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Global centre of server rack design in Plymouth

Global centre of server rack design in Plymouth At Rittal's UK factory in Plymouth the highest levels of automation are utilised, creating not only an efficient working production plant but also an ideal product showcase and demonstration area. The production line comprises 19 of the latest computer controlled robots with the safe and reliable installation and integration of automation and process instrumentation inside Rittal's own enclosure systems to protect the expensive and sensitive infrastructure. A lot of the machinery used is equipment supplied by Rittal's own customers.

Automation is one of the most powerful weapons in a manufacturer's armoury when it comes to competing with manufacturers in low-wage economies, but when also making components for other automation companies it is almost an obligation to use the latest robot technology.

Customers visiting from around the world can see Rittal enclosures being produced at the plant by robots controlled by state-of-the-art lean and efficient manufacturing processes, with the switchgear, drives and programmable logic controllers housed in Rittal products. The state-of-the-art factory extends over 27,000sq m. Between 50 and 60 tonnes of steel are consumed each day to produce more than 700 enclosures of every type and size, using the extremely flexible production setup.

Robots handle material and pass components down the line as well as welding, folding and grinding. Grinding is particularly important from a health and safety point of view as this eliminates a painful and debilitating condition called "vibration white finger," which is caused by long use of hand tools. In severe cases it can lead to permanent loss of grip strength or can even require amputations.

Of course, a factory environment can also be lethal for electronics, so Rittal enclosures are designed and engineered to provide high levels of protection against EMI/RFI, vibration, wide temperature variations, moisture and dust ingress, vandalism, and even earthquakes, where appropriate.

The use of automation has given Rittal UK a deep appreciation of the needs of their customers in the automation sector. From their own production challenges, they know and have a better understanding of the demanding needs of customers who want to take advantage of worldwide approvals and certifications yet, at the same time, require a high level of customisation to suit their individual needs.
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