The Stack Archive Whitepaper

Furniture firm wins fight against ongoing power problems

Mon 6 Aug 2018


Find out how a leading furniture firm upgraded its critical power protection by installing a new uninterruptible power supply which worked with its existing backup generators.

A reliable, continuous power supply is an absolute must for mission-critical environments such as data centres. But the same principle rings true in other settings such as offices or manufacturing factories too. Vulnerability to power disruption, or even worse to complete power outages, heightens the risk of damaging downtime and productivity losses.

From its head office in Warwickshire, Häfele UK, is a renowned supplier of ironmongery, furniture fittings, and hardware, many to trade. It delivers to more than 30,000 customers a year, and even the most minor disruption to its operations is enormously costly.

Historically, several power outages had inconvenienced the firm, many striking at short notice. Essential warehouse equipment including 100-foot-tall cranes endured damaging downtime, as did the company’s phones and other vital day-to-day telecoms infrastructure.

And while an on-site diesel generator provided standby power, this still meant a 30-second loss of power until the backup fully kicked in.

The furniture firm wanted a more reliable solution and commissioned Riello UPS, through its authorised reseller Computer Power Protection, to come up with an answer to its intermittent power problems. Because of the nature of the site, it needed to be a UPS system which works seamlessly with a backup generator.

The bespoke power protection system included two 250 kVA Master Plus units chosen specifically as the most compatible Riello UPS uninterruptible power supply to use with a backup generator.

In addition a pair of energy efficient Multi Sentry UPS were installed to protect power in the company’s server rooms, with several single-phase Sentinel Pro UPS offering standby power to Häfele UK’s telecommunications network too.

With business continuity absolutely essential, no mains work during installation could take place in standard working hours or even on week days. That meant the entire system was fitted out-of-hours at the weekend. From the start of work late on Friday, the new UPS system was fully operational inside 48 hours by early on the Sunday.

Shaun Smith, Häfele UK Facilities Manager, commented: “In the past, power stoppages, no matter how brief have had a knock-on effect when it comes to revenue and, for a major sales and distribution centre like ours the financial impact can be significant.

“The new UPS technology will not only help us to protect against loss of revenue, but it will also help us to reduce energy costs and our carbon footprint. As a result, we will soon see a return on investment.”

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