Workstations are smart and safe for production lines

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Workstations are smart and safe for production linesRittal is offering new, high-functionality industrial workstations for decentralised man-machine interface applications - and tough enough to meet the requirements of the automobile industry.

More demands are placed on process visualisation and operation at the man-machine interface than in any other tasks in automobile production. In this area, specialist staff come directly into contact with the manufacturing process. Ease of control and ease of service play an important role here. With its new Industrial Workstation (IW), Rittal is placing great emphasis on ergonomics, functionality and safety. The system approach excels as a result of its modular nature and ease of integration, and through the wide range of components and modern design.

The basis of the Rittal IW is a modular under-desk enclosure (600 x 1040 x 645mm, WxHxD) together with a VIP 6000 command panel or a Comfort Panel. The base enclosure offers sufficient space for the control system, for additional diagnostic and control elements, as well as for any decentralised network switches. Panel PCs and other control components can be installed in the vertically-hinged command panel that is located on the under-desk enclosure. For optimum input conditions, a keyboard housing can be installed, which, as well as an IP65 keyboard, can also take another mouse and - if desired - an access control system.

Protection for control electronics

The base enclosure is manufactured from dipcoat-primed and powder-coated sheet steelto offer effective protection. As an option, the plastic-coated worktop is also available in sheet steel, so that even hot splashes from welding cannot cause damage. In addition, the IW, with its welded sheet metal sections, exhibits a high level of EMC shielding. Altogether, the IW, with IP55 protection (as well as the command panel with IP65) fulfils the high requirements of car manufacturers, with sufficient protection for the sensitive electronic components.

Cool operating

As early as the planning stage, special attention was given to the problem of heat generation. The command panel is therefore fitted with lateral aluminium cooling fins. In special operations, in which an outside temperature of more than 45degC is anticipated, a compact cooling unit (525 x 340 x 153mm, WxHxD) is mounted on the rear panel of the command panel.

Today many panel PCs are fitted with their own fans, which provide for sufficient air circulation around the heat-sensitive electronics components. Nonetheless, an air control system can be attached to the rear panel of the command panel to support the stream of cooling air from the fans as it flows past the heat-generating components, effectively preventing any pockets of heat from forming. Fans can also be placed in the base enclosure to avoid pockets of heat and to achieve a homogeneous heat distribution.

Service made easy

Rittal's new workstation is based on a hinged command panel and a hinged rear wall in the keyboard enclosure. This guarantees simple and fast access to allow the the unit to be serviced. Cable ducts and cable shunting rings ensure a clear and clearly structured set-up. Most components are made with standard products from the comprehensive Rittal modular system. This way, cost-intensive custom designs are avoided.

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