See us at Offshore Europe – Stand 3C190

Protecting Critical Equipment – That’s the message Rittal will be taking to this year’s Offshore Europe event.

Rittal – The System is rapidly becoming the Energy and Power industry’s first choice for protecting critical equipment, by optimising physical work space and minimising the effects caused by conditions in offshore environments.

System enclosures: From small and compact enclosures to modular solutions including enclosure climate control

  • Fibreglass reinforced plastic enclosures: IP66 rated for general purpose applications
  • Stainless steel and HD units: Ideal for use in highly corrosive environments
  • ATEX rated EX enclosures: Hazardous area applications such as refineries and offshore installations.
  • IT solutions: Standardised server racks and network enclosures including scalable IT cooling concepts
  • Reliable power supply: Modular power distribution systems

See us on the Eplan stand C190 at Offshore Europe to find out more

Offshore Europe: Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre: 5 – 8 September 2017

Silhouette of an offshore oil drilling rig



Contacts in No Time

Wires and cables routinely have to be connected to copper busbars when manufacturing control gear and switchgear systems.

The conventional approach is time-consuming and uses screw clamps or fixed conductor connection clamps.

But help is at hand, thanks to the launch of a new range of maintenance-free conductor connection clamps from Rittal.  The clamps utilize push-in technology, providing users with a fast, easy and secure method for connecting conductors to busbars.

Rittal’s push-in clamps also have a whole host of other advantages as well as extremely quick and easy cable connection.  They are maintenance-free and can be used for many different types of conductors.

Connection Clamps

Rittal has developed a new generation of conductor connection clamps enabling panel builders and switchgear manufacturers to connect cables and wires directly to busbars.

The new push-in conductor connection clamps are available in two clamping ranges, 0.5–4 mm2 and 1.5–16 mm2, and for copper busbars, 5 and 10 mm thick in each clamping range.

The push-in conductor connection clamps enable quick and easy attachment to the busbar. The stripped end of the conductor is connected to the busbar simply by pushing them together, and the connection is held securely in place with a separate spring mechanism. The spring optimises conductivity by removing oxide layers that have formed on the busbar. And optimal contact is maintained by the integral contact block with its defined and raised contact points.

You can achieve quick and easy connections with solid, multi-wire and ultrasonic welding conductors and also fine wire conductors with wire end ferrules and twin wire end ferrules.

The clamp can reduce issues such as incorrect compression/torques and loosening while its maintenance-free design improves reliability and keeps running costs down.

The conductor connection clamp can be used for numerous applications, such as connecting protective and neutral conductors to busbars or as short circuit-resistant voltage taps on the copper bars of a main busbar system. It is also possible to make string distributors or distributor blocks with a large number of connector clamps for outgoing cables.

Thanks to its numerous UL and IEC certifications, the new conductor connection clamp is suitable for use worldwide including in maritime and offshore applications. It is currently tested by ABS, DNV-GL and LR, and approvals are planned to be completed by September.

Further information at and or on twitter @rittal_ltd


Calculating the Value of Automation

When it comes to processing panels, CNC machining centres, such as Perforex from Rittal Automation Systems, are light years ahead of the alternative, manual approach when it comes to productivity and efficiency. In fact, machining centres speed up processing by as much as 66 percent compared to the traditional hand-tooled method.

Now, a new web-based Return on Investment (ROI) Calculator helps customers accurately gauge how quickly a Perforex will take to pay for itself before they place the order – and they may be pleasantly surprised by what they find!

Perforex machining centres from Rittal Automation Systems are tailored to the challenges of switchgear manufacturing. They are ideal for the automated production of bore holes, cut-outs and threads in mounting plates, enclosure doors and side panels.

All the mechanical processing steps in the preparation of enclosures for population – including drilling, thread cutting, and milling of cut-outs – which are so time-consuming, cost-intensive, and error prone, can be accomplished in a single work step.

Programming a job into the machining centre takes just minutes, and is either on the basis of simple, component-oriented workshop programming, or using imported CAD data from either Rittal’s software system Eplan or DXF imports from any other CAD platforms. Any programme setting can be saved for future, identical jobs, speeding up work-flow even more. Furthermore, once done, engineers are free to work on other tasks, maximising team efficiency and business output.

Perforex systems are suitable for all materials typically found in switchgear, including steel, aluminium, copper and plastics.

Moreover, an automatic tool changer allows multiple tasks to be performed in a single operation, without the need for human intervention.

Work Out Your ROI – at the click of a Mouse

The new Rittal online calculator demonstrates how a Perforex system can deliver a rapid and tangible return on investment even for low production volumes.

