Will the ability to use hardwired or ethernet control help my facility with labor costs or reliability?
Can eliminating the need for a multimeter and having someone walking around to take readings increase my productivity?
With the advancement in ethernet over the past 30 years, the intelligent MCC has proven useful in the ability to get the important information in front of the users at the plant. Hardware has also seen a decrease in price but an increase in availability. Industrial grade equipment has become more available and easier to use.
Cybersecurity is always a large concern and intelligent MCCs are not immune to that. Most devices in the intelligent MCC is operating below the layer 2 level. You can build a defense in depth model with the MCC as well as enable access control for the devices. Steps to limit the traffic between the MCC and the main PLC can be taken to help minimize the risks that are out there.
Some new advancements with intelligent MCCs include smart overload devices. They can perform as miniature PLCs as well as being able to monitor the load. With these smart overloads you can help diagnose issues more so than just what current would be able to tell you.
Many new overloads now have the capability to be networked, giving you the ability to have it on your network and provide control as well as monitoring.
With visualization on an intelligent motor control center, you have multiple ways to use visualization like being able to monitor all your devices in one place. You also can control the various devices inside of the MCC. Visualization can also play an important role in safety in helping diagnose issues with wiring or being able to tell if the equipment is still energized. Things like the one line or wiring diagrams can also be stored on the HMI so that they can be quickly and easily pulled up.
With the rise of industry 4.0 and IIoT, the smart MCC is a great place to make an investment in your facility that will have a positive impact on many areas. Delivering accurate power and managing it in a sophisticated way is possible and with a little work on the front end, a lot of the data you desire to improve operations could be at the tip of your fingers with this technology.