Although often used to back-up IT equipment, many people do not consider Industrial UPS products as a priority for their automation plants. But with the growth of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), smart automation systems are appearing in a wide variety of processes. As they do, it is driving new requirements for machines to ensure that they do not lose data, so industrial UPS protection is vital.
Companies using smart machines rely on them to perform their intended functions, from filling bottled drinks to packaging pharmaceuticals. They also feed data to other systems that track production, inventory and more. Even if the machine should fail for some reason, customers cannot afford to lose the data they hold. That means machine builders should ensure the protection of their machines with an industrial UPS.
PREVENTING DAMAGE TO MACHINES
In some cases, the machines may need an industrial UPS that is large enough to keep it running in the event of a power failure. A high-speed machine unprotected against power failure can suffer damage if it stops short without warning. Industrial UPSs protect both machines and data during a power failure and help the machine function better over time.
Power grids are not immune to disturbances that can cause spikes, jitter and other types of power problems. Over time, these anomalies can cause damage to the sensitive electronics used in modern industrial machines. An industrial UPS will neutralise these problems and deliver only “clean” reliable power to the machines.
The ability to detect and normalise spikes and surges helps protect machines from damage and improve their performance over time. That helps improve the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) for a manufacturing facility.
Additionally, many industries have regulations that need strict controls on production and quality. The pharmaceutical industry, for example, requires companies be able to trace the production flow from start to finish. In the same way, as most countries have traceability requirements for the food industry.
Such regulations highlight the importance of the data industrial machines collect. If a power failure causes a data loss, it could mean a pharma or food company discarding a complete production run. An industrial UPS that keeps data collection systems running during a power failure can help prevent such a fate. Critical power protection safeguards automation systems by providing high-quality power and availability. It also helps OEMs and users to improve service continuity, productivity, and competitiveness.
INDUSTRIAL UPS TOPOLOGIES
Schneider Electric produces various UPS topologies as no single system of industrial UPS is suitable for all applications. Machines builders tend to integrate two general types of industrial UPSs with their machines. A single-phase UPS is ideal for smaller loads, such as PLC, HMI, or motion control components, to protect that valuable data. It may also provide a few minutes of runtime for smaller, discreet machines in the event of a power failure.
Larger machines use 3-phase industrial UPSs to provide “clean” power to protect vital processes. They are powerful enough to ensure machines can remain functional in the face of a power outage. They are a good option for those high-speed machines that could suffer damage if they come to a sudden, unexpected stop. With a 3-phase UPS, the users have time to run the machine down to a safe stop or controlled shut down.
Many modern industrial UPS systems include communication cards for integration with automation architectures. They allow users to check the UPS and power input status, conduct remote monitoring and receive alerts of maintenance issues. When the battery on an industrial UPS nears its end of life, alerts warn users of the need for corrective actions.
All types of digital devices can benefit from an industrial UPS. They represent an opportunity for OEMs to share their expert knowledge and support their customers.