Customers simply enter the typical manufacturing quantity, current machining cycle time, and labour rates per hours, and the web-based tool computes the corresponding payback period for a variety of Perforex models.

Proven efficiency gains under real-world conditions

When the directors of Peterborough-based panel builders Pneumatechnique Ltd were looking at ways to improve efficiency and offer better production consistency they turned to Rittal and its automation systems for switchgear construction. Pneumatechnique’s aim was to find ways to lower both overheads and operational costs.

Following a detailed assessment and recommendations made by Rittal’s expert team, the decision was taken by Pneumatechnique to install a Rittal Automation Perforex CNC machine. It was quickly identified that the capital expenditure could clearly be outweighed by the cost savings and the Perforex installation became a “no-brainer” as part of the investment project.

Adam Wilson, production manager at Pneumatechnique advises: “This project has seen a lot of investment not only in money but in time; it has involved a great deal of hard work. The final result is an excellent fit for us and we are now offering customers something they can’t do.”

Going forward, Adam advises that, “the Perforex system has opened up a number of new routes to market. What’s more this system looks like it will offer us the opportunity go way beyond the targets we have set for it.”

Thanks to their new, higher levels of productivity, the team expects the machining system to pay for itself in just 12 months. To find out more, go to



Climate control in the food industry

Climate control of enclosures using water cooling is highly efficient, especially if there is already a central cold water supply available in the production plant. The new Hygienic Design air/water heat exchangers from Rittal are ideally suited to the food industry, where hygiene standards are exceptionally stringent.
Hygiene is an absolute must in the food industry: machinery, plant and components must readily withstand daily cleaning with pressure washers and jet steam cleaners. All surfaces must also be easy to clean, and/or designed to prevent contaminants from adhering to them.
Use water cooling to dissipate heat
Liquid cooling of enclosures offers a number of benefits: Because water has a higher thermal capacity than air, liquid cooling can dissipate large quantities of heat. What’s more, industrial environments often already have a central cooling water supply available that can be used for enclosure cooling. All that’s left to do is to mount suitable air/water heat exchangers on the enclosure. With Hygienic Design, it is particularly important that no air exchange takes place between the enclosure and the environment.
Rittal has revamped its air/water heat exchangers, and can now offer its clients in the food industry two variants of Hygienic Design. Air/water heat exchangers for wall mounting can supply cooling outputs of either 0.65 kW or 1.2 kW. The hygienic design reduces the risk of contamination in the food industry, thus helping to ensure product safety.
Modified design
Rittal has modified the design of Hygienic Design in a number of respects.
For example, the attachment to the enclosure wall using threaded bolts and nuts has been designed so that the screw fastening is not visible from the outside. The enclosure is made from stainless steel with a brushed grain size of 400, producing a surface roughness Ra of less than 0.8 μm. The smooth surface finish is easy to clean and disinfect. There are no hard-to-clean gaps where contamination could collect.
The silicone seal between the enclosure and the case prevents the transfer of colourants, flavourings and unwanted odours. The seal eliminates gaps between the air/water heat exchanger and the enclosure which would be difficult to clean.
The seals are available as spare parts, and are easily replaced in the event of mechanical damage. The seals are dyed blue in accordance with FDA Guideline 21 CFR 177.2600, making them clearly distinguishable from contaminants such as food residues. The flat seals on the water connection fittings are likewise dyed blue, and geometrically designed to sit flush against the shape of the fitting. A metal end stop prevents compression of the seal, so that edges cannot protrude and allow contaminants or micro-organisms to accumulate.
Tested hygiene
The top of the enclosure tilts forwards by 30 degrees. This prevents objects from being placed on top of the enclosure, while at the same time ensuring that liquids, such as detergents and disinfectants, run off quickly.
Air/water heat exchangers have protection categories of IP56/59, meeting the demanding requirements of pressure washing and steam cleaning.
The air/water heat exchangers have C-UR and CSA approval, making them suitable for international use.
The Hygienic Design was tested by the DGUV Food department testing and certification agency in accordance with GS-NV 6 (test principles for hygiene). The devices comply with standard DIN EN ISO 14159:2008 and are suitable for use in the food sector in conformity with DIN EN 1672-2:2009.
Further information at and or on twitter @rittal_ltd.


Are Your Enclosures Ready for the Summer?

Rittal is warning users of manufacturing automation systems to check that they are prepared for the summer heat and, if necessary, arrange for an inspection of their equipment to check the level of risk.

High temperatures are the most common cause of sensitive electrical and electronic components tripping or even failing.

A failed electrical device can cause major disruption to production which could cost a company hundreds of thousands of pounds per hour.  The cost of catastrophic equipment failure is even higher, because it means an extended period of downtime while replacement products are sourced and fitted. 

