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

4 Excuses NOT to Take Your Enclosure Cooling Maintenance Seriously

Rittal

There is an adage that time is money, this is true when it comes to production downtime. Hold ups in production could result in lost money- a lot of lost money!

Losses of upto £480,000 have been suggested that one of the UK’s largest automotive manufacturers could lose EACH HOUR; when they experience downtime on their paint plant. Your overheads may not be as substantial as the above example, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the old adage you hear in every corner of business and production is true:

Regardless of your industry and the product you manufacture, production downtime is a crucial performance indicator to monitor because of the direct impact it can have on your bottom line. More downtime equals increased spares/maintenance costs, taken directly from your profit. This could have been invested to meet more pertinent business objectives, purchasing new machinery etc..

Do you ever hear any of the following excuses as reason not to tackle climate control provision and maintenance in your production and automation facilities?

1) “I will just fix a problem when it occurs”

In the past, the approach of reactive maintenance was seen as acceptable for most businesses. However, times have changed. The key goals of any sized business are now becoming “increased throughput”, “Cost Efficiency”, “Continuous Improvement”. Potential roadblocks to output targets need to be nipped in the bud and nobody wants to be the one in the morning meeting explaining why yesterday’s targets weren’t met!

The implementation of a semi-regular maintenance schedule doesn’t have to be massively time-consuming. Even something as simple as a weekly visual check of cooling equipment filter mats or any system alarms can alert you in good time to call in the experts, who can then perform a more detailed review for you.

2) “We just open the enclosure door for a while”

This is treating the symptoms rather than the illness. If you are having to resort to a tactic such as using large fans to blow ambient air into an open enclosure you could be doing more harm than good. Not to mention that this is a massively dangerous solution from a health and safety standpoint.

An enclosure’s purpose is to create an environment in which electrical equipment is protected from ambient contaminants. Having the door open allows a constant stream of dirty air to be pulled into the enclosure. This will then gather in switchgear/connection points and can cause short circuits or block on-board fans which will result in damage to componentry, reduced life and possible critical component failure.

If this course of action is required it can point to the fact that the cooling equipment currently employed is not adequate for the installation, or it requires some level of maintenance to bring it back into working order.

A RiAssure FREE Cooling Review from Rittal is perfect in this instance as your local Climate Control expert will perform a short appraisal of your existing equipment, give you honest feedback as to whether the equipment is adequate, and also provide details/quotations for a service contract to suit your ongoing needs.

3) “My equipment is currently operating, and I haven’t serviced it in months/years”

The problem may be “out of sight, out of mind” for now but the longer your cooling equipment is left unchecked, the higher the risk.

For example, if a fan unit is in a dusty environment and the filter mat becomes clogged, this will reduce its effectiveness to cool the electrical equipment within due to a reduced level of air throughput.

This in turn can increase the enclosure internal temperature. As a rule of thumb, for every 10°C you increase your internal temperature, you halve the life of the equipment within and increase the likelihood of an unexpected failure.

4) “I don’t have the manpower/we have a company who does that work for us”

Many companies I visit tell me that they outsource their servicing to a third party, however I tend to question what checks they are performing, given that I have been called onto site because an enclosure is overheating!

On one occasion, I asked the customer to speak with his current service provider to understand what checks were being undertaken, because his cooling units were in quite a state of disrepair. It became clear after a short discussion that they serviced “Air Conditioning” in the offices and didn’t even look in the factory…

Obviously, this is not the case for all service providers out there, however climate control equipment becoming increasingly efficient, while new, sophisticated, cutting-edge technology is launched every year. The only guarantee of the highest level of checks and service will come from engineers who have been trained by the manufacturers about the technology and its detailed workings.

Rittal has been manufacturing industry-leading climate control equipment for 30 years and all of our service staff are highly trained on the whole portfolio to ensure they can remedy your issues.

Take the introductory example again and turn the spotlight onto your business. Everyone has budgets and savings targets to hit, so ask yourself, can you afford NOT to have correct maintenance in place?

Thanks for reading!

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