Electrical Enclosures

Decentralized Control Systems to the Rescue

Guest contributor,  Bob White, Kollmorgen

Less Cabling, Smaller controls cabinet, Less heat…wow, that’s all great stuff.  I can achieve this all with a decentralized solution? Absolutely – and even more! 

Decentralized Control Architecture means shifting the motion control drives from the crowded cabinets, and moving them near to the motors – out on the machine where the action is.  Immediately you can see that this can reduce the size of the controls cabinet, moving all of those drives out onto the machine – but how do I see these other advantages?

Decentralized ArchitectureIt’s not JUST about moving the drives out onto the machine, near or integrated with the motors, but also how you design your entire control system.  Think about a conventional Centralized Control Architecture – all of your drives, power supplies and other I/O are jammed into a large cabinet and cables are run to each motor – and since we are talking conventional, this likely means multiple cables (power and feedback for each motor). So in a decentralized solution, the motor, feedback and fieldbus communication needs to be run through a single cable, and the control architecture  allows communications to function over the fieldbus loop.

So thinking about it that way, with an 8 axis machine – Control cabinet 5 meters from the initial motor, and subsequent axes 3 meters apart – this adds up quickly to almost 250 meters of cabling (Power and Feedback) using a centralized approach.

Centralized vs Decentralized ImageImagine now – A decentralized solution, drives located within a meter of the motor they are driving – you cut cabling down to a mere 35 meters!  Do the math – an 86% reduction!  Throw in extended I/O and your savings jumps to almost 90%  SO – Point 1 – Substantially reduced cables cost – not just from the mere reduction in cable length, but in reduced costs associated form cable management trays and even the labor to run the cables.

But there’s more (or do I mean less).  Smaller cabinet, less electronics, means less heat to dissipate – electronics usually don’t like the heat, so they tend to get some cool air, provided by some nice air conditioning system.  Less heat, less need for an expensive air conditioning unit, AND less energy consumption.

One other element not so readily apparent with a good decentralized design – flexibility!  Designing with a decentralized drive architecture in mind from the start opens up new possibilities.  This allows more flexibility in modularization.  We’ll cover this modularization concept in a follow on blog topic next time…

All of these advantages help the OEM build a more efficient machine, with less components, reduction in assembly time, and more flexibility in design – improving the marketability of the machine.  End users enjoy the lower cost of ownership and increase reliability – and potentially space savings on their factory floor.

Decentralized Machine Vision

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CMA/Flodyne/Hydradyne is an authorized  Kollmorgen distributor in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Northern Indiana.In addition to distribution, we design and fabricate complete engineered systems, including hydraulic power units, electrical control panels, pneumatic panels & aluminum framing. Our advanced components and system solutions are found in a wide variety of industrial applications such as wind energy, solar energy, process control and more.

Industrial Enclosures Protect Components in Harsh Environments

Guest contributor: Steve Sullivan, Rittal Training Manager

Industrial enclosures face harsh conditions. From blazing to frigid temperatures, to dust, oil, dirt, airborne corrosives and liquids. Industrial engineers know that the manufacturing environment poses a multitude of challenges to the integrity of the control panel infrastructure.

 Environmental protection of the control panel infrastructure is never simple. Determining factors in the selection of an industrial enclosure can include the most extreme conditions. The key to selecting the superior enclosure is evaluating the harshest environment possible, and specifying an enclosure that can withstand any setting.

Foreign substances

Environment elements that can affect the performance of the control panel include the picture-2
penetration of foreign substances (water, dust, dirt, oils, etc.). The delicate electronic equipment housed inside the enclosure can fail with even minimal exposure to external substances.

The Rittal TS 8 combats the ingress of these substances with a four-point latching system and a foamed-in-place gasket system. This forms a continuous barrier around the enclosure skin ensuring a gap-free seal. This creates a superior seal and memory retention to block out the challenges of any environment.

Temperature

The control panel infrastructure faces temperature challenges on two fronts. First, internal temperature is affected by the heat generated from the operation of control panel devices. The external or ambient temperature also affects the enclosure and the operating control panels.

Fully compatible with the TS 8 is Rittal’s line of cooling solutions for both enclosure based and room based thermal management. With 30% to 50% of energy costs attributed to cooling systems, Rittal designs maximum cooling efficiency into each solution: CRAC, in line/in row, chillers, pipe installations, water distribution cabinets or water heat exchangers.

The delicate dew point balance between the load temperature and the ambient temperature is maintained, preventing damaging condensation of the control panels.

Washdown

When washdown of enclosures is required, the control panels must be protected. Exposed to harsh chemical cleansers, high pressure and/or heated water and frequent cleaning can break down some sealing systems. Rittal’s impervious seal guards the vital control panel components from the most stringent cleaning procedures.

