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.