Conditioned Power for 'Hogs'

Harley-Davidson's Capitol Drive plant is one of the firm's two engine manufacturing plants. The 455,000-sq.-ft. facility machines heads, gear covers, rocker arms and pistons for 833- and 1200-cc engines. It's a remarkably clean and efficient plant, featuring some of the most modern equipment in manufacturing.

03/01/2002


Harley-Davidson's Capitol Drive plant is one of the firm's two engine manufacturing plants.

The 455,000-sq.-ft. facility machines heads, gear covers, rocker arms and pistons for 833- and 1200-cc engines. It's a remarkably clean and efficient plant, featuring some of the most modern equipment in manufacturing.

Chris Jurik, a Harley-Davidson project engineer, needed power protection solutions in two areas: the underground data center and the measurement/quality testing room and lab.

Factory equipment and industrial electronics are as sensitive to power events as their PC and office counterparts. The same microprocessors are used in industrial control systems, rendering them just as vulnerable to quality problems posed by incoming AC power.

It doesn't take a complete power outage to affect critical equipment and processes in modern industrial settings. In response to these and similar challenges, the Capitol Drive plant's data center is centrally located beneath the shop floor and guarded by a steel door and security card access. All data in the plant is run through equipment housed in the data center including:

  • Sound testing data used as a measurement tool for motorcycle engines.

  • CAD drawings for all engines manufactured at the plant.

  • MRP and CNC programs for all machines.

  • Research and design drawings.

  • Payroll.

Power feed to the data center comes from a 200-kVA surge-suppression unit to a power distribution unit. Power is conditioned through an interceptor and then through a 150-kVA UPS.

Surge suppression is a key concern in any manufacturing plant. Surges and swells, triggered by heavy equipment being turned on and off, can result in hardware damage. Downtime is the pariah of most manufacturers, and Harley-Davidson is no exception. In fact, Jurik estimates that downtime at Harley-Davidson costs the company as much as $1,000 per minute. But even that is a conservative estimate, he says, because it doesn't consider the cost of re-creating data and replacing ruined parts. Jurik adds that downtime affects the product design center, which ultimately hampers the larger R&D processes.

Taking no chances, Harley-Davidson specified a state-of-the-art 150-kVA UPS in 1997. Remotely located on the plant's mezzanine level, it services both data center and testing lab applications.

Once power availability was assured, the next step was to protect the power feed from "contamination," as power is delivered to the various loads throughout the facility.

Surge-suppression equipment is designed to remove the threat of power surges. For Harley-Davidson, a 200-kVA unit was specified. Attesting to its reliability, Jurik estimates that in summer months the surge-suppression device takes as many as 468 hits per month.

For information on air conditioning or power conditioning equipment from Liebert, circle 454 on the Reader Service Card.

From Pure Power, Spring 2002.





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