Consumer unit customisation meets contractors needs

Consumer unit customisation meets contractors needs

ABB Ireland’s consumer unit assembly workshop provides flexibility for contractors to source consumer units that are safe, customisable, and quick to install as Ireland adapts to smart technology and electric vehicles

When delivering projects such as new housing developments or commercial buildings, electrical contractors in Ireland are under constant pressure to balance cashflow. This is especially difficult while meeting deadlines and adapting standard arrangements to suit individual requirements. In addition, contractors are facing the new requirement to deliver electrical infrastructure that will support electric vehicles and smart building technology.

It’s always important to secure the correct materials and products at the right time. However, ordering in bulk creates the risk of tying up capital in stock. It also creates extra work as excess materials need to be stored securely until they’re needed. ABB in Ireland is helping to overcome this by offering flexibility when ordering consumer units. While standard consumer units are available from existing stock, ABB's team of expert technicians can quickly customise units for specific requirements, such as for a hotel with a high-spec finish and limited space. This significantly reduces lead times, all for a competitive price.

“When building, you want a steady flow of products, but you don’t often have enough space to hold stock so it’s better to get units on a scheduled delivery basis. For a new estate of 500 houses, it’s no use having 500 consumer units to be delivered upfront. Instead, by scheduling 50 units to be delivered every couple of weeks, it optimises cashflow,” says Karl Rooney, Product Development Manager, ABB Electrification Ireland.

“Recognising this, we have developed the local facility in Dublin so that customers can draw on our stock of consumer units in line with their project schedules. The local assembly also enables us to deliver customised units quickly according to our customers’ needs."

  • ABB Ireland's team of expert technicians can quickly customise units for specific requirements.
  • We have developed the local facility in Dublin so that customers can draw on our stock of consumer units in line with their project schedules

An important consideration for contractors is that they need consumer units that are quick and straightforward to install. This cuts labour time and project costs. For example, a contractor could cut installation time by 15% with ABB’s MISTRAL41, which could save a full day’s work over a whole apartment block. This is partly due to having more room and additional space inside the unit to work with cables, as well as having additional earth and neutral terminals, which is helpful for larger boards where cables might feed into the top. Having an extractable DIN-Rail frame also supports quick and convenient cabling.

Future-proofed for technology and EV chargers

Contractors should also be thinking about specifying consumer units in anticipation of demand from end customers who want technology features such as smart lighting, electric vehicle chargers, multi-room entertainment systems and solar panels. To achieve this, installers need consumer units that are adaptable to any future changes.

The latest generation of consumer units, such as the MISTRAL41, come in a wide range of sizes with space for 2 to 72 modules. It’s even possible to order a multimedia version that is designed especially for media and communication technology, such as patch panels and swivelling socket for the easy integration of internet routers, TVs, antennae, socket outlets, and KNX smart lighting control.

A low-profile and elegant design can also be a high priority for some projects, especially for hotel rooms and other sites where the consumer unit cannot be tucked away in a utility room. To meet this need, the latest consumer units have variations that can be installed with an outer casing that lies flush against a flat surface. It’s even possible to apply wallpaper or a decorative feature such as a picture or mirror on the door to completely disguise the unit.

In the face of growing demands for smart technology, electric vehicle chargers, and seamless interior design, ABB provide a valuable solution for Irish electrical contractors. With flexible ordering, quick customization, and local assembly, it offers a comprehensive solution for balancing cashflow, reducing project costs, and meeting the challenges of the industry.

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