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Automation Technologies 2/2015

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Automation Technologies 2/2015


COMPONENTS AND SOFTWARE previous page 03 Ralf Ochs, head electrical design engineer for Vitronic in Wiesbaden/Germany, supervised the system improvements Prior to the system redesign, the six cameras were protected by miniature circuit breakers, each 17.5 mm in width. In the case of a fault in one single camera system, only one miniature circuit breaker would have been triggered, and the fault would almost go unnoticed. The unscanned packages would have made their way onto the conveyor system until, due to their increasing number, they would have caused overflow and eventually brought the conveyor system to a standstill. Remote reports of fault states Circuit breaker – higher system availability Circuit breakers are an important requirement for higher system availability; in the case of overloads or short-circuits, they selectively switch off the defective circuit. The CB circuit breaker range is highly can be modularly expanded, custom adapted, and widely branchable: Modularly expandable: Thanks to the pluggable bridges from the Clipline complete modular terminal block system, the single-channel circuit breaker plugs are easily and flexibly bridgeable. Subsequent expansion can always be performed quickly and easily with the power on. Custom adaptable: The pluggable circuit breakers can be adapted to meet your individual needs. If the system is pre-wired, rated currents can be selected later individually and adjusted on-site to meet local requirements. Widely branchable: Even longer cables are possible thanks to the special SFB thermomagnetic tripping characteristic, as the trigger is in the range of 6 to 10 times rated current. In order to avoid this type of system failure, thermomagnetic circuit breakers from Phoenix Contact, equipped with an integrated remote signaling contact, are now being used. “If there is any fault whatsoever, the triggered fuse instantly sends an alert to the control room via a remote signaling contact,” explains Ochs. “This way, any malfunctions can be located and resolved very quickly.” With a width of just 12.3 mm, the circuit breakers of the CB range are significantly narrower than conventional miniature circuit breakers - and still contain an integrated remote signaling contact. “This meant we could increase the functionality while at the same time decreasing the space needed in the supply cabinet,” says Ochs. Now, the supply cabinet handles all the switching, powering, and protecting needed for the control cabinet, cameras, light barriers, and sensors. Selective fuse protection The supply cabinet was further upgraded (Fig. 4). The light barriers and sensors running on 24 V DC are now protected using electronic circuit breakers from the CB range. It is important that consumers in the power supply’s secondary circuit are protected selectively, failures may otherwise also cause system downtimes. If, for example, the path of an unsecured AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 2/2015

COMPONENTS AND SOFTWARE consumer short circuits, the entire output voltage of the power supply would dip. All other connected consumers would then also shut down, as the power supplied to them would be too low. In that case, the entire plant would go offline, although there is only a small partial failure. “But these were not the only reasons for the new Phoenix Contact circuit breakers,” according to Ochs. “As well as their dimensions and reliability, the added flexibility was an important consideration.” This is because the circuit breakers are based on a pluggable design: Each unit consists of a base and a plug connector. The main advantage of this design is that the cabling never needs to be modified, for example, Packages reach their destination quickly and safely. if the system’s rated current is changed. As a result, the cabling can be finalized at a very early stage, and the rated currents can be flexibly adapted to suit during on-site commissioning. Rated current and cable cross section must be compatible, particularly in the case of pluggable circuit breakers. To ensure that the connected rated current is not too high for the cable cross section, the bases in the CB circuit breaker product range are coded. Conclusion High system availability does not necessarily have to come at the cost of complex technology or require lots of space in the control cabinet. By selecting adequate components and the appropriate electrical system, safety is possible even with a small design envelope. “In this case, the selection of CB circuit breakers from Phoenix Contact was just right,” concludes Ochs. “They were also very accommodating by offering the combination of price/performance and flexibility we require.” 04 The Phoenix Contact CB circuit breakers are housed in the supply cabinet center left and bottom right About Company name: Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co. KG Headquarters: Blomberg, Germany Turnover: € 1.77 billion (2014) worldwide Employees: 14,000 worldwide (2014) Products: Products, systems and solutions for all aspects of electrical engineering and automation AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 2/2015


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