Corrosive Elements

Whether an enclosure is in an indoor or outdoor environment, corrosion can be a factor in the breakdown of the enclosure’s durability. Outdoor factors such as sun, snow, salt or chemicals can damage the exterior of some enclosures. Acids, solvents, alkalis, oils and industrial chemicals can threaten an enclosure housed on the factory floor.

Rittal engineers designed a three-step painting process to combat any environmental abuse. Similar to the process used in the automotive industry, an electrophoretic dip-coat primer is applied, followed by a two-part primer nano-coat and final powder coat. This provides a finished external barrier on the TS 8 for any climate, interior or exterior.

Enclosure material construction

A variety of materials have been used for industrial enclosures. The stainless steel 316 construction of the Rittal TS 8 has been proven to be impervious to the most corrosive environments and superior to lesser steel or powder coated materials. Stainless steel 316, combined with the three-step finish has proven durability in the most extreme conditions.

The environmental protection offered by the Rittal TS 8 has been field tested in more than 10 million installations, in industries like oil and gas, mining, pulp and paper, food and beverage and life sciences. For more information on the TS 8 and all of Rittal’s flexible industrial solutions, download our Fact Book today to start your change for the better.

About Us

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CMA/Flodyne/Hydradyne is an authorized  Rittal distributor in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Northern Indiana.

In addition to distribution, we design and fabricate complete engineered systems, including hydraulic power units, electrical control panels, pneumatic panels & aluminum framing. Our advanced components and system solutions are found in a wide variety of industrial applications such as wind energy, solar energy, process control and more.

LED Lighting System Designed Exclusively for Industrial Enclosures

Guest contributor: Steve Sullivan, Rittal

Rittal has set a new standard with the LED compact system light. The innovative LED technology shines into every corner of industrial enclosures, from the roof to the floor. No other enclosure light on the market today provides the lumen power…up to three times the luminous flux of the next closest competitor.

Rittal accomplishes this with intelligent lighting tailored to the geometry of the enclosure. Light is dispersed through a special optical cover with Fresnel structure, in two designs for precise lighting. The cover rotates easily, for adaptive light distribution. With enormous intensity, from 900 to 1200 lumens, the light provides brilliant illumination.

The LED system light matches the footprint of fluorescent lighting on the market, and simplifies specification requirements for the market. It is low maintenance and easy on energy as well.led_light

Rotating connectors support installation, even in the most confined spaces. With a swivel option, the light direction can be changed to spot-illuminate any part of the enclosure. Through-wiring is plug and play, and it can be additionally equipped with a socket for available electricity wherever it’s needed for maintenance work. Daisy chain multiple units, up to 15 direct wire or 10 with socket. Variants with integral motion detectors eliminate the need for installing separate door-operated switches.

The LED Compact lighting is safe, with an extra-low voltage range. As with all Rittal products, the product matches global standards, and the LED system light is suitable for wide range voltage from 100-240 V (AC) and 24 V (DC). It is fully certified by E76083 requirements.

Rittal makes installation simple. It is perfectly integrated to the TS 8. Fast, tool-free assembly on a latching hook system uses a 25 mm pitch pattern of holes to simply latch and secure. Optional screw-fastening is also available, or opt for complete flexibility with magnetic attachment to freely position the light anywhere in the enclosure.

The light may be fitted horizontally or vertically with no loss of space in the enclosure. Existing rails and sections can simply be covered. Lights with motion detectors are equipped with a rotating LED board as standard, allowing the direction of the light to be perfectly adapted to any installation situation.

The newly released LED system light brings optimum illumination of the entire enclosure. It can be attached a variety of ways: with clip, screw or magnet for a configuration to brighten every application. It can be installed in just two minutes, and the cable connection rotates a full 90°, not just in one direction like other lights.

About Us

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CMA/Flodyne/Hydradyne is an authorized  Rittal distributor in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Northern Indiana.

In addition to distribution, we design and fabricate complete engineered systems, including hydraulic power units, electrical control panels, pneumatic panels & aluminum framing. Our advanced components and system solutions are found in a wide variety of industrial applications such as wind energy, solar energy, process control and more.

Improving Arc Flash Prevention and Safety

Guest contributor: Steve Sullivan, Rittal

Working among the electrical components in an enclosure comes with inherent risks. The power in any one enclosure can range from 2kw up to 200kw depending on the power density. One of the most common and dangerous risk is an arc flash (or flashover).

When an explosive release of energy erupts from a phase-to-phase or phase-to-ground arc fault the results range from devastating to deadly. This air to ground electrical explosion is a critical concern for engineers and managers who are charged with the safety of their employees.

