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

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Reducing the Energy Output of Machine Tools

Rittals_Blue_e+_Chiller

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