1,000+ ABB switches sow the seeds for safety in Chile

1,000+ ABB switches sow the seeds for safety in Chile

The upgrading of a major Arauco facility leads to a record order for ABB safety switches in Chile.

ABB continues to play a central role in the modernization and expansion of the Arauco plant (a project known by its Spanish acronym, MAPA) in Chile’s Biobío region.  

Arauco is one of the world’s most important manufacturers of forest products, with $4.7 billion in revenue in 2019. Currently it is expanding its production with the most extensive investment program in the company’s history, modernizing one production line and adding another to take advantage of the most up-to-date technologies available. The plant will continue to generate clean and renewable energy from an electrical cogeneration system using forest biomass.

In 2020, ABB installed low-voltage switchgear and motor control centers in the MAPA project, employing smart Emax 2 Hi-Touch circuit breakers and ABB’s System pro E power main distribution switchboards. Now the facility has called on ABB to install a very large array of safety switches.

“For MAPA, we were looking for a reliable enclosed solution within one brand to help ensure reliability and performance,” said Arauco Electrical Specialty Leader, Lelio Hormazábal. “ABB met that requirement by providing the enclosure, the switching devices and the auxiliary contacts, completely assembled from the factory.”

ABB offered a number of advantages that made it the logical choice for providing the heart of the MAPA electrical protection system. The reliability of ABB products, availability of a customized solution, local service availability and a delivery guarantee for more than 1,100 safety switches over a five-month period all factored into the customer’s selection of ABB.

In total, ABB set forth on installing 142 OTR16T3B enclosed safety switches, which are designed to prevent accidental starting of electrical machinery during maintenance or repair situations, plus 1,039 customized OT safety switches of various types to meet the specific needs of MAPA. This was the largest order for safety switches that ABB has ever supplied in Chile.

“While ABB is a major provider of standardized electrical products for industry, we were able to customize our portfolio to fulfill Arauco’s needs,” said Israel Roncancio, ABB Project Engineer. “The customer wanted a reliable switching device to be located right next to the motors, pumps, fans and other machinery, one that conforms to the specific conditions of the plant location and the industry requirements. We met the company’s expectation for a switching element within an outdoor enclosure with a long lifecycle for both the enclosure and the devices.”

ABB’s work on the MAPA project also has included providing control room furniture, networking equipment, datacenter and automation cabinets and configuration services for the process area.

The safety switch installations are scheduled to be commissioned in the first half of 2021.


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