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Weidmuller's FieldPower®

12 February 2010

Decentralised power distribution with the PowerBox®.

Weidmüller is expanding its FieldPower® family of products by adding the decentral maintenance switch with On/Off function and integrated power distribution. The maintenance switch is based on the PowerBox®. It is designed to meet protection class specifications IP 65, which means it is destined to be utilised on-site to fulfil industrial requirements.

Individual machines and plant components as well as motor feeders and drive sub-circuits can be isolated from the power supply by utilising the maintenance switch PowerBox® On/Off - allowing maintenance and service work to be performed safely. Creating an additional T-output to distribute power is straightforward thanks to the Push-In connection of the contact block. The PowerBox® On/Off means users no longer require a separate maintenance switch or separate junction box, which reduces wiring and project planning costs. Installation is simple and fast using pre-fabricated plug-in connectors.

The switch is designed to accommodate up to three padlocks to protect as many as three service technicians or teams against the power supply being unintentionally turned on. In addition, it is possible for a PLC to scan the position of the switch via a floating auxiliary contact at the M12 connection of the PowerBox® On/Off. The construction of the PowerBox® On/Off has been thoroughly thought through; for instance, it is possible to assemble and mount the upper and lower parts of the maintenance switch in different locations at the same time. The lower part with integrated contact block can be installed on site in accordance with technical specifications. At the same time the upper part can be assembled and terminated in the workshop. Both parts can then be snapped together on site without any errors and screwed tight. This approach considerably reduces on-site mounting times and costs.

The PowerBox Fuse® for ¼" x 1¼" fuses (cartridge fuse links) is deployed to protect loads, outgoing feeder circuits and branch lines. The corresponding fuse ratings and specifications are contained in DIN VDE 0100 Part 430. A red LED provides visual indication when a fuse is blown. Conductor cross-sections from 0.5 to 4 mm2 can be connected to the fuse plugs.

FieldPower® is a family of products with a completely new connection concept facilitating decentralised power distribution solutions for systems spread across wide areas. The 'flexible busbar' offers an economic solution for mechanical and plant engineering, in airports, motor car production and anywhere where power has to be distributed over longer distances. In addition to pluggable connectors, cables, pre-assembled and terminated cable harnesses, tools and an extensive range of accessories, the FieldPower® family of products includes T-junction boxes with protection class IP 65, maintenance switches and junction boxes – optionally available with fuse function.

Uncut round or flat cables can be used to distribute power. Power is tapped from the five-core power cable anywhere close to the consumer via the PowerBox, which is equipped with rapid termination technology IDC (Insulation Displacement Connection). Hard-wired or pluggable solutions for branch lines and outgoing feeders to starters and frequency converters are possible. That reduces the length of cable to be laid and in so doing also reduces mounting times. All told, FieldPower® lowers project costs and increases flexibility when extending plant, making changes to current projects or when plant layout needs to be altered at a later date.

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