ELECTRICAL: Flexible manufacture from a single piece: Dreistern roll forming system produces new form of switch cabinets

"Generally demanding profiles" is the first thought that comes to the mind of the director of project management at Dreistern, Ralf Kummle, to characterise the enclosure sector. However there are also real innovations here. Rittal, a world leading system provider of enclosure technology, is advertising its new free-standing enclosure in the Internet as a "new world standard": with its integrated side panels and roof panels this enclosure has advantages over conventional enclosures.  

Here compatibility with the system accessories for the Rittal bayable enclosure system TS 8, already proven millions of times over, is ensured. High protection categories (IP 55/NEMA 12), easier cleaning due to the enclosed design, and reduced costs as the completed enclosure comprises fewer pieces – there are just a few of the advantages made possible by a Dreistern system. The system not only produces the edge shape on the profile for the SE 8, but also welds left and right alternately to make the housing casing. In this way a so-called step seam is produced. Also integrated into the production line is a punching and bending unit manufactured by the Dutch specialist WEMO; this unit cuts the thread, punches the relief holes and then bends the enclosure elements into a U-shape. Then in principle it is only necessary to attach crossmembers, the rear panel, covers and doors to complete the enclosure.  

Flexibility is a key element of the Dreistern system concept in many ways. As the cabinets are manufactured from blanks provided by the customer's stacking unit, a batch size of just one unit is possible thanks to very short set-up times. The machine, which adjusts itself automatically and that is matched to the product range, processes three different materials: steel, galvanised steel and stainless steel. There are also other extras, such as a traversing sold-state laser and double sheet check at the entrance to the system; this feature can measure the distances between the blanks by monitoring the blanks as they pass through and regulate the velocity in case of varying length blanks. A particular challenge for the engineers at the technology leader in the profile forming machine sector was the need to base the design on the floor space required by the old system that was replaced with the new production line.

ELECTRICAL: Flexible manufacture from a single piece: Dreistern roll forming system produces new form of switch cabinets

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