New ways to check out the latest with the NEW Rittal Blogs

We have moved our online blog to a new home.

Do you want more information on product launches, industry standards, and advice on how to retain your equipment?

Rittal’s blog contains all this information and more! All written by our highly qualified team, you will receive up to date information on current topics and exciting projects.

So why not check out Rittal’s NEW blog page to stay up to date with current topics about new trends in #engineering, exciting projects and latest updates.

Click the link to navigate to Rittal’s blog page: Rittal Blog

Panel building Blog

We’ve even developed a joint blog with our sister company EPLAN. The new RITTAL & EPLAN UK Panel Building Blog provides information on current topics, latest trends and industry updates to help panel builders achieve improved productivity, accuracy, repeatability and quality.

Click the link for latest panel building news: EPLAN & Rittal UK Blog

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Keep Your Cool & Avoid Expensive Business Disruption at DCW 2020

We have move our on line blog to a new home – click the link for the latest news: Rittal Blog

Karl Lycett – Rittal UK’s Product Manager for Climate Control

The phrase “up-time” is an oft-repeated phrase for IT professionals, reflecting the fact that a key measure of their success is service availability. Modern climate control systems support “up-time” but to understand why, you first need to consider the impact of poor climate control in order to decide which equipment to employ to take an installation to the next level.
IT manufacturers are increasing performance capabilities with each new generation of technology, while also reducing footprint. This leads to the heat-load within racks rising. If this is left unchecked, notably after an upgrade, it risks causing significant harm to your IT systems.
Shorter Operating Life
IT equipment is extremely sensitive and must be kept in a strict temperature range to perform to its full potential. Straying outside these limits will speed up aging, shorten its lifespan and ultimately increase costs.
Reduced Performance & Reliability
Equipment that is exposed to higher temperatures will reduce output to the point where it may shut down if a high enough threshold is met. Not surprisingly, mission critical equipment that ceases operating can have very serious consequences for a business; a production line error or loss of e-mail systems is expensive to correct and carries the risk of major reputational damage.
Increased Energy Costs
Users who have added additional equipment may find their cooling system has to work harder to maintain the status quo, which then leads to a spike in energy consumption as well as a reduction in the life of the cooling system.

Small changes for major improvements
Rittal’s team can provide guidance on how even small improvements can make significant differences to the efficiency of a cooling system, as well as lower costs.
Blanking Spare U’s
Unoccupied rack space can mean the resulting spare ‘U’ is left vacant. This allows hot air to leak into the cold area of the rack, which in turn affects the overall efficiency of the cooling equipment, reducing the ‘ΔT’ along with the overall cooling performance.
The use of blanking strips can fill up the spare ‘U’ and ensure separation.
Brush/Foam Strips
The same principle applies anywhere cables enter the rack and within the space either side of the 19” angles. These points allow both hot and cold air to mix and permits ambient air into the rack.
The application of brush strips to the roof and base plate still allows the installation of new cabling, while still ensuring an effective seal. Foam strips that can be modified to suit a gap provide a solid barrier to either side of the angles and prevent an air short-circuit.
Aisle Containment
If perforated doors are being used then the installation of aisle containment should be high on the priority list. This is a system of door and wall pieces which create a barrier between the warm air and the cool air. The layout is at the customer’s discretion but a ‘Cold Aisle’ creates a pocket of cold air which can be utilised by all racks in the vicinity, and the ‘Hot Aisle’ is the opposite, in which the hot air from numerous racks is kept in one zone.
This system is practical, it is modular and suits existing installs. It can increase performance and reduce the energy consumption of existing cooling equipment which may avoid the need for an upgrade.

