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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been asked to build three new motor control boxes to replace the existing old worn out ones. These are being used in a heavy woodworking environment, they have a dust system, except dust is still everywhere. Have already ordered the material for the first unit. Using a Hoffman Nema Type 12 enclosure to keep the dust out. My question is about the starters/overloads.

I have ordered Square D Type S magnetic starters; From the existing equipment I've seen in this shop they seem to hold up the best. There is one machine though that has the Square D Telemecanique line of contactors and starters. Would these hold up in this environment or are they used in a cleaner environment? I know the Nema Type 12 enclosure should give a degree of protection for the equipment housed inside, although that is what I'm replacing due to wear and tear over the course of ten years.

What's your guys/gals thoughts on this?
 

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when I first started running across the IEC equipment, I had serious doubts as to the durability. Since then, I have to say I tend to go with the IEC equipment when possible. It is more compact and with the electronic overloads, there is an adjustablilty to them not available with the thermal overloads.

At this time, I have no reservations with the IEC rated equipment. Obviously, it has to be sized correctly just as the NEMA rated equipment would have to be as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The adjustment the overload has on it I liked. Beats finding an undersized heater or one that just went kaput then having to replace it hoping the supply house has them in stock.
 

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I myself prefer Allen Bradley for motor controls. The equipment is pretty much bullet proof. IEC starters don't seem to hold up like an AB 509. An IEC is pretty much a "throw away" when it doesn't work, were as a NEMA starter can be rebuilt. If size is any indication of durability I would go with an AB NEMA starter, it’s like comparing a M1 tank to a VW.

View attachment 565
 

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I myself prefer Allen Bradley for motor controls. The equipment is pretty much bullet proof. IEC starters don't seem to hold up like an AB 509. An IEC is pretty much a "throw away" when it doesn't work, were as a NEMA starter can be rebuilt. If size is any indication of durability I would go with an AB NEMA starter, it’s like comparing a M1 tank to a VW.

View attachment 565
I have to stay with the IEC stuff often because of cabinet or panel space and DIN rail mounting. I agree that it is throw away crap, I'm just lucky that several places carry a fair amount close to some of our maintenance contract buildings. Larger contracts we keep some common replacement stock on hand.
 

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I myself prefer Allen Bradley for motor controls. The equipment is pretty much bullet proof. IEC starters don't seem to hold up like an AB 509. An IEC is pretty much a "throw away" when it doesn't work, were as a NEMA starter can be rebuilt. If size is any indication of durability I would go with an AB NEMA starter, it’s like comparing a M1 tank to a VW.

View attachment 565
I agree about AB completely. Quality stuff, durable as hell and easy to work on. Most everything I do now is SQ D and a little Furnas (yuck!!) I sometimes use IEC in a retrofit when space is an issue, and on OEM stuff.
 

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I myself prefer Allen Bradley for motor controls. The equipment is pretty much bullet proof. IEC starters don't seem to hold up like an AB 509. An IEC is pretty much a "throw away" when it doesn't work, were as a NEMA starter can be rebuilt. If size is any indication of durability I would go with an AB NEMA starter, it’s like comparing a M1 tank to a VW.

View attachment 565
Allen Bradley builds or sells IEC starters and overloads too. Their prices are astronomical.
I also questioned the IEC stuff when I first saw it many years ago. Now, I use IEC across the board unless required not to do so.

I can get a starter and overload relay from another/several manufacturers for 1/4th the price of AB. I would put the quality at equal or better.

Also, the day of throwing these contactors away is not a reality today and unnecessary. The contactors that I use are rebuildable. And very easy. Remove two screws. Similar to NEMA.
Not so with AB. They want you to toss it.

Heres a price for what I buy. Compare it against the AB price.

10 Hp Contactor, 3 pole, @ 460, (pick coil voltage), with 1 NO & 1 NC contact. = $30.00
Adjustable OLR 11 I - 17 I = $15.00

This is the retail cost, not wholesale cost. But I don't know many supply houses or motor shops that wouldn't put another 20%-50% on these prices.
 

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We just completed a project for a food plant where they had a serious dust problem. Even with a Hoffman NEMA Type 12 cabinet fine sugar or wood dust can find its way past the seals.

