Enhanced for extreme applications

 

The new Rittal VX25 large enclosure system delivers significantly enhanced value to electrical engineering companies thanks to its technical features, ease of assembly and high levels of safety.  Now, new versions of the VX25 are available in stainless steel and NEMA 4X to enhance corrosion protection and to ensure the equipment within it is shielded from dust, as well as from splashes and jets of water.

fri170433195 VX 25 stainless steel and NEMA 4X

The new Rittal VX25 large enclosure system is now available in stainless steel to deliver the highest level of corrosion resistance. The frame structure, doors, panels and the gland plate, as well as all the external parts such as 180° hinges and comfort handle variants, are all made of stainless steel.

While the sheet steel and stainless-steel enclosure types have IP 55 and NEMA 12 protection categories as default, the optional NEMA 4X version with its corresponding IP 66 category protection offers greater protection. This means that the electrical and electronic equipment in the VX25 is protected from dust, water splashes and jets, even in the most demanding of environments.

In order to achieve the high NEMA 4X protection category, the enclosure underwent, among other things, a water jet test. This procedure (“hose-down” test) involved examining any gaps with seals for leaks using a jet of water with a flow rate of over 240 litres per minute for a test period of 40 min/30 s (6 mm/s per seal length).  The tests confirmed that no water would penetrate the enclosure, under comparable conditions.

In addition, the tests included a check of the dust protection, corrosion resistance, and protection against damage caused by external ice formation.

The two VX25 enclosure variants have an almost identical design, which means that the interior engineering of the stainless-steel enclosures can also be applied, unchanged, to the NEMA 4X enclosures, saving electrical engineering companies both time and money.

Any requirement for energy-efficient cooling of VX25 stainless steel enclosures can be provided through the new Blue e+ cooling units, which are also available in stainless steel.

Further information at www.rittal.co.uk and www.friedhelm-loh-group.com or on twitter @rittal_ltd.     

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Rittal’s Edge Solutions at DCW 2019

The revolution that is ‘edge’ will be front and centre on Rittal’s Stand #D610 at Data Centre World, London, from 12-13 March 2019.

The products on display will include the company’s Edge Data Centre which offers offer an end-to-end product with standardised, preconfigured IT infrastructure. 

Also at the show will be LCP DX cooling solutions and the company’s innovative RiMatrix Containerised Data Centre.

The advance of edge computing, which essentially provides computing resources at the perimeter of a given network, has been rapid as a consequence of growing technological demands for low latency, local data processing and high autonomy of infrastructure, system-wide security and high bandwidth.   The focus is typically on the immediate processing capacity required at the source of data making it as fast and secure as possible.

The need for edge computing can easily be seen in “smart” production systems, where sensors and actuators continually relay information on the status of processes and infrastructure. This forms the basis for innovative services such as alerts, predictive maintenance, and machine self-optimisation, delivered by the company’s IT department in real time. For this to happen, and for quick responses to events and anomalies, it’s critical to have low latency between production and the IT infrastructure.

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Clive Partridge, Rittal’s Technical Manager for IT Infrastructure advises: “DCW is always a very busy show for us and we’re delighted to be able to showcase such an exciting portfolio of products, all designed to help customers take advantage of innovations such as edge computing.

“Our solutions are designed to be implemented rapidly and cost-effectively, thereby paving the way for Industry 4.0 applications.  Their modular construction creates huge flexibility for customers.  They can be installed in an IT security room, or be containerised like our RiMatrix Containerised Data Centre, allowing it to be located wherever it is required.

RiMatrix Balanced Cloud Centre

“When combined with the as-a-service offering that Rittal jointly provides with iNNOVO Cloud, the Rittal Edge Data Centre provides a complete, one-stop solution for enterprises of all sizes.”

Further information on all Rittal’s edge products can be found at www.rittal.co.uk and www.friedhelm-loh-group.com or on twitter @rittal_ltd.

Visit Rittal at DCW (Excel, London, 12-13 March 2019) on Stand D610 to find out how the industry leading experts can help you delivery your IT requirements.

Greater Security in Manufacturing IT

 

By Paresh Kansara, Rittal’s Product Manager for Industrial & Outdoor Enclosures

Rittal’s teams work closely with leading industrial companies to create IT infrastructures for use with Industry 4.0 technology, including edge computing platforms.  We’ve put together the following tips to help companies implement fast-deploying and secure IT for production environments.

The first step when starting any Industry 4.0 initiative or digital transformation within a manufacturing environment, is to define the common goals and consistent use of terms.

One goal should be to achieve real-time processing of measured values through the use of more IT and additional sensors.  This will enable innovative applications, such as machine learning, process optimisation and predictive maintenance, which can only be done via big data analysis. Deviations can be recognised very quickly, increasing the reliability of these environments.

Find a secure location for the IT systems

Another consideration where to put any IT systems (such as an edge computing system) within a production environment.  This requires input from a range of different departments: facility management, fire prevention and safety managers, production managers, IT managers and other specialists in network technology and production planning.

IT1

Project managers should therefore start planning with the relevant departmental managers at an early stage to identify any issues.  It may mean finding an alternative space or even building a whole new facility to house the additional IT systems, but it’s just as likely that a business will be able to retrofit IT systems in the manufacturing hall.

