(Boston, MA) This is a great project that exemplifies how uninterruptable power, along with standby power, serves a huge purpose in more than just the data center industry. The customer uses 3D printers in a unique way that processes medical imagery to create custom molds that will later benefit patients requiring knee replacements. These molds can require up to 72 hours for the 3D printers to produce. The underlying issue that brought on this project was that a single spike, dip or even a blip in utility power would cause all the 3D printers to need recalibrating. To make matters worse, whatever product that was being printed at that time was no longer usable. Once the 3D printers were recalibrated, they would have to start the 72-hour printing process all over again. Not exactly good for a 24/7 business, where production and achieving deadlines is crucial.
After a site visit and discussions with the facility manager, FGCC quickly established a plan of attack that allowed the customer to revamp their electrical infrastructure with provisions for a UPS and standby generator. One of the key cost savers that allowed this project to come within the customers budget was the rework of their existing 3000A main switchboard. It was determined that a 1600A frame breaker was needed to support a UPS with enough capacity to support all the 3D printers within the facility. Unfortunately, the only breaker within the existing switchboard that could support the UPS and downstream critical load was the existing 3000A main breaker. After coordination discussions with the utility company, the switchboard manufacturer and UL laboratories, FGCC established a design that would repurpose the 3000A main breaker and rework the switchboard busbars. This rework turned the main breaker into a distribution breaker that would be used to feed the new UPS. A new main breaker was then supplied within a new service-entrance ATS, which connected a new Cummins generator to backup ConforMIS’ facility. Repurposing the existing switchboard allowed the customer to save a substantial amount of money by not having to install a new switchboard section, which the footprint of the electrical room would not support. This design highlights a routine “think outside the box” approach that FGCC provides, which in most cases, turns into more money being kept in our customers pockets.
One of the most remarkable stories that came out of this project was the immediate return-on-investment that occurred for this customer. If you’re finding yourself “on the fence” about investing in a standby power system, this story is for you. While FGCC was wrapping this project up by performing testing and commissioning services on the newly installed equipment, a Nor’easter came up the Atlantic Coast and caused havoc in the suburbs of Boston, including Wilmington, MA. This storm caused a utility transformer down the road from the site to blow up, leaving the customer without power for an estimated timeline of a week. The impact of a power outage for an entire week can be financially detrimental for any large business and its employees. FGCC understood the magnitude of this burden and put it on their shoulders to get the facility energized. Through quick-coordination and reshuffling all priority towards the new generator, FGCC was able to commission the generator and reenergize the entire facility via gen power. Rather than being left in the dark for an entire week, production was back in operation within 24 hours of when the transformer incident occurred. This allowed employees to return to work and our client to remain on schedule in terms of production.
To summarize, this project was a true inside-look at how any industry can face substantial losses when power is unreliable, or even just dirty. There’s no guarantee that a utility power source won’t go dark at any given second, no matter where you are and no matter what the weather is. If you’re thinking about investing in backup power so you don’t find yourself, or your business, in the dark, get in touch with our team and we’ll make sure you’re taken care of, just like we have done for many others.