Smart controller system wiring boosts operational reliability
Dr. Amer Tarraf, EVP Middle East at Weidmüller Group, says efficient wiring is key to reliable operations
What are the requirements and challenges with wiring control systems?
With increasing global competitiveness, time-to-market of highly reliable systems and reducing costs are major levers of control system manufacturers. In classical hardwired control systems, there is a considerable amount of cost-intensive workflows such as cutting individual wires, striping and terminating these with ferrules, and adding identification markers. With pressure to reduce cost, restrictions on time, less available space and increasing point-to-point connections, wiring errors become likely. Additionally, the overhead cost attributed to the pre-engineering and planning of such wiring concepts must be considered.
What benefits can smart wiring concepts bring to control system manufacturers?
System wiring enables the creation of efficient, space-saving control cabinet wiring. Unlike classic point-to-point wiring, system solutions including pre-assembled cables with appropriate front connectors and interface modules or terminal assemblies offer a simple plug-&-play connection. Installation is made significantly quicker through the deployment of premade cables. At the same time, potential causes of errors resulting from the processing and wiring of individual wires are avoided. Instead of using many individual conductors, these solutions use a single pre-assembled, tested cable per control module. There is no longer a need for the error prone, time-consuming individual wiring process.
Who else benefits from your smart wiring concepts?
Our smart wiring solutions reduce the risk of delay. We enable efficiencies, resulting in a better cost of ownership approach for planners, installers, operators, & plant owners who no longer have to worry about faulty connections.
Tell me about Weidmüller’s solution for more efficient control system cabling design?
Sensors and actuators in the field are connected via passive and active interface modules. These support the structure of the entire system wiring to ensure reliable plant start up without delays. Screened cables with plug-in connectors are used, specifically for the transmission of analogue signals. The interface modules are offered with additional components and functionality such as disconnects, fuses, indicating LEDs and relay contacts to meet the unique application needs. Both the pre-assembled cables and interface modules are manufacturer dependent and are available to compliment all standard controller requirements. All system components are fully tested in advance and, if required, can be supplied with the necessary approvals and certifications to meet local needs.
How does Weidmüller’s system cabling help in planning and installing new plant systems?
Compared to point-to-point wiring between the controller and the I/O components, experience shows that up to 95% of the overall wiring time can be saved by using the system wiring. In addition, system wiring facilitates the quick and seamless exchange of any existing controller.
How does the system cabling primarily support the long-term operational reliability of process plants?
Due to the longevity of the systems, repairs and updates are likely to be carried out at the control systems. The complexity of the repairs increases when spare parts are no more available and similar products must be used. Such procedures are often time-consuming and associated with high costs. Unlike individual wiring, the use of our system cabling enables a path to retrofitting and migration when you have to migrate to a new a controller unit, this can be carried out quickly and error-free, simply by exchanging the system wiring cables thus reducing the potential for downtime in the future.
You mentioned that your system solution enables migration processes in a simple manner. How does this help operators who do not yet use PLC system cabling, but must implement a migration?
If system cabling is not yet in place, we also offer solutions for convenient migration without any long downtimes. By using manufacturer-specific adapter cards and pre-assembled system cables, the new control system can be put into operation quickly and easily. By keeping the original field wiring untouched and reducing the need to “ring-out “ the existing field wiring, the time-consuming and error-prone rewiring is avoided.
Do Weidmüller’s system wiring solutions support common control system?
Our universal cabling system supports the available standard control systems. The pre-assembled system cables with manufacturer-specific defined front connectors are even available from an order quantity of one. These are supported by a wide range of interface modules for digital and analogue signals as well as relay assemblies for the galvanic isolation of input signals or for actuator switching. In addition to a wide range of pre-assembled cables, Weidmüller engineering teams and connectivity consultants provide customer tailored specific solutions and accompany the customers from the pre-engineering to the implementation stage in the control systems. This enables the customer as well to leverage his commercial calculation. As an example, and since the connection solution can be predetermined for each I/O card beforehand, the customer can create efficiencies in the design, purchasing and implementation of a project compared to traditional point to point wiring by using prebuilt tested cables, interface modules or pluggable terminals.
What sets Weidmüller apart in terms of pre-assembled cabling solutions?
As a pioneer in connectivity technologies for decades, we learned to listen to the needs of our customers. We understand their applications and offer tailored technological solutions and commercial feasible approaches. The customer is a part of our culture and can benefit from long-lasting, deep, & broad expertise in reliable industrial connectivity solutions. We set benchmarks with our innovations. With our approach, the customer can rely on a top expert in the connectivity domain and thus he can focus on his core expertise.
Is Weidmüller known for other solutions?
Weidmüller offers a broad range of products and solutions for diverse industries, ranging from passive terminals to communicative highly sophisticated electronics. In the recent years we secured our leading position in the Industry 4.0. I invite the readers to have a look on our webpage www.weidmueller.com as well as www.industrial-cable-assemblies.com. The worldwide Weidmüller connectivity experts are at your disposal to support your needs and contribute to your success.
*Pictures in this article include third party products. These solely serve to better illustrate the solution advertised by Weidmüller.