Power Distribution and Management

Industrial UPSs Present Lots of Opportunity for Electrical Contractors – If You Know Where to Look

Industrial UPSs represent a great way for electrical contractors to increase business from new and existing customers. It’s just a matter of understanding all the potential applications for UPSs in commercial and industrial settings – many of which may not be immediately obvious.

In general, applications that are critical in a commercial or industrial building – and thus require UPS protection – fall into one of four categories:

  • Business process continuity, meaning systems required to keep the business operating and prevent damage to equipment, such as machinery on a production line.
  • Safety and security systems, including emergency lighting, security cameras, fire alarms and smoke extraction systems.
  • Heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems that are required not only for employee and customer comfort, but also for business purposes – such as the protection of temperature sensitive equipment or products in a manufacturing plant.
  • Data and smart business applications, including IT systems that support integrated inventory, sales and supply chain functions.

Within those categories, you will find many potential industrial UPS applications. The following are just a few examples in various industries.

electrical contractor discussion industrial UPS

Building & Infrastructure UPS applications

The “building” category covers small- to medium-sized buildings such as retail stores, restaurants and hotels. “Infrastructure” refers to highways and tunnels, airports, water waste treatment plants and the like.

Here the obvious applications include the point-of-sale systems, alarms, telecom systems including Wi-Fi, HVAC and IT systems.

But plenty of not-so-obvious applications are also in play, including digital signage and warning devices, elevators, pumps and power management systems. Think about a parking garage or lot during a power outage: without UPS backup, you can’t process payments or lift the gate. Not good for business.

Plenty of UPS opportunity in healthcare

Healthcare is likewise rife with applications that demand industrial UPS protection. The low-hanging fruit includes operating rooms, emergency and intensive care units. Valuable and sensitive machines including MRI and CT scan systems are likewise natural candidates.

Systems that may not be top-of-mind include laboratories, nursing stations and wastewater treatment systems. Healthcare facilities also rely heavily on their IT systems, so data centers, server rooms and wiring closets will also demand UPS protection.

Protecting critical transportation applications

Airports also have plenty of critical applications that require UPS backup, including all the air traffic control systems, lighting for runways and automation control systems. Consider also the luggage screening systems, including consoles, workstations and x-ray systems. Airports have various automation systems, such as for luggage handling, as well as lots of emergency systems, including call stations, lighting and fire alarms. They also have large parking facilities that demand UPS protection.

Train and subway stations present similar opportunities. Consider track change control systems, monitoring systems, and systems for communicating with passengers and among employees. Automated fare collection systems demand industrial UPS protection as do kiosks for ticketing as well as automated platform screen doors.

Consider, too, the various retail facilities within a typical train station. Just a few weeks ago I was in a train station in Barcelona, one of about 30 people in line at a coffee shop. Shortly after I was served, the power went out and the cash register went down – no backup there, apparently. Not only did the store lose business, it made plenty of potential customers unhappy.

Focus Industrial UPS discussions on business outcomes

I was half-tempted to find the coffee shop manager and educate him on the value of UPSs. Such a discussion would have focused on the business value an industrial UPS provides: protection against lost business and disappointed or angry customers in the coffee shop case.

In other cases, such as a hospital or airport, the business consequences of a power failure can be far more dire. All of them present opportunities for electrical contractors to have meaningful discussions with customers, educating them on the value of UPS in protecting their business interests – whether that’s revenue or customer safety.

Once you educate the customer, the next step is finding the industrial UPS that’s a good fit for their needs. Schneider Electric can help, with our Secure Power Industrial Selector tool. It will help you quickly hone in on the UPS models that will work best given the parameters of what you need to protect, in terms of wattage, required run time and more. Try it for yourself or with your customer by your side, and start taking advantage of the many opportunities that commercial and industrial buildings present.


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