After five years' development, Rittal unveiled its VX25 large enclosure system at the 2018 Hanover Trade Fair with the slogan System Perfection. It is said to be the first enclosure system that has been developed to meet the requirements for increased productivity in control and switchgear manufacturing, as well as along the Industry 4.0 value chains.
Rittal has made a major innovative leap, building on its experience in the market and intensive customer feedback and involvement. The company says the VX25 offers the highest possible quality and consistency of data, reduced complexity and savings in time, as well as safe assembly. More than 25 registered patent and trademark applications demonstrate the high level of innovation that was involved.
Dr Thomas Steffen, Managing Director of Research and Development at Rittal, says: "The market needs an enclosure that cuts throughput times in engineering and assembly, reduces complexity and that finds a place for itself as a full-grown module in the megatrend of digitisation.
"The new Rittal large enclosure has now become 100 per cent Industry 4.0-capable. With the combination of a real enclosure and its digital twin, the new development will meet every future digitisation need – from online configuration and engineering to assembly, as well as automation, logistics and maintenance."
Large-scale usability study
Intensive dialogue with Rittal customers was a crucial factor in the development of the new large enclosure system. During a large-scale, scientifically based usability study, researchers used words, images and video to document the everyday working life of control and switchgear manufacturers, covering ten companies in Germany, eight in the USA and six in China, including small, medium-sized and large companies.
Dr Steffen says: "This user analysis was an eye-opener. In some cases, we spotted problems that the customers themselves had not yet identified."
As a result, 150 systematically recorded and specific requirements for a new enclosure emerged, providing developers and product managers with a robust guide for the actual development work. Rittal supplemented its findings with those of the customer advisory council (who were also involved). Later, during the development phase, Rittal did not omit one single, essential point.
The result was the new VX25 large enclosure system. The name VX25 stands for three elements: the versatility of options; the fulfilment of x customer requirements; and for its perfect symmetry through a consistent 25mm pitch pattern.
Dr Steffen says: "What is new is that no enclosure system has ever been previously developed so consistently and systematically to ensure maximum customer benefit. The VX25 matches the way the control and switchgear manufacturer thinks and works – both in functions and processes."
Customer benefits across the entire value chain of control and switchgear manufacturing can be summarised in three key points:
- maximum data quality and a constant supply of data;
- reduced complexity and savings in time; and
- safe assembly.
Patents: a high degree of innovation
The heart of the innovation is the newly developed frame section. This determines the installation space, the efficiency in engineering and assembly, the expansion options, the stability and, therefore, the reliability and flexibility in the customer's workshop.
With the new large enclosure system, Rittal's engineers could maintain all the important and established product features of the existing TS 8 large enclosure system, expanding them significantly with a multitude of new functions and customer benefits. There were more than 25 registered patent and trademark applications, which demonstrate the high level of innovation in the VX25.
For Rittal, System Perfection also involves high-tech manufacturing. The company has invested in new state-of-the-art production facilities to manufacture the new frame section of the VX25.
New and fully automatic profiling systems and volume production lines, with a total of 31 welding and handling robots, are witness to the focus on top quality combined with precision and stability. The result is that the frame section of the VX25, which has a consistent 25mm pitch pattern, is clearly more stable than its TS 8 predecessor although the weight is the same.
Ready for Industry 4.0
High-quality data for VX25 enclosures is readily available for electrical planning, mechanical design, purchasing, cost calculation and manufacturing, as well as every other area of switchgear construction. That capability then opens up new ways for end-users to digitise their processes in accordance with Industry 4.0.
Efficient designing and planning is supported through the easy download of detailed, validated 3D CAD data (via the Rittal website or EPLAN data portal), the flexible data transmission in all common CAD systems (a total of 70 formats), the mechatronic engineering with CAE/CAD, the generation of enclosure layouts with EPLAN Pro Panel, as well as data classification according to eClass and ETIM.
Furthermore, the online Rittal Configuration System (RiCS) enables simple and error-free configuration of VX25 enclosures and installation components – even without any knowledge of CAD.
Follow the link for more information about the new VX25 large enclosure system.