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The parameters that factor into an industrial control panel are extensive, including numerous standards, functional requirements, varying dimensions of components, the size of the enclosure, short-circuit current ratings (SCCR), and so much more. And this doesn’t even account for the demands on you and other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to produce more equipment despite limited available labor resources. It is no surprise that you seek out a key phrase when making choices for your industrial control panels: Easier installation.
An easier installation will save time and money at the outset of any project, and that is good news for anyone experiencing difficulty hiring installers as well as your customers. If you build with innovative technology, what’s inside your industrial control panel will also save customers in the long term through lower maintenance and operational costs. You will also provide flexibility and the ability to connect motor controls to an asset management system.
There are other benefits, too. A modular design with more options, such as wide voltage range coils for contactors and wide FLA ranged overload relays with configurable protection selections, can enable a significantly higher degree of field application with the benefit of reducing inventory part numbers.
An easier installation begins with simple mounting of motor control devices.
Schneider Electric has reimagined its motor control devices to leverage digitization and IIoT to help OEMs reduce engineering time and complexity while improving machine reliability and driving down maintenance costs. But they have also been redesigned to use less space, for easier installation, integration with accessories, and for easier monitoring and replacement.
The new PowerPacT molded case circuit breakers are designed to easily connect to a standard 15×35 DIN rail. You no longer have to use a mounting accessory to install a circuit breaker to the DIN rail. Just grab the circuit breaker and click it into the rail.
The PowerPacT B-frame molded case circuit breakers can also be mounted easily on a grid or directly to a backpan. You can also save up to 40 percent on installation time for I-Line accessories and easily retrofit PowerPact B-frame circuit breakers into I-Line panelboards and switchboards.
One challenge that installers face is mounting heavy motor starters for large motor applications, especially when installing while the control panel is standing up. The new TeSys Giga motor starters feature a simple, easy to use hang-on feature that allows installers to hang the contactor on a screw mounted to the backpan while they install the other mounting screws. This changes installation from a two-person to a one-person job.
The TeSys Deca motor control and TeSys island digital load management solution also has one-click mounting on a DIN rail.
Other installation benefits include spring-loaded lugs and multistandard screws.
The PowerPacT B-frame devices feature Everlink lugs with creep compensation. Wires are held in place by spring pressure. As conductors relax to fit the terminal as is common after installation, or over time as conductors expand and contract due to use, it is often necessary to retighten. Everlink’s spring maintains constant pressure through vibration or shock. The spring pressure eliminates the need for regular maintenance due to cable creep. This not only saves effort of your installers and customers, but also minimizes potential post-sale issues due to a lack of maintenance.
The TeSys Deca contactors, overload relays, and manual motor starters, which are the largest selling line of contactors and starters in the world, are easier to install with multi-standard screws. The terminal screws can be operated using a standard flat, Phillips or Pozidriv screwdriver. With the addition of the Pozidriv option, installers find better grip during tightening, reducing “cam-out,” which is more common with flat and Phillips types.
Solutions that reduce wiring altogether will save time and money.
Schneider Electric has reimagined motor control to give OEMs more design and installation solutions. One such innovation is TeSys island.
Typical motor control wiring is fairly complex. Systems using a PLC need to send run signals to the contactor coils but often cannot do this directly. OEMs typically use interposing relays between the PLC output signal and the contactor coil to prevent damage to the PLC. In some cases, surge suppression devices are added to the circuit. TeSys island eliminates this complexity altogether using a single communication cable from the PLC to the TeSys island bus coupler. The TeSys island starters and modules are easily wired to the bus coupler using a simple click installation of an attached ribbon cable. There is no longer the need for interposing relays or surge suppressor devices.
TeSys island also simplifies other control wiring. It is not unusual in standard motor control configurations to find wires sending signals from the contactor auxiliary contact and from the overload relay auxiliary contact to the PLC in order for the PLC program to verify closure or be alerted of an overload relay trip. This wiring is no longer necessary with TeSys island, which is able to send this status information via the communication cable instead of physical wiring.
Busbar accessories also save installation time, especially in cases where several motor loads are being controlled by a control panel. TeSys Deca manual motor starters offer busbar accessories that help installers distribute power to adjacent devices easily and quickly. In cases where a higher SCCR is required, it can be difficult to use these busbar solutions as many lack a documented SCCR. However, the TeSys Deca manual motor protectors have Type F tested solutions up to 100kA with the GV2G busbar accessories, enabling more flexibility for panel designers.
You also may be able to achieve a higher SCCR and save on costs and installation time by having fewer components. Schneider Electric has a line of Power Distribution Connectors that can be used for multiple load conductors on one circuit breaker. This may be an option to use in place of distribution blocks to save time and space while still ensuring a high SCCR. These connectors have configurations for three, six, and 12 conductors.
The TeSys and PowerPacT equipment work in so many different configurations that it will allow your customers to reduce parts inventory. For example, the additional flexibility in the PowerPacT M-frame molded case circuit breaker allows customers working with 2-pole and 3-pole configurations to reduce the number of SKUs in their inventory from 32 to as few as four.
Schneider Electric can be a go-to partner for your current and future needs.
The needs of equipment manufacturers often change with updated codes and standards, with market trends, and with new customer requirements. Schneider Electric offers a range of product solutions to meet requirements from the most simple approaches to more advanced solutions. Additionally, Schneider Electric provides 99% of the electrical components you need to easily and efficiently complete your offer. This can save you from having to source from multiple vendors. Schneider Electric has a wide range of products and solutions that allow you to update your products and stay relevant while you focus on sales and production.
See how Schneider Electric can solve your design and installation needs, starting with circuit protection and motor controls.
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