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The marketplace need for smart machines has rendered the traditional machine design process inefficient and design time and costs have increased as a result.
By Paul Stephens, Solution Marketing Manager, Schneider Electric.
The marketplace need for smart machines has rendered the traditional machine design process inefficient and design time and costs have increased as a result. For the end users that machine builders support, machine productivity needs to improve and maintenance costs are too high. In order to address these issues, OEMs are embracing new technologies to help them better compete. New tools are now helping machine builders shorten machine design, assembly, installation and commissioning time by up to 30 percent thereby reducing OEM project implementation costs. These tools support three critical steps that help to determine the profitability and success of the machine builder: design, assembly and installation.
- Step 1: Design – Manufacturers like Schneider Electric who support OEMs with products as they build their machines, play a critical role in helping design engineers speed up their time-to-market. In the realm of motor starter technologies, for instance, design efficiency is influenced by factors like easy selection of devices, fewer references to choose from, smaller component footprint, and a broad range of possible applications. Innovative Schneider Electric motor starter size-to-performance ratios, for example, enable 30-40 percent space savings within panels, driving more efficient machine design. Material and transport costs are lower and machine design time is reduced. The smaller footprint machine components make machine assembly faster and easier.
Machine and motor control technologies that embrace open communications and exploit advanced diagnostic capabilities, help design engineers to tie together breakers, contactors and drives through open standard programming and development software. This easier integration results in a five to 15 percent faster time-to-market.
- Step 2: Assembly – In order to pull off the delicate balancing act between high speed, high-quality output and safety, machine builders require sophisticated technologies and tools that simplify the machine build process. When manufacturers like Schneider Electric provide smart hardware and interpretive software, motor starters, circuit breakers, contactors and variable speed drives (VSDs) are easily integrated into industrial machines running process automation applications and machine performance is optimised.
Tested and validated products like Schneider Electric TeSys, PowerPact, Compact NSX, Acti 9, Multi 9 and Altivar motor starters are pre-certified to conform to regulatory environments across all parts of the globe. The protection value (kA) is highest in relation to component size (eg: 80A in 55mm instead of 84mm of space ̶ a 35 percent space reduction), the products lend themselves well to general use (including harsh environments), and the units are all designed to be extremely easy to wire and mount.
- Step 3: Install – Within fixed speed motor control devices (like TeSys T, TeSys GV4, Compact NSXm and PowerPact B product ranges) Schneider Electric patented connection technologies like Everlink greatly speed up the installation process. Everlink isa creep-compensating technology with an integrated spring designed into the power connector. The spring compensates for loss of connection pressure due to vibrations or copper creep. Thus, a loose connection that leads to overheating of a terminal (and a potential fire) can be avoided. EverLink terminals are also finger proof. Anyone installing the equipment cannot touch the metal parts carrying current. Innovations like Everlink speed up installation because installers don’t have to spend time building lugs onto cables (to securely connect or terminate within the power panel). Everlink installations have proven to be 50 percent faster than traditional crimping, securing and mounting approaches.
Learn more about how OEM design, assembly, and installation efficiency can drive end user plant productivity.