Considerations for new installations

  1. Types of cooling
    There are many types of systems, each suited to different applications.
    If the heat load is small then fans can draw air through the rack and perform the cooling.
    As heat density increases, there is need for mechanical cooling which uses either a Direct eXpansion (refrigerant) circuit or a Cold Water product connected to a chiller. Both are known as “split systems”. They have their product in the white space, delivering cold air but employ a condenser for DX or chiller for CW. This approach has limitations dependant on manufacturer as there are maximum distances that have to be adhered to prevent any issues with pressure etc.
    The installation will require holes being drilled for pipework and electrical supplies for both parts of the system.
  2. Future expansion
    Installing a cooling unit which is only slightly larger than the current loading inevitably means additional costs when new servers are installed. Some manufacturers offer scalable products via the addition of extra fans which allow users to increase the output as needed to ensure that same temperature range is maintained.
    The same point rings true if when a chiller is specified with insufficient room for growth. This leaves two options; either the chiller is replaced with a larger one or the chiller can master slave with other chillers, allowing users to purchase another small chiller to work in tandem.
  3. Redundancy
    Users should also plan for any scenario where the climate control shuts down, and the way to do this is by building-in redundancy. Quite simply, this means adding more units than is needed so that when a product breaks down or requires maintenance, the heat load can be managed through alternative systems.

The Next Level of Operational Optimisation
There are a range of additions that can take the functionality of your IT equipment to the next level.

Get connected
Data Centre Infrastructure Management Software (DCIM) is offered by many manufacturers and allows the user to visualise their white space and equipment.
If a DCIM is used in tandem with connected climate control or power, it gives remote access for the IT manager to live temperatures, energy usage and other variables. If anything changes, the DCIM will issue an alert so the problem can be resolved before it causes any harm to your equipment.
If you have multiple users – for example, if other businesses rent your rack space – it can create security concerns.
Nobody wants an unauthorised person pulling out wires so it’s worth investing in a DCIM in conjunction with lockable racks to prevent unauthorised entry and alert staff to any issue before your equipment is compromised.
In Summary
Good initial planning and future-proofing installations can prevent higher costs and further disruptions for a business down the line.
Come to Rittal’s Stand D510 at DCW (Excel, London, 11-12 March 2020) to find out how our industry-leading experts can help you deliver your climate control requirements and optimise your operational efficiency.

Brilliant Data Centre Lighting from Rittal

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Rittal will be showcasing its portfolio of data centre lighting solutions on Stand D610 at Data Centre World 2020.

Rittal’s LED light guarantees full illumination of standard racks (e.g. Rittal’s TS IT) and the elimination of any dark spaces for optimum user working conditions. The lights deliver an output of 600 lumens, and feature a plastic cover and lenses that ensure that a rack is fully lit from top to bottom precisely where needed.

Easy Set-Up

Rittal’s LED light is easy to fit, either mounted vertically or horizontally, and uses a simple magnetic attachment for quick installation. 

There are two “Plug & Play” connection cables. One features a flat-pin connector making it suitable for all European countries, bar the UK.  Meanwhile, an additional universal cable comes with an IEC C18 connector is designed for International data centres, and is compatible with all standard PDUs (power distribution units). It comes with UL approval and supports a wide range of voltage (100 – 240 V AC, 50/60 Hz) making it suitable for use worldwide, as well as lowering storage costs and simplifying product selection.

Further information at and or on twitter @rittal_ltd.  

Rittal’s portfolio of product and service solutions will be on show at Data Centre World (Excel, London, 11-12 March 2020) on Stand D610.

Rittal’s Key Trends in Data Centres for 2020

We have move our on line blog to a new home – click the link for the latest news: Rittal Blog

By Clive Partridge, Rittal’s Technical Manager for IT Infrastructure

Growing volumes of data, a secure European cloud (data control), rapid upgrades of data centres and rising energy consumption are key areas when it comes to IT/data centre trends in 2020.  

Open Compute Project (OCP) technology and heat recovery are two initiatives which offer solutions for the challenges of the present.

According to the market researchers at IDC (International Data Corporation), humans and machines could be generating 175 zettabytes of data by 2025.  To put this in perspective, if this amount of data were stored on conventional DVDs it would mean 23 stacks of data discs, each of them reaching up to the moon.  With data growth averaging 27 per cent annually, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing increasing pressure on the IT infrastructure. Few companies can afford to increase their data storage by almost a third every year so IT managers are increasingly relying on IT services from the cloud.

