New Industry Products

Circuit Breaker Platform Built for the Digital Industrial Era

April 24, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

Today, GE's Industrial Solutions business introduced its new GuardEon molded-case circuit breaker (MCCB) at Hannover Messe, the world's leading trade fair for industrial technology. From its smart, secure and reliable operation to the way it's manufactured, GuardEon is a global breaker platform built for the digital industrial era.

“GE’s industrial customers operate in some of the most demanding environments — from an offshore oil rig in the North Sea to a remote mining site in the Chilean Andes and beyond — where operational reliability and safety are non-negotiable,” explained Ruth Gratzke, global product line leader for circuit breakers, GE’s Industrial Solutions business. “Our customers look to us to help see around corners and offer solutions for both current and future challenges. With features like advanced safety protection and on-board diagnostics, GuardEon is a critical element of a reliable power system that helps protect people, equipment and uptime.”

Designed for tough, real-world applications, GuardEon offers: A flexible, global platform: GuardEon offers a single, global platform to serve customers across industries and geographies — no matter the application. The breaker family consists of four frame sizes featuring common components, interchangeable accessories and flexible options for field customization to meet changing electrical needs. GuardEon, along with GE’s EntelliGuard* air circuit breakers, ArcWatch* technology and trip unit toolkit software, represents a key building block of a modern, integrated low-voltage distribution system.

A robust, user-friendly design: GE engaged more than 100 customers across 17 countries over a two-year development period from initial design to reviews of prototypes as part of an ongoing iterative design process. Many of GuardEon’s simple yet smart enhancements are a result of direct customer feedback, including its rotating faceplate, ergonomic rotary handle and its streamlined design with fewer internal parts than GE’s previous MCCBs. Through the GE Store, the GuardEon development team was able to draw from the company’s experience in the oil and gas, mining, marine, data center and other industrial segments to make informed design decisions and improve functionality for its customers.

Predictive maintenance capabilities: A breaker’s trip unit serves as its brain, and GE designed GuardEon so it could shine at the head of its class. GuardEon’s brain, the PremEon* trip unit, is offered in a standard version, PremEon S, or advanced version, PremEon G. Customers who select GuardEon with PremEon G will be able to monitor the breaker’s mechanical and electrical health. This is critical in industrial applications where unplanned downtime can derail an otherwise successful operation. GuardEon collects and analyzes performance data to help customers diagnose problems before they occur and make better-informed decisions about maintenance, which can improve productivity and uptime. GuardEon also allows for remote monitoring and testing from a safer distance — outside the arc flash zone.

Advanced safety protection: GuardEon is ArcWatch-enabled to help protect people and equipment. ArcWatch provides a system solution for simultaneous uptime and protection across connected equipment. This is particularly important for mission-critical industries where customers need a “no-compromises” approach to reliability and safety.

“With GuardEon, we challenged ourselves to transform our approach to product development — from initial design to manufacturing to distribution — and to try new processes to deliver a truly differentiated platform for our industrial customers,” said Stephanie Mains, CEO of GE’s Industrial Solutions business. “By using GE’s FastWorks accelerated development process, for example, we engaged customers at every stage while bringing GuardEon to market in about half the time of a similar product launch. We also made significant investments in the facilities where GuardEon was developed as well as where it will be manufactured.”