The Destructive Force of an Arc Flash

The dangers from an arc flash are all too well known. Five to 10 of these accidents occur every day in the United States. When metal expands and vaporizes at the fault, it causes extreme heating of the air, upwards of 10,000°C/18,032°F. The concussive pressure wave can knock personnel off their feet, the ultraviolet light flash can cause blindness, the sound blast, deafness and the molten metal and heat can cause second and third degree burns. The specific death toll has been estimated to be up to 1-2 people per day worldwide.

An arc flash can be the result of unsafe work procedures, accidental contact or more systemic problems such as corrosion of components and connections or insulation failure. Arc flash prevention should be incorporated into any application from the beginning of the design process.

Minimizing Arc Flash Exposure

Design and retrofit approaches can limit exposure by using components installed outside the enclosure to permit qualified personnel in personal protective equipment (PPE) to service equipment inside without opening the enclosure door. Interface flaps and window kits permit data retrieval, equipment monitoring or routine maintenance to be performed from outside. Collapsible fold down shelves be raised for use with laptops and monitoring equipment. External data pockets can hold wiring diagrams, operation manuals and other documents.

Rittal and Arc Flash Protection

Sometimes components must be accessed from inside the enclosure. Rittal’s arc flash solution is designed to keep high and low voltage equipment within the confines of their own respective enclosures. Low voltage enclosures house equipment that is used for programming, data acquisition and system adjustment.

High voltage components are isolated within their own disconnect enclosure, while line side power is segregated within the power isolation enclosure. A partition wall acts as a barrier to high voltage line side power. Rittal’s interlocking door system ensures that the high voltage enclosure cannot be opened while the disconnect switch is in “ON” position.

For additional safety, all interlocked doors and master door must be closed in order to re-energize the enclosure. This removes potential for accidental contact with the inline power when the disconnect enclosure is put in a safe power-off position, and locked and tagged out.

Minimizing exposure to line side power can help protect personnel from accidents. A qualified person wearing PPE and following appropriate safe work practices can perform visual inspections and tasks, such as diagnosis, testing, troubleshooting and voltage measurement with the door open even when the main enclosure is energized.

Rittal offers an unlimited choice of low-voltage and high-voltage enclosure combinations. More important than saving down time caused by having to power down the whole system to service, the Rittal arc flash solution helps to decrease the risk personnel being exposed to arc flash-related injuries.

Safety is always your priority, so download Rittal’s Arc Flash and How to Prevent it whitepaper for the first step towards arc flash prevention.

About Us

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CMA/Flodyne/Hydradyne is an authorized  Rittal distributor in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Northern Indiana.

In addition to distribution, we design and fabricate complete engineered systems, including hydraulic power units, electrical control panels, pneumatic panels & aluminum framing. Our advanced components and system solutions are found in a wide variety of industrial applications such as wind energy, solar energy, process control and more.

 

Considerations for Industrial Enclosure Cooling

Guest contributor, Eric Corzine, Product Manager – Climate Control, Rittal

Data Centers and server racks run hot. Protecting the technology backbone of your company means managing air flow, temperature, energy consumption and cooling technology.

Rittal, the world’s largest enclosure manufacturer and a leader in thermal management of electrical, electronic and IT equipment, offers some important guidelines to ensure your equipment stays in optimum condition. The following tips are based on decades of practical experience in the use of enclosures climate control solution in industrial environments. By ensuring sufficient planning and maintenance guidelines are in place, control cabinets and electronic enclosures can be last longer and be more energy-efficient.

7 Considerations for More Efficient Enclosures

1. Devices and electrical components must be installed in the enclosure in accordance with the manufacturer instructions. Storage space for necessary documents and circuit diagrams should also be taken into account during the planning phase.

2. When arranging the components in the enclosure, verify that the cooling air flows from top to bottom. You can ensure this in the planning stages by properly routing the air flow away from the electronic components. When roof-mounted units are used, particular attention needs to be paid to the air flow from blowers built into electrical components. The use of air duct systems is advisable in the case of roof-mounted cooling units

Proper Enclosure Heat Dissipation

3. There should be sufficient space for air to flow between the parts and electrical components.

4. Air intake openings of climate control components must not be obstructed by electrical devices equipment or cable ducts. With all climate control solutions, the cold air should always be routed close to drive units. This is where the greatest heat losses occur. This arrangement ensures that the cold supply air from the climate control solution optimally cools the drive units without losses.

Air intake design for cooling enclosures

5. Internal temperatures of the enclosure should always be set to +35◦C. There is no technical justification for setting the temperature any lower. If the temperature inside the enclosure is any lower, condensation will be significantly increased.

6. Institute a systematic cleaning cycle. As most climate control components are used in industrial environments external filters of the climate control must be maintained to ensure long-lasting operation.

7. Ensure the correct filters are used for the industry application.

PU Filter for Industrial Enclosure Cooling

In heavily dust-laden atmospheres, PU filters should be used and replaced on a regular basis. Cooling units with Ri Nano coating typically do not need a dust filter.