However, businesses using cloud solutions from third-party providers do lose some control over their corporate data. That is why, for example, the US Cloud Act (Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data) allows US authorities to access data stored in the cloud, even if local laws where the data is stored prohibit this.

“Future success in business will be sustainable if they keep pace with full digital transformation and integration. Companies will use their data more and more to provide added value – increasingly in real time – for example in the production environment,” says Dr Karl-Ulrich Köhler, CEO of Rittal International.

“Retaining control over data is becoming a critical success factor for international competitiveness,” he adds.

Trend #1: Data control

The self-determined handling of data is thus becoming a key competitive factor for companies. This applies to every industry where data security is a top priority and where the analysis of this data is decisive for business success. Examples include the healthcare, mobility, banking and manufacturing industries.

Companies are now faced with the questions of how to process their data securely and efficiently, and their choices typically centre around whether to modernise their own data centre, invest in edge infrastructures, or use the cloud.

The European “Gaia-X” digital project is due to begin in 2020.   This is an initiative of the Federal Ministry for Economics and Energy (BMWi). The aim is to develop a European cloud for the secure digitalization and networking of industry which will also form the basis for using new artificial intelligence (AI) applications. The Fraunhofer Gesellschaft has drawn up the “International Data Spaces” initiative in this context. This virtual data room allows companies to exchange data securely.The compatibility of their own solutions with established (cloud) platforms (inter-operability) is also covered.

It means that geographically widespread, smaller data centres with open cloud stacks might be able to create a new class of industrial applications performing initial data analysis at the point where the data is created while using the cloud for downstream analysis. One potential solution is ONCITE. This turnkey (plug-and-produce) edge cloud data centre can store and process data where it arises, enabling companies to retain control over their data when networking along the entire supply chain.

Trend #2: Standardisation in data centres with OCP

The rapid upgrade of existing data centres is becoming increasingly important for companies as the volume of data needing to be processed continues to grow.  Essential requirements for this growth are standardised technology, cost-efficient operation and a high level of infrastructure scalability.

The OCP technology (Open Compute Project) with its central direct current distribution in the IT rack is becoming an interesting alternative for more and more CIOs. This is because DC components open up new potentials for cost optimisation. For instance, all the IT components can be powered centrally with n+1 power supplies per rack. This allows for more efficient cooling because fewer power packs are present. At the same time, the high degree of standardisation of OCP components simplifies both maintenance and spare parts management. The average efficiency gain is around five percent of the total current.

Rittal expects that OCP will become established in data centres as an integrated system platform in 2020. New OCP products for rack cooling, power supply or monitoring will enable rapid expansion with DC components. Furthermore, new products will support the conventional concept of a central emergency power supply where the power supply is safeguarded by a central UPS.  As a result, it will no longer be necessary to protect every single OCP rack with a UPS based on lithium-ion batteries so the fire load in the OCP data centre is reduced considerably.

Trend #3: Heat recovery and direct CPU cooling

Data centres release huge amounts of energy into the environment in the form of waste heat. As the power density in the data centre grows, so too do the amounts of heat, which can then potentially be used for other purposes.

So far, however, the use of waste heat has proven too expensive, because consumers are rarely found in the direct vicinity of the site for example. In addition, waste heat, as generated by air-based IT cooling systems, is clearly too low at a temperature of 40 degrees Celsius to be used economically.

In high-performance computing (HPC), IT racks generate high thermal loads; often in excess of 50 kW.  Here, direct processor cooling with water is significantly more efficient than air cooling, delivering return temperatures of 60 to 65 degrees.  This can be used to heat domestic hot water, or use heat pumps, or feed heat into a district heating network.  However, CIOs should be aware that only about 80 percent of the waste heat can be drawn from an IT rack, even with a direct CPU water cooling. IT cooling is still needed by the rack for the remaining 20 percent.

During 2020, we believe significantly more CIOs will become involved in deciding how the previously unused waste heat from the data centre can be used economically.