Jason Swann, Rittal’s Product Manager for Climate advises: “Electrical equipment generates lots of heat.  Add to this the ambient heat from the rising summer temperatures and your enclosure will start to reach a critical point of overheating without sufficient cooling. What would you do if the equipment that manages your production line – your PLCs, drives and controls – failed due to inadequate or inappropriate cooling?  Can you afford to take the risk.”

Inverter drives are used within electrical equipment because they are very effective at reducing the amount of energy used – which means lower production costs. Assuming an efficiency of 97 per cent, a 250kW drive can produce up to 7.5kW of heat, much of which is retained inside the enclosure in which it’s installed. Therefore without adequate cooling heat will rise.

The life expectancy of components is hugely affected by excess heat.  An electrical component’s life expectancy is reduced by 50 per cent for every 10°C increase in the ambient temperature. So keeping an expensive Inverter drive cool, prelongs its life, reduces the risk of failure and saves you money.

Planning Climate Control

Rittal offers the following list of questions to check if there may be a problem brewing:

  • Is your equipment tripping or failing due to high temperatures?
  • Is this having an impact on production, in that it’s either slowing or stopping completely?
  • When you walk around your shop floor, do your enclosures feel hot to the touch?
  • At the height of summer, are your enclosure doors regularly left open and do you need large fans blowing into your panels to cool the devices inside them? This also presents a health and safety risk!
  • Does inadequate chilling of process fluids result in production down-time?
  • Would your existing cooling solution benefit from a health check?

Any “yes” responses suggests a thermal survey could be a sensible next step.  Rittal’s expert team can provide a RiAssure3 survey and if necessary advise on the best solution.

Jason explains: “A RiAssure3 survey will identify the likely risk of a system overheating.  The survey will review any existing cooling solution and determine how suited it is to that particular working environment. If necessary, it will then provide recommendations around remedial action – for example, changes to the system’s service and maintenance regime to help improve its efficiency or the recommendation to invest in different climate control technology.

“Our engineers will always offer their advice from the perspective of functionality, energy efficiency, ease of installation, service and maintenance, based on real-life data measured on site.”


Protecting Control and Automation Equipment

Which cooling solution is installed ultimately depends on the amount of heat produced inside the panel and the environment in which it’s installed.  It must be specific to a particular application.

The main considerations centre around whether the enclosure is located in a cold or hot environment, if that environment is clean or dirty, and to what degree.  Conditions may also change over the course of the working day, week, month or year, so the final selection of an appropriate cooling solution may not be entirely straightforward.

Jason continues: “Enclosures that are placed in a cool and clean environment may find fan-and-filter units are more than adequate, given a single device provides more than 4 kW of cooling in ideal conditions.  However If the air is dirty, it is still possible to take full advantage of low ambient temperatures by using energy efficient air-to-air heat exchangers to provide any necessary cooling.”

For applications that require the temperature inside the enclosure to be lower than that outside it, a refrigerant based solution may be the best option.

The new Blue e+ cooling unit range from Rittal, with capacities up to 6kW, can operate in ambient temperatures up to 60°C yet also provide free cooling when the external air is cooler due to the innovative use of hybrid technology.

Air-to-water heat exchangers may be used in even hotter conditions and the water delivered to a remote location in which the heat, up to 10kW from one unit, may be dissipated more effectively and with less effect on the temperature of the surroundings.

Further information at and or on twitter @rittal_ltd.

Don’t Get Lost in the Fog

Cloud computing offers processing power and storage capabilities that few organisations can match, and for a relatively low cost.  Indeed, there are those who believe one day, all our computing will reside in the cloud. 

However, there is a pressing issue with cloud computing and that is bandwidth which is why there is a new acronym in town – FOG computing, which is inclined towards an element of local processing and storage.  What’s more, it builds greater resilience into the system and gives greater protection to the most sensitive data.  Its growth is fuelling demand from businesses for smaller, five-rack systems.


Sending and retrieving data from a one computer to a remote server is subject to a delay known as latency, which is typically measured in milliseconds.   In a world which is based on mass connectivity, latency (and therefore bandwidth) is a critical issue.   If an app or website doesn’t load in seconds, users will go elsewhere.

Bandwidth overload

The internet of things (IoT), describes an environment where ever-increasing numbers of devices (from the plant manufacturing line to a household fridge) have embedded sensors and computers, all of which are collecting and processing data and sending it to the cloud for storage.

