Chicago Cubs or Chicago White Sox. Hot dog or hamburger. The Beatles or The Rolling Stones.
Some of the most important decisions in life are either-or propositions with their own upside and downside, opportunities and liabilities, and pros and cons. The same is true for one of the most mission-critical decisions today’s manufacturers must make to optimize their production cycles: Which model of industrial enclosure is the best fit for my application?
In the case of Rittal, this decision, more often than not, comes down to either our TS 8 or the VX SE enclosure systems. And the selection of the right enclosure can either set you up for increased efficiency and productivity or leave you with more questions than answers in terms of unlocking long-term, sustainable success.
This of course begs the question: How do I decide which enclosure is right for my application? TS 8 or VX SE? What elements should I consider in this decision-making process? What variables do I need to account for, and what is the value each enclosure solution brings to the table? Let’s examine a couple of scenarios to help you understand which of these enclosures is right for you and your manufacturing needs.
Which enclosure is right for harsh manufacturing conditions?
It would be nice if all of today’s manufacturing processes took place in hermetically sealed environments where temperatures were always pleasant and consistent, damage to sensitive electronics from airborne contaminants were not an issue, and the reliability of production sequences were not tied to the durability of your industrial automation solutions.
But today’s production room floors can be difficult environments for electronics to exist in, and that’s why Rittal’s TS 8 is the choice for extreme environmental conditions both indoors and out.
Rittal’s TS 8 is designed and engineered specifically with durability and toughness in mind for use in industry applications like the automotive space where faster, more efficient configurations, simplified installations, and interchangeable panels help create optimized efficiency by streamlining tedious, time-wasting manual processes. The TS 8 provides IP 66 and NEMA 4 protection through:
- Carbon steel base and enclosure frame, plus zinc-plated carbon steel mounting panels for superior rigidity and support
- Steel folded 16X and close-welded frame for maximum protection and significantly reduced points of failure for optimized production uptime
- Four-point latches and seals to combat the intrusion of harmful or corrosive particles that could damage electronics of decrease the lifespan of the enclosure
- 30% more stability with 15% less frame weight without sacrificing protection or reliability
Which enclosure is best equipped to handle the demands of the food and beverage industry?
History is instructive, and if there’s one lesson food and beverage producers have learned during the last 18 months it’s that high degree of cleanliness and sanitation in production facilities are top of mind for consumers. In fact, a recent study revealed that 56% of consumers actively look for and seek information on the sanitary conditions in food and beverage facilities.
This means today’s producers need panel and enclosure solutions that are designed for strenuous cleaning and sanitation processes without compromising productivity and protection. Rittal’s VX SE enclosure system and its unibody design is equipped to meet the elevated hygienic standards of consumers and the governmental regulations such as the Food Modernization and Safety Act.
The VX SE helps producers meet the hygienic needs of their production facilities through:
- Smooth stainless steel construction with brushed grain 400 to prevent water pooling and buildup that can result in bacterial contamination on enclosure surfaces
- High protection ratings like IP 66/NEMA 4/4X to withstand strenuous cleaning procedures and the use of powerful cleaning agents without risk of damage to the enclosure
- Unibody construction from a single piece for maximum stability and torsional rigidity
In addition, the space-saving nature of the VX SE allows system integrators to scale based on demand or space constraints of the production room floor. The VX SE offers a wide range of dimensions with widths up to 1800 mm to replace up to three baying enclosures, and depths of up to 300 mm for confined production applications.
Which enclosure offers variety in construction materials?
To be fair, this one is a bit of a trick question because it’s not necessarily an either-or playground. Truth be told, both of Rittal’s TS 8 and VX SE enclosure solutions provide a variety of construction material options for superior flexibility in a variety of industry applications and seamless integration into existing automation systems to minimize downtime.
The choice of construction material is particularly important for material handlers in the retail and logistics space where enclosures can be deployed indoors and outdoors, and in production environments where space is a concern and solutions need to be easily scaled to meet market demand.
Stainless steel construction of the TS 8 provides Rittal’s four-point latching system and continuous foamed-in-place gasket provides a water- and dust-proof environmental seal. The stainless steel model of the TS 8 comes with a load-bearing capacity of 3,000 lbs. and seamless integration with a variety of enclosure accessories due to a symmetrical frame design.
On the VX SE side, painted and carbon steel construction options provide a wealth of unique value propositions ideal for a wide array of deployments. Painted carbon steel utilizes an inner layer of primer and an outer layer of powder coat which produces a durable and scratch-resistant surface. In the case of accidental scratches, touchup paint should be used to cover exposed bare metal. Resistance to solvents, alkalis, and acids is very limited. Painted carbon steel enclosures are mainly used in indoor applications.
On the other hand, stainless steel VX SE construction uses an iron-based alloy containing between 18% and 20% chromium that is oxidation resistant and provides protection from corrosive solvents, alkalis, and some acids for use in indoor and outdoor applications.
Whether you’re a Cubs fan, a member of Team Hamburger, or a Beatles fanatic, it’s important to have choices in the most crucial of decisions, and Rittal’s ability to provide innovative, forward-thinking industrial enclosure options like the TS 8 or VX SE is one of the many reasons why today’s manufacturers partner with Rittal on their industrial automation solutions.
Download our new white paper, Navigating the Complexity of Enclosure Selection, to learn more about choosing the right enclosure for your application.