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Rittal’s Automatic Potential Equalisation closes safety gap



Rittal GmbH & Co. KG (Germany) - Rittal has closed a dangerous security gap at the human-machine interface through an automatic potential equalisation of its new CP 60/120/180 support arm system.

Safety first – this also applies in the installation of support arm systems for machine operation. Rittal has closed a dangerous security gap at the human-machine interface through an automatic potential equalisation of its new CP 60/120/180 support arm system. The advantage: greater protection for operators and more safety for machine manufacturers – without any extra work and additional costs.

"So far there has been no valid for support arm systems that specifies safety in electrical installations", explained Matthias Müller, Head of Product Management, Modular Enclosures at Rittal. He added: "thus just how plant constructors build safe operating solutions from an electrical engineering perspective lies within their own discretion and ultimately – something that is not often considered – within their own area of responsibility." While up to now, the focus has been on the mechanical structure of support arm systems, many installations are now no longer state-of-the-art in electrical terms, Matthias Müller added. Thus, cable installations within support arm systems often lack any passive internal safety devices such as edge protection elements to prevent cables from being chafed. However, active protective measures, such as automatic potential equalisation throughout all the elements of a support arm system are also absent – so that the operator is not subjected to live electrical voltage in the event of a defective cable.

With its new CP 60/120/180 support arm system, Rittal has now closed this safety gap and is the first manufacturer to ensure automatic potential equalisation as a standard over the entire support arm system – without any extra work and additional costs.

Where previously, the rotating elements of a support arm system such as joints featured no potential equalisation, all the rotating elements of the CP have so-called sliding contacts to ensure a reliable electrical contact throughout the entire system. Clever edge protection elements made of plastic, which can simply be clipped onto the inner section between pipes and corner pieces prevent cables from becoming pinched or chafed. "On-going conversations with customers show that automatic potential equalisation is an important decision criterion for machine and plant constructors," Mr Müller explained.

As an integrated modular system, the CP 60/120/180 support arm system offers plant constructors uniform function, assembly and engineering solutions in one design, and meets all the load ranges up to 180 kg demanded by the market. It also offers major time savings during assembly, adjustment, and service.

For more information about the CP 60/120/180 Support Arm Systems from Rittal click here.

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