Competency of Main Electric Contractor Is One Key to Industrial Project Success
Keywords: Main Electric Contractor, MEC, Engineering, Procurement, Construction Contractor, EPC, Main Automation Contractor, MAC, Automation Systems, Integration, Lifecycle Cost.
Industrial projects are becoming increasingly complex, particularly when it comes to electrical and automation equipment and systems. For larger projects, end user organizations work with engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractors that provide certainty of cost, a single point of communication, and efficiency in project management. However, just as the trend in recent years has been for the "EPCs" to subcontract the automation portion of a larger project to a main automation contractor (MAC), EPCs often subcontract the electrical systems work to a main electric contractor (MEC). This is because many projects in both the process and discrete manufacturing industries require deep knowledge of diverse and complex electric systems that must be configured and integrated properly for a successful operation.
A MEC is responsible for coordinating and integrating all electrical equipment and systems and managing the interfaces. In some projects, this will extend to the programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and control panels that handle control, interlocks, alarms, and other basic automation-related functions. To succeed in these engagements, the MEC must have competency in both electrical and basic automation systems. Clearly, MECs that traditionally only work with electrical systems will not have adequate experience or expertise to handle the automation-related part of a project, particular if this should involve more than a basic degree of complexity.
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