Metal Filter for Enclosures

If the air is oil-contaminated, use metal filters. These separate the oil condensate from the air and can be cleaned with appropriate detergents

Textile Enclosure Lint Filter

In the textile industry, the use of lint filters is recommended.

Fiber Mat Filter

Chopped fibre mat filters are not suitable for cooling units.

CMAFH Rittal Resources:

Rittal Wallmount Program

Rittal Enclosure and Process Cooling handbook

Rittal Innovations 2016

The Future of Cooling Technology in Industrial Enclosures

by Eric Corzine, Product Manager, Climate Control at Rittal

As industrial processes scale, the threats and challenges of cooling the racks of automation equipment increase exponentially. Sophisticated, sensitive electronics and drives are the backbone of many industrial systems. This equipment is often placed inside enclosures to protect it from environmental influences such as temperature, moisture and contaminants like corrosive vapors and dust. If these are not prevented, electronic components will inevitably fail, eventually leading to the shut-down of entire production systems. The failure of a production system can add up to losses for an operation.

What will the future look like?
The single most important environmental factor to manage in industrial enclosures is temperature.  Relative to each individual component, the heat of electronic components has increased significantly in recent years. At the same time, the density inside control cabinets has increased dramatically, resulting in a 50 – 60% increase in heat in the enclosures.

With the advent of microelectronics and new electronic components, the requirements for professional enclosure construction and heat dissipation have evolved dramatically over the last few years. Modern enclosure climate control systems must take these challenges into account, offering the best technical solution while guaranteeing optimum energy efficiency. If heat is not managed properly and the maximum permitted operating temperature is exceeded, the service life of these components is halved and the failure rate is doubled.

Trouble-free operation and functioning of production lines is heavily dependent on how the heat generated by electrical and electronic components is dissipated from the enclosure to the ambient environment. We distinguish three different types methods of heat transfer:

  • Thermal radiation
  • Thermal conduction
  • Convection

In the case of enclosures and electronic housings, we are mainly concerned with thermal conduction and convection. With thermal radiation, heat is passed from one body to another in the form of radiation energy, without a medium material, and plays a minor role here.

Whether we are dealing with heat conduction or convection depends on whether the enclosure is open (air permeable) or closed (air-tight). With an open enclosure, the heat (heat loss) can be dissipated from the enclosure by means of air circulation, i.e. thermal conduction, from inside to outside and is typically in a controlled environment such as data centers. However, if the enclosure has to remain closed due to harsher conditions, the heat can only be dissipated via the enclosure walls, i.e. through convection. Depending on the amount of heat loss of the components, these methods may not sufficiently cool the equipment and a climate control product may be required.

Identifying the proper cooling device depends upon the differences between the ambient temperature (Tu) and the desired enclosure internal temperature (Ti).

An additional factor to consider when choosing a means to cooling is the environment in which the enclosure is installed and the ingress protection (IP) rating required.  Each climate product has corresponding IP ratings:

Other innovative, hybrid cooling technologies have been developed that rely upon two parallel cooling circuits working together depending on the temperature differential. An integral heat pipe dissipates heat from the enclosure when the ambient temperature is below the setpoint, providing passive cooling. Active climatization is achieved when the compressor’s cooling circuit is engaged and provides cooling via speed-controlled components for demand-based cooling. Combining the two circuits reduces temperature hysteresis and provides more precise cooling. Not only is energy consumption far less than with conventional technology, but the improved temperature stability leads to longer service life of both the components within the enclosure and the cooling unit itself.

The reliability of electrical and electronic components in an enclosure can be put at risk not only by excessively high temperatures, but also by excessively low ones. The enclosure interior must be heated, particularly to prevent moisture and protect against frost. It is also necessary to prevent condensation within the enclosure. The latest generation of enclosure heaters has been developed with the help of extensive Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analyses. The positioning of the heater is of fundamental importance for even temperature distribution inside the enclosure. Placement of the heater in the floor area of the enclosure is recommended in order to achieve an optimum distribution of temperature and hence efficiency. Thanks to positive temperature coefficient (PTC) technology, power consumption is reduced at the maximum heater surface temperature. Together with a thermostat, this results in demand-oriented, energy-saving heating.

Smarter, intuitive, and more efficient designs will need to be a staple no matter what setting the enclosure is in.  Designers will need to take careful consideration in the initial planning stages of projects, ensuring that the appropriate cooling technology is incorporated into designs.

ABOUT US

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CMA/Flodyne/Hydradyne is an authorized  Rittal distributor in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Northern Indiana.

In addition to distribution, we design and fabricate complete engineered systems, including hydraulic power units, electrical control panels, pneumatic panels & aluminum framing. Our advanced components and system solutions are found in a wide variety of industrial applications such as wind energy, solar energy, process control and more.