2013 Product of the Year finalists: Electrical Controls
Finalists in the Electrical Controls category for the Plant Engineering 2013 Product of the Year competition.
The Ampgard XP3 is a medium-voltage motor control center (MCC) designed to deliver industry-leading diagnostics and enhanced safety in critical industrial environments. By helping identify equipment fatigue and simplify preventative maintenance, this MCC helps meet the challenges of today’s demanding motor control environments, including oil and gas, utility, water and wastewater, petrochemical, and mining applications. The Ampgard XP3 MCC incorporates patent-pending algorithms that are designed to monitor fuse, contactor, and motor fatigue to minimize unscheduled downtime, and support preventative maintenance and reliable operations. The MCC also provides superior contactor-fuse coordination to quickly clear faults and minimize equipment damage upstream and downstream from the device.
Motor control center
The XT MCC provides users with a powerful, flexible offering that is capable of servicing all motor control applications. The XT features a rugged, NEMA-rated contactor with a large installed base and improved reliability. Eaton’s FlashGard technology within the XT prevents and protects personnel and equipment from the dangers of arc flash by enabling the unit’s stabs to be retracted from or engaged onto the vertical bus while its door remains closed. Further, the XT’s compact unit footprint enables one MCC structure to be populated with a maximum of 12 units, making it ideal for applications where a limited installation footprint is available.
Cabinet cooler system
The Dual 316 Stainless Steel Cabinet Cooler system keeps electrical enclosures cool with 20 F (-7 C) air while resisting heat and corrosion that could adversely affect the internal components. The wear, corrosion, and oxidation resistance of Type 316 stainless steel assures long life and maintenance-free operation. The high cooling capacity of up to 5,600 BTU/hr is ideal for large electrical enclosures and high heat loads. Models with lower cooling capacities for NEMA 12, 4, and 4X enclosures are also available. Applications include cooling control panels used in food processing, pharmaceutical, foundries, heat treating, chemical processing, and other corrosive locations.
Wireless, battery-less pushbuttons
Utilizing wireless technology, Harmony XB5R wireless, batteryless push buttons eliminate cabling and accessories between the push button and the electric cabinet. The new wireless I/O modules operate as the intermediary between the transmitter and the PLC, providing open connectivity to the network, receiving radio signals from the transmitters, and converting them to communication protocols. Depending on the model, the access point connects to the PLC using either the RS485 Modbus serial line or the Modbus/TCP protocol. If required by the application, an external or relay antenna can be used to improve signal reception. Each access point can support up to 60 radio transmitters.
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After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.