Top Tips for Enclosure Cooling

Rittal
It’s safe to say that there is a great deal of uncertainty at the moment; something which is being felt not just in the UK but in many countries across the world.

In these circumstances, the best thing that businesses can do is protect their existing assets. It’s fundamentally important to ensure that all assets perform at an optimum level during their entire service life, and for an organisation to continue its journey towards increased efficiency and reliability so that it can remain competitive in a changing marketplace.

In the industrial space, a company’s lifeblood is its machinery and all machinery has critical components such as its a.c inverters, motors etc. without which a very expensive robotic arm is just an elaborate statue, collecting dust. So it’s important that electrical equipment is housed within a protective environment, to ensure it operates to its full potential. 

A protective environment takes the form of both high quality enclosures and correctly prescribed climate control equipment. The two items work together to safeguard your equipment from the following:

High Temperatures Impact the Lifespan of Equipment

Prolonged high internal temperatures reduce the lifespan of your equipment. This will mean an increased chance of unplanned breakdowns, increased costs and reduced production output.

Furthermore, your equipment cannot work at 100% output once its maximum operating temperature has been exceeded, which means you will experience an overall reduction in your machine’s efficiency and reduced manufacturing output.

To prevent high temperatures being reached within the enclosure, correctly sized enclosure cooling products should be installed. This could be fans and filters, cooling units or air-to-water heat exchangers, dependant on both the amount of heat produced by the electrical equipment and the ambient temperature in the surrounding environment.

Low Temperatures Can Also Damage Equipment

Equipment needs protecting from low temperatures as much as high ones. In winter, when ambient temperatures drop, any equipment that has been idle over the weekend can be damaged as soon as it’s turned on from cold.

In addition, motors or compressors can experience problems when oil contained within sealed systems begins to increase in viscosity. This can damage the seals/components, again causing failures.

To prevent this happening, you should fit a correctly sized enclosure heater inside the enclosure. When connected to a thermostat, the heater will maintain an acceptable minimum temperature preventing any damage to electrical equipment caused when the low temperature minimum is exceeded.

Condensate Poses Safety Risk

Condensate can be a real issue when it forms within the enclosure and on critical equipment in high humidity environments. Condensate poses a real safety risk to the electrical devices and can cause catastrophic failure if left unchecked.

You can combat this problem by using a high quality industrial enclosure with a minimum of an IP54 seal to prevent humid air from constantly entering the enclosure. This can be combined with a cooling unit featuring an integrated condensate evaporator; the cooling unit acts as a de-humidifier and removes excess condensate from the pocket of air within the sealed enclosure.

Dust, Dirt and Corrosive Substances

Many industries suffer from dusty or dirty environments, which can impact on electrical equipment and its optimum performance. For example:

  1. Carbon dust in the steel or manufacturing industry
  2. Yeast or vinegar extract in the food and beverage industry
  3. Salt water vapour in the air in a marine or coastal application

The above contaminants will attack the wires and electrical connections within your enclosure. In time, this can corrode or (worse) short connections, which in turn can cause excess heat and/or a panel fire.

In highly contaminated environments, the best advice is to use a cooling product which does not allow dirty ambient air to constantly enter the enclosure, so fans and filters are a no-no. Air-to-air or air-to-water heat exchangers and cooling units are best solutions, dependant on the heat load as they will only treat the small pocket of air within the enclosure, but they will also reduce the level of contaminants entering the space.

Cooling Top Tips

Any change or upheaval that impacts on a company’s trading environment brings with it challenges, but also opportunities. The trick is always to optimise your business for success, reducing costs wherever possible, while maximising productivity and efficiency.

The long term benefits of maintaining a protective environment and allowing your equipment to perform to its optimum will, in turn, help your business to flourish.

If you need anymore help or advice with control panels or climate control, call LC Automation on 01254 685900 and our experts will be happy to help!

Thanks for reading!

Like what you read? This article was published by By Karl Lycett. For more information go to www.rittal.co.uk

Maintain Your Cool – Autumn is Here! … Time to Reflect

Rittal

Finally! The temperature seems to be reducing to a more bearable level, the nights are slowly drawing in and… do I see a hint of colour change in the trees?

That’s right Autumn is upon us once again and that can only mean one thing… It’s time to stop, look back at the summer period and understand how things went…

Four seasons campaign – Autumn October

Did You See –

  1. Electrical equipment under stress?
  2. Unexpected breakdowns?
  3. Emergency repairs needed on critical equipment?

If any of this sounds familiar or has happened to you, now is the perfect time to put plans into place to make your life easier when next summer hits.

Protecting Your Electrical Equipment

Servicing, upgrading or even specifying some brand-new Climate Control to protect your equipment is one of the most effective ways of creating a protective environment for your sensitive electrical equipment within your enclosures and ensuring it lasts for many summers to come.

Even if your cooling equipment is up to date, there is always an opportunity to make small improvements which will increase your overall efficiency. 

