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Cabinet condition monitoring: the all-in-one solution

07 February 2016

The facility to monitor the interior of a control cabinet for certain parameters and to generate a warning of any deviation from the norm might not be new, but this recently launched system from Turck certainly is.

The new IMX12-CCM (Cabinet Condition Monitoring) cabinet guard, developed by Turck in Germany and available in the UK from Turck Banner, combines a range of cabinet monitoring parameters within a single 12mm wide, DIN rail mounting module – believed to be a first for the industry.

The unit features built-in sensors and uses a simple switched signal to indicate to the control system any incorrect door closure or the exceeding of limit values for temperature and interior humidity. Moreover, theIMX12-CCM comes with an intrinsically safe 2-wire isolating transducer interface, making it also suitable for use in explosion hazardous areas.

Located on the DIN rail and facing the access door, the system monitors and records all door openings/closings (using a triangulation sensor arrangement), as well as internal temperatures and humidity values.  However, it also monitors changes in internal ambient light levels, which might indicate a grommet failure or, indeed, detect a vandal attack on the cabinet, which may have resulted in a door seal being compromised. The benefits of this feature do not, however, pertain to cabinets with windows or viewing panes.

The IMX12-CCM monitors long-term trends and compares them with a taught safe condition. The simple teach-in process can be carried out directly on the device without the need for a computer or any additional tools. Whenever the defined limit values are exceeded, this is indicated to the control level via a potential-free contact. Up to a year’s worth of data can be stored internally by the system, but a standard HART interface is also included, enabling transmission of this data to a monitoring station or control centre, as well as enabling additional diagnostic functions.

An early application of the IMX12-CCM has helped a water utility company keep abreast of sporadic vandal attacks on an outdoor control cabinet. Although the heavy duty cabinet door resisted all attempts to open it, part of the seal was compromised which led to water ingress and damage to some components. Turck Banner’s Richard Amery takes up the story

“We have encountered a number of similar instances in the past where we have been able to offer a partial solution; for example, special hinges with built in sensors. The introduction of the IMX12-CCM, however, has enabled us to offer a more comprehensive solution which alerts operators immediately to any changes in the cabinet condition, thus preventing further damage”.

The basic version of the IMX12-CCM is available now and enhanced versions are planned that will include additional parameter measurement for shock and vibration. 

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