Trend #4: Integration of multi-cloud environments

Businesses need to be assured that they can run their cloud applications on commonly used platforms, and in any country; this calls for a multi-cloud strategy.   From management’s point of view, this is a strategic decision based on the knowledge that their organisation will develop into a fully digitised business.    For example, companies can deliver an excellent user experience by minimising delays with the appropriate availability zones on site.  This means that companies will choose one or more availability zones worldwide for their services, depending on their business requirements.  Strict data protection requirements can be met by a specialised local provider in the target market concerned.  A vendor-open, multi-cloud strategy delivers exactly that: combining the functional density and scalability of hyper-scalers with the data security of local and specialised providers such as Innovo Cloud.  So the second that a business decision is made, an invoice can be generated simply by pushing a button – this is what is making multi-cloud strategies one of the megatrends of the coming years.

There will be further steps taken towards digital transformation, further accelerating continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) pipelines with cloud-native technologies – applications designed and developed for the cloud computing architecture. Automating the integration and delivery processes then enables the rapid, reliable and repeatable deployment of software.

Are Rittal Cooling Units & Chillers Affected by the F-Gas Regulation?

The introduction of EU regulation number 517/2014 (F-Gas Regulation) concerning the use of fluorinated greenhouse gases, which was published on January 1, 2015, has raised the question as to which cooling units and chillers can continue to be used after 2020.

The regulation includes details of banned uses for cooling and air-conditioning plant, as well as stipulations regarding their service and maintenance.

Rittal’s enclosure cooling units and chillers are not affected by the use bans. They have a hermetically sealed refrigerant circuit and the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of the refrigerants used in them (R134a, R410a and R407c) is less than 2,500. Leak inspections are not a legal requirement for equipment classified as hermetically sealed with a refrigerant quantity of less than 10 tons CO2 equivalent, which is the case for all Rittal enclosure cooling units.

It’s important to consider the GWP over the entire life cycle of the cooling solution and so high energy efficiency is as crucial as the type and quantity of refrigerant used. The reduction of direct emissions from an alternative refrigerant must not be offset by an increase in indirect emissions from higher energy consumption. Rittal’s Blue e+ cooling units are not affected by the use bans and also not subject to a legally demanded leak inspection, plus they deliver energy savings of up to 75 per cent.

The regular service and maintenance of any cooling solution is fundamental to prolonging its service life and ensuring its efficient operation. This is essential as only reliable enclosure climate control ensures electronic components are protected from overheating, helping processes run smoothly and safely.

Contact Service at Rittal to find out how we can help you protect your investments with a service agreement tailored to your specific needs.

To find out more, go to

Further information at and or on twitter @rittal_ltd.

Using edge data centres to create decentralised IT resources quickly and flexibly

By Clive Partridge, Rittal Technical Manager for IT Infrastructure

The volumes of data that now need to be processed are soaring as a consequence of digital transformation, so companies need a quick and easy solution for establishing new data centres directly, where that data is generated. Modular edge data centres offer the ideal solution here. The example of retail shows how the point of sale can be optimised using data-assisted processes and why this calls for decentralised IT resources.

Edge data centres are decentralised IT systems that deliver computing power directly to the location where the data is generated. They are situated in the immediate vicinity of the data sources – which helps ensure exceptionally fast initial data processing – and are also linked to cloud data centres for downstream processing.

Software applications in connected data centres ultimately use this up-to-the-minute data to perform analyses that require high levels of computing power.

Data is becoming increasingly important in physical retail spaces

Additional computing power enables companies to evaluate data relating to customer behaviour and enterprise resource planning more quickly and precisely. For example, a retailer can compare the sales in its nationwide branches using surveys from social media platforms in order to identify new trends. Alternatively, on entering a shop, customers – provided they have consented beforehand – can be identified via their smartphone and greeted with offers that are tailored specifically to them. This, too, requires an IT system that responds in real time and can access large volumes of data.

In general terms, edge data centres help companies to evaluate all customer data and thus optimise sales. They intelligently network branches that are spread out geographically with regional warehouses and a central data centre so as to optimise product availability at the point of sale (POS). Retailers can thus harness networked edge computing to increase the availability of products, optimise logistics and use customer preferences to regularly improve product displays at the POS, for example. The continuous and rapid availability of data gathered via edge computing makes it possible to manage customer behaviour more effectively. If necessary, this can be done as often as every day based on up-to-date data.

