for its automotive manufacturing prowess, and Magna’s latest addition to the region’s industrial landscape is set to prove no exception. The completed facility uses an innovative high-pressure vacuum die casting process to produce advanced lightweight aluminium castings, which are set to be key building blocks in the next generation of all-aluminium and multi-material vehicle construction. 

Given the process-heavy nature of the site, establishing a robust power distribution infrastructure was essential. Legrand UK & Ireland was first approached about the project by electrical contractor and installer, Lewis & Beddows Limited.

“As this was a design and build project on a completely new purpose-built manufacturing hub, Legrand has been heavily involved from the start, including during the tendering process,” says James Archer, Northern Regional Manager for Power Distribution at Legrand UK & Ireland.

He continues: “We have worked with Lewis & Beddows many times and have established a strong working relationship with them, however, it was our products that really won us this sizeable project.”

With its Zucchini portfolio extending from 25A through to 6300A, Legrand has one of the most comprehensive ranges of busbars on the market. This was a central reason for Legrand products being specified on the project.

Legrand’s Zucchini busbar trunking became the backbone of the power distribution network within the building’s shell, and was supported by 2500m of LB Plus lighting busbar and 700m of 4000A high power SCP busbar throughout the site.

James continues: “The new manufacturing facility for Magna presented a fantastic opportunity to fully utilise the breadth of our busbar offering, both in terms of volume and variety.

“Being able to offer a total solution to the customer was critical to streamlining the specification and installation process, as they only have to use one supplier, and in turn always have one constant point of contact to help ensure the process runs smoothly. In this particular case, this was Legrand UK & Ireland engineer Steven Broomfield, who was critical to the success of our involvement due to being a key resource on the project from design through to installation.”

Legrand’s Zucchini range features superior design and quality materials, and thanks to its compact size, the products are also more adaptable than traditional cable-based systems.

“When working on a new build project, you need to be able to adapt as challenges can arise when you least expect, and completely alter the plan in place. This is where the Zucchini offering really comes into its own,” continues James. “The busbars are modular by nature and fully customisable, so can be ‘tapped into’ at any point should the infrastructure need reshuffling.”

For an energy-intensive industrial environment such as the new aluminium castings facility for Magna, the Zucchini SCP busbar offers maximum versatility high power distribution ranging from 630 to 6300A.

“We fitted a significant volume of SCP 4000A between the main and sub panels,” says James. “The SCP is super compact, and thanks to its ‘sandwich’ construction, it enhances resistance to short circuit stresses, meaning it can be relied on to deliver the power needed at all times.”

He continues: “To further meet the power pressures of this facility, we also installed a MR 1000A busbar between the main and sub panels, as well as MS 63A roller shutters.”

The Zucchini medium power busbar is ideal for rising mains, and offers speed, reliability and flexibility during planning and installation. “Thanks to the Monobloc electrical joining mechanism on the MR range, the shearhead bolt allows for fast and simple assembly of the run which meant we could always remain on track with the installation schedule.”

The installation also includes a fourth Legrand busbar technology, the Zucchini LB Plus 25Amp lighting busbar. This is the latest range of Zucchini busbars for electrical distribution within low power applications, such as industrial lighting.

James concludes: “A large scale structure that requires multiple systems, such as Magna’s new aluminium castings facility, is a great demonstration of our total power distribution capabilities. From the smaller lighting options, through to the high power SCP systems, we were able to engineer a solution that was perfect for the project, and ensure the client could review a complete power distribution specification from one central point of contact.”