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Smarter electrical testing at AMEC

AMEC Power and Process Europe, a provider of engineering services to the nuclear and clean energy sectors, is using test instrumentation from Seaward to help it improve the compliance testing of its own electrical installations.

As part of its facilities management arrangements at two sites at Birchwood Park, Warrington and Booths Park, Knutsford, the company is using a Seaward PowerPlus 1557 combined electrical testing and certification system to ensure that new electrical installations comply with the 17th Edition wiring regulations.

The PowerPlus 1557 is a new concept in electrical test instrumentation and combines the functions of a conventional multifunction electrical installation tester with a data logger to enable test certificates to be created as testing is undertaken.

It does this by storing an electronic version of the test certificate within the tester, eliminating the need for ‘dummy’ certificates and manual or PDA recording of test results.

Test data is automatically entered into the correct certificate fields as testing is undertaken and can be validated on-site without the need for repeat visits.

When inspection and testing is complete, the certificate held inside the PowerPlus 1557 tester is transferred to PC software for output and/or storage as electronic data files.

At AMEC the testing is carried out on site by specialist electrical contractors and when complete the data is output onto NICEIC test certificates as proof of compliance with the 17th Edition wiring regulations.

The system enables formal records to be maintained very easily to ensure that test certificates and audit trails of all electrical systems are available for external inspection.

Commenting on the solution, Peter Smith, Facilities Officer, Electrical and Mechanical, at AMEC’s Power and Process Europe’s business, said:

"The test process itself is much more streamlined and we now have both paper and electronic records of all installation and periodic testing undertaken on both sites along with the necessary test certification. This has made it much easier to demonstrate our compliance with the necessary wiring regulations and prove to electrical inspectors and external auditors that everything is as it should be."

Among the latest technical advances now built-in to the PowerPlus 1557 is the ability to download and merge data from multiple testers used by different engineers on large premises into a single certificate.

The specially developed software program incorporated in the tester includes all required 17th edition certification and can print onto ECA, NAPIT and NICEIC stationery.

"The new electrical test and certification system has improved our testing and record keeping systems considerably.

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