Lenze reports that its Systems Division in St Helens has gone from strength to strength since its establishment in 2008. More than 500 control panels have been shipped and an almost exponential growth trend promises a busy future. The Division was set up to match automation customers' needs for stronger support, faster projects and cost savings. Much more than panel building, the Division offers a menu of services, from evaluation through to installation, commissioning and operator training.
An initial evaluation of a project by experienced engineers is followed by a proposal, unusually with alternative options and an energy analysis. The Division has available the complete range of Lenze drive and automation equipment. This includes IPCs, HMIs, I/O, PLCs, servo and inverter drives, plus all necessary options and accessories. Standard software is available for PLC and drive programming and this can be customised to individual requirements. Control panels are designed, built and tested. After delivery there are options for installation, commissioning and operator training.
Customers who previously built their own panels in-house benefit from cost savings through simplified purchasing, a reduced demand on internal resources and better cashflow, as panels are invoiced at the point of delivery. Those who were buying their panels outside gain further savings because all the major panel components come from Lenze, so there are no second margins or handling charges. Beyond financial savings, customers find that projects run faster with a single point of contact. Furthermore, the technical responsibility is clear and this pays dividends at the commissioning stage.
Panels have been delivered across a wide cross-section of industries, from North Sea oil to textiles, metal forming and food processing machinery. They range from simple single-axis panels with inverter drives through to multi-bay, multi-axis panels with IPC, HMI, inverter and servo drives. Options such as pendant control, operator panels, stainless steel construction and integrated safety controls are commonplace.
Lenze Systems Manager Derek Clark comments: "Little did we know that this business model would be so successful that in two years we would ship over 500 panels. This is further evidence that customers find our package extremely attractive. Our rigorous approach with a full application evaluation has led to higher levels of machine performance, often exceeding customer expectations".