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Preventing system downtime

09 September 2016

Voltage fluctuations can cause serious problems. At Erdrich Umformtechnik, a metal forming manufacturer, a mains failure caused considerable production outages including a failure on a lathe control.

Murrelektronik MB Cap Ultra and the Erdrich application
Murrelektronik MB Cap Ultra and the Erdrich application

As a result, Erdrich now uses Murrelektronik‘s MB Cap Ultra 24/40 buffer module. The MB Cap Ultra 24/40 bridges voltage drops efficiently and it pays for itself with the first downtime that is avoided.

Erdrich produces pistons used in the disc brakes of cars. To make a piston, a 3mm sheet of metal is uncoiled from a drum and is deep drawn through 13 stages. It is turned into length, the beading is rolled and then the surface is processed. The components are grinded and the surfaces chemically treated. The parts receive a final cleaning, they are measured and a leak test is performed. This is a complex process that has to be coordinated perfectly.

The power grid at the manufacturing facility often has voltage fluctuations. In the past, this caused a CNC lathe control, which is part of the production line, to fail. As a result, the PLC lost its data and production stopped. It would take almost an hour and a half to get the lathe running again and it took as much as ten hours to restart the complete production line. The mains' fluctuations and resulting system outages increased costs dramatically.

Therefore, Erdrich’s engineers decided to integrate Murrelektronik’s MB Cap Ultra 24/40 buffer module into their power supply system. This module reliably buffers outages of up to 3.6 seconds with a current of 40A. External power grid fluctuations no longer effect the lathe's operation and the risk of a control failure, with all of its negative effects, is eliminated. 

Incorporating the buffer module into the existing power supply system turned out to be easy. The MB Cap Ultra, with its high buffer capacity, does not require you to define the buffered and unbuffered areas of a machine. Instead the complete installation is buffered with very little planning and engineering effort. Another plus are the ultra capacitors, in which MB Cap Ultra stores the energy, which are designed to be maintenance-free for life.

After successfully completing the first machine’s testing phase, the maintenance engineers at Erdrich made the decision to install buffer module in more machines. This is a small investment that makes a huge difference given the extremely high cost of a system outage. The cost of an MB Cap Ultra is recouped when the first production interruption is prevented.

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