Industrial & Process Control

  • Alcoa

    "The speed of delivery and customer service from Falcon has been excellent and build quality of the FN Series units are top notch."

    Bryan Murphy, Staff Electrical Engineer - Alcoa
  • InTech Magazine

    "Harsh industrial power environments demand high-level power protection: The right UPS can meet that demand"

Tell us about your application requirements

There are few applications as demanding as Industrial Process Control. Precision, repeatability, safety and up time are all paramount. The computers, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), microprocessors and software controlling this equipment yield levels of performance and accuracy not imaginable a decade ago. For this reason, power protection, especially with an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), is critical.

Why do Industrial Applications Demand Clean Power?

The technology that makes these systems so powerful often exhibits sensitivity to power-related problems, resulting in costly, unreliable or inaccurate operation. The magnitude of these problems is often multiplied due to nearby production equipment such as motors and electrical devices “polluting” the facility’s electrical power. Common mode noise and ground loops between pieces of equipment or sensors can cause inaccurate readings or positioning. All of these problems can result in equipment damage, line stoppages, safety issues or the premature termination of critical processes. The resulting cost to your company can be substantial.

To the uninitiated, the cause of these problems may not be readily obvious. Power problems affecting the equipment’s microprocessor controllers often result in controller hangs or sensor and encoder glitches with the associated loss of accuracy. As an example, a large Southern U.S. soft drink bottling company had a computer controlled mixing valve that malfunctioned without any apparent reason. As a result, a large amount of defective product was being bottled. The production line had to be stopped for a period of time, and the defective product was scrapped each time. The resulting cost was enormous. The company called Falcon Electric for a solution. We shipped them one of our On-line UPS units. Since installing the Falcon On-line UPS, the company’s production line has been operating without a problem for the last three years.

Why is an On-line UPS the Best Solution?

It is simple: Off-line and Line-interactive UPS products leave your sensitive controllers and computers connected directly to the polluted utility power source 100% of the time when the utility power is present. The UPS inverter powers the equipment only when utility power is lost. These UPS designs provide only minimal voltage regulation and transient protection.

The On-line UPS continuously rectifies the incoming AC utility power to a filtered and regulated DC current. The DC is then fed into a continuous duty Pulse Width Modulated Inverter, which regenerates new, clean, tightly regulated AC sinewave power. When utility power is lost, the batteries take over supplying energy seamlessly, without the transfer glitch associated with Off-line and Line-interactive designs. The On-line approach eliminates more types of power problems. These problems include generator frequency and voltage instability, voltage surges and sags, voltage drop-outs, high voltage transients, sustained brownouts, blackouts, and noise. The On-line UPS provides superior output voltage regulation (±2% typical) while operating from a wide-range input voltage (+15 to -20% typical).  Since the On-line UPS has a continuous duty inverter, it typically has a much cleaner sinewave output (3% THD @ full load) than the Off-line and Line-interactive types.

Heavy Industrial Applications

In many heavy industrial applications the diversity of environmental factors that can render a computer-grade on-line uninterruptible power supply (UPS) inoperable is only exceeded by the number and magnitude of power quality related problems that are often encountered. Most on-line UPS products have been designed for installation in a fixed location, protected environment with a controlled temperature range of 0⁰C to 40⁰C (32⁰F to 104⁰F). They will provide many years of reliable operation when installed in a laboratory, office or computer room environment and their price is very attractive. However, many heavy industrial UPS applications demand that the UPS be installed in an environment more like a battlefield than a computer room. They are often subjected to higher levels of shock and vibration, airborne contamination, wider operational temperature extremes, in addition to having to provide clean computer-grade output power while operating from extremely polluted power sources.

Falcon's SSG and SSG-RP product families can provide a viable solution in meeting the demanding requirement of heavy industrial applications. A wide operational temperature range is a real asset in industrial applications where it is not desirable to use a NEMA enclosure. For many applications an on-line UPS must be located where heating and air conditioning are not available. The UPS must survive the high and low temperature extremes of the local environment. Outdoor locations include gas and oil well sites, tollbooths, foundries, mills, communications transmitters and repeater sites. Indoor applications include food processing, mining, power generation, farming and warehousing.

Falcon Engineering Support

Power problems in an industrial environment can be complex and difficult to solve. Falcon's Power Engineers are only a telephone call away and can assist in determining the most effective solution to your company's specific power problems.