Industrial electrical work comprises installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical systems in industrial settings. Industrial electricians work with high-voltage systems, machinery, and equipment that are often complex and require specialized training and knowledge. What sets industrial electrical trade programs apart is the focus on safety, knowledge of electrical codes and standards, and technical skills in working with industrial equipment and systems. Here are some key aspects that make industrial electrical trade programs different from other types of electrical training.
Working with high voltages and currents is risky for industrial electrical workers. As a result, a key component of industrial electrician apprenticeship is safety training. Industrial electricians receive safety precautions training, including working at heights, using personal protective equipment (PPE), and lockout/tagout techniques. To prevent unintentional energization of electrical equipment, lockout/tagout procedures involve disconnecting and locking out energy sources. PPE, such as gloves, safety glasses, and hard hats, shields workers from electrical and industrial dangers. Working at heights training is particularly essential for industrial electricians, who frequently operate on raised platforms or machinery.
Industrial electrical workers have to follow a set of codes and standards. Therefore, industrial electricians become well-versed in these codes and standards during their electrician certification. Through this they ensure that electrical installations and repairs are up to code and safe. Thus, industrial electrical training includes coursework on code and standards, including NEC requirements for electrical installations and inspections, NETA testing procedures, and OSHA safety regulations.
Industrial electrician programs cover electrical theory and principles, including Ohm’s law, Kirchhoff’s laws, and electrical power calculations. Industrial electricians must thoroughly understand electrical theory and principles to effectively design, install, and troubleshoot electrical systems. They must also understand electrical diagrams and schematics, including one-line, ladder, and control circuit diagrams.
Industrial electrician courses often involve installing, maintaining, and troubleshooting electric motors. Therefore, motor control is a critical aspect of industrial electrical training. Industrial electricians learn about motor control circuits, including magnetic starters, contactors, and overloads. They also learn to troubleshoot motor control circuits, including identifying faults and replacing faulty electrical components.
Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) are a common feature of modern industrial electrical systems. Industrial electricians learn the basics of PLC during their electrician programs. Industrial electrical training covers PLC programming languages, including ladder logic and function block diagrams. Industrial electricians also learn about automation systems, including Human-Machine Interface (HMI) panels, sensors, and actuators.
Industrial electrical work involves testing and troubleshooting electrical systems to identify faults and make repairs. Industrial electricians learn to use various testing instruments, including multimeters, clamp-on ammeters, and megohmmeters. They also learn about electrical testing procedures, including insulation resistance testing, ground resistance testing, and voltage drop testing. Troubleshooting skills are also critical for industrial electricians, who must quickly and efficiently identify and repair electrical system faults.
Instrumentation and control are critical aspects of many industrial processes. Industrial electricians learn about different instruments and control systems during their electrician apprenticeship. They must also be proficient in reading and interpreting process control diagrams and loops. Industrial electrical training covers instrumentation and control principles, including process control theory, loop tuning, and PID control.
Industrial electricians must be proficient in installing, maintaining, and troubleshooting power distribution electrical systems. They must also be familiar with protective devices such as fuses and circuit breakers. Industrial electrical training covers power distribution principles.
Overall, the industrial electrician course sets itself apart by emphasizing safety, knowledge of electrical codes and standards, specialized skills in working with industrial equipment and systems, the ability to read schematics and diagrams, and advanced troubleshooting skills. As a result, industrial electricians play a vital role in ensuring that industrial facilities operate safely and efficiently.