Rittal to add Ethernet connectivity to enclosure cooling

Taking another step toward Industrie 4.0.

By Jack Smith, Content Manager, CFE Media May 14, 2016

At Hannover Fair 2016, CFE Media learned that Rittal Corp. is developing an EtherNet/IP module for its Blue e+ enclosure cooling system. "It has been announced and development is underway," said Glenn Wishnew, senior product manager at Rittal. "The target date for introducing it is around the end of the calendar year."

According to Wishnew, the EtherNet/IP module will send information about the cooling system to any device on the data network that requires information about the unit. The Blue e+ enclosure cooling system is more intelligent than its predecessor. "There are ways of monitoring it to get status and the health of the overall network and the enclosure itself," Wishnew said.

The near-field communication of the Blue e+ uses a smartphone and a Rittal app to allow authorized personnel to monitor and/or make adjustments. The near-field communication range is slightly more than 0.5-in.

Wishnew said that the EtherNet/IP module is another way Rittal is taking the next step toward Industrie 4.0 because now your control system and your cooling, in this case, will be on the network within the factory floor. The company created an interface into the equipment so that data can be easily shared across the network platform.

Wishnew said in an earlier interview with CFE Media that Germany, where Rittal is headquartered, has a long history as a center of machine technology and for industrial innovation. "Hannover Messe is where the whole Industrie 4.0 concept was born, which has had a particularly profound effect on Rittal in the U.S. because Rittal embraces manufacturing on a global level. The Industrial Internet of Things is the next step in the evolution of integrated design and production. It will impact how all manufacturers build their products, as it is already affecting the way Rittal designs and builds customized enclosure solutions for its customers. The underlying concept is an outgrowth of a variety of production processes made possible by new technologies."

Jack Smith, content manager, CFE Media, jsmith@cfemedia.com.

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