Substation1

I have worked on projects for companies which in my opinion are extremes in both worlds.

In the first world, companies have their policies, procedures, guidelines, management systems, safety systems, quality standards, engineering procedures and many more. A new employee may take months or even years to familiarize with the system.

Quality systems organizations require certified companies to adhere to these documents that in any situation wherein there may be some variations required in order to complete a project, new procedures or new documents need to be written. This is a natural phenomenon called evolution of documents.

A famous Shakespearean phrase in the literary world.

What does this phrase have something to do in the technical world?

A lot, particularly after putting much effort into Front End Engineering and Design (FEED). Variations in detailed design is normal only if particular details are not achievable due to change in process, equipment design, environmental conditions, or any standards.

However, variations in specifications caused by the failure of Vendors or Suppliers to comply with the requirements is not normal.

NEMA is most influential only in North America including Mexico while IEC has been adopted in most countries as indicated by its 67 members countries including the US.

Electrical manufacturers are desperate to merge both standards to create a truly global market for a single product. European manufacturers which are mainly IEC have been trying to penetrate the North American market mostly through buy-outs or merger. The same is true with US manufacturers.

Despite the efforts of equipment manufacturers to satisfy both IEC and NEMA standards, the merging of standards in the construction sector may be a nightmare. An example of this is joining an IEC cable to an NEC cable. There are no exact equivalent of cable sizes for either standard. It will either be one or the other.

The Filipino Electrical Engineer to be able to compete into the global market, knowledge of the IEC Standard is a requirement. The IEC Standard is acceptable in most countries around the world. Notwithstanding that there are more national standards based on the IEC than on the NFPA or NEC.

Click this for the most commonly used IEC standards in the electrical industry.

Experiences outside the Philippines, particularly in the Oil & Gas industry, help me analyze and compare the practice of Electrical Engineering in the Philippines to some developed countries particularly those using the IEC as a standard.

In the Philippines, Electrical Engineering has almost always been a third class profession. To make matters worst, there has been a proliferation of non-qualified Electrical practitioners who are willing to accept lower fees to bait on unsuspecting clients in exchange for a sub-standard work in the detriment of the client and the Electrical engineering profession as a whole.