Guest Blog: Maximise the space in your cabinet and reduce cost

Written by: Dennis Wylie | Published:

The crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise never worried about the limits of space in their star trek across the endless universe – but when it comes to your control system, unfortunately, you don’t have the luxury of unlimited space.

You must continually explore ways to work within those limits and consider how to simultaneously keep costs low and performance high, all in an effort to maintain system efficiency.

When exploring the limited space in the universe of your control system’s enclosure, consider a variety of ways to help improve your system’s performance while working within those constraints.

Space Limit Challenges

You wouldn’t park the Starship Enterprise in an airplane hangar, so why try to squeeze a control system into a cabinet that is too small to accommodate it?

Space limits in your control cabinet are a problem. Fortunately, controllers continue to evolve to meet customer demands. Embedded Ethernet ports and increased capacity with the added benefit of high performance in new controllers can allow you to use fewer of them in your control system. The end result: more space in your cabinet.

Enhanced I/O modules let you wire more devices per module for hardware simplification. This allows you to use fewer modules in your system. Again, you get more space in your chassis, and in your cabinet.

Slimmer power supplies make it possible for you to condense the overall footprint of the chassis, freeing up even more space. Reducing your overall physical system width helps you avoid breaking those minimum mounting clearances – or having the chassis mounted in unsupported orientation due to size. You might even have space to expand.

And redundant power supply cables can allow your chassis to sit closer to the back of your enclosure due to 90-degree-angled designs.

Organised and Efficient

Oh what a tangled web we weave! Can you imagine the problems if all of the wiring required on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise was not consolidated in an efficient way?

Tribbles wouldn’t be the crew’s only trouble! The same is true within the cabinet of your control system. For example, new redundant cabling options provide a more defined and efficient way to power your redundant chassis, adding to a more organised system installation.

Slim power supply options also allow you to construct a more efficient system because less space is needed, as does the ability to consolidate I/O. Enhanced I/O modules can help you achieve better results through faster response times. They also provide higher performance control and more precision due to faster execution times. A more organised and efficient system results from more accurate control.

Cost Concerns

From controllers, to I/O, to power supplies, to redundant power supply cables, there are many ways to save space in your control system.

Your mission is to go where no control system has gone before…

Dennis Wylie is Global Product Manager for Rockwell Automation

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