Connecting auxiliary consumers in large control and switchgear systems has frequently been a complicated and time-consuming task involving a lot of manual work. For smaller power distribution systems that supply these ancillary consumers with energy, all the components needed to be wired individually, which represented an enormous amount of work. Fest GmbH, a manufacturer of control and switchgear from Goslar in Germany has found a far better solution for an ongoing project; for the first time, Fest is using Rittal’s RiLine Compact power distribution system for auxiliary drives in the switchgear used in a metalworking plant. It is ideal for supplying small loads with energy. The system is based on a board with integrated conductors and a continuous contact grid. The board can be easily mounted in a few easy steps by snapping it onto a DIN support rail in the enclosure; no tools are required. Likewise, the components can also be plugged onto the all-round shock-hazard protected board just as easily, again without the need for any tools. The components are electrically contacted in the same operation. This way, power distributions with a maximum rated current of up to 125 A are created very quickly indeed and with a minimum of work.
For Fest, this swift and tool-free installation is the RiLine Compact’s main benefit. “The system is simply the ideal solution for small distributions. And the bottom line is that we even save money,” Sven Rottgardt, Project Manager at Fest, happily adds. Compared to the solutions used before – individual wiring or comb bridges – around 50 per cent less time is spent in the workshop. The reason is that RiLine Compact eliminates the many manual working operations that are the norm in conventional installation. And the project manager mentions another of the system’s benefits: “During commissioning, it regularly happens that an extra load needs to be connected. With RiLine Compact, we have a corresponding space in reserve, so that we can integrate it into the existing system quickly and easily.”
Consistent processes ensure higher speeds
The use of the easy-to-assemble RiLine Compact system in the current project is just one of the points where Fest is working to increase efficiency along the value chain. Particular emphasis is placed on integrated processes from engineering to production and the facility. At Fest, all the processes are based on a meticulously maintained design database. The material management system used in costing accesses it in precisely the same way as the electrical planning, which at Fest, is implemented in EPLAN Electric P8. A lot of work is being invested in the entire engineering process, Mr. Rottgardt explains: “The more precisely we plan, the easier it will be in the workshop later.” This results in very detailed parts and wiring lists during the planning stage. All the components are already pre-sorted depending on the enclosures in which they are to be installed. In the future, the routing tool will also be used in EPLAN Pro Panel to automatically calculate the cable routes in the enclosure and so work out the lengths of the wires. This means that the cables can be automatically assembled and labelled, which then simplifies the subsequent wiring process greatly.
- Goslar, Germany
Construction of a switchgear for a metalworking plant
Accommodation of the auxiliary drives in a small space
Use of RiLine Compact for the power supply of small consumers
Toolless installation with a few simple steps by snapping onto a DIN mounting rail in the enclosure
Space for additional consumers