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A practical and safe way to access controls

A practical and safe way to access controls

Front panel interfaces provide plant operators with an easy, safe way to access controls, and Murrelektronik provides panel interfaces with many different country-specific outlets and data connectors, providing international solutions and comprehensive approvals.

In machines and systems, you regularly need access to the controls: during initial start-up, for service work and when production has been halted – which is where things get time-critical. Normally to access to the controls via laptop or a diagnostic device the control cabinet must be opened by a trained electrical engineer. Sometimes, the controls are installed together with electrically hot components. In this case, due to safety reasons, the entire system needs to be powered down and isolated, even for a simple software adjustment job. That costs time and money. Also it is easy for dirt and humidity to enter the interior of the control cabinet when the door is open, which can damage other components.

With the Modlink MSDD front panel interfaces from Murrelektronik, a laptop or diagnostic device can be connected in a way that prevents these problems from occurring. Modlink MSDD is a modular system that consists of standardized single and double frames made of metal or plastic and can be installed into the control cabinet doors. More than 170 different inserts with country-specific outlets and data inserts (for example SUB-D, RJ45 or USB) can be snapped into place. This highly flexibility system is perfect for companies that deliver their products worldwide. After installing a standard frame into your door, you can easily snap in the corresponding inserts for the destination country.

Modlink MSDD front panel interfaces have a protection class of IP65 ensuring that they can withstand rugged environments. EMC requirements are fulfilled via cladding panels that sheath the full surface area of the data inserts. Ground straps can be connected to these plates to discharge any interferences.

In industrial applications, outlets must be secured, according to the standard, up to 20A using residual current devices (RCDs). To meet this requirement a commercially available 2-pin safety switch can be integrated in Modlink MSDD. The power outlet is fuse-protected and complies to the standards. If an error occurs, simply reset the circuit breaker without having to open the doors of the control cabinet. This insert can be equipped with a USB-A or RJ45 connection for data communication. The result is a complete programming interface including a secured electrical connection and features a range of country-specific choices.

For international applications, approvals are important. The Modlink MSDD front panel interfaces are UL-approved and enable North American manufacturers to implement this solution easily and supports companies when importing their machines and applications into the region.

Control cabinets in the American market are specified according to a UL Type Rating. Cutting into the door of a control cabinet prevents the cabinet from meeting this specification. To avoid this, the installation frame on the interface complies with the specification. The Modlink-MSDD installation frames are certified to UL Type Ratings 1, 4, 4x, 12 and 13 – ensuring that they comply with the standard.

The Modlink MSDD service interfaces are frequently located in clearly visible locations on a control cabinet, a machine or a system. This is ideal for applying system designations, barcodes or warning notices to them. Murrelektronik can laser these types of information directly onto the lid of the Modlink MSDD – regardless of quantity and at no additional cost. This simplifies installation since fewer additional labels need to be attached.

For a look at the system in action, Michael Keppler, head of electrical component standardisation in R&D at Krones, says: “We install Modlink MSDD interfaces in control cabinets and machine housings. This creates a way for us to access the controls. Our service engineers use this outlet for initial start-ups, and to maintain the laptop power supply. The RJ45 interface gives us a way to connect into the machine network.”

One of the most valuable features for Krones is that they no longer need to open the doors on control cabinets. “In our customers’ production facilities around the world, environmental conditions are frequently challenging, with high humidity levels being just one example,” explains Keppler. “This is why all of our control cabinets are equipped with air-conditioning units. When the cabinets are opened, dust and damp air inevitably find their way inside. Then condensation forms on components inside the cabinet and that causes a serious moisture problem. It can damage components and even cause them to fail. We avoid all of that by using Modlink MSDD.”

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