Implementation of Industry 4.0 Principles

A great example is the implementation of Industry 4.0 principles, simply put this is taking any data generated by cooling equipment and allowing it to be directly reported into your building management systems or straight to the relevant person in charge of managing the health of your electrical equipment.

This reduces the need for daily walk round with a clipboard, making notes of any issues. This old-style approach can result in things being missed and breakdowns occurring unexpectedly, however, with the solutions available you can choose to have e-mails sent directly to key personnel whenever limits have been reached and warning flags are showing. This means staff are more efficient and know they will be notified if any issues begin to arise. 

We know that your sole focus doesn’t lie on Climate Control. You have more important things to worry about, mainly keeping your business up and running and producing for your customers.

Helping You Get The Most Out of Your Equipment

That is where Rittal and LC Automation can help. Over the next three months we are going to cover a different theme related to Climate Control but with the focus on how you can utilise this information to get the most out of your equipment, by creating that protective environment and allowing it to thrive and stay healthy.

This takes the workload off you when the temperature starts to rise again and allows you to concentrate on more important matters while knowing you have implemented systems to keep your equipment chugging along.

Energy Efficient and Cost Effective

The additional benefits of undertaking this action is the reduction in energy usage and costs related to the replacement of spare parts etc. If items are tripping out every year, this causes a high level of wear on components which can result in more order being produced to replace burnt out cards etc.. All of these small changes are going to impact your bottom line and overall efficiency.

The Next Three Months Topics Are Going to be as Follows;

  1. Service & Maintenance of Cooling Equipment
  2. The Fundamentals of Cooling
  3. Focus on: Cooling Industry

If you are interested in any of the topics mentioned, look out for the latest Rittal Climate articles in the LC Automation email News Update.

In the meantime, if you have any specific questions or would like more information about Climate Control or Rittal Enclosures, give LC Automation a call on 01254 685900. They will be happy to help.

Thanks for reading!

Like what you read? This article was published by By Karl Lycett. For more information go to www.rittal.co.uk

The Top 5 Ways Manufacturers Can Implement IIoT

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With all the acronyms in today’s tech landscape, executives are finding it seemingly impossible to keep up. IIoT is no exception. Manufacturers are beginning to sort out how they can make IIoT a reality in their organisation as a way to gain granular-level insight, save costs, extend equipment lifetime and improve process visibility.

According to an Accenture report, IIoT help companies “capture new growth through three approaches: boost revenues by increasing production and creating new hybrid business models, exploit intelligent technologies to fuel innovation, and transform their workforce.” By implementing IIoT into their facilities’ processes, manufacturers can be poised to increase growth while reducing costs.  

While there is no single framework to fit all organisations, manufacturers can follow these five steps to successfully implement IIoT technology in their operations efficiently, effectively and safely:

Connect and Communicate

One of the benefits of IIoT is the ability to access data from machinery around the facility to gain insight, but this information is not available without the proper communication capabilities. Whether the equipment was deployed 50 or five years ago, integrating new or existing sensors with wireless, Ethernet, serial or fiber cables is the first step in collecting data. Once sensors are properly connected, the machinery can then communicate locally and relay information back to manufacturing teams.

Monitor

After ensuring that all machinery is communicating, manufacturers need the ability to continuously monitor the data flowing around the facility. If the facility includes remote locations, then a 3G or 4G/LTE network will help manufacturers monitor equipment without actually being there. Separate Internet connections or cellular routers will help push the data into the cloud, giving manufacturers the ability to view the data remotely at all times.

Secure

Introducing innovative technologies into the manufacturing facility requires reevaluating existing security protocols. In an era that is full of data breaches, manufacturers need to ensure all sensitive data being transmitted –  both inside and outside the organisation – is fully protected and out of the hands of wrongdoers. Special consideration should be paid to any older equipment that is being exposed to networking through the use of protocol conversion, as security may not have originally been designed into the equipment.

Analyse

With the introduction of IIoT-ready technologies, there will be more data than ever before, which can be counter-productive if not analysed correctly. Manufacturers need to know how to properly gather and analyse data from each machine to gain actionable insights that help streamline processes in the plant, not make them more difficult. Protocol conversion, data logging and visual management will provide ways to collect, monitor and analyse real-time data to provide more visibility into operational conditions revolving around productivity within the plant.

Train

Implementing IIoT means there is more advanced technologies than ever before, which can be overwhelming for a manufacturer. The best way to ease into the new data-driven facility is to offer training to better understand IIoT-ready technologies and demonstrate how automation and networking can help them succeed. 

IIoT will become an inevitable and integral reality within every manufacturing facility, enabling companies to cut costs while maintaining growth. By following these steps, implementing new technologies will be a smooth transition, not a cumbersome and counterproductive burden. Manufacturing will soon thrive with increased visibility and access to the insights they need to remain innovative, productive and ahead of their competition.

This article was previously posted on the Red Lion blog. Check out http://content.redlion.net/TheLionsDen for the latest Red Lion news.