How Thyristors Make your Machinery Safer
Problems with power can be a major cause of accidents, fires, and downtime in manufacturing operations. Components such as heating elements can cause power problems if the power isn’t controlled adequately or properly monitored. Operating at higher temperatures, power surges and short circuits can all cause damage, shutdowns, and potential fire situations.
Here we show you how Thyristors make your machinery safer with inbuilt systems to lessen the chances of these kinds of issues:
Anyone who designs or operates control system machinery will know the importance of keeping a cool internal cabinet environment. The optimum operating temperature needs to be kept to around 30° to 40°C to ensure component reliability and long life. It’s no surprise then that most modern machines have cooling systems to stop them from overheating. But what happens if these systems fail, and temperatures begin to increase? It’s reassuring to know that CD Automation power units will automatically shut down at 90°C to prevent any potential fire risk. They are also designed with larger circuit board tracking, junctions, and oversized semi-conductors to further protect against the negative effect of high temperatures. Individual heating elements can also overheat and present problems for the process. If an element breaks you could have a situation where other elements ‘over-compensate’ to maintain the process temperature. To prevent element stress and ultimately failure, our thyristors have a ‘heater break alarm’ feature to inform operators when an element has broken.
Some types of heating elements have very low resistance when cold that results in a very high inrush current on start up. This can result in blown fuses and tripped breakers, as well as inductive loads like transformers becoming saturated too. CD Automation’s thyristor power controllers can provide functionality to overcome this type of situation. Soft Start limits the power at start up by restricting the firing angle, then advancing it over several cycles so the power increases gradually. To increase safety and limit the chance of a break down, current limit and phase angle firing can also be useful in preventing power surges at start up.
Consistent power control can be very important to the safety of some industrial processes. Applications that require heat at a constant temperature, over a long period for example, would find themselves in difficulty if that couldn’t be maintained. This would be simple if heating elements maintained the same level of resistance throughout their lifetimes and operating cycles, but they don’t. Our microprocessor-based controllers use feedback control to keep the amps or wattage (power) output consistent even with the element resistance varying over time. Phase controlled thyristors can also be used with older style tapped transformers to keep the power output consistent, rather than using feedback control.
It makes sense then that better control of power will make machines safer. Safety doesn’t just mean preventing issues that threaten the health of staff but also threaten machine life and productivity. Our thyristors, when used properly, can significantly improve the safety of manufacturing operations. If you would like to know how to make power issues less likely and improve the safety of your process, get in touch today. Call our friendly support team who can help recommend the product and power solution most suitable for you. Get in touch on 01323 811 100.