Selecting A Power Distribution Center For Industrial Manufacturing Environments

Industrial manufacturing applications demand power distribution centers that can withstand the rigors of a harsh factory floor. Not only do they provide power to keep machines and equipment running smoothly to lower operating costs, but they must also safeguard personnel using the distribution units.

Keep in mind, however, that some power distribution centers are better than others in meeting this challenge. Let’s take a closer look at the features that will optimize your unit selection:

Modular design provides installation flexibility. No two manufacturing facilities are the same, so using a configurable power distribution system will accommodate the varied needs of different plant requirements. A modular design allows for different size requirements based upon available space for the application. Our AMAXX® power distribution units consist of modular enclosures that can be ganged together or used individually. All can be customized to fit different receptacles, voltage requirements and switches and have optional overload protection. One compact unit replaces multiple enclosures, offering you savings in both labor and materials.

Heavy-duty materials withstand manufacturing demands. Enclosures in factory environments should be constructed with heavy-duty materials to enhance the quality and durability of your installation. AMAXX power distribution units use impact-modified thermoplastic material, while SpecMAXX enclosures are stainless steel. Both are NEMA 4X-rated to protect against hose-directed water and other typical factory contaminants, such as dust and debris. They can also be used in harsher applications that involve exposure to corrosive chemicals or caustic cleaning substances.

Electrical safety to protect personnel. Above all, power distribution centers must minimize risks to personnel and equipment during normal use and routine service and maintenance procedures. Our load-rated switches safely disconnect motor loads according to OSHA lockout/tagout (LO/TO) requirements. Our switched and interlocked receptacles, configured to IEC60309 standards, provide no-load make-and-break control for plug-connected equipment.

Safe, Reliable Power for Industrial Welding Applications


 

When it comes to welding, your power supply can make or break you. For one, components must deliver reliable power to get the job done. They must also keep the electric current steady for the duration of the process—enabling you to focus on achieving the strongest, most precise weld possible.

For these reasons, it’s important to choose power supply components that are safe, electrically versatile and rugged. Let’s take a closer look at these requirements:

Safety First. First and foremost, components must provide high levels of electrical safety. Our welding outlets feature a patented interlock and switch mechanism that prevents mating or disconnecting under load. They also include a highly visible, LO/TO-compliant handle and optional circuit breakers or fusing for localized overload protection.

Mechanical and Electrical Versatility. While promoting safety, power supply components and systems must still be versatile enough to meet a range of operating requirements. Versatility of Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding requires power in varied plant settings. Manufacturing cells often require a different mix of welders and finishing tools. To meet these varying needs, our AMAXX modular enclosure system can be configured to include various receptacle options in different voltages. Designs often include 30A and 60A outlets for welders, as well as 120-volt “convenience outlets” for handheld tools.

Rugged Construction for Factory Environments. Industrial welding for construction, maintenance or for manufacturing and fabrication is often performed in harsh, factory-floor environments. To withstand these conditions, your power supply components must be tough. Our outlets are housed in an impact-modified Valox thermoplastic enclosure, resistant to UV, corrosion and even NEMA 4X washdown environments. For even more durability, our SpecMAXX series allows you to combine several welding outlets in a rugged stainless-steel enclosure.

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Wiring Devices for Harsh Demands of Wind Turbine Use

Because wind turbines operate outdoors at remote or offshore sites, the power supply components you choose for these systems must be tough enough to withstand a variety of harsh conditions-including shock, vibration, moisture exposure, extreme temperature and more.

Here are some of the ways our wiring devices take on this challenge to keep your energy systems running smoothly:

Rated for harsh environments. When operating outdoors, exposure to windborne contaminants and moisture is a real concern. Our pin and sleeve devices are well-suited for these elements. All devices have either a watertight IP 67/UL Type 4X rating or an IP54, weatherproof/dustproof rating.

