Eaton Corporation has contributed $500,000 to the Arc Flash Collaborative Research Project organized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The company's Platinum level sponsorship will help expand the knowledge of the electric arc flash phenomena and enhance worker safety through advances in the codes and standards relating to safe employee work practices.
Arc flash is an electric current that is passed through air when insulation or isolation between electrified conductors is no longer sufficient to withstand the applied voltage. The flash is immediate, but the results can cause severe injury. Every year, more than 2,000 workers are admitted to burn centers for extended injury treatment caused by arc flash.
"Arc flash safety is tremendously important to a wide range of industries and Eaton is committed to improving education and providing solutions that will help companies protect their most important assets – their people," said Jerry Whitaker, Eaton's vice president and president, Power Component and System Operations.
"Eaton currently offers the industry's widest range of arc flash-related products and services," said Whitaker. These services include industry education through presentations at IEEE conferences and electrical safety workshops, arc flash consulting services and arc flash mitigation retrofit services. In addition, Eaton is developing new products to improve arc flash safety such as arc fault detection circuit breakers and arc reduction motor control centers.
"We are pleased to have Eaton Corporation join the growing list of sponsors for the Arc Flash project," said Sue Vogel, director, Technical Committee Programs for the IEEE Standards Association. "Eaton's contribution, along with their experience and commitment to preventing arc flash, will help expedite the work of this project to produce the data needed to advance our understanding of the arc flash phenomenon."
The IEEE and the NFPA have joined forces on an initiative to fund and support research and testing to increase the understanding of arc flash. The results of this collaborative project will provide information that will be used to improve electrical safety standards, predict the hazards associated with arching faults and accompanying arc blasts, and provide practical safeguards for employees in the workplace. The multi-year project is estimated to cost a total of $6 million to $7 million.
Eaton Corporation is a diversified industrial manufacturer with 2007 sales of $13.0 billion. Eaton is a global leader in electrical systems and components for power quality, distribution and control; fluid power systems and services for industrial, mobile and aircraft equipment; intelligent truck drivetrain systems for safety and fuel economy; and automotive engine air management systems, powertrain solutions and specialty controls for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton has 70,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries.