Article Archive
Partner to reduce arc flash risk
Volume 23, No. 3

Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation today announced implementation of a plan to assist Weyerhaeuser Corporation in its efforts to reduce the risk of arc flash hazards. Arc flash prevention is a critical challenge for a wide range of industries and manufacturers globally. The strategic approach positions Weyerhaeuser as an innovator and industry leader on the issue of employee and facility safety.

One part of this program is a recent effort to enhance safety, reliability, and productivity at Weyerhaeuser's integrated paper mill in Springfield, Oregon.

Personal safety, lost productivity, legal liability, equipment damage, and facility downtime are just some of the major risks of arc flash," said Mike Longman, Eaton's vice president, marketing and PowerChain Management. "We're proud to partner with Weyerhaeuser and set the example for the right way to deal with the issue - before problems arise."

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an arc flash occurs when an electric current passes through the air between ungrounded conductors or between ungrounded and grounded conductors. An arc flash produces some of the highest temperatures on earth and can create a devastating blast, resulting in serious injury, burns, and even fatalities.

"Eaton's turn-key approach gave us a very effective tool to use in our efforts to better protect our employees from electrical arc flash hazards," said Warren Hopper, P.E. senior power advisor -Weyerhaeuser, Springfield, Oregon, and manufacturing services manager - Weyerhaeuser Pulp, Paper and Packaging Manufacturing Operations. "In the process of addressing critical safety issues, Eaton's solutions also enable us to reduce downtime, build efficiency and, ultimately, contribute to our bottom line."

Eaton teamed with Weyerhaeuser to provide the paper mill with new mini vacuum circuit breakers and integral trip units equipped with its patented Arcflash Reduction Maintenance SystemTM. These multiple trip settings allow incident energy on low voltage substation secondary main busses to be reduced

from over 200 calories to less than four during maintenance. Maintenance personnel are now able to work on this equipment while energized, safely implementing mill lockout/tagout procedures. More substation upgrades are planned for the near future. This innovative approach used to dramatically reduce arc flash hazards in low and medium voltage substations is suitable for both new and existing applications.

Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the world's largest forest products companies, was incorporated in 1900. In 2007, sales were $16.3 billion. It has offices or operations in 13 countries, with customers worldwide. Weyerhaeuser is principally engaged in the growing and harvesting of timber; the manufacture, distribution and sale of forest products; and real estate construction, development and related activities. Additional information is available at

Eaton's electrical business is a global leader in electrical control, power distribution, uninterruptible power supply and industrial automation products and services. Eaton's global electrical brands, including Cutler-Hammer?, MGE Office Protection Systems T, Powerware?, Holec?, MEM?, Santak and Moeller, provide customer-driven PowerChain Management? solutions to serve the power system needs of the industrial, institutional, government, utility, commercial, residential, IT, mission critical and OEM markets worldwide.

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; hydraulics components, systems and services for industrial and mobile equipment; hydraulics, fuel and pneumatic systems for commercial and military aircraft; intelligent truck drive train systems for safety and fuel economy; and automotive engine air management systems, power train solutions and specialty controls for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton has 79,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries. For more information, visit


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