When Jelec, a systems integrator and engineering company for the oil & gas industry, designed new land rigs for use inside and outside the United States, simplicity would be the most important factor in selecting the connection systems. After careful deliberation, they decided on terminal blocks with lever actuation.
They were using terminal blocks to connect wires everywhere on the land rig,” John Hagar, regional sales manager for WAGO, said. “They were connecting the top drill, the engine that drills the hole into the earth, the powerhouse, the mud pump and even connecting controls in the driller’s chair.”
Alexandre Bienfait is the lead engineer from Jelec who worked on the land rig design. When he started working on the project, his knowledge of WAGO was limited.
“We started communicating with John Hagar to learn about other options. He said, ‘You can save time with the push-button type or the screwdriver-actuated terminal block,’” Bienfait said.
Because WAGO TOPJOB S rail-mount terminal blocks are available in three different actuation variants — lever, push-button or open tool slot — which can be wired either by pushing in solid conductors or by using a screwdriver to operate the spring-pressure technology, Bienfait selected the right rail-mount terminal block for his application.
While the pushbutton capability introduced Bienfait to the rail-mount terminal block technology, “I didn’t really like those I saw because they terminate from the top. You need a small tool or screwdriver to operate those terminals,” Bienfait explained.
“The reason we have three different wire actuation variants is that each customer has unique experiences that shape the context of their decision-making.” Ed Naczek, WAGO product manager for interconnect explained. “For Bienfait and Jelec, pushbuttons and open tool slot versions were not going to work, so we were able to offer the finger-actuated levered version.”
“With the lever we can terminate in the shop,” Bienfait stated, “just by lifting a lever and that to me is a huge improvement.”
Using terminal blocks with levers helped Bienfait and the Jelec engineering teams operate more efficiently. “The lever side is good for small spaces because it is hard to terminate in a small space when you have a big tool,” Bienfait said.
Further solidifying the decision was that many of end-projects were shipped across national borders. Anyone could intuitively operate a lever with the same successful results.
Bienfait further explained that Jelec had been using a competitor’s screw-type terminal blocks prior to switching. “I don’t believe anyone else on the market has something as simple as WAGO’s lever terminal blocks,” Bienfait said.
Secure wiring connections were needed throughout the many electrical connections of the land rig. The result was that terminal blocks with levers can now be found on every termination.
While working with the levers, Bienfait said the quality inspired him to explore other WAGO products.
“On this project we are also using a WAGO I/O system for extreme conditions to help power the land rigs,” Bienfait said. “We learned the system has a wide tolerance of high to low temperatures, which is perfect for a land rig.”
Bienfait said WAGO helped simplify their processes and empowered them to be their best by helping them make intelligent decisions on quality products. Because of this, Jelec believes they are passing these sound choices on to their customers.
“We want to make it easier for the people buying our products and I think the customers are really appreciating and responding to that,” Bienfait said.
Text: Laura Dickinson, WAGO