Resilient to temperature extremes. Wind turbines are deployed in a variety of climates-from hot deserts to cold, snowy regions. Our pin and sleeve devices are rated for extreme temperatures as high as 40°C and as low as -25°C. This, coupled with the ability to support long cable runs, makes them ideal for delivering generator power to nacelle motors when positioning during installation-no matter the location.

Enclosed in watertight, rugged housing. For additional durability, especially in moisture-prone environments, our plugs and connectors have gasketed locking rings and flip lid covers. This creates a long-lasting, watertight seal when in use to withstand the most difficult environmental conditions, including hose direct water and ice. And thanks to use of impact modified non-metallic thermoplastic materials, these devices are well-equipped to withstand the impact of this harsh environment.

Certified to global installation requirements. All wiring devices meet installation requirements throughout the world. Products have cULus Listed Agency Certification for use in North America and international approvals from VDE, KEMA and others for global requirements. They’re also designed to IEC 60309-1 and -2 Standards for intermateabilty with like-rated devices from other manufacturers.

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Choosing Your Power Devices for Data Centers

In today’s high-tech world, we place a lot of demands on data centers. Not only must they be able to operate around the clock, but equipment increasingly has to comply with global configuration standards. Receptacles, plugs and connectors used in these centers must have the same level of dependability as they provide power around the world-all day, every day-for equipment, such as rack system PDUs, servers, UPS and data storage devices.

With these demands in mind, here are two critical questions to ask yourself when selecting power supply components for your data center:

Do they comply with global standards? More and more, companies are moving critical infrastructure across international borders, which means the components used in these systems must be able to meet global installation requirements. Many of our products have agency approval for North America, Europe and other international markets. Designed to IEC 60309-2 standards, they are fully intermateable with like-rated devices from other manufacturers to support universal installation requirements. Most popular from MENNEKES are Dual Agency-approved devices in the 240/415 Vac, 5-wire configuration with 30/32, 60/63 and 100/125 Amp ratings.

Are they designed for easy installation and reliability? All plugs and connectors feature backed out terminal screws; 60-Amp models have a threaded two-piece housing for ease of assembly. Female cord connectors have NPT cable entry, allowing you to directly install a flex conduit fitting without the use of a costly adaptor fitting. All female devices have high-temperature UL 94-VO inserts for safe and reliable long-term use. Depending upon design needs, choose a device with a locking watertight design or IP44 splashproof protection.

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Protecting Power Equipment In Washdown Applications

If you work in food processing, you already know that every inch of the plant needs to be regularly cleaned and sanitized—but it’s easy to forget about the power equipment. All power distribution components and systems require special measures to function well in washdown environments. Here are three to keep in mind:

Suspended AMAXXUL Type 4X compliance guards against liquids and corrosion. All our switches and receptacles meet UL Type 4X standards to protect against hosedown and corrosive agents. Our SPEC Grade family of motor disconnects and pre-wired switched and interlocked receptacles is housed in a Type 304 stainless-steel enclosure with a 15-degree slope—forcing liquid run-off. These enclosures also feature a one-piece punched gasket to ensure a watertight seal and an expansive drainage channel so contaminants can’t accumulate.

Arc protection becomes more critical in wet conditions. Our motor load disconnects are designed to address critical lockout/tagout requirements in washdown environments. Engineers and facility managers can also rely on our switched and interlocked receptacles for no load make and break protection—keeping operators safe from arcs under wet conditions.

Suspended power supply options facilitate equipment cleaning. In addition to withstanding liquids and harsh cleaning agents, many of our electrical products are designed to facilitate cleaning. For example, our new Suspended AMAXX overhead power distribution system eliminates having to install anything on walls or columns. Not only does this minimize the potential for contaminant harborage, but it also makes it easy to move or roll food processing equipment away for regular cleaning. In addition, the Suspended AMAXX removes tripping hazards, promoting worker safety particularly in wet environments.

To learn more about how our electrical products can be used in washdown applications, download our catalog.

