After an ongoing consultative process, Nuvotion began working on a control and monitoring system to fit the needs of our client New World Distillery.
When the project officially started, we put some careful thought into the electronics we would use to run the system. After ordering all the bits and pieces, we needed an enclosure to house them.
To the left you can see how we prepared the enclosure for the parts to be installed. Mocking up with paper is quicker and simpler than drawing everything in CAD. Placing the enclosure at the intended operating height gives you a good feeling for how the box will be used.
Ergonomics are always an important consideration, especially for a system such as this, which will be used frequently.
- Emergency stops should be placed in an easily visible and easily accessible area.
- Visual indicators require adequate clearance to avoid visual clutter.
- Switches and touch panels should be at a comfortable height for operation.
Once we were happy with the paper mockup we carefully inflicted our array of power tools onto the enclosure. The main holes that needed cutting out were for the Human Machine Interface (HMI), main power switch, buzzer alarm, and front operation inputs – switches and potentiometers. We also needed to mount the tower light at the top of the enclosure.
With the front part sorted out, the internals are next. A quality power supply is the first and most critical part of any electronic system. It’s pretty hard to go past Mean Well, so we didn’t!
Thankfully most industrial enclosures come with removable mounting panels, so you don’t have to spend too much time digging around inside the enclosure. On the right you can see the removable panel, with Mean Well power supply and three phase breaker mounted on the DIN rail at the top.
The middle DIN rail houses a number of connectors for 24V power distribution. They have a more than adequate current rating for this kind of system, and the new models don’t dig into your fingers like the old ones.
The PLC and analog extension module are on the bottom rail, with a green signal amplifier on the left. The amplifier is necessary to provide a relay output from a low-current (1-2mA) NAMUR input signal.
On the right hand side we have some cable management duct. It looks like overkill, but trust us, it fills up!
On the left is a picture of the enclosure with most items mounted, except the tower lights. This was good enough for a power up test, to program the PLC and do a basic function test.
Stay tuned for another post where we show how the control box looks now that it’s installed on site and operational.