Voltage fluctuations can cause serious problems. At Erdrich Umformtechnik, a mains voltage fluctuation caused a lathe control to fail and, consequently, considerable production losses. Erdrich now uses Murrelektronik's MB Cap Ultra 24/40 buffer modules to bridge voltage drops efficiently; these devices pay for themselves with the first outage they prevent.
Erdrich produces pistons used in the disc brakes of cars. To make a piston, a 3mm thick sheet of metal is uncoiled from a drum and deep drawn through 13 stages. It is then turned to length, the beading is rolled and then the surface is processed. The components are ground and the surfaces chemically treated. The parts receive a final cleaning, they are measured and a leak test is performed. This is a complex process that has to be co-ordinated correctly.
The power grid at the manufacturing facility often has voltage fluctuations. In the past, this caused the control system on a process-critical CNC lathe to fail. As a result, the PLC lost its data and production stopped. It would take almost an hour and a half to get the lathe running again, and it took as much as 10 hours to restart the complete production line. Clearly the mains voltage's fluctuations and the resultant system outages increased costs dramatically.
After successfully completing the first machine's testing phase, the maintenance engineers at Erdrich made the decision to install buffer modules in more machines. This is a small investment that makes a huge difference given the very high cost of a system outage. The cost of an MB Cap Ultra is recouped when the first production interruption is prevented.