Company Switches for power distribution systems serve many facilities such as theaters, convention centers, arenas and auditoriums that often require specialized panelboards for connection of portable electrical equipment. The electrical power for these temporary systems is fed by a specialized distribution panel, commonly known as a “company switch”. The name originated as a theatrical term designating the power panel used by a touring ”company”. This type of panel is sometimes referred to as a “bull switch”, “lighting disconnect”, or “show power panel“.
Basic Indoor Company Switches are designed for UL Listed with the basics for powering portable power distribution loads. It consists of a Type 1 enclosure, main circuit breaker, receptacles and phase indicator lights. No connection chamber is provided, making for a small, inexpensive solution, perfect for electric power distribution for theatre, convention centers, arenas, schools, churches, and events centers.
Connection Chamber Company Switches builds on the Basic version with the addition of; a connection chamber for bare-ended cable; electrical interlock between chamber door and main breaker shunt trip; copper bussing with lug terminals; cable strain relief; and grommeted cable access holes on the bottom of the enclosure.
Company Switch with Multiple Breakers has a single enclosure with two or more breakers that provide a disconnecting means for multiple sets of outlets. Installation is simpler, requiring only a single conduit run, and one enclosure to mount on the wall. Installation is less expensive and if the unit includes a Main breaker, it can reduce the cost of upstream panelboards.
Custom Company Switches made specifically to provide solutions for our customers needs. These custom company switch solutions can be as simple as the addition of an ammeter or a custom size enclosure to fit in a wall recess or as complex as a walk-in power distribution center complete with fused disconnects switches, outlets, transformers and interior lighting.
A company switch contains a disconnect device and some means to connect temporary power loads. Today, most company switches use molded case circuit breakers as a disconnect device. For some specialized loads, a fused switch is used in place of a circuit breaker. This is the exception to the rule, however.
Series 16 Cam and SafeCam® Devices
Various means are provided for load connection, with series 16 Cam devices being the most common type. UL Listed Cam devices made by several different manufacturers will mate with each other and also with Union Connector’s SafeCam® system. It is also common for load feeder cables to be bare-ended ( no wiring device, just exposed copper ends ). In that case, connection to the company switch is via direct connection to an output bus located inside the unit. Prior to Union Connector’s development of the connection chamber, this connection required exposing the bus by removal of the panelboards front panel. This could only be done be a licensed electrician, which was costly and inherently dangerous. The connection chamber incorporates a proximity sensor on the chamber door that will trip open the circuit breaker when the door is opened. Cable connection is to dual rated lugs mounted on the bus. The bus can not be energized until the connection chamber door is closed.
Union Connector has developed a cam-type outlet system that will accept standard cam plugs but will automatically disconnect power to the receptacles until ALL the receptacles contain a plug. Any time there is an exposed outlet, power is disconnected from all the system’s outlets. This system is called SafeCam®. It is only available on a Union Connector Company Switch.
Combining a connection chamber with a SafeCam® system will provide the safest company switch available today.
All Our Company Switches Are UL Listed
Merely providing a safe way to connect power is not enough in today’s litigious business atmosphere. A facility must provide a product that is built and certified to meet minimum accepted safety standards or risk severe economic repercussions in the event of a lawsuit. An Underwriter’s Laboratories Listing is one of the best ways to ensure an item meets the safety standards for which it was designed. In the case of a company switch, the entire unit must be Listed as a company switch, not just the components used in it’s construction. A product Listing is a costly and time-consuming effort that tests the ability and seriousness of the company building the equipment. By purchasing a Listed product, the buyer can rightly assume that the unit is properly built and not just something cobbled together in a garage or at the construction site.
All Union Connector company switches are UL Listed and meet or exceed National Electric Code® standards for panelboards and switchboards ( Article 384 ).