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The Benefits of Having a Suspended Power Distribution System

Suspended AMAXXDepending on your application or your plant design, having an overhead power supply source comes in handy. Some facilities don’t have columns in the middle of the floor for routing and installation of electrical equipment. This can be for sanitary reasons, to minimize potential for contaminant harborage or to provide unobstructed views of the production areas.

The benefits of an overhead power supply source are obvious. But having an entire overhead power distribution system, like Suspended AMAXX, can take these benefits even further. Here’s what you need to know:

Power Distribution Systems Versus Power Drops
Traditional overhead power drops consist of one individual cord and one individual connector; multiple cords and connectors are therefore required to support multiple pieces of equipment in each production area. In these cases, individual supply feeds are run from a main panel with a remote circuit breaker at the panel or overhead. Accessing the circuit breaker is inconvenient, perhaps even troublesome when equipment needs to be maintained or repaired. Multiples cords also require more installation time and continued maintenance.

Suspended power distribution systems, on the other hand, let you drop an oversized supply cord, and this power can then be distributed to several receptacles. Essentially, you’re able to run one large feed for each required voltage system through one common box.

Applications
One overhead power distribution system means you don’t have to install anything on walls or columns—in fact, you don’t even need them. This is advantageous for a number of reasons.

  • Plant layout. This type of system may be your only option based on how a plant was designed or how power is distributed in the facility. For example, many plants don’t have spare walls or columns in production areas. Sometimes, the original distribution system in the plant can no longer support current production needs.
  • Sanitation. Many plants, in the medical or food and beverage industries, for example, are designed to minimize contamination as much as possible. Having extra walls or columns creates more surface area in the plant that will need to be cleaned.
  • Portable equipment. Because equipment isn’t tethered to a wall, it can be easily moved or rolled away—often for cleaning purposes or when production needs change, requiring a different arrangement of equipment. Having an overhead system facilitates this process.

Suspended AMAXX By MENNEKES
Suspended AMAXX builds on our traditional AMAXX line of high-performance non-metallic enclosures that can hold different combinations of receptacle devices, including switched-and-interlocked styles, as well as locking NEMA devices and switch products. Suspended AMAXX is UL Type 4X rated with four mounting module provisions. Installation options include a circuit breaker access window for localized protection, 20 and 30 Amp Switched and Interlocked Receptacles, Watertight Pin and Sleeve or NEMA Receptacles, as well as Ethernet and Cat 6 Ports. With Suspended AMAXX, you have the ability to customize a design to your specific requirement and plant standard.

To learn more, call a MENNEKES installation specialist at 800-882-7584 or email us at info@mennekes.com.

Electrical Products At A Glance

Get a quick overview of our standard and custom electrical products in this new video. In less than a minute, you’ll get a sense of all we offer—from pin-and-sleeve wiring devices and receptacles to disconnect switches and configurable power distribution systems. These electrical products meet national and international standards and can serve in the most demanding food processing, data center, industrial manufacturing and clean energy applications.


 

Understanding The Options For Motor Disconnect Switches

Motor disconnects are more than simple on-off devices to satisfy lockout-tagout requirements. They have become an integral part of the motor control circuit as disconnects increasingly offer control functions, such as auxiliary contact interface, added selector switches and push buttons. Disconnects can be fusible or non-fusible and can have different pole arrangements and environmental ratings. Multiple disconnects can be packed into one enclosure, saving space and cost while allowing you to address varied requirements, including harsh food processing or washdown applications.

In a new white paper, we explore the specification steps you should keep in mind when selecting a motor disconnect, as well as the various electrical, installation and enclosure options that will determine how your disconnect functions in its operating environment.

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Motor Disconnects

Motor disconnects are more than simple on-off devices. They increasingly offer additional control functions, such as test-off-run switches. Motor disconnects can also pack multiple devices into one enclosure, saving space and cost while allowing you to address different application requirements. Here’s a quick visual overview of what today’s motor disconnects can offer.