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Mark Furst

About Mark Furst

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So far Mark Furst has created 13 blog entries.

One sentence in project specifications adds thousands to a tender cost. But it needn’t.

By |January 14th, 2016|

The sentence I’m talking about is the one that says something like, “All materials in the Main Control Cubicle shall be (insert brand here)”. I see this a lot; Strict requirements set out for use of site standard brands. It’s like a self-imposed non-competition clause on materials. A tender package for an additive manufacturer landed on my desk this week. It’s not dissimilar to a project for a chemical manufacturer we worked on last year. Both hazardous areas, both large scale installations, both sophisticated engineering design. But the project specifications were very different. One approach causes the cost of the electrical component to skyrocket and the other saves the client some serious cheddar. To borrow a line from the superannuation commercial, lets Compare The Pair. […]

Hazardous Areas: The 3 Critical Questions Chinese Authorities Need To Ask

By |August 17th, 2015|

The catastrophic explosion in the port of Tianjin in Northern China is a tragic reminder of why we have stringent Hazardous Standards and why they can never be compromised. Astonishingly, authorities are unable to ascertain exactly what chemicals were stored at the location. Why is such basic information not at their fingertips? And even more baffling, why did it take 3 days to establish a meaningful exclusion zone?  I expect there’ll be an exhaustive inquiry into how the explosion occurred, and the inadequacy of the response. If authorities are going to get to the bottom of this, the critical place to start is in the documentation. Here are my top 3 questions authorities need to ask to determine what rules were breached, and what rules are inadequate. […]

Furst Electrical wins Telstra Victorian Business of the Year – 2015

By |July 21st, 2015|

We are delighted to announce that Furst Electrical Services, has won the highly coveted “Business of the Year” in the Victorian Telstra Business Awards for 2015. The highly coveted awards attract thousands of nominations. Winning both our category and overall is a tremendous endorsement of our expertise and professionalism. Will Irving, the Telstra Business Group [...]

Two ways to cut industry electricity costs that wont be in the budget

By |May 12th, 2015|

With a few hours to go before the budget announcement, I’ve been thinking about business costs, specifically electricity prices – and how to reduce them. For those engineers or business owners who like to mix business with pleasure, here’s a game for this evenings announcement. Each time the treasurer talks about the burden of costs to businesses, have a shot of your best whiskey. A word of warning, you’ll be buying yourself a new bottle. Australian businesses are paying 80% more today than 5 years ago for electricity. One food manufacturer I work with, has an electricity bill of $70,000 per month. The official current rating to start an electric motor is 8 times the Full Load Current (FLA). In reality, it’s more like 5 times the FLA. That’s still a nasty spike! Here’s why this is important: Most businesses are billed on their peaks. I’ve worked with a lot of manufacturers to reduce the spike and thus cost caused at startup. My advice: Consider installing Variable Speed Drives (VSD) and soft starters. […]

Why ASIO are doing a background check on me

By |October 3rd, 2014|

One of the things I love about my job is that it takes me to some interesting places. Furst is involved in a range projects for major, regional and defence airfields around the country. Accessing secure areas without an escort requires an ASIC card from ASIO. I never imagined my electrical expertise would take me on such a path. On the weekend I found myself in NSW, commissioning a new electrical control system we delivered for Orange airport. When you gaze down from the plane, airfields are lit up like Christmas trees so I thought I might share a bit of what’s going on, from an electrical control perspective. […]

Automation of a Melbourne Water Bottling Facility

By |June 24th, 2014|

Next time you’re walking down the aisle at the supermarket, cast your eye across the volume and assortment of different sized bottled water available. There’s stacks, literally! It’s not easy for a machine to fill a bottle of water; It needs to unload a stack of around 1250 empty bottles from a pallet and organise [...]

A 5 step formula to avoid choosing a woefully inadequate PLC

By |February 19th, 2014|

There’s so many options on the market; Modicon, ABB, Allen Bradley, Siemens, Omron, Mitsubishi…where do you start? When you select the right PLC you widen your options and reduce the time and expense involved in installation and programming. The wrong PLC will hamstring your operations. This checklist will get you on your way. […]

Manufacturing an electrical control cabinet (in under 60 seconds)

By |January 30th, 2014|

Yes, we really do work this fast! ;) What you're watching is Lee and I building an electrical control cabinet using a Pilbara series IP66 enclosure. It was installed on a skid for a trade waste treatment system for a meat rendering plant in Qld. I was really impressed with the quality of this Australian [...]

The 5 Non-Negotiables Every Electrical Control Cabinet Should Have

By |January 23rd, 2014|

A new electrical control cabinet should look like a shiny new car and have the longevity of one, not a second hand Volvo. Here’s the low down on future proofing your electrical installations: You might be forking out 5k or 50k, but the quality of the design and build will either run like a dream year on year or have you calling out your electrician every other week. I routinely find 5 features absent that result in the cost of resolving breakdowns or future modifications to sky rocket. They’re not spelled out in quotes, so make sure you ask your electrician before you commit. […]

SO YOU HAVE A SAFETY CATEGORY 3 MACHINE, WHAT NOW?

By |November 29th, 2013|

On a scale of 1 to “I have no idea” how sure are you that you’re applying the appropriate electrical solution for your safety category? I’ve seen numerous machines being used by manufacturers in Australia which fail to comply with appropriate electrical measures of safety. I’ve also seen well intended, but overzealous electrical installations burdening a business with unnecessary cost. I’ve put together a simple guide with examples to help you chose the appropriate electrical solution for your category. So, next time someone says “machine safety”, you don’t need to run for cover. Check it out. […]