Rittal Blog

Control and Switchgear Construction Trimmed for Efficiency

July 4 2022 by Rittal North America LLC


Flexibility and fast production are two of the main requirements that are placed on control and switchgear construction today. The Spanish company, Vidal Automatización y Control, is no exception and they looked for ways to make the processes along the value chain more efficient.

Vidal has found the "Dream Team” with Rittal and EPLAN and their suite of products and solutions helps the control and switchgear manufacturer optimize three key areas. The engineering department relies on EPLAN Electric P8 and Pro Panel to meet their needs. High-quality enclosures and control cabinets from Rittal to meet the customer quality standards.

“Automation of processes and high quality of production allow us to manufacture control and switchgear according to customer needs, while standardizing our processes.” - Javier Vidal, Geschäftsführer, Vidal AC

A Perforex machining center from Rittal Automation Systems ensures both shorter throughput times and improved quality in production compared to manual production.

Optimally integrated engineering

The engineering at Vidal is carried out with EPLAN P8. After the electrical planning, all systems are designed three-dimensionally in Pro Panel, the resulting virtual prototype is the basis for all further processes within the company.

"For example, the material used for the project is automatically sent to our ERP system, which means that material management is fully automated," explains José Miguel Belda, Purchasing Manager at Vidal. "This shortens the time we need for purchasing."

3D construction planning also shows any difficulties that could arise later in production. If, for example, a component on the mounting plate would collide with the control cabinet door, this can be detected at an early stage. The correction is made directly in the planning and not only in the workshop, which in turn significantly shortens the production times. As a result, Vidal can deliver the systems to the customer more quickly.

The control and switchgear manufacturer also sees the products as part of the integrated solution, which contribute significantly to the quality of the finished system. That is why the company relies on products from Rittal for housings, control cabinets, power distribution components, and climate control solutions. 

“We also use the configurators for heat calculation and case selection during planning. With the help of the technical data that can be downloaded from the Rittal website, product selection is even easier," says Fernando Romero, Technical Director of Vidal.

Workshop automation

To increase efficiency in the workshop as well, Vidal has invested in a Perforex BC CNC machining center from Rittal Automation Systems. This enables efficient automation in the manufacturing of distribution cabinets made of steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and plastic. At the same time, the quality of the processed housing is increased, since the Perforex produces very precise cutouts, bores, and threads. 

The data for controlling the machining center comes directly from the 3D construction planning in EPLAN Pro Panel. This means that processing can start immediately in the workshop and the time-consuming task of placing and measuring components on the mounting plate is no longer necessary. 

 "The Perforex is exactly what we were looking for," says Javier Vidal, Managing Director of Vidal AC. 

For the control and switchgear manufacturer, the entire conversion is a further step on the way towards Industry 4.0. With efficient engineering, automation in production, and optimization of processes the previously required manufacturing times can be reduced by up to two thirds.

The Perforex MT is the current model, an updated version of the Perforex BC which has been phased out. Using Rittal Automation System’s Perforex MT 2201 helps integrators and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) increase efficiency up to 85% compared to manual enclosure modification while reducing labor demands and turnaround time with the needed repeatable accuracy and reliability.

Customer feedback drove the many ergonomic enhancements to the Perforex MT 2201 model to upgrade the operators experience as well as the functionality of the machine, including:

  • Floor sealing around machine for easy cleaning 
  • Improved vacuum hose design and added chip-breaking cycle to reduce clogging and downtime
  • Ergonomic pendant arm option and pneumatic clamp actuation 
  • Improved plexiglass safety barrier 
  • Optical automatic tool and broken bit measurement 
  • Larger 24” HMI display size 

Together, Rittal and EPLAN can simplify your business, watch the video to learn how.

Categories: Rittal Success Stories, Rittal Automation Systems