Save Time and Money with Factory-built Power Whips

Save time and money with factory-built power whips. Traditionally data center power cables are made onsite by electrical contractors and often take longer to build for a higher price. Recently, a Fortune 500 company with multiple data center locations wanted to save time and money when installing new power whips at its data centers. After careful analysis, they determined they could save time and money compared to site-built cables.

Current situation and issues

The company had multiple data centers with more than 5 million square feet. They were having trouble keeping pace with the number of new power whips installs they needed for new cabinets and were concerned about the time and cost of using local electrical contractors. In addition, they had multiple contractors with no standardization for components or testing protocols.

As a result, they had little understanding of lead times, costs, and testing. So, they wanted to improve and standardize the ordering process, the whip components, testing procedures, reduce turnaround time and installation time, and save money.

Desired state and goals

First, they wanted to reduce turnaround on orders to keep with demand for new cabinet installs and speed up installation. They also wanted to standardize the process, so each facility used the same standard method for ordering whips with the same components to meet quality standards as specified by their engineers.

In addition, they wanted to improve the quality process to include testing protocols to ensure no arcing, shorting, proper phase rotation, and ground integrity of every power whip. They also wanted to achieve UL Listing for power whip assemblies made to their exact specifications with custom labels that provided circuit number, equipment, PDU panel, receptacle, length, and certification.

Finally, they wanted to reduce vendors and leverage their spending with one vendor to secure the best pricing possible for all their power whip needs.

The process and proposed solutions

The critical stakeholders considered replacing contractor site-built power whips with factory-built power whips. This promised to reduce product costs, faster turnaround on quotes and orders, factory testing, and better quality control. This also would ensure UL Listed components were used to build assemblies with custom labels to offer easier installation, and provide centralized customer support and reporting.

They reviewed factory-built power whips made with high-quality UL-listed components. They also visited the factory to view the manufacturing process. They wanted to make sure that quality occurred at each phase of production.

They learned that all connections were electronically torqued with precision tools, and final cable assemblies passed stringent testing standards before shipping. Tests included HIPOT testing to ensure no arcing or shorting of any conductor within the cable, load bank testing that tested the maximum rated load that a cable would be placed under in the data center, and camera detection to ensure proper gauge and phasing of wires.

Key advantages and improvements

After testing and implementing a factory-built program, the company improved processes, quality and reduced costs. First, they were able to standardize the ordering process and reduce lead time to 48 hours with centralized quoting and reporting. They also improved quality with better testing and quality control and experienced fewer cable failures. Plus, the labeling system also allowed them to reduce installation time. More importantly, they reduced their total costs by 30% over site-built cables.

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