The magazine of Friedhelm Loh Group

The magazine of Friedhelm Loh Group


Planning software: Rittal Power Engineering
Innovation – Rittal

3 simple steps to switchgear

Switchgear manufacturers are under constant pressure. Customers often push to implement projects in ever shorter timeframes, piling on the pressure right from the quotation stage. Step forward Rittal Power Engineering, the advanced planning software from Rittal that is designed to make it easier and therefore faster to plan switchgear production.


Text Dr. Jörg Lantzsch ––– Photography

From blast furnaces to paper mills, practically every plant depends heavily on a dependable power supply infrastructure. Switchgear manufacturers design low-voltage switchgear based on project requirements, assemble the units in their own production facilities and commission them on site. In many cases, the quotations they need to provide for projects like these have to be provided in a very short space of time. Their costings are based on the planning for the switchgear, and this is where Rittal comes in, providing valuable support with its Power Engineering planning software and modular VX25 Ri4Power system.

1.

BASIC DESIGN AND PRICE ESTIMATES

To ensure its software is tailored more closely to the needs of customers in switchgear production, Rittal examined typical scenarios that arise during projects in the sector. These analyses showed that switchgear manufacturers have to start off by conducting initial planning based on basic technical requirements and use this to prepare a cost estimate. It is only once the customer has awarded the contract that the second step can start – detailed planning – which is followed by ordering all the necessary parts and then production. The study carried out by Rittal also found that the various steps are often carried out by different staff.

While the first step is mainly taken care of by the technical procurement team, the second stage is carried out by electrical engineers. To accommodate the different needs of different user groups, Rittal Power Engineering offers various modes for VX25 Ri4Power that have been optimised for the relevant users. In standard mode, users first enter a few basic parameters such as rated current and available space and are then guided through the configuration process. Using simple dropdown menus and combo boxes they select the required sections, and the software uses this information to generate the appropriate Ri4Power switchgear and produce a quotation. Usability and an intuitive interface are hugely important. In just a few quick clicks, users get information that can be used to provide a quote to the customer.

2.

DETAILED PLANNING IN EXPERT MODE

If the customer awards the contract and the switchgear manufacturer wishes to finalise the switchgear planning, the expert mode in Rittal Power Engineering offers the ideal solution. By working in expert mode, electrical engineers can specify all further details, such as Form separations, the position of busbars, etc. The software also carries out checks to prevent errors during configuration. For example, a warning is displayed if the sum of the rated currents of the outlets is greater than the total rated current of the system as a whole.

Throughout the whole configuration process, the entire Ri4Power switchgear is displayed as a 3D model in a separate window, meaning that the digital twin is generated during the course of this early stage. Once the user has completed configuration, all the relevant information can be downloaded, including a parts list, CAD data in various formats and assembly instructions. The CAD information includes a top view of the entire system, which is particularly useful for space planning at the installation site. The software also ticks another vital box for switchgear manufacturers, providing downloadable design verification documentation that confirms the system has been type-tested in accordance with IEC 61439.

3.

ORDER AT THE TOUCH OF A BUTTON

In the third and final step, the Ri4Power switchgear can be ordered from within the planning software. Registered users are connected directly to the Rittal online shop through the software. This means that all parts for the finished switchgear can be transferred to the user’s shopping cart in a single click and ordered immediately. Thanks to the short delivery times for Rittal system components, switchgear construction can be underway in the workshop just a few days after configuration in Power Engineering. Even Rittal customers that do not use the online shop can count on fast delivery. They can simply press a button in Power Engineering to submit a quotation request to Rittal.

The planning software is available online worldwide as a cloud solution, with no registration necessary. This eliminates the need to install anything on a local IT infrastructure or carry out any updates, meaning users know they are always working with the latest data.

The tool is currently available in English, French, German and Polish, with other languages to follow. The current cloud-based solution was developed so that switchgear manufacturers can increase their efficiency and leverage significant benefits from costing right through to production.

Niederspannungsanlage Bild

Safe and type-tested: VX25 Ri4Power low- voltage switchgear for machines, equipment and power distribution.

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