To solve this problem we purchase from Hoffman or others a cabinet pressurizer. It uses a 1/2" compressed air line to create a slight positive pressure that seals out any dust. We have observed that panelviews, contactors, PLCs, etc that are sensitive to dust last much longer with this system.
 

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Like alot of the others, I greatly prefer Allen Bradley. A lot of my experience is with rock crushing plants, asphalt plants, concrete plants, etc. This has got to be about the most abusive environment anywhere. Dust everywhere, it's got to be at least 130 degrees in the control houses, the operators will regularly jog something to 'break it loose' (sometimes until something either breaks or burns up), alot of these plants operate on generators, it's just a bad place to be a motor starter. Allen Bradley holds up pretty good, not much else can take this sort of abuse. Even though it's the most expensive, it might also be the most economical.

A few years ago, in an effort to 'save money', one of the control houses was spec'd out IEC. Most of it didn't even last one season. I think IEC stuff is fine if it's used in a relatively clean environment, I like its small size. I don't like the adjustable overloads at all, I can't think of how many motors I've seen burn up because some 'smart' maintenance guys solution to tripping was to turn it up a bit. I realize that on most of them the dial can be locked out, but they still get turned up. Very rarely do I see maintenance replace heaters to solve a tripping problem.

I've seen a few positive pressure systems, as described above. They work very well. I've also seen them used in hazardous locations with pressure sensors or flow switches that would shunt-trip a feeder breaker in the event of air flow failure.

As has already been stated, keeping dust out of anything is extremely difficult.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I considered AB about the only thing that kept me from it was the supply house being an 1-1/2 hours away. We have a SQ D distributor right down the street and this particular company doesn't keep much replacement parts in their shop. Which I'm changing that and "throwing away" their over sized heaters.

Also looked at installing pressurized panels, such as you would see in industrial chemical plants. They have a big enough air system to implement this it's just they don't want to pay for Filtration to keep the water out. Only myself and their lead (only) maintenance guy understands the need.

Just one of those jobs working within their budget constraints.
 

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No one in our area carries AB, I use Furnace (now Siemens) nice OLs, Square D and many/most chiller starters utilize Westinghouse. The IEC stuff just seems cheap and a PITA to work on.
 

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No one in our area carries AB, I use Furnace (now Siemens) nice OLs, Square D and many/most chiller starters utilize Westinghouse. The IEC stuff just seems cheap and a PITA to work on.

I tuned up a few screwdrivers just to fit in the access holes and fit better. I carry a pair of stronger readers just to line up the clamping holes on the smaller DIN models.
Often the wires need to be tinned on the ends or have a crimp on sleeve terminal. PITA is putting it mildly. Some of the English imports just seem flimsy and don't last more than a couple years in chiller type service. And we won't even talk about contactors and wiring (cheap sh+t) Medi-Cool, the new chinese brand chillers GE is using in their MRIs.
 

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Micromind, Totally agree in the aggregate business. I have done work for Vulcan and Hansen over the years and it is the most severe environment I know of except for paper and pulp.
The newer plants are addressing the issue of dust and equipment. We did a control room for Vulcan that was elevated, pressurized and air conditioned. Virtually dust free. But as you know that is an exception.
I would not hesitate to use IEC in that environment.
 

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Medicool

Have been approached to service and perform maintenance to a Medicool MRI.
Would like to know where to go to find where I could get parts for this MRI?
Bud
 

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Just one of those jobs working within their budget constraints.
Pay now or pay later. Give them what they want and build some future work in for yourself. Just make sure you mention that you would prefer the more expensive and better equipment.
 

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I agree that IEC components are less durable than NEMA. For space limitations though, I usually use IEC starters. I have found that the contactors hold up just fine IF YOU USE THE NEXT LARGER AMP RATING (12 amp instead of 9 amp, ect.) The failure point on IEC starters are the electronic overloads. I have replaced buckets full of overload relays at various plants. They just burn out.
I use AB almost exclusively. We have a "preferred vendor" agreement with the local AB dealer. AB IEC components are manufactured by Strecker-Schun.
 

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Welcome to the forum MrBud. You would fair better to starting a new thread to your question, instead of responding to a 2 year old thread with a question.
 
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