The unambiguous marking of electrical components and equipment is an essential element of modern control cabinet construction. The topic has received further importance with the introduction of standard EN 81346. As a result, the need for professional marking of electrical components and equipment has increased significantly.
Selecting a suitable system
For the purpose of precise identification of electrical components at a later time, there are different methods of equipment marking that should be taken into account early in the planning process. After completing the documentation of all required reference markings in the circuit diagram, the next step is to select a suitable marking solution for the specific application.
Due to the large number of different marking options available on the market, the control cabinet manufacturer is spoilt for choice, but a hasty decision can easily prove to be wrong later. After the selection of the equipment marking, control cabinets are usually subjected to conversion, modernisation or maintenance measures during their service life, long after their manufacture, delivery and commissioning. In most cases, this is done locally in the field. For maintenance work, the equipment marking must be checked in the field and, if necessary, overhauled or completely replaced. In order to ensure consistent equipment marking – especially for live components – assembly teams around the world are servicing the control cabinets on site. For this reason, decision-makers are placing more and more emphasis on implementing larger and more complex equipment marking projects as quickly and easily as possible, directly in the field.
Control cabinets are sometimes used in the field for more than ten years and during this time, it can happen that equipment marking becomes unreadable, or even detaches from the surface. In such cases, it must be replaced directly in the field. For such maintenance work, mobile thermal transfer printers are mostly used. However, this type of printer quickly reaches its performance limits, as it is generally not fast and precise enough for more extensive repairs in the field. Here too, users are increasingly looking for new mobile solutions.
Marking goes digital
The Marking System app by Phoenix Contact now makes this possible. By means of the structured search assistant or integrated barcode scanner, the user easily finds the right solution. Among the 3000 marking solutions and eleven different printing systems – subdivided into three marking technologies – practically every user will find the right marking solution for their application. The app is clearly structured and intuitive to use, and also includes search assistants for marking materials.
With the help of a filter function, the right selection is quickly found, even without any specific product knowledge. In addition, the search assistant allows access via four main equipment marking categories: terminal block, conductor, device and system marking. The integrated Application Guide also solves another problem: it knows all about the markings with regard to required permissions, environmental requirements and material properties. Newly integrated selection criteria simplