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“5 Good Reasons to review and improve the optimization of your system’s power in Plastic Industry”

CD Automation is a market leader in the production of electronic devices (solid state relays, thyristor power regulators, SCR), designed to help technicians, engineers and system designers to reduce the complexity of heating systems, in order to improve the productivity of industrial plants.

You can count on CD Automation to optimize your industrial heating systems and make your production processes more flexible.

If you want to better clarify how to make your heating system more flexible, book a free consultation session with one of our experts. Keep in mind that we offer this possibility to technicians who want to reduce the complexity of the system, the costs of the electrical panel, the phase shift and disturbances in the network, the power peaks, the recovery times in case of failure and the faults due to the temperature.

5 good reasons: the content of the e-book

  1. 1
    Wrong selection of electrical switching device

    Common industrial switching devices include the mechanical contactor, solid state relay and thyristor (SCR) power controller. Each have their advantages but with advancing technology and reduced costs is it time to look again?
    Contactors can be 2 to 3 times cheaper than SSR’s to initially purchase but with a limited life span and a machine used daily, you can be replacing contactors 2 or 3 times a year.
    With the SSR / SCR and their wear free technology, 10 year life spans can be expected. With a typical 12 to 18 month pay back, that’s a huge saving year on year. Plus with tighter temperature control, improved heater life and reduced machine downtime, it’s a no brainer.
    Ask for more informations and see how much you can save

  2. 2
    Not sizing your power device correctly for your load

    Many power switching products on the market today quote their nominal amp size as the package size. When calculating the power device for your load you need to consider the line voltage, heating element and nominal temperature inside the cabinet. If due consideration is not made your switching device could be working at its maximum (or over) resulting in a shorter working life. At CD Automation we size the power controller exactly to your load and add an extra 15% safety margin to cover for any fluctuations in voltage supply, temperatures etc during the life of your machine. This results in a typical life span of over 10 years (MTBF) for your power controller and one less thing for you to worry about.

    Ask for more information

  3. 3
    Allowing internal temperatures to rise

    During the lifetime of your machine, key factors such as temperature may vary. All components will be affected by temperature changes that could shorten their life considerably. Every 10 degrees C rise over ambient temperature cuts electronic life in half. Using forced cabinet cooling can avoid early automation drive replacement. Our power controllers are sized to work up to 40 degrees C. Above this value and the units switching capability will be reduced and a derating calculation will need to be made to determine its correct working amp size. Its worth periodically measuring the temperature inside the cabinet to ensure it’s not creeping up. If it’s above 40 degrees C.,ask us and we’ll help you do the sums.

    Download the e-book about cabinet sizing

  4. 4
    Thinking fixings and connections stay tight on their own

    You would be surprised how many machine failures are caused by weak connections. Electrical connections need to be mechanically tight to ensure that the resistance across that connection is as low as possible, ideally 0 ohms. When a connection becomes either loose or corroded, it develops resistance. This resistance dissipates power in the form of heat when current flows through it. Even a resistance as low as 5 ohms can produce more than enough heat to burn up the connection and surrounding wires. Faulty wiring can also cause your electricity bill to increase. We recommend regular tightening of all major connections and fixings to keep your installation safe and working as designed.

    Ask for more information

  5. 5
    Settling for an unstable voltage supply

    Poor quality or fluctuating power supply can often cause power surges, spikes and voltage fluctuations that can result in component damage. There can be different causes for this. Loose or corroded connections can cause voltage fluctuations. Low voltage due to overloading on the network, loose connections, or too small a conductor wire carrying power may cause visible signs such as flickering lights. In extreme cases, a loose connection can cause electric shocks from metal appliances and surfaces. Power surges and spikes can be caused by lightning, power switching on the lines, machinery and appliances drawing too much power plus external factors such as strong winds causing lines to clash, trees touching the line, or other accidents involving powerlines. What can you do? First thing is to ensure you have the right power controller feedback set for your application.

    Ask for more information

More detailed informations

Use static units for power control instead of electromechanical relays

The static units have features that make them useful in all cases where it is necessary to obtain the best regulation in the presence of electric heaters.
The static units can work at a high switching frequency and therefore reduce the cycle times of the thermoregulation, which is more precise (heating part with PID thermoregulations of extruders, ovens, dryers, machines for molding plastic materials …).
An electromechanical relay has a useful life consisting of a maximum number of commutations, as the commutation frequency increases the life of the electromechanical relay decreases.
A static unit has a duration that does not strictly depend on the number of on/off cycles, in fact by using quick start-ups it is even possible to increase the life of the unit, which if used correctly reaches 10 years of life.

In simple terms:

  • Both the semiconductor junction present in the static units and the resistive heating load behave like the filament of an incandescent lamp, which gets hot quickly and begins to cool as soon as I turn off the bulb.
  • When the lamp breaks, or when you try to turn it on and fail, the filament breaks due to thermal shocks.
  • To reduce thermal shocks you can modulate quickly to not give time to the elements to cool down.
  • There are several very fast ignition systems that can extend the number of thermal cycles by five times and therefore increase the life of SCR Junctions, Electric Heaters and IR Lamps.

In the following image you can see how with a single cycle ignition it is possible to reach 25,400,000 thermal cycles against a simple on / off of 4,800,000 thermal cycles.

Properly size your power control devices

In many cases the static units are not dimensioned properly or are exaggeratedly oversized.
The most frequent cases of errors in unit sizing are:

  • Use a size of static units equal to the value of the rated current.
  • Do not keep a margin that allows to withstand overcurrents due to mains voltage fluctuations.
  • The size chosen for the static unit does not take into account the maximum ambient temperature present in the summer months, which is higher than the unit reference temperature of 40 °C.
  • The size chosen is equal to 1.5 or even 2 times the rated current even if the load is purely resistive and has no current peaks. Up to 40A in a machine for plastics this choice is not a problem, considering that dimensionally there is not much difference between a 20A and a 40A unit, it is more beneficial to standardize the internal components and reduce spare parts. The problem arises when instead of a 100A unit I use a 200A unit with a higher purchase cost and space inside the switchboard. Often those who make this choice think that the system can work even at 60-70 ° C. As the temperature rises, all electronic components exponentially decrease life expectancy.
  • Many times the sizing of the unit is correct, but the ventilation or conditioning of the control panel is not done correctly.

REVO S static units are generously sized to operate in continuous service at 40 °C and the derating curves are simple to understand. The REVO S 1-2-3PH series is always equipped with a high efficiency heatsink, which allows side-by-side mounting inside the control panel. In most cases the units are already equipped with extra fast fuses to protect the unit, reducing the risk of errors.

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    Pay attention to how the units are fixed inside the switchboard

    Vibrations and ON/OFF operations with high power peaks can loosen the electrical connections. The operation with long wave trains or an ON/OFF with very long cycles combined with high powers, generates the expansion of the electrical wires and involves electromechanical problems. During the movement of the cable, which can even jump and move abruptly, there may be friction with the conduits, which can lead to the cut of the protective sheath, with a loss of insulation with the risk of causing a short circuit.
    The cable can be considered as a low value resistor, which being subjected to long ON / OFF cycles heats up and cools quickly, like a low inertia load. By increasing the modulation speed, up to a single or half cycle control, this expansion can be reduced to a minimum, as the material does not have time to cool and expand between one ignition and the next.
    Another way to reduce this occurrence is to keep these expansions and movements in mind at the time of installation, fixing the wires and tightening them correctly. It is also advisable for the same reason mentioned above to periodically check the tightening of the screws and connectors, which can loosen due to the expansion.

    Reduction of electricity costs in plastic industry

    With traditional heating systems based on resistors and power regulators, when you turn on the load you have a great impact on the peak absorption and when you modulate the load to keep the temperature constant you introduce a lot of disturbances into the electrical grid.
    This leads to possible malfunctions of the electronic control systems and penalties by the energy supplier. On the electrical network there may be fluctuations in the network voltage which can be in the order of 10%. Over-voltages, even if absorbed by our suitably sized static units, cause over-temperatures, which cannot be instantly corrected by the PID of the Thermoregulator, which due to the thermal inertia of the machine will take at least 10 minutes to correct an increase in the line voltage. .
    If you are faced with these problems, we can help you solve them brilliantly without the risk of system interruption in 4 simple steps:
    1) Evaluate the overall load you need to manage
    2) Evaluate how many zones you need to pilot separately
    3) Discover the DBF (Dynamic Burst Firing) method
    4) Uses a Voltage control to instantly correct mains voltage fluctuations.

    Find out how to use the new electronic temperature control systems based on the Dynamic Burst Firing method to improve the performance of the heating systems of your plastic production plants.
    If you want to better clarify how to make your industrial heating system more competitive, book a free consultation session with one of our experts. Please note that we offer this possibility to technical managers who want to upgrade the system, increase the life of the heating systems and minimize downtime due to heating system failures.

    We help Production Managers
    save resources and optimize the plant

    to produce more, at a lower cost, without the risk of downtime

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      We help Production Managers save resources and optimize the plant to produce more, at a lower cost, without the risk of downtime
      Request a consultation
      Our team of experts are ready to help you

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        *Surname

        *Company

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        *Message

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        (**) Sending the request for information / quotes is free and without obligation, and is equivalent to granting consent, optional but necessary to offer you the service. Privacy policy *
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