NESMA sees generational change arriving with AS/NZS 61439
A National Electrical Switchboard Manufacturing Association (NESMA) member and designer and builder of custom-fabricated electrical switchboard technology, BE Switchcraft, says the new AS/NZS 61439 update is the biggest and most important change in the low voltage switchboard design and manufacturing industry for more than 20 years.
Compliance with the new Standards – and widespread support and education through the NESMA about their importance – is critical at a time when managing energy is becoming more important than it has ever been before, says BE Switchcraft managing director, Anthony Spadavecchia. The company has been designing and manufacturing switchboards for over 50 years.
Anthony joins his NESMA colleagues in other states as he advocates NESMA as the central organisation providing technical support and explanation of the ramifications of AS/NZS 61439 to industry groups such as consultants, inspectors, contractors and switchboard manufacturers
BE Switchcraft is a future-focused contributor to the advanced industrial fabric of South Australia, sharpening its technology capabilities as the State has progressively emerged as a world leader in energy sustainability and green energy, with around 71% of the state’s energy now produced from renewable sources. SA is now using its expertise to help other nations kick green energy goals, drawing on the skills, resources and leadership of companies such as BE Switchcraft.
Maintaining its future commitment, in 2019, BE Switchcraft moved into purpose-built premises at Royal Park where the company produces advanced technologies including energy management systems and lighting and room control systems that are saving their clients money and protecting the environment. Practising what it preaches about sustainability, the company has turned its own new rooftop into a solar power farm that cuts its own power consumption by more than two-thirds.
“Managing energy has never been more important than it is today, which is why, through our energy management systems, we deliver building owners valuable data that can help them to make decisions that can deliver substantially reduced costs with increased sustainability. Our lighting control and building automation proactively monitor and manage consumption,” Anthony explains.
“BE Switchcraft’s commitment to quality, compliance and innovation in switchboards has become part of the fabric of many of our most innovative buildings, from health to major industrial and commercial premises. We’ve also developed and retained a wealth of talented and experienced people, passionate about quality outcomes, which is why the introduction of AS/NZS 61439 is so important to all of us here and to our industry,” he says.
“AS/NZS 61439 is a generational change, which really brings Australasia into line with world-best practice and IEC standards of safety, compliance, testing and sustainability. This is happening at a time of momentous change in technology and needs when quality assurance and traceability have never been more important.”
Anthony adds that as the new Standard is increasingly written into contract specifications, starting from the time of its introduction last year, it is up to us as members of NESMA to demonstrate that we as low voltage switchgear manufacturers promote and adhere to the new Standards expected of us across the board.
“The new Standard applies to low-voltage switchgear and control gear assemblies, as well as to assemblies intended for use in connection with the generation, transmission, distribution and conversion of electric energy and for the control of electric energy consuming equipment,” Anthony says.
“We have had five years to prepare for this. Leading manufacturers have seen this change for what it is, a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate their leadership and equip ourselves for the future. Others may be willing, but a little unsure about what it all means and how to implement it. These are some of the companies NESMA needs to lead, because the changes are broad in scope and essential in their range of applications.”
“This important new Standard isn’t an opt-in or opt-out choice – it is a defining commitment to quality, compliance and testing which companies ongoing must adhere to if they are to function responsibly, ethically and successfully. Our role in NESMA is to create a clear understanding of the benefits and to help all members achieve them, in the interests of our own industry’s quality and compliance standards and a visible commitment to our customers that we embrace quality principles and practice.”