What Does Smart Enclosure Climate Control Look Like?

April 15 2024

Product insight

The modern manufacturing industry is adopting smart technology solutions to drive performance and increase efficiency. These kinds of smart systems help alleviate a variety of pain points, like time-consuming, manual tasks and the lack of real-time data in order to optimize production programs. These principles certainly apply to smart industrial enclosure climate control systems, but there’s more to smart enclosure cooling than just automating tasks or streamlining workflows.

Smart enclosure climate control systems help manufacturers conserve energy, reduce maintenance intervals and costs, and accelerate the delivery and deployment process to increase speed-to-market. Here, we’ll look at what smart enclosure climate control entails, and how manufacturers can harness smart cooling systems to create more targeted, efficient climate control.

Smart climate control is a more sustainable method of enclosure cooling

Smart enclosure cooling units help manufacturers create a more sustainable climate control infrastructure by producing more targeted cooling precisely where and when it’s needed. The ability to control and adjust cooling outputs in real-time based on the scale of production programs not only helps to maximize performance, but also helps optimize energy consumption.

What’s more, smart enclosure cooling units that are engineered using IIoT principles help manufacturers leverage a more flexible approach to enclosure climate control via network notifications and remote monitoring. This gives manufacturers the ability to respond to fluctuations in cooling demand on a 24/7 basis to reduce energy waste and costs.

For example, Rittal’s Blue e+ S enclosure climate control unit uses an innovative heat pipe and inverter technology to provide powerful cooling without the need for a compressor, expansion valve, or other regulating elements, which significantly reduces the amount of energy required to operate the unit.

This innovative use of speed-regulated components and heat pipe design can help automotive manufacturers reduce their energy consumption by 75%, which helps reduce both your energy costs and overall carbon footprint.

The Blue e+ S is also engineered to comply with the guidelines of the UL/CSA 60335-2-40 Standard — which requires cooling units to have smart leak detection systems if they use flammable or environmentally damaging refrigerants — and has the ability to provide lower cooling output categories without sacrificing the cooling necessary to keep enclosures at optimal operating temperatures.

With cooling output categories of .3 kW, .5 kW, .7kW, and 1 kW, the Blue e+ S helps manufacturers execute more versatile, strategic enclosure climate control.

The innovative use of speed-regulated components and heat pipe design can help automotive manufacturers reduce their energy consumption by 75%, which helps reduce both your carbon footprint and energy costs. Additionally, the Blue e+ S is designed for use with refrigerants that have a Global Warming Potential (GWP) that is 56% less than those used in comparable cooling units.

Aside from the Blue e+ S, Rittal’s heat exchangers come standard with digital temperature displays and control functionality for powerful, precise cooling in tough environments like automotive factories. Our heat exchangers are also designed for superior mounting flexibility and can easily integrate with a variety of climate systems and configurations.

Smart enclosure climate control means more streamline cooling unit maintenance and upkeep

Cooling unit maintenance and upkeep are key concerns for manufacturers, especially those in industries with harsh operating conditions or where around-the-clock production is the name of the game. Frequent cooling unit maintenance and upkeep can increase costs and compromise your ability to maximize productivity, and, if your cooling units are not operating at full capacity, this can also increase your energy consumption to generate the same level of cooling.

Smart enclosure climate control units that prioritize detailed performance data can help manufacturers adopt a more proactive approach to maintenance intervals by troubleshooting operational issues before they result in failures or breakdowns. In addition, this kind of preventative maintenance strategy also helps ensure consistent cooling outputs over a longer duration of time, thus increasing the ROI of your investment.

For example, a cooling unit efficiency analysis of Ford’s Cologne production facility revealed that out of the 220 cooling units deployed throughout the plant, 25 were defective and not operating at peak efficiency. The deficiency in the plant’s climate infrastructure was increasing energy consumption and costs, and it also put more stress on the climate control system as a whole.

Rittal’s Blue e+ S is built upon a fully-integrated IIoT interface that allows for digital monitoring and condition reporting to help manufacturers better understand the state of their cooling units on a 24/7 basis. The Blue e+ S easily connects Rittal's new Smart Service Portal, where available, for remote monitoring and reporting. Plus, the unit’s compact design makes it ideal for applications like retrofitted facilities where reducing your automation footprint is key in optimizing productivity.

Plus, an LED display makes it easy for plant technicians to evaluate performance, adjust each cooling unit’s temperature, and identify if repair or maintenance is required before it becomes a problem.

Rittal’s approach to smart enclosure cooling units can help manufacturers increase the productivity and efficiency of their industrial automation systems. And, with our new RiTherm climate control configuration tool, designers can configure their ideal climate control unit in the Eplan Cloud for enhanced visibility and transparency into each step of the design process.

This more integrated approach to climate system design and engineering saves time, money, and resources by accelerating your speed-to-market and delivery windows to help you maximize uptime and facilitate more consistent production. 

Learn more about our industrial enclosure climate control units.