Automation Canada Machine Safety Issue May 2021 - 33

ENCLOSURE OPTIONS SAVE TIME, SPACE AND COST
When it comes to housing your electrical devices, the more
installation and design options you have, the better. Some of the key
enclosure options include:
* Extra space. A little extra space in the box can make it faster and
easier to install. MENNEKES stocks many disconnects in an extra-large
enclosure. This also allows for factory installed or on-site
customizations.
* Material options. Disconnect enclosures come in both metallic and
non-metallic versions. Both have their advantages. Metallic boxes
maximize the impact resistance
for
high-traffic and end-of-line
applications in packaging, manufacturing and pharmaceutical facilities,
while non-metallic enclosures generally have a lower installed cost and
increased customization options. Our non-metallic AMAXX products,
for example, let you freely combine multiple disconnects and related
devices in a single enclosure, saving time, installation cost and space.
* Environmental resistance. The type of enclosure will also
determine which operating environments the disconnect can tolerate.
Most food processing or washdown applications require Type 4X
watertight enclosures capable of withstanding cleaning agents. Our
sloped-top stainless steel and non-metallic enclosures provide this
protection.
MOTOR DISCONNECTS FOR VFD APPLICATIONS
In the right applications, variable frequency drives (VFD) will improve
the control and reduce the energy costs of your AC motor-driven
equipment. To install a VFD safely, however, you may need to
reconsider the type of motor disconnect you use. The traditional
knife-blade style of disconnect, while compliant with the National
Electrical Code (NEC), is not the best choice for modern VFD
applications. The reasons why are both physical and electrical.
From a physical standpoint, the traditional NEMA-style blade
MENNEKES® 277 Fairfield Road, Fairfield, NJ 07004
T: 800-882-7584
F: 973-882-5585
CDS and DS Clean Series, Curved Non-Metallic Disconnects
disconnects are too bulky for IEC installations, which o┼┐ten group or
combine motor controls and disconnects in a shared enclosure or in
limited spaces.
In these applications, the best alternative is a compact rotary
disconnect. The use of rotary disconnects, in non-metallic or stainless
steel enclosures, continues to grow in popularity as more and more
machine builders and OEMs adopt IEC devices.
From an electrical standpoint, VFDs require motor disconnects with
an auxiliary contact that can provide crucial early break functionality.
This contact signals the drive before disconnecting the motor, giving
the drive time to power down in a controlled manner before the mains
open. Plenty of disconnects, both blade- and rotary-style, offer an
auxiliary contact. But disconnects are not all created equal when it
comes to protecting expensive VFDs.
For one thing, auxiliary contacts have speed differences based on
their actuation methods. Cam actuated versions provide fast and
predictable early break switching. Our onboard cam-actuated auxiliary
contacts will provide a minimum, repeatable time gap of 20 ms
between the opening of the auxiliary and the opening of the mains. This
repeatability and speed provide an advantage over conventional
auxiliary contacts with mechanical linkages whose actuation speeds
can vary based on how slow or fast the switch handle is operated.
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VOLUME 3, ISSUE 3
33
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Automation Canada Machine Safety Issue May 2021

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