Information for Technicians

Switch cabinets / control cabinets – Design & Engineering

One of the most important technical components in an industrial company is the control cabinet. Modern panels are often equipped with (heat) sensitive elements such as PLCs, PCs, MCCs, signal converters, frequency converters, fieldbus equipment, analyzers, electronic components, etc.

Building, testing and connecting the right panel boxes is specialized (custom) work, all of which strongly depends on the production environment and specific customer requirements. An excessively high temperature, dust and/or condensation can lead to damage and downtime. A correctly designed switch panel/housing with the correct climate control considerably extends the life of controls and measurement & control equipment.

In practice, climate control / conditioning appears to be underestimated. In an industrial environment, a fan/filter combination is usually not sufficient. Water cooling, Peltier cooling or air conditioning bring their own problems, including condensation in the control cabinet.

The FIKTECH Vortex Coolers flush the control cabinet under a slight overpressure and ensure sufficient cooling. It is a maintenance-free alternative to existing cooling, or as an additional measure (overpressure and dehumidification), also suitable for ATEX environments.

A well-designed control cabinet = less failures
Openings for dust – moisture – gas = malfunctions
Air knives: Technology & Theory

A correctly constructed air knife provides an even flow rate & blowing force over the full length. Air knives are available in different versions (high or low pressure, choice of length, gap width, aluminum or stainless steel), the choice is determined by the operating conditions. The force produced (a combination of air flow rate and speed – up to 200 m/s exit speed) of the air knife is virtually constant up to a distance of approx. 300 mm measured from the blowing opening. As the distance increases, the force decreases.

The air knives are preferably mounted in such a way that adjustment of the height and angle is possible in order to obtain an optimal position in relation to the product to be treated. Correct positioning of the air knives in relation to the product results in effective drying/cleaning. In general, the closer the air knives are mounted to the product to be cleaned, the greater the effectiveness of the blowing process. The optimum distance and blow-off angle must be determined experimentally.

There is a big difference between an air curtain to remove fine dust or to neutralize electrostatic charges, and the removal of oil, coolant or sand from grit blasted materials. In addition, it is important to determine the correct combination of components in connection with maintenance and service life. Finally, a good choice includes the calculation of initial costs and long-term operating costs (TCO = Total Cost of Ownership).

Air Cannon – Air speed in function of distance
Air Knife – Air speed in function of distance
ATEX – ATmosphères EXplosives

With the harmonization of the European trade market, it is of great importance that equipment for potentially explosive atmospheres is inspected according to uniform standards. In addition, hazardous areas are determined at European level. Therefore, since 1 July 2003, two European directives have come into effect:

The ATEX directive 1999/92/EC (ATEX 153) = the minimum requirements for the protection of the health and safety of employees in an explosive environment.
This directive imposes a number of obligations on the employer:

  • Explosion prevention and protection.
  • Division of the company into danger zones and assessment of explosion risks (recorded in a safety document).
  • Application of suitable (= certified) equipment and protection systems based on the danger zone classification.

The ATEX directive 2014/34/EU (ATEX 114) (formerly ATEX 95) = the requirements for equipment and protection systems in an explosive environment.
This guideline provides information regarding the use of equipment:

  • Group I (mining) and Group II (above ground).
  • Category 1G/1D – (G stands for “Gas” / D stands for “Dust”)- (very high level of protection), 2G/2D (high level of protection), 3G/3D (normal level of protection).
  • Category 1G to be used in zones 0/1/2, Cat. 2G to be used in zones 1/2, Cat. 3G can only be used in zone 2.
  • Category 1D to be used in zones 20/21/22, Cat. 2D to be used in zones 21/22, Cat. 3D can only be used in zone 22.
A violent explosion of dust!
Dedusting – Technology

Many production processes release dust particles or fumes that are harmful to our working environment. Inhaling these by-products is undesirable and in addition, pollution of machines and workplace occurs, which leads to a loss of quality. FIKTECH specializes in the field of dust and vapor extraction, industrial filter systems and high-vacuum vacuum installations. The problems are first mapped out and then the solution is realized step by step:

  • Encapsulation of the pollution source (dust and vapor).
  • Selection and design of the extractor hood.
  • Extraction of harmful particles.
  • Filtration – separation from the air stream.
  • Emission of the cleaned air and/or recirculation.

Knowledge of the regulations in a European context is essential here. Terms such as ATEX (explosion hazard), “Institut für Arbeitsschutz der DGUV” (filtration efficiency), NeR (Dutch Emission Guidelines – now Activities Decree) and MAC value (Maximum Acceptable Concentration) come into play here.

Dust extraction technology – special extractor hood
Dust extraction technology – Dust collector with high separation efficiency
Production optimization

Some time after the start of a production process, technical improvements appear to be necessary in order to achieve the optimum yield.

Together with FIKTECH you assess the problem and we find a suitable solution, taking into account the “Total Cost of Ownership” and return on investment. Products that are used for production optimization are, for example: Venturi eductors, aeration discs, air knives, ionization devices and Vortex control cabinet coolers.

FIKTECH works together with other specialists in a wide range of fields to achieve optimal production improvement.

Production optimization – specially designed round air knife
Production optimization – specially designed round air knife