Retailers can also use the additional computing power and real-time stock tracking to optimise their supply chain management. In this case, long-term analyses help identify patterns in sales and thus provide plenty of notice regarding when specific products may be affected by bottlenecks. Without predictive analyses of this kind, there is the risk of losing customers, who switch to the competition because they can’t get what they want.

Networked IT infrastructure at the POS

To track goods and customers, retailers are installing networked sensors or using cameras to analyse patterns of movement. This is creating an Internet of Things that utilises a large number of sensors and data sources to generate a continuous data stream. Retail chains use sensors, for example, to identify the positions on the shelf where each product sells best. This also involves developing the supply chain to the extent that a shop reorders new products in an automated process. In the future, a growing number of companies will be using edge data centres to expand the requisite IT infrastructure at the POS. According to market analysts from IDC, edge IT systems could be processing and analysing 40 per cent of data from the Internet of Things throughout industry by 2019.

What types of edge data centres are available?

An edge data centre is designed so that companies can adapt it to the required performance level using preconfigured, standardised modules. Climate control and power supply modules, stable IT racks and robust security components are already aligned with each other – this is particularly important for sites that do not have a specific security concept at building level – i.e. access controls or airlocks, for example.

If factors such as dust, humidity or dirt also pose problems at the site – because industrial production is carried out there, for instance – then the IT racks should have a high protection category, such as IP 55.

Edge systems come in a wide range of output classes depending on the requirements and area of application. Edge gateway systems, for example, consolidate data directly on site and then initiate its transfer to downstream cloud data centres.

However, initial evaluations can also be carried out close to the data source. For instance, smaller systems for retail can perform tasks such as the initial aggregation of sensor data in a department store, supermarket or shopping centre, while powerful edge data centres can also be utilised that significantly increase the computing power at the relevant location. The latter may be necessary if retailers want to offer their customers elaborate product presentations based on virtual and augmented reality.

The technology used in these edge designs can vary greatly – from a basic service rack to a specially secured IT rack with an additional protective cover. If more power is required, a high-performance edge data centre based on a modular data centre container with weather-resistant and fire-resistant covering is the answer. The solution is then installed in the immediate vicinity of the location where the data is generated, either inside or outside buildings. With appropriate cooling technology, it will support an output of up to 35 kW per IT rack.

Thanks to their steel walls, IT containers are both stable and secure. Their excellent mobility also makes them highly flexible and means powerful data centres can be installed anywhere on company grounds or inside warehouses.

Requirements determine the configuration

If edge systems are being used to boost on-site computing power, the first step is to specify the associated business objectives. Technical and IT experts use this information to define the necessary software applications and it’s then possible to determine the configuration of an edge data centre based on this list of requirements. A number of criteria need to be taken into account during this process, for example, edge systems must be quick and easy to use in order to meet technical requirements promptly. The ideal scenario is for the manufacturer to supply a turnkey, ready-assembled system, complete with cooling technology, for plug-and-play connection to the power supply and network technology.

Edge system operation should also be automated and largely maintenance-free to minimise running costs. This requires comprehensive monitoring that covers the power supply, cooling, fire detection and extinguishing. The necessary protection category is determined by factors such as location and how fail-safe the system needs to be. It is also important to use a monitoring system that covers enclosure/rack doors as well as side panels; electronic door locks have the added benefit of making it easier to ascertain which staff had access to the IT and when.

During remote maintenance or emergencies, it may be necessary to completely power down the system, which means having to interrupt the power supply. Switchable PDUs (power distribution units) are required for this purpose.

Enhanced security with edge

Edge data centres can be installed in a room-in-room environment for the toughest security demands and a security room of this kind offers maximum protection in the event of fires or highly contaminated surroundings. Outdoors, it should also be ensured that the protection category supports reliable IT operation across a wide range of temperatures, for example from -20 °C to +45 °C.

Suppliers such as Rittal have developed a modular concept for these varying requirements and companies can use a modular system to create the ideal solution for their needs.

