Bringing the best on board

A new distribution board from APS Industrial puts into practice the company’s commitment to bringing the world’s best to Australian manufacturing. Manufacturers’ Monthly explains.

Born just 18 months ago, it has not taken APS Industrial long to establish themselves
as a key industry player. In a move that underlines this point, they have recently announced their first independent product launch, a distribution board which brings together the elite capabilities of APS Industrial’s global manufacturing partners, while being custom designed to meet the demands of Australian industry.

As David Read, director of products and marketing at the company, highlighted when speaking with Manufacturers’ Monthly, this collaboration and commitment to local  industry that APS Industrial share with its manufacturing partners has been the foundation for the product launch.

“In March 2018, APS Industrial brought Siemens under one roof to service its customers in Australia, and also complemented that with access to key brands like Rittal, KATKO, and Weidmüller. We’re building our whole value proposition around being able to provide industry with a new choice, and this product launch is really exciting for us because we can now extend that promise to distribution boards,” said Read.

As Read described, APS Industrial goes beyond the traditional distributor model, to work hand-in-hand with its manufacturing partners.

“First and foremost we’re a distributor of industrial electrical and automation products, and for us to do that, we’ve established national distribution agreements with these brands. Traditional distributional models might stop there – let’s sign an agreement and let’s distribute the product – but what the leaders of our business have set out to do is actively work and engage with these manufacturing partners to firmly focus on Australian industry and work out where we can provide more choice or where we can provide more technology capability.”

Boards can be designed to the specific needs of each customer.

An area where APS Industrial saw a chance to offer both to local industry is electrical distribution boards and, according to Read, having the strong relationships with brands such as Siemens, KATKO, Rittal, and Weidmüller, enabled the company to create something new and powerful.

“The APS Industrial distribution board portfolio will offer unparalleled flexibility and feature the best the market has to offer in technology and components. What we have done is really looked at best practices of distribution boards that are in the market and added innovative features and functions that will matter,” said Read.

An example of this is the unique, removable gear tray assembly that comes as standard with the DB Ultimate – the first board to be released within what will become a complete family of APS Industrial distribution boards. Designed and manufactured by the company in partnership with German enclosure manufacturer Rittal, the removeable gear tray allows for the option to mount the enclosure itself, while the componentry of the board is still being designed and assembled to fit a customer’s requirements.

“This feature offers a number of benefits,” said Read. “While many will opt for traditional assembly and installation, this feature provides the added option of mounting the empty enclosure on the wall in any industrial complex or building independently of the internal gear tray that houses all of the components. This gear tray can then be inserted later once it’s all wired and assembled, that allows for easier installation as well as quicker assembly and wiring because it’s done out of the enclosure.”

This unique gear tray assembly feature complements the individual performance of the components, that are sourced from APS Industrial’s manufacturing partners, which, according to Read, are world leading in each of their fields.

“We are the only national distributor for all of our manufacturing partners here in Australia and we’ve worked exclusively with them to make sure that we have the best offering for the DB portfolio. The APS DB portfolio has been specifically designed to incorporate circuit breaker, metering and communications technology from Siemens, surge protection from Weidmüller and main switch isolation from KATKO,” said Read.

APS Industrial has not just selected the best components available but have brought together a range of products that until now have not been available to distribution board customers. This is the case of the circuit breaker technology from Siemens, as well as the enclosures from Rittal.

“To make a Rittal enclosure available to the distribution board market is unique and it’s something that we really wanted to do because they are a world leader in enclosure technology. It’s a coup for us to be able to adapt their enclosures for distribution boards,” said Read.

“The Rittal enclosure technology is globally recognised as a market leader and to be able to translate this into the distribution board market is not only an Australian first, but also a global first, which represents real opportunity and competitive advantage for the local industry”.

The distribution boards use APS partner manufacturers.

Taking this approach of leveraging and amplifying global manufacturers has allowed APS Industrial to release a board that can withstand the harshest environments in Australian industry. The DB Ultimate is designed to be able to be mounted indoors and outdoors, with the enclosure from Rittal ensuring that the precise componentry within is not affected by heat, dust or moisture. The DB Ultimate is rated to Ingress Protection IP66, which rates the degree of protection provided by electrical enclosures. This high rating ensures that the DB Ultimate is dust tight and protected from jets of water. This makes the range suitable for use in food and beverage manufacturing facilities as well as environments where dust is present, such as mining.

Further offerings will be targeted towards lighter industry, and construction markets and while the enclosure rating may be altered to match the requirements of those industries, the componentry inside remains the same.

These components include a compact lockable KATKO Main Switch, which can be swapped for a Siemens MCCB, as well as components from Weidmüller and Siemens. For APS Industrial, the choice to create a distribution board with this quality of componentry is about service to the industries they supply.

“It’s our obligation and privilege to bring these brands to the Australian market and help our local industry experience the quality of these products,” said Read.

“We firmly believe that these products are some of the best the world has to offer, and as uptake within local industry grows, so too will performance and potential, which is very exciting”.

Indeed, as global technology continues to develop, customers are assured that these improvements will naturally be built into the range of APS DB’s with manufacturers such as Siemens leading global industrial innovation.

“These brands are at the forefront of industrial digitalisation and all of that expertise and knowledge is embedded in the distribution boards,” said Read.