Reduce down-time, equipment failure and energy use

Running manufacturing automation systems at high temperatures will have a major negative impact on the system’s performance and reduce its service life.  By not keeping their drives at or close to their optimum operating temperature, manufacturers risk huge consequential costs when the production line grinds to a halt as a result of system failure.


A typical electrical component’s life expectancy is approximately halved for every 10 °C increase in its ambient temperature. Controlling the temperature within enclosures is therefore critical for manufacturers to avoid premature component failure and the interruption to production if the automation system falls over.

A Rittal RiAssure3 survey will identify the likely risk of a system overheating which could lead to equipment tripping or failing.  The survey will review any existing cooling solution and determine how suited it is to that particular working environment. It will then provide recommendations around remedial action – for example, changes to the system’s service and maintenance regime to help improve its efficacy or the need to invest in different climate control technology.

A basic checklist for reviewing climate controls in a manufacturing automation system:

  • Equipment tripping or failing due to high temperatures which is having an impact on production lines, in that they are either slowing or stopping completely
  • Enclosures which feel hot to the touch
  • Enclosure doors regularly left open or a need for large fans blowing into the panels as the weather improves
  • An inadequate chilling of process fluids which results in production down-time
  • Or simply the opportunity of a health check for the cooling solution

As summer approaches, ambient temperatures will rise which could push operating temperatures beyond the limit of the existing equipment, so tackling the issue now could be a timely call.

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Demand based cooling and monitoring… from a fan-and-filter unit!

Rittal has launched a new EC Speed Control, compatible with larger models from the TopTherm EC fan-and-filter unit range (uninstalled air throughputs between 180 m³/h and 900 m³/h).

Fan-and-filter units with electronically commutated (EC) motors for electrical enclosure cooling are already recognized for their lower energy consumption and extended service life.  Furthermore, infinite speed control as well as a monitoring signal are much simpler to incorporate in an EC motor than on the AC motor equivalent.

Rittal’s new EC Speed Control supports these benefits, and adds a number of others.  It can be used to reduce noise output of EC fan-and-filter units, as well as lower energy consumption still further through the ability to control the speed of up to four units.  Cooling demand – and hence the required fan speed – is determined by comparing the sensed temperature inside the enclosure with the set-point temperature on the device, from +5 °C to +55 °C.

The Rittal EC Speed Control is also able to closely monitor the status of the fan.  The unit provides a local visual display of the
operating status and incorporates an alarm relay for the remote monitoring of over-temperature, fan defect, cable break and
sensor failure.

This exciting and innovative new product sees the humble fan-and-filter unit come of age, providing demand-based cooling,
greater temperature stability inside the enclosure, and performance monitoring, alerting users to any problems with their cooling system.

It transforms the fan-and-filter unit into a smart solution perfectly suited to the modern technical era.

Rittal_EC_Speed_Control [Print]

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