Rittal adopts a holistic approach when seeking a solution, working with partners such as ABB, HPE, IBM and the German cloud provider iNNOVO so that customers get all the services they need from a single source. The resulting pre-defined, standardised all-in-one edge system can be augmented with active IT components and “as-a-Service” options in a turnkey solution. The retail sector is therefore able to use continuously updated data to optimise the customer journey, and thus secure customer loyalty on a long-term basis.

Further information at and or on twitter @rittal_ltd.

Key Trends & Challenges in the Global IT market

By Clive Partridge, Rittal’s Product Manager IT Infrastructure

The growth of artificial intelligence and analytics, digital twin, block-chain and edge are just a few trends that characterise the rapid developments within the IT technology.
All of them will have a major impact on the network and the data centre market.

Alongside comprehensive digitization, these technologies are now transforming every industry sector as well as our homes, so actually they criss-cross our whole society. As a result, they are driving the development of the next generation of data centre technology. Large data centres will continue to be dominant, but we expecting edge data centres to grow in number to deal with the flood of data created by these technologies.

The future of cloud, edge and 5G technologies
The IoT and IIoT are going to change the IT landscape dramatically. By 2020, it’s expected that up to 43 billion devices will be connected to the IoT (Statista). That amount of data cannot be handled by hyperscale/cloud data centres, which is why we’re expecting a significant growth in the number of edge data centres to cope with the volume of data, and to respond and react with very short latency.

5G will be the second major game changer. The GSMA, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, has forecasted that there will be 1.2 billion 5G connections by 2025.

It will have a major impact on private and industrial applications. 5G will be the core technology for autonomous driving cars, VR controlled robots and machines, as well as many other new emerging technologies. It’s this combination of extra bandwidth and performance (5G), plus the growth of edge data centres, which will be the foundation of digitization and new services.

It is important to note, by the way, that edge data centres are always associated with a corresponding cloud; edge and cloud are interrelated technologies.

Regional IT infrastructure assets
The greatest potential for the growth of IT infrastructure assets is likely to be in the North American, European and Asian region – in particular in China. In addition to the traditional hyperscale data centres, OCP technology will continue to grow in importance.

In Europe, with the advancement of IIoT technology as part of Industry 4.0, the edge data centre segment should see above-average growth.

Next Steps for Rittal
Rittal has already established itself in the hyperscale/colocation market, and has many well-known IT companies within its customer base. The Lefdal Mine Datacentre has shown how we can apply our experience to large-scale data centres.

Going forward, the focus will increasingly be on edge data centres in order to position Rittal as a driving force within this segment and it is one where we will continue to contribute our know-how and expertise in order to provide cross-industry solutions.

Further information at and or on twitter @rittal_ltd.

Reducing Space with the RiLine 60 PLS 800 Busbar System

When designing a busbar system or control panel, space is always a consideration. Rittal’s customer EIS-Axon overcame the space restrictions for a major project for an airport baggage system using Rittal’s RiLine 60 PLS800 busbar system. With a busbar support that clamps the special shaped copper bar from underneath, which allows component adaptors to fit on top of the supports. This enabled an extra 80 mm of usable busbar for component adaptors.

The RiLine 60 PLS 800 busbar system is easy to fit, saving time and no worry of the busbar supports clashing with component adaptors.

Find out more by visiting:

Bus Bar

Rittal Systems Ideally Suited to Switchgear Marine Applications

Rittal’s systems, from housing and enclosure systems, to climate control solutions and to power distribution systems and IT infrastructure solutions, are used by maritime operators across the globe. 

These include large numbers of shipyards, ships, harbours, offshore platforms and inland, with clients that include the major ships’ chandlers and shipyards.

The choice of Rittal as a partner is typically driven both by the high quality of its portfolio – easily sufficient to cope with the most demanding of marine environments – and by its consistent systems approach, which extends from project planning to implementation.

Just recently, Rittal’s products were featured in the refurbishment of the Nesserland lock in Germany, which has acted as a gateway to the inland port of Emden for more than 100 years.  The work included a new road bridge built over the lock for vehichles to cross which is also designed to open whenever ships need to enter the port.

