September 8, 2017
Considering the Future In Electrical Design
Lean manufacturing, smart machines, the industrial internet of things (IIoT) and automation are all influencing current and future practices. Electrical design engineers are and will play a huge role because of the methodical, step by step process used for solving problems and for product development. Electrical design projects may attempt to improve existing products or systems or create a new marketable product. The design process includes planning, creating, supervising development and installation of electrical equipment. The electrical design engineer must possess a full understanding of electrical engineering principles.
After gaining an understanding of the project’s scope, the electrical design engineer defines and designs the components to industry standards before compiling all components for the final presentation of the design. They must take into consideration the standards and regulations, reference all the electrical components, the available voltage system, possible failure modes and electrical safety. The NEC (National Electric Code) is the industry standard and is revised every three years. There may also be additional local standards that apply, as well as guidelines for specialized equipment, manufacturer standards for specialized grounding requirements or over current protection that require specialized wiring. Specialized requirements must also be documented as part of the plan.
Other standards to be considered include the National Electrical Manufacturers Association that cover motor lead identification, transformer terminal markings, amperage ratings, and plug and receptacle devices. EASA (Electrical Apparatus and Service Association) also has standards for motors and controls. Requirements of the utility company may include wiring methods and equipment for proper distribution if the project add new or upgraded parts. The electrical design engineer works in conjunction with other engineers, so plans include references that allow others to recognize parts. The correct symbols and their definition is included on the final design. The electrical engineer must also determine the service voltage requirements. The importance of electrical design Allentown PA is easily recognizable from these first few steps of the design process.
Electrical design engineer must also plan to avoid failure modes. Electronic components failure modes can be caused by excessive temperature, current or voltage as well as stress impact and mechanical shock. Failure modes can also be attributed to the end of the life cycle of a component or failure of contact, relay, semiconductor or printed circuit board. Researching the environment is important to the design process to make sure these failure modes are taken into consideration. Although the design must be to customer specifications, safety is always the first consideration of any design. Every electrical device comes with the risk of electrical shock. Every step and measure should be taken to prevent harm or damage.
According to an article published by Forbes, “Smart Machines Are The Future Of Manufacturing”. In the “80, the US faced stiff competition from Japan in manufacturing and the slogan was, “If Japan can, so can we”. The US adopted the Japanese systems thinking of continual improvement. At one time, the label on manufactured goods read “Made in China” and now China is the second largest manufacturer in the world. Now, according to CNN Style, the new label that will be seen is designed in Taiwan. With a high demand for electrical design engineers, it is a great field for those seeking a career.