In one recent project, Rittal’s team installed the necessary IT for automated production on the second floor of the production hall.  As part of the project, special security rooms were used for the IT racks.  It works extremely well, however, because this arrangement used a water-based IT cooling system, it carried the risk of a leak onto the manufacturing facilities located below.  To prevent this happening, leak detectors were installed in the IT racks and throughout the building to alert the facility management team of any problems at an early stage, increasing operational reliability.

In general, companies should select the best possible locations for IT systems from a technical security perspective as well as to support well thought-out network cabling. Ensuring there is sufficient distance to the manufacturing devices will protect IT systems from heat, dirt and vibrations.

Increase safety with monitoring

Small and medium-sized companies often find that the IT systems can send detailed alarm messages to control centres within the company, but not outside of it, as these alerts are blocked by the firewall.

The process of monitoring IT systems and sending an alert to relevant technicians also needs to be addressed collectively by all of the project participants, starting with a review of the existing organisation-wide IT security strategy.

For example, we worked with a manufacturing company to upgrade the IT cooling systems in its production hall to lower energy costs and increase the reliability of the IT system. Modern cooling systems are now able to send status messages directly to the manufacturer. In this instance, the firewalls had to be configured according to the data protocols used, otherwise the message would not have got through and the cooling systems would not be able to function in accordance with the designated levels of safety and efficiency.

Secure monitoring software

Monitoring software (DCIM) used to oversee production-related IT systems should be subject to special protection. Such a solution has a large number of interfaces and supports a variety of protocols, so it can be vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

To make the whole installation more robust, including the server platform, we recommend using software to conduct a security analysis.  So-called network vulnerability tests check the systems for known but still open security weaknesses.

Without this protection, in extreme cases, attackers could shut down the fans in intelligent cooling systems or turn off switchable power distribution units (PDUs).

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Set up edge computing quickly and securely

If areas of a production plant cannot be shut down while work is in progress, then it may be advisable to install pre-configured IT containers which are equipped with the required active IT components.  Companies can therefore expand their IT capacities to decentralised production sites quickly and safely using what are termed “edge” data centres.

To set up an edge computing infrastructure for Industry 4.0 initiatives, partners Rittal and iNNOVO Cloud offer turnkey IT module and container solutions.

These contain IT environments in sturdy steel containers that house power distribution units, UPS, IT cooling systems, racks and, optionally, active components. This provides a quick and secure start to production, in locations across the world.

For more information visit www.rittal.co.uk, www.friedhelm-loh-group.com, or on twitter @rittal_ltd.  

Rapid assembly for secure distribution

Rittal has developed four compact PDU (Power Distribution Units) systems for professional power distribution in IT racks which will halve the time a system takes to assemble, compared to screw-in PDUs.

The systems employ snap-in technology so not only is it very quick and easy to assemble, there is also no need for tools.  

To find out more, visit Rittal’s stand D610 at DCW (Excel, London, 12-13 March 2019).

Up to four PDUs can be mounted in the zero-U-space, (the space between the side of the 19-inch level and the side panel of an 800-mm wide IT rack) so no height units for servers are wasted.  Options include:

The “PDU basic” which provides a robust and compact basis power distribution for the IT environment. The insert strip is easily connected and is immediately functional.

The “PDU metered” variant has an internal web interface and an ethernet port so performance data on an entire IT rack can be cost-effectively monitored.

The “PDU switched” model builds on this functionality, allowing the user to turn individual output slots on and off via the web interface.

Finally, the “PDU managed” version takes this one step further.  It has been developed specifically for use in high-end IT racks and offers power distribution with power measuring and monitoring functions for each individual output slot.

fri151314800 Rittal PDU Rapid assembly for secure distribution

Low internal power consumption

All the PDUs feature the standard international data centre CEE connectors with a three-metre long connection cable and C13 and C19 slots.

A country-specific variant is also available for the UK market.

They are available in single-phase or three-phase versions; phase currents of 16 A and 32 A can be supported, depending on the type of PDU, which means electrical outputs of over 22 kW can be distributed by one rack PDU.

Again, depending on the model involved, they also enable energy management by phase (feed) or even down to server-level (single energy measurement per output slot). All have a low internal energy consumption due to integrated bi-stable relays (in the switchable versions), as well as an energy-efficient OLED display with a power-save feature.

Automatic integration in DCIM software

The complete PDU range can be easily integrated in a Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM)-Software application such as Rittal RiZone. This is achieved automatically by the Autoscan function with Rittal’s RiZone software. As a result, energy consumption is monitored efficiently and safely, and then logged. The intelligent power distribution bars can be easily configured and managed via a web interface. All measurements such as voltage, phase and neutral currents, as well as active and apparent power, active energy and power factor are displayed on a web page. Suitable alarm limits can be clearly defined so that the administrator can react quickly in an emergency.

The Computer Multi Control (CMC) III monitoring platform, with its own CAN-bus function and (optionally) up to four sensors, can also be connected up to monitor temperature, humidity, and access. The sophisticated user administration system protects the power distribution from unauthorized access.

The four systems together extend Rittal’s current product range of modular PSMs (power system modules) to include non-modular PDU types.

Further information on all Rittal’s edge products can be found at www.rittal.co.uk and www.friedhelm-loh-group.com or on twitter @rittal_ltd.

Visit Rittal at DCW (Excel, London, 12-13 March 2019) on Stand D610 to find out how our industry-leading experts can help you deliver your IT Power Distribution requirements.