Power to the system was supplied via three low-voltage switchgear systems housed in Rittal enclosures, and included NH slimline fuse-switch-disconnectors from Rittal’s RiLine busbar range.  Rittal IT racks accommodate the system’s complex network technology, with its free-standing enclosures housing the complex automation and safety technology.

The system at Emden is designed such that the individual functions of the lock and the bridge are networked together.  As such, it requires complex automation which is essentially controlled across three different locations: the main engine room; the engine that drives the bridge and the emergency control station which sits above that.

Mark Guest, Rittal Product Manager for IT Power Distribution says: “International maritime switchgear construction specialists are typically very loyal Rittal customers, not least because of our focus on value creation from engineering through construction to final application.

“For switchgear manufacturers, Rittal offers a combination of high product quality and a renowned system concept, around which all our solutions are based. This extends from our range of accessories, which are quick and easy to access, to engineering tools (such as EPLAN Electric P8 and EPLAN Pro Panel) and its Perforex machining centres.

“It means production times can be minimised while project leaders can react fast to any changes to the original specifications, swapping enclosures around if the project requirements change.”

Further information at and or on twitter @rittal_ltd.

Reducing the Energy Output of Machine Tools


No business should ever underestimate the large amount of energy consumed by machine tools.  Cooling enclosures and spindles alone commonly account for more than 15 per cent of a company’s annual energy bill.

A test installation at a CNC lathe has demonstrated that Rittal Blue e+ chillers significantly reduce energy consumption while also being simple and easy to use. 

Bosch Rexroth AG, a long-established global manufacturing company, runs an energy efficiency consultancy called GoGreen at its headquarters in the Bavarian town of Lohr am Main.

GoGreen’s purpose is to examine and improve the energy efficiency of the company’s production plants worldwide. To this end, GoGreen works closely with institutes, as well as technology partners such as Rittal, to test possible solutions.

One of the most important research projects which GoGreen is involved in is the “Eta-Fab” (energy efficiency, technology and application centre) project at the Technical University of Darmstadt.

The project is headed by the University’s Institute for Production Management, Technology and Machine Tools (PTW); a facility that can closely replicate conditions and processes used in the Rexroth plant in Elchingen, allowing effective and accurate testing of potential innovations in areas such as improving the energy efficiency of machine tools.

Retrofitting CNC lathes

Among the products made at the Elchingen plant are hydraulic pumps and motors for mobile machines.  Many of the components for the hydraulic power units are manufactured on a CNC lathe which has a total connected load of 75 kVA and runs for up to six days a week in three-shift operation.

CNC lathes need their spindles to be cooled to dissipate the heat generated by the drive technology – and this is typically achieved through liquid cooling.

The GoGreen team examined what would be the impact of replacing the existing compressor cooling unit on the lathe, with a new Rittal Blue e+ Chiller.  The Blue e+ delivers the cooling medium and its DC compressor, controlled by an inverter, generates the necessary cooling output in the chiller. A circuit then transports the cooling medium to the spindles.

An impressive increase in energy efficiency

The test demonstrated that the Blue e+ could reduce energy consumption significantly.  Leo Pototzky, GoGreen Project Manager, Bosch Rexroth, said of the trial:   “The Rittal Blue e+ chiller consumes 50 per cent less electrical energy than the old chiller, while the saving achieved by the cooling unit in the enclosure even exceeded 80 per cent. This example shows us that a great potential still exists in many sectors.”

Ease of Use

The trial also highlighted how easy the Blue e+ is to operate.  The control panel with its touch display communicates to operators in plain text, and in up to 21 different languages.  This means that operators receive clear information and updates in status, which allows them to respond quickly to any issues.

The Blue e+ App communicates with the cooling units via NFC (Near Field Communication, an international transmission standard based on RFID technology for contactless data exchange), allowing important information to be transmitted wirelessly; a functionality which is especially important when a number of chillers have been configured.  It allows operators easy operational oversight and facilitates a swift response, if required.

Further information at and or on twitter @rittal_ltd.