Back in the 1980s, our founder and chief scientist, Finley Ledbetter, started designing his first remote racking system at the request of a longtime customer. As part of his research and development, Finley looked at arc-flash incident reports from around the U.S. and saw there was a need for remote racking across all industrial segments, not just at electrical field-service companies and utilities.
He started with the most common rotary style of switchgear and then expanded into extractor style. As time went on, customers of our customers saw remote racking units and asked where they could get one. Some were sold off the back of the service person’s truck at the end of a job; I know because I talked with a field-service customer who did exactly that.
When Finley spun off CBS ArcSafe as its own company in 2008, we would receive calls for new innovations and new products. I started out as a field-service representative. It was a great way to talk directly with the customers and hear what they needed right from the source. When I returned to the shop, I’d tell Finley what the customer said. Two weeks later, I would come back from the road and find out that Finley had engineered the solution sought by the customer, along with a couple of improvements. If you are a fan of James Bond movies, you may remember the development shop with Q branch. That was what it seemed like at times in terms of how fast we developed new solutions to match a customer’s specific remote racking needs based on their make and model of switchgear.
Six years later, we still get phone calls and emails on a regular basis asking for a remote racking, extraction, or switching system for a new switchgear line-up or hard-to-find breaker. It keeps our engineers hopping along with the sales guys because the day after we publish our catalog, it is out of date. Why? Because during the night, Q branch probably developed a new product for a customer in between Bismarck, North Dakota, and Doha, Qatar. Apparently, the word about CBS ArcSafe is spread far and wide.
Today, CBS ArcSafe manufactures more than 350 products for remote racking and remote switching. We develop an average of 50 or more new products a year to meet customers’ needs. Need something special, or have some questions about how you can keep your employees safer as they service your gear? Give us a call and we will help you out.