24 June 2020

The control gear evolution: The transition into a digitalized world

Control gear has been a dominant force in the industrial marketplace since the late 18th century some people consider it an outdated methodology for switching motors. This poses an intriguing question, why is it that the market continues an upward trajectory when emerging technological advancements continue to be released?

A VISION OF THE FUTURE

The common concept amongst manufacturers predicts a future which is based around smart infrastructures and factories. The idea that intelligent devices feed information back to an industrial cloud network that harnesses large volumes of data which can be used to optimize processes and to predict maintenance before a breakdown arises.

OBSTACLES ON THE HORIZON

In its present condition a motor starters main functions are to switch and protect a motor, a push buttons main function is to make or break a circuit and a soft starters main function is to provide a smooth starting and stopping procedure for a motor. These characteristics alone are inadequate for the transition into smart infrastructures and factories domain. Thus, it is essential that the specification for control gear evolves to meet the advancing criteria. The main function of the device would remain unchanged. Advancements in design tools simulating applications ensuring suitability and efficiency before construction. It is vital that an industrial product has intelligent communication capabilities to feedback information to the industrial cloud for motor performance and diagnostics to optimize the application performance and predict maintenance. Modernizing control gear is essential to continue progressing in this upward trajectory.

CONTROL GEAR STATEMENT OF INTENT

Siemens has embraced the transition into the digital age with new design tools where digital twin meets control gear. Dimensioning load feeders easily and reliably with the Load Feeder Configurator tool that provides the standardized cable cross-sections and short-circuit values for fuse-less load feeders, temperature monitoring of the control panel using SIMARIS Therm, dimensioning electrical equipment with SIMARIS Design and standard-based product selection with the TIA Selection Tool. The way to optimized control panels can be complex. These tools help digitize your engineering with high-quality, easy-to-integrate data and smart tools to simplify the engineering process. Precise information on product suitability and efficiency of the control panel at the design stage through digital simulations. These tools are easily accessible and to free download.

The digitalized products within the portfolio that have intelligence is growing. Demonstrated by the ET200SP motor starters integrated into an automation system, SIMOCODE motor management system, SIRIUS Act push buttons over PROFINET and the SIRIUS soft starters. The vast majority of Siemens control gear has been recently innovated to remain competitive and meet customer expectations. These ranges fulfil the criteria perfectly to provide visibility of performance through data analysis. Siemens control gear with intelligence is unquestionably expanding with a view on the future.

THE END OF THE LINE OR A NEW BEGINNING

Change within industry is inevitable but progression for control gear is a choice for each manufacturer. It gives me great pride to represent Siemens control gear where we are constantly innovating to remain at forefront of technological advancements within engineering. Control gear has demonstrated how it can evolve through generations and now a digital transformation emerges. It is imperative that control gear manufacturers continue to revolutionize their design tools and products to match the ideology of a smart workplace. This course of action would encourage any individual to have a positive outlook in this digitalized world.

For more infomation visit: https://new.siemens.com/global/en/products/automation/industrial-controls/sirius.html

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