November 10, 2021
Even in the early stages of the engineering process, there are hidden costs in electrical installations. They can be eliminated by choosing system-oriented concepts that utilize decentralized automation technology. There are various scenarios that help determine which methods, or concepts, best suit the individual needs of mechanical engineers while achieving greater standardization and higher efficiency within the electrical installation. These scenarios may also reduce installation costs by up to 30%.
Three scenarios make it clear that electrical installation technology is deliberately placed in the spotlight of engineering and the overall cost managers must not simply be an accompaniment.
Until recently, mechanical engineering was dominated by classic electrical installations. The entire control system was placed in the control cabinet and both sensors and actuators were field wired via a large terminal block. Many individual components, whose compatibility was accompanied by a system susceptibility to errors, entailed a very costly installation and commissioning effort that happened with each machine. Standardized connections were a rarity and, if they existed at all, they had to be manually assembled at great expense.
Power and data were distributed on the machine periphery by means of separate terminal boxes. Classic parallel wiring was shifted from the control cabinet to the field without much thought. Although the installation effort improved slightly, the error sources increased due to the additional terminal levels. Wiring errors between the control cabinet and the peripherals frequently occurred and troubleshooting, in the event of short circuits and overloads, was confusing and time-consuming. This resulted in long downtimes and production losses.
Today, the IO level is located in the vicinity of the devices, significantly reducing the size of the control cabinet. Benefits of pluggable system components and overmolded, fully tested IP67 rated connectors with variable cable lengths include a less complex electrical that takes significantly less time to install. Wiring errors are virtually eliminated, saving time, and stress, during start up.
And tomorrow? No matter how far into the future you look, without a system-oriented approach and targeted installation technology, it is difficult to achieve noticeable cost savings. Murrelektronik's customized concepts and system components not only reduce overall costs by up to 30%, but also increase technology through innovative diagnostic functionalities - an ideal added value for machine builders and operators alike.
Everyone in the company who is responsible for spending - from purchasing, design and electrical installation to commissioning - contributes to reducing the overall costs for a machine’s electrical connection by looking at holistic system approaches and targeted installation technology. At every point, there is potential to see installation technology as a core element of cost-effectiveness that makes planning, design and production more flexible, simpler and ultimately more efficient.
Can project planning be streamlined by using a pluggable IP67 field installation instead of complex terminal boxes? Do fewer suppliers with standardized, pre-assembled components allow for a coordinated system solution? Can PLC I/O modules be substituted with decentralized fieldbus I/O modules? Can confusing cable bundles and cable routes with distribution boxes near the sensors and actuators be avoided? Are pluggable, overmolded cables (which allow for faster, error-free assembly, service and maintenance) be used in place of field wireables? What result is achieved for the operator in terms of increasing system availability from easily understandable diagnostics?
With its system-oriented view of things, efficient customized installation technology opens up enormous savings opportunities, which can be used as decision-making aids. These approaches fall within the purview of the engineers and specialists involved in mechatronics, but they can also show management how to avoid cost guzzlers.
From Murrelektronik's point of view, the system concept offers opportunities and potentials that have not been fully exploited. Identifying these areas with the customer, and making them visible, increases machine availability, while providing simplified installation technology and smart diagnostics. It is important put Murrelektronik’s system perspective to the test, so you can see how a savings of up to 30% can be achieved. This understanding allows one to question their current installation technology and start up to optimize future projects.
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