Configure AMAXX Online

Designing power distribution centers just got a whole lot easier. Our new online configuration tool, which launches today, lets you configure standard and custom AMAXX® power distribution centers in just a few mouse clicks.

The AMAXX line consists of high performance non-metallic enclosures that can hold many different combinations of disconnects and receptacles—including switched-and-interlocked, GFCI and NEMA devices. AMAXX enclosures are available in one- to five-gang units, all UL listed.

Using the new configuration tool, you can build a standard or custom AMAXX power distribution center in less than a minute. The configuration tool can optionally submit an instant request for quote to a MENNEKES application engineer.

Try the new configuration tool now at configure.mennekes.com.

Configure AMAXX   

Wiring Devices For Global Server Equipment

With the explosion of cloud computing, there’s a growing need to run large numbers of identical servers in data centers around the world.

62334mLocalized data centers are a good thing from a computing standpoint, but they do create an often-­overlooked power problem: Server equipment designed for one locale can’t necessarily use the same wiring devices as servers designed for another locale.

Dual­-rated Solution. That’s where dual-­rated wiring devices come in. You simply buy one device that meets electrical standards for North American, European and other international markets.

For instance, we offer pin­-and-­sleeve plugs, receptacles and connectors that are culus Listed to UL 1682/1686 and CSA 22.2 181.1 Standards for use in North America and also have CE and VDE certifications for Europe and the rest of the world.

Looked at in terms of electrical requirements, a single dual-­rated device will support two different amperages—including 30/32, 60/63 and 100/125 amps. Common voltages for these devices are either 250V or the trending global standard of 240/415V.

Design details matter. Dual­-rated devices are becoming increasingly popular, but not all of them are created equal. Like any wiring device, the design and construction details can make a big difference.

Take installation cost, for example. Our dual-rated devices have a threaded NPT cable entry for direct installation of flexible conduit and armor cable fittings. This design detail eliminates the need for adaptor fittings, saving installation time and cost.

Other design details include:

  • Standard UL Type 4X and IP 67 rating.
  • IP 44 weatherproof devices available as an option.
  • Flame rated (UL V­0) housing on 60/63 and 100/125 amp models.
  • Elastomer finish to ease handling and installation.

You can learn more about dual-­rated plugs, receptacles and connectors in our catalog.

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All About Motor Disconnects—PART I

Choosing the right type of motor disconnect seems simple enough—until you consider all the options.

With all the different motor disconnects on the market, the best choice for your application isn’t always obvious. But if you follow a few simple specification steps, you’ll end up with the right disconnect switch every time. Over the next few blog posts, we’ll examine those steps in detail, starting today with the importance of the operating environment.

Evaluate the operating environment. You likely pay plenty of attention to the electrical characteristics of a motor disconnect. That’s a good thing, but also important is to carefully evaluate the disconnect’s operating environment. This step is often overlooked. Yet, it’s important because the operating environment will determine what type of housing material will work best in your plant or shop floor.

High-quality motor disconnect switches are now available in both metallic and non-metallic. Our products use UL Listed metallic and non-metallic enclosures, both with a NEMA 4X rating, so they offer watertight protection for harsh manufacturing environments. In fact, all NEMA 4X enclosures, by definition, should be able to withstand challenging operating conditions—including those with corrosive chemical exposures and caustic cleaning substances.

If both metallic and non-metallic can meet the same NEMA rating, then how do you choose? Typically, the type of manufacturing operation will make the choice clear.

Where stainless steel shines. Metallic enclosures, stainless steel in our case, are increasingly favored for areas with the potential for direct food contact. One reason involves stainless steel’s tolerance of repeated washdown cycles. The other reason is that food processors prefer metallic enclosures in production line areas since metal detection systems can pick up foreign matter if there is breakage.

Metallic enclosures also have better impact resistance, so high-traffic and end-of-line applications in packaging, manufacturing and pharmaceutical facilities often use stainless enclosures.

High-performance polymers. The vast majority of motor disconnect applications are well served by disconnects with a non-metallic enclosure. These polymer housings have a lot going for them:  Non-metallic housings generally cost less than a comparable metallic housing.  Non-metallics also cost less to install—in part because they are easier to punch and rough-in for fittings and conduit than metallic boxes.

So unless you need stainless for a specific food processing area, or for impact resistance, polymer housings will likely offer all the performance you need for less money.