But, as the IoT gathers pace, an ever-increasing number of devices are becoming internet-enabled, which means millions of machines, gadgets and household items are sending small packets of data to the cloud every second of the day.  The speed at which the data travels is dictated by the bandwidth and it is increasingly becoming overloaded.  This limitation in the system is illustrated by the exploits of cyber attackers.  They task networkable devices to send massive amounts of data to websites, effectively blocking them.

However, anyone whose business is totally dependent on the cloud needs full connectivity without internet interruption or downtime.

What is FOG?

The principle of fog is quite simple – it describes temporary storage and processing capability closer to home/the application.

Barry Maidment, IT Sales Manager, Rittal South, advises: “Essentially, fog computing is a relatively small computer that gathers, caches, and feeds data into and out of the giant servers in the cloud.  The term “fog” was apparently coined because it describes something closer to the ground and nearer the application.  The “cloud” by contrast is a distant facility.

“Smartphones are a good example in that they rely on the cloud while our increasingly dependency on them means they are constantly looking for and retrieving data.  Unfortunately, 3G and 4G cellular networks cannot transmit data to the cloud at the speed it is generated, so smartphones offer some local storage and processing power.”

Fog is also likened in some quarters to RAM in a PC or laptop – data on it can be accessed randomly and at a great speed by the processor.  RAM caches data before depositing it onto the hard drive.  The processor can get on with its job and the computer gets faster with more RAM.

The same concept applies to fog – data processing is faster when a business has local storage facilities, near the IT application.  When time is available, it then passes the consolidated data to the main cloud.

Fog Builds Resilience

For a larger application, such as a factory, fog computing typically describes five or six racks on the premises which pass data to the cloud periodically rather than as a constant stream.

Barry advises:  “The great advantage of fog, particularly for business critical functions, is that if your connection to the internet goes down and contact is lost with the cloud, you can still function as a business.  It builds resilience into the system.

“So even if you place the majority of your data in the cloud, it’s unlikely that you’ll turn off all your IT.  You’ll still need some IT close to your premises.”

Rittal is now installing more small, five-rack systems being installed to handle local processing and the growth of IoT.  Not only does this reduce latency, it means a business’s most sensitive data can be more securely stored and resilience is improved.

And as more and more data is collected, analysed and processed through IoT, so the need for fog computing will increase.

Further information at and or on twitter @rittal_ltd.

National Infrastructure Forum #NIF17

Join us in London on the 13th of  June 2017 at The UK’s premier cross-sector infrastructure event.

Rittal will be attending the National Infrastructure Forum at London ExCeL on Tuesday 13 June 2017 along with other leading organisations from across the infrastructure sector.

The National Infrastructure Forum attracts over 1200 visitors from across the Energy, Transport, and Construction & Engineering Sectors. For one day only, all the key players from across the UK infrastructure supply chain come together to learn about new opportunities, exchange ideas, see the latest products and network with their peers.

The Forum covers the key areas critical to Britain’s infrastructure needs, and provides high level engagement for the public and private sectors through networking, meetings, knowledge sharing and the promotion of the right solutions and services from industry leaders – all in one place.

Visit us on Stand 128 to speak to our expert team, who will be on hand throughout the show to provide advice and details of how Rittal can help you.

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System solutions for all airport applications

We take it for granted that airports and airlines will run smoothly to get our journeys off to a good start. The thought of queues at check-in and to board a flight doesn’t fill anyone with joy, but it’s particularly galling if delays and lengthy waiting times are caused by problems arising from back-end systems and security infrastructure.  As we’ve seen, these can quickly lead to flights grounded, online services being unavailable and a large number of very frustrated travelers – many of whom may avow to switch provider in future.

The truth is that airline and airport services now revolve around online systems and the electrical equipment that drives them.  From reservations and baggage handling, to air traffic control and control rooms, apron navigation and airside lighting – all depend on devices such as servers, UPS batteries, PLCs and inverter drives.

These components can be sensitive pieces of kit and they certainly don’t react well to high temperatures.  But any interruption in their service can cause unutterable chaos in not only the airport or facility that houses them but those much farther afield as well, with the effects felt for days and weeks afterwards.

There have been several recent high profile cases in which outages or failures have had significant consequences.

The examples highlighted underline the need for airlines and airports to adopt a
belt and braces approach to their infrastructure, ideally having them professionally audited and putting measures in place to make them resilient.

We assist suppliers to airports
and airports themselves in protecting and providing the ideal environment for electrical and electronic equipment, whether located indoors or outdoors, thereby reducing the risk of failure that could affect critical processes.  

Rittal is a global manufacturer of IT racks, industrial enclosures and complementary climate control and power distribution products.  Although we supply these products to our customers, the greatest need we satisfy is peace of mind.