PALATINE, Ill., Aug. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- With the recent power outages in the U.S. and Canada as a wake up call, companies across North America are beginning to assess their own operations to determine what they can do to minimize the threat of a similar catastrophic outage at their facilities. The loss of continuous, reliable power can not only lead to disruptions for financial data centers, industrial facilities, large government buildings, retail outlets, and airports just to name a few, but unexpected financial losses as well. For other operations, such as healthcare facilities, the impact moves beyond a productivity or financial impact, to actually jeopardizing human life itself. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/19990301/CGM046 ) "Although the situation in the Northeast was driven by a failure in the electrical grid, individual companies who don't take proactive measures within their own facilities can fall victim to similar outages," said Gary Jones, Director of Energy & Infrastructure Market for Square D / Schneider Electric. "The key to uninterrupted power is to continuously monitor electrical equipment for issues that can affect reliability. If you can detect potential problems early enough, you can correct them before they turn into an outage," explains Jones. For added protection, many companies also contract protective coordination studies to virtually guarantee that power problems are isolated and cannot travel upstream into the electrical system and cause a facility outage. Using a quality power monitoring system, companies can also improve system reliability by monitoring harmonic and transient conditions that if left undetected, can lead to expensive downtime and lost productivity. While the Northeast outage is extraordinary due to the number of people and companies affected, businesses throughout the world experience power outages everyday. Jones says that if more facilities followed the fundamental steps toward maintaining reliable electrical distribution systems, many of these outages could be avoided. "By monitoring all aspects of the electrical distribution system, companies have the opportunity to mitigate or even eliminate power problems within their facilities before they can cause an outage," says Jones. "In fact, the same power monitoring system that can help companies avoid power outages can also supply information which can lead to lowered utility costs and increased electrical equipment utilization. In our experience, companies can actually save up to 20% overall by using these types of systems, so it's easy to see that the benefits go beyond eliminating power outages." North American Operating Division Headquartered in Palatine, Ill., the North American Operating Division of Schneider Electric had sales of $2.7 billion in 2002. The North American Operating Division is one of three geographic divisions of Schneider Electric, headquartered in Paris, France, and markets the Square D, Telemecanique and Merlin Gerin brand products to customers in the United States, Canada and Mexico. In the United States, Schneider Electric is best known by its flagship Square D brand, with Telemecanique becoming increasingly known in the industrial control and automation markets and supported by many Square D distributors. For 100 years, Square D has been a market-leading brand of electrical distribution and industrial control products, systems and services. Schneider Electric is a global electrical industry leader with 2002 sales of approximately $9.5 billion. Visit Schneider Electric at www.SquareD.com , www.schneider-electric.com , www.schneiderautomation.com or www.transparentfactory.com . Schneider Electric: Give the best of the New Electric World to everyone, everywhere at any time Schneider Electric is the world's power and control specialist. Through its world-class brands Merlin Gerin, Square D and Telemecanique, Schneider Electric anticipates and satisfies its customers' requirements in the residential, buildings, industry and energy and infrastructures markets. Schneider Electric generated sales of approximately $9.5 billion in 2002 in 130 countries.
SOURCE Schneider Electric