Keep in mind, however, that not all non-metallic disconnect switches are created equal. While any NEMA Type 4X disconnect has a watertight rating, the type of polymer used for the enclosure has significant performance consequences when it comes to weather, flame and impact resistance. We make all our enclosures from a very high-performance polymer that is UV stabilized and has a UL 94 -5V flame rating. Our enclosures are also UL Listed, which indicates that they have passed rigorous impact and bending tests.

More on motor disconnects. Stay tuned for more on motor disconnects or sign up below to receive updates by email. In the next few blog posts, we’ll dig into the best uses for different types of switches, including 6-pole, double-throw and emergency switches.

Customizable Stainless Steel Power Distribution Systems

SpecMaxx-3Modular power distribution systems typically feature polymer enclosures, which are lightweight and easy to install. Sometimes, however, the application or environment calls for stainless steel enclosures. That’s where our SpecMAXX system comes in.

Intended for industrial and commercial use, SpecMAXX features 304 stainless steel, UL-approved enclosures with 15-degree sloped roofs that shed liquids when cleanliness counts. Shrouded side walls protect cover mounted devices from impact so the SpecMAXX can work in the most demanding environments.

SpecMAXX’s added protection doesn’t come at the expense of design flexibility. The system lets you choose from three different enclosure sizes and a complete range of electrical devices. Examples include:

  • Pin and sleeve, NEMA and GFCI receptacles
  • Switched and interlocked receptacles
  • Multiple disconnect switches
  • Breakers or fusing
  • Blank plates for field customization

Lower Costs And Faster Lead Times. Using SpecMAXX reduces the time and costs necessary to source, assemble and mount your power distribution system. In addition, this system gives you the flexibility to customize based on your needs.

Other benefits include:

  • Generous wiring space
  • One piece punched gasket for watertight seal
  • Sealed fixing holes
  • Removable module plates with captive hardware and retention straps

 

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Mixing Power and Control in a Single Enclosure

Industrial plants and machines often have complex power distribution systems, and the reason why is simple: Machine builders and engineers typically use multiple enclosures when combining low-voltage wiring devices with control.

The truth is, however, that you can safely mix low-voltage power and low-voltage control and communication devices in one enclosure as long as you follow good design practices.

AMAXX System

  1. Select The Correct Wire Insulation Rating. First, make sure all the wiring insulation in the enclosure corresponds to highest voltage device, i.e. 600VAC. For example, if you want to pack a low-voltage data port and 480V motor disconnect switch into the same enclosure, go ahead. Just make sure that data port cables have the same insulation rating as the voltage of the motor disconnect switch conductors. Keep in mind that you can buy shielded Cat 6 cable rated up to 600V, so getting the wiring right in this type of mixed installation isn’t a big deal with a bit of planning.
  2. Pick the Right Enclosure. If you want to use a single enclosure for mixed-voltage components, you’ll want to look at modular power distribution systems. These will let you freely customize the enclosure for your application. With our AMAXX system, for instance, you can easily pack a 480V receptacle, a 250V motor disconnect switch, a data port and a 120V convenience receptacle into a single modular enclosure. Normally, that many wiring devices would require two or even three separate enclosures.

Mixing different low voltages within a single enclosure may sound like a big step if you’re used to traditional wiring. But done right, the payoff from consolidating enclosures can be huge. Total wiring costs—including materials and labor— can drop by 20 percent or more once you start reducing the number of electrical enclosures on typical installations.

You can learn more about modular power distribution systems here.

New Catalog Showcases Growing Product Lineup

2016_MENNEKES_Full_Line_CatalogIf you’re looking for new and innovative industrial electrical products, look no further than our latest catalog. Available for download now, the catalog contains roughly 20 percent more products than our previous edition.

The new products are spread across our product lines—including pin-and-sleeve wiring devices, receptacles, disconnect switches and configurable power distribution systems.

Many New Components. New-product highlights from the catalog include:

  • Many popular made-to-order products have become standard offerings, reducing your costs and lead times.
  • The AMAXX line of of power distribution systems is as configurable as ever, but the new catalog includes dozens more preconfigured systems for quick and easy specification.
  • The number of dual-rated components—UL and VDE—has been expanded for our global customers.
  • Sloped-top stainless enclosures, which prevent liquids from pooling, have been added including SPEC Grade disconnects and SpecMAXX power distribution systems.
  • New marine grade wiring device products have been added to our line of standard products.

Many more new products can be found in the catalog. You can get yours now at www.mennekes.com/catalog.html.