In heat treatment applications, the accurate control of electric heating loads enables a precise and efficient temperature control, with a consequent positive impact in terms of energy saving. To this regard, Gefran closes a 2020 that has been full of novelties by launching the GPC Power Controller series and GSLM series of power management units for electrical loads.
In the perspective of Industry 4.0 and predictive maintenance, the latest generation of GPC advanced power controllers stands out for even more performing features built in a robust device and yet one of the most compact on the market. In particular, the GPC series provides complete single, two, or three phase modular solutions, each available from 40A to 600A and suitable to manage linear and non linear loads (MoSi2, Sic, SWIR, Graphite and Transformers) for the electric heating of a broad range of industrial applications requiring high temperatures. Among these are: vacuum ovens, glass tempering, autoclaves for laminated glass or composite material and holding furnaces for aluminium.
GPC Power Controllers are equipped with easily replaceable fuses and feature completely configurable analogue and digital I/Os for retransmission of process variables and reporting of alert statuses to control systems. Moreover, perfectly in line with the digital interconnection technology required by Smart Factories, these power controllers are able to communicate with the most known fieldbuses, such as EtherCAT, Ethernet/IP, Modbus TCP, Modbus RTU, ProfiNET, Profibus DP, and CANopen. Additionally, the ODVA (Ethernet/IP) certification is the guarantee of a secure integration.
In addition, the integrated diagnostic features also stand out: three-phase power controllers are designed with no less than 12 incorporated thermocouples, 6 of which placed near line and load clamps to identify any overheating related to their irregular closure or loosening during use. Such situations present frequently and may set off sparks or, in the most extreme cases, fires. Additionally, 3 more sensors have been set up to measure cooling air temperature with the purpose of verifying its real efficiency and reporting any decrease of the latter caused, for example, by clogged dust filters. Lastly, particular care was devoted to mechanical design: the final result guarantees extreme flexibility in power connections, which can be achieved by using any among copper bars, or double or single cables thanks to the aid of a simple adapter.
The Smart Management of electrical loads is, instead, entrusted to the new GSLM: paired with Power Controllers, these solutions are able to coordinate the firing sequence of heating resistances like orchestra conductors in order to avoid overlapping and maintain total energy consumption below the set threshold. “If several heating zones need to be started simultaneously inside a heat treatment company with multiple high power furnaces, a significant peak in demand for electric energy may occur.”
specifies Paolo Buzzi, Product Marketing Manager Controllers & Power Controllers at Gefran who continues, “This condition, in addition to having an economic impact in the event extra charges apply to consumption peaks, may also cause the safety limit to be exceeded, with a potential intervention of protections and consequent stop of the production process. For this reason”
he concludes, “together with the launch of the GPC Power Controllers, we are introducing the GSLM series on the market with the aim of a smart energy management that enables users and providers to efficiently use the energy provided by the distribution grid”.
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