2022-03-24. RidgeTech excels with the Rittal and EPLAN Advantage
The digital age has transformed the face of almost every industry around the globe, and manufacturing has been no exception. Modern industrial automation helps improve speed, efficiency, quality and safety. This gives manufacturers the tools to thrive in the face of increasing competition. The pace of innovation continues to grow exponentially with new technologies being released weekly by the world’s leading robot and automation suppliers.
The System Integrators’ Advantage
One of the challenges faced by manufacturers and OEMs is how to select and design technologies that best suit their applications. The solution for many of the world’s leading manufacturers, distributors, utilities and OEMs is to engage systems integrators to help answer these questions and design the right solution based on the specific needs of a project. One such company, RidgeTech Automation Inc. , is a control systems integrator based out of Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. RidgeTech supports a global list of clients in the automotive, food & beverage, pharmaceutical, energy and agri-business spaces with customized control system designs, software, panels and site commissioning services. The company has found tremendous success over the years by helping their clients achieve efficiencies and improve reliability which ultimately leads to protecting and increasing their bottom lines.
Engineering Challenges & Automation Solutions
An engineering and design firm like RidgeTech faces the challenge of developing and maintaining design templates and standards to suit a wide variety of client needs and product offerings. Essentially, how does the automation company automate themselves to keep up with Industry 4.0?
For Leigh Spraggett, President of RidgeTech Automation, the answer is simple, they incorporate the Rittal-EPLAN Value Chain in their processes and operations. There is a direct relationship between RidgeTech’s success and the benefits they enjoy from using the EPLAN Platform combined with Rittal’s market-leading enclosure, climate control and power distribution solutions.
From EPLAN Design to Rittal Automation
Both Rittal and EPLAN have supported RidgeTech in challenging projects, especially for the major clients in the Food & Beverage Industry, and this enhanced partnership has enabled RidgeTech to reach even higher levels of customer excellence in Central Canada and globally.
The RidgeTech team consists of a talented and dedicated group of engineers and technologists with a proven track record of experience in designing and implementing control system projects. They possess the knowledge and skills required to successfully complete jobs of all sizes and complexities. They work with their clients from the conceptual stages right through to designing and commissioning upgrades on legacy equipment.
By working with Rittal and EPLAN , the RidgeTech project team are able to meet the required footprint and include the proposed panels in a 3D drawing, as a visual. The level of detail achieved with this powerful engineering software, assures the low environmental risk of the project, as well as the competency of the company. Once configured, the drawings can be sent directly to Rittal’s Perforex Automation Centre for modification and customization. This makes the entire process super-efficient, cost-effective and timely, saving valuable time and resources, and ensuring the utmost satisfaction of the end customer.
Advantages of EPLAN’s 3D design
RidgeTech has invested heavily in Rittal’s sister company, EPLAN, over the past 5 years and has implemented modules such as Electric P8 and ProPanel for 2D and 3D design of electrical schematics and panels, as well as EPLAN Fluid for power systems in hydraulics, pneumatics cooling and lubricants. The EPLAN platform and its various modules are tailor-made for the type of work being done at RidgeTech. It allows for the configuration of integrated workflows with emphasis on standardized and intelligent processes, including cross referencing and error-free documentation for electrical controls and schematics.
RidgeTech admits that it is a better system integrator because it utilizes tools like EPLAN. “Our clients love the 3D panel designs that we produce as they provide the luxury of allowing us to inspect each panel before they are built” says Spraggett. “We have spotted issues with components that looked like they fit in the 2D drawing but then overlapped and collided in 3D. Catching these problems at the design stage saves time and money over finding the problem in the build shop.”
“Other design platforms have great features and may suit other applications, but for our diverse list of requirements our designers prefer using EPLAN over anything else. Since implementing EPLAN back in 2014 we have seen a major reduction in errors, our workflow is much more efficient and the level of satisfaction from our clients is significantly higher,” adds Spraggett.
Years of experience using Rittal and EPLAN
Spraggett’s team realizes that working with Rittal’s industry-leading enclosures such as the Hygienic Design line which is ideal for harsh industries such as Food and Beverage, and the Blue e+ range of Cooling solutions that save up to 75% in energy costs, gives them a competitive edge. Moreover, designing enclosure systems with EPLAN is quicker than with most other platform, once it is set it up properly, because it is such a powerful tool.
Spraggett believes a properly trained workforce is essential. In fact, one of the company’s main challenges is making sure staff are knowledgeable about all the tools they use. The relationship between RidgeTech and sister companies Rittal and EPLAN is so strong, that RidgeTech is a Certified Systems Integrator for both Rittal and EPLAN, a certification only awarded to companies with the highest levels of proven knowledge with EPLAN engineering design as well as Rittal enclosure and climate control solutions.
Leigh Spraggett, President, RidgeTech Automation Inc, said, “We are delighted to join both Rittal and EPLAN’s Certified Systems Integrator programs. Qualifying for these advanced program shows RidgeTech’s continued commitment to evolving our automation skillset and furthering our ability to service our clients’ needs throughout the value chain.”
Shift towards Automation bring new Opportunities
The success RidgeTech has experienced speaks for itself, as new opportunities don’t seem to be slowing down. “The growth curve for automation has increased significantly over the last 3-5 years. We’ve seen a steep increase in demand and we’re looking at a substantial increase next year as well,” explains Spraggett. “In the past it was primarily the automotive industry that was focused on modern automation and robotics but that has changed drastically over the last 10 years. Now, just about every manufacturer is relying on some form of automation to remain competitive. Just as our clients continue to look for innovative new ways to stay competitive in their markets, so too must RidgeTech continue to strive to remain at the top of our game. Our partnership with Rittal and EPLAN is instrumental in helping us achieve success and compete confidently on the global stage.”