If you’re using air conditioned cabinets for your drive and motion components, you probably value them highly in the summer. It’s over 100 degrees on the factory floor and you know your drives and motors can’t handle that. Without cooling, they’re likely to start to smell and smoke and even damage your system. They need their air conditioning. You don’t begrudge them the electricity in August.
But when you trudge through the snow from the parking lot and see those air conditioned cabinets when you don’t plan to remove your gloves until lunch time, it’s a different story.
Why not just turn off the air conditioning in the cabinets and open them up?
Cabinet-free is binary
Your components are cabinet-free, or they require cabinet. This aspect of the machinery is set when that machine is built. If your components require cabinets at any time, they require cabinets at all times.
Integrated drives, controls, and power supplies and multiple smaller motors are all machine design trends that lead toward decentralized drive and control. Some of the machinery in this category is designed to be cabinet-free. Modular components that can be mounted directly on the machine can often function without a control cabinet.
Once again, if the machine is designed to be cabinet-free, it’s not designed to be cabinet-free in winter or on balmy evenings.
Cleanliness is next to impossible
Air conditioning is primarily intended to provide a cool ambient temperature for machinery that may be subject to overheating.
But it’s also about the quality of the air. Dirt is your motion control system’s worst enemy. Cabinets help prevent damage from dust and debris. They protect your machinery from particulates produced by the machinery, and from dust and dirt in the environment.
Winter is not less dirty than summr, even if it’s cooler.
The bottom line
Keep your cabinets closed and cooled. The cost of repairs and downtime can far outweigh the cost of air conditioning.
Need help? We specialize in Rexroth electric industrial motion control. We provide phone support, field support, factory repair and reman, and emergency replacement units.