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Engineering Light Industrial Installations

As a leading electrical engineering firm and electrical contractor in Houston, Blanco Electrical LTD specializes in the design, engineering and building of light industrial installations such as welding shops and machine shops.

I. Two examples of shops we engineer and build

We describe here the steps and processes involved in building these two types of light industrial installations.


Throughout the project lifecycle, Blanco Electrical adheres to the National Electrical Code (NEC), governed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). For more information on NEC standards, visit the NFPA website.

II. Preliminary Planning

A. Site Assessment

(i) Machine Shop

The site assessment for a machine shop involves a detailed survey of the available space, electrical load calculations, and the identification of optimal locations for electrical panels and machinery. We also assess the need for three-phase power, voltage requirements, and the types of machinery to be installed.

(ii) Welding Shop

For welding shops, the site assessment includes evaluating the types of welding to be performed (MIG, TIG, Stick), the required amperage, and the need for specialized ventilation systems. We also consider the placement of safety equipment like fire extinguishers and emergency exits.


B. Budget Estimation

(i) Machine Shop

The budget includes the cost of electrical panels, circuit breakers, industrial-grade wiring, labor, and any required permits. We provide a detailed breakdown, including contingency funds for unforeseen challenges.

(ii) Welding Shop

The budget estimation for a welding shop will include not only the electrical components but also specialized equipment like fume extractors, grounding systems, and safety gear. We also allocate funds for quality assurance and compliance checks.

III. Design and Blueprint Creation

A. Electrical Circuit Design

(i) Machine Shop

The electrical circuit design for a machine shop is created using CAD software. It includes the layout of electrical panels, placement of machinery, routing of electrical conduits, and the specification of wire gauges based on load calculations.

(ii) Welding Shop

The design phase for a welding shop focuses on high-current applications. It includes the layout of specialized circuits for different types of welding, placement of grounding clamps, and the integration of safety measures like circuit breakers and fume extractors.


IV. Material Procurement

A. Sourcing Electrical Components

(i) Machine Shop

We source electrical panels, circuit breakers, and industrial-grade wiring that are specifically designed to withstand the operational demands of a machine shop. All components are sourced from reputable manufacturers and come with the necessary certifications.

(ii) Welding Shop

For welding shops, we source high-capacity transformers, grounding clamps, and specialized circuit breakers designed for high-current applications. All components meet or exceed NEC standards.

V. Installation

A. Electrical Panel Setup

(i) Machine Shop

The main electrical panel and sub-panels are installed in locations that are easily accessible for maintenance but also safe from operational hazards. All panels are securely mounted and properly labeled.

(ii) Welding Shop

The electrical panel in a welding shop is positioned in a well-ventilated area to prevent overheating. It is also placed at a safe distance from flammable materials to mitigate fire risks.


B. Wiring and Circuit Implementation

(i) Machine Shop

Wiring is laid out according to the approved design, with special attention to the routing of conduits to avoid operational hindrances. Each machine is connected to its designated circuit, and all connections are double-checked for safety.

(ii) Welding Shop

Specialized circuits for welding machines are implemented with proper grounding to ensure safety. All wiring is double-insulated, and connections are tested before being energized.

C. Safety Measures

(i) Machine Shop

Emergency stop buttons are installed at strategic locations, and circuit breakers are easily accessible. Signage indicating emergency procedures is also displayed prominently.

(ii) Welding Shop

Fume extraction systems are installed near welding stations, and fire suppression equipment like fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems are placed at accessible locations.


VI. Testing and Quality Assurance

A. Electrical Testing

(i) Machine Shop

Load tests are conducted to verify that the electrical system can handle the operational demands. Voltage and current are measured under different load conditions to ensure stability.

(ii) Welding Shop

High-current tests are performed to simulate welding operations. The system's performance is monitored to ensure it meets the specified criteria.

B. Compliance Verification

Third-party inspectors are engaged to perform a comprehensive review of the installation. This includes checking the quality of workmanship, verifying the use of approved materials, and ensuring adherence to NEC standards.

VII. Final Handover

A. Documentation

(i) Machine Shop

Complete electrical schematics, operational manuals, and maintenance schedules are provided. All documents are digitalized for easy access and future reference.

(ii) Welding Shop

In addition to electrical schematics, safety guidelines specific to welding operations are included. This also covers the operation of fume extractors and emergency stop systems.

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