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The Importance of Conducting an Arc Flash Study During a Time of Supply Chain Issues

Nearly one-third of manufacturing, wholesale, and retail traders report supply chain disturbances. So it’s safe to say this international issue is a hot topic.

So, here we examine supply chain issues surrounding electrical equipment. We will discuss how this affects the global industry. In particular, we’re focusing on how an Arc Flash study could help.

We’ll learn how they can help mitigate the risk of supply chain disruptions. We’ll also explore how Pioneer Power Group is helping customers to navigate the problems we’re facing in our industry.

So, stay tuned to learn how your business can expedite approved equipment and manage shipping delays.

First, let’s discuss the problem and then the solutions…

The State of the Switchgear and Electrical Market

The pandemic brought worldwide disruptions to supply chains across the globe. Yet, it also brought increased demand for the switchgear industry.

In 2020, the North American market was valued at over $16 billion, with an expected 6% growth in the next 7 years. The unprecedented growth despite the pandemic is attributed to global energy demands soaring.

More widely, the electrical industry grows at a compound growth rate (CAGR) of 11.2%.

More and more countries are using switchgear products for commercial use. This is because of a global push toward infrastructural development.


For starters, remote working stimulated a renewed demand for newer, faster electronic equipment.

Yet, it is harder to protect workers due to surges in demand. In 2020, OSHA reported over 1,600 energy-related control procedure violations. There were another 1451 attributed to failures to provide adequate personal protective equipment (PPE).

The Effect of Supply Chain Disruptions

In part, shortages in PPE were symptomatic of broader supply chain issues. For example, labor shortages led to significant delays in shipping and delivery. Needless to say, this contributed to the rise in the number of OSHA incidents.

As businesses scramble to respond to demand, these incidents appear almost inevitable. Further delay risks can also arise from insufficient supplier research.

As companies order new products, they have to deal with quality assurance issues. As a result, there is an increased risk of ordering poor-quality equipment. This can result in further delays and costs.

As shortages move down the supply chain, intermediaries’ failings can significantly impact end-users.

Additionally, reports state that the cost of installing protective measures remains high. This, coupled with a lack of regulatory implementation, hampers efforts to prevent OSHA violations.

Nevertheless, we see that the Arc Flash protection market is booming. The market is forecasted to reach $2.41 billion this year, with a growth rate (CAGR) of 5.38%.

Current costs may be high but  increased expenditures on electrical networks and infrastructural development continue. We can expect that the growth of this market will reduce costs over time.

Arc Flash Study Benefits

So, how can businesses use electrical systems studies such as Arc Flash  to benefit rather than hinder their operations? Arc Flash studies are created to detect and mitigate the risks of Arc Flash hazards and improve safety across the board.

With increased demand and operation maintenance, equipment deterioration and faults occur. This can pose a significant threat to the smoothness of your operations.

Yet, with the findings from an arc flash study, it is possible to cut potential hazards and cut costs. Businesses also need to protect themselves against legal risks. Failure to meet regulatory compliance can be expensive.

Short circuit, coordination, and arc flash studies can help companies understand electrical safety and legal requirements. These are necessary to prevent hazardous electrical exposures.

Employers have an ethical responsibility to protect workers. But there are also financial benefits to arc analysis. By cutting down on incidents, businesses can save on labor costs.

Accidents mean time off and labor shortages. By protecting workers, companies can ensure they can still meet their performance targets.

With these factors in mind, comprehensive arc flash studies are crucial.

How Pioneer Power Group Addresses These Issues

Pioneer Power Group advises businesses on the best:

  • Industry standards
  • Guidance
  • Practices

…in Arc Flash studies.

At Pioneer Power Group, we understand that businesses are facing increased pressure. With supply chain issues and labor shortages, it’s a difficult time to operate. So, Pioneer Power Group is stepping up our efforts to help customers.


By analyzing market movement.

Market data can highlight the best pathways for importing new products and equipment. Pioneer Power Group provides strategic guidance on leading suppliers to help businesses use this data, for example we often are asked to perform arc flash studies with specific equipment in mind.  Once we are mid way through the analysis, we get the call stating the entire set of equipment is changing due to supply chain constraints.  We understand how to work, under pressure, to complete these studies w/ all new and relevant information to meet customer demands.

When products are finally released, the pressure to move a project forward increases. However, businesses can count on us to expedite their studies.

As a result, you can get critical insight into the best ways to improve system safety and protection. Your business can take its next steps.

Companies are better positioned to avoid shipping delays and the associated expenses with this info. Pioneer Power Group is committed to delivering the most comprehensive and actionable Arc Flash studies, regardless of supply chain issues.

Our studies can identify the latest equations needed to find ARC Flash boundaries. These boundaries can tell us about the extent of potential hazards. Then, we can calculate the degree of PPE required to minimize injury.  It is important to note that PPE should be worn while working on ANY electrical equipment when it is energized

PPE is necessary for working with:

  • Panelboards
  • Switchboards
  • Switchgear
  • Motor control centers


However, excessive PPE can impede workers’ dexterity when carrying out complex operations.

We collect and conduct analysis of business-specific field data—for example, to help find the right balance between protection and operation.

Why You Should Choose Pioneer Power Group

All in all, it’s predicted that supply chain disruptions will continue for years to come. However, businesses can mitigate risks and expenses surrounding supply chain delays.

Using an Arc Flash study, companies can see the bigger picture. We help businesses to discover the latest industry regulatory standards, equipment, and suppliers.

By cutting down unnecessary risks in your facilities and drastically improving safety while negating OSHA violations, businesses can cut legal and labor shortages. Pioneer Power Group understands the speed customers need in getting relevant, technically solid studies done.

For more information, contact us today.

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