Main evolutions of my panel builder organization along the time (part 2)

Second part of the testimony of Mr Alain LEBAS, from LEBAS SYSTEM, France. You can find the first part here.

The globalisation of information

We started with 3 computers bought at different periods that became rapidly obsolete and non coherent; now we have 15 that we have decided to rent to one supplier; they are renewed and updated each 3 years.
Then we tackled the issue of production, exchange, update, archive, of all commercial and technical data; we are proud that in all departments the same information, the same format, the same library is shared and permanently updated; if you click on a project, on a customer name, on a product, you will find only the one and right information; and on all that we have been helped by using OrganiGED software (a Document Management software proposed by Ricoh in France, not sure what is the equivalent in English)

Using software adapted to our job

We have always done a lot of quotations; answering to a maximum of tenders is for us a way to be visible and recognised; we respond to jobs from 3k€ to 500k€.
For this reason we need software capable to implement extremely fast quotations; this software was developed by us in partnership with another panel builder and is now compatible with Microsoft Windows.
Because we store the different cases on long period, it is very precise and we are measuring an accuracy of around 2%; the estimation for cabling hours is made through references to our data base ( based on number of cables or I/O terminals for automation panels, and surface of panel for electrical distribution), which is permanently enriched.
Then once we have the order, we transfer to the design department; the software they use there is AutoCAD linked to a very complete library; we are very happy with that and it is working as well for automation or electrical distribution switchboards.

And what about ISO?

I push 100 % the ISO philosophy in my company but I never applied to get the label; because I believe some aspects of ISO lead to implement some things that can be too complex, too heavy, too costly and it can affect ultimately the customer; I take the quality inputs of ISO, but not the administrative constraints !!!!
Of course we have set up all quality procedures, tracking systems, electrical tests, tools certification, etc… and we have been successfully audited by the major manufacturers or end users.
Thanks to that we are credible for new or retrofit even in critical applications.



    • not sure if you are talking about the ISO 8528 or an IEC standard. In any case, these standards documents are normallly not available for free and should be purchased to the ISO / IEC organisations. Example I found for ISO 8528 : click here

  • We used the same philosophy in relation to ISO until we lost a very large order because we were not certified. Being Certified means that the relevent box can be ticked by the quality manager working for your customer if you are not certified the manager must decide if your standards are adequate.
    Very often they will not take this risk. We have found not being certified a barrier to entry to certain opportunities so we proceeded with BSI Certification.

  • Interesting to see different experiences and positions regarding the ISO certification.

    What about your own point of view or experience ?

  • Sir,
    What tests need to be carried out for the Current transformers and voltage transformers in LT(690V) and MV( 11KV) panels? What testing equipment are required for the CT and PT?

    • 1/ When you purchase CTs and PTs from a supplier, they are supposed to match the suppliers characteristics, and should already have gone through the suppliers control tests at the end of their manufacturing (at least the routine tests from the standards, if the supplier claims compliance).
      2/ Some panel builders decide anyway to control these CTs/PTs when they receive them, before installing them in the switchboards (specific test equipment exists, like this one, just as an example).
      3/ In all cases, the installation of these CTs and PTs into the switchboard should be done in an appropriate way :
      * to maintain and not deteriorate the assembly required characteristics : insulation distance for example
      * to match the CTs/PTs characteristics : for example, with a window-type (also said “toroid”) CT, the primary circuit going-through should be properly centered to ensure precise measurement
      4/ CTs & PTs might then be tested when doing some functional tests of the switchboard : in fact, it’s the complete chain of measurement which is tested in this case.
      5/ When checking the dielectric withstand of an assembly with the industrial frequency values, the VTs shall be disconnected as otherwise they would saturate their magnetic core and appear as a low impedance with possible internal damage (dielectric withstand tests of instrument transformers are performed at higher frequencies to prevent such risk).

      Very important safety reminder for CTs : never leave open the secondary circuit of a current transformer when fed on primary. High voltage may surge at the secondary circuit terminals, and might be dangerous for people, and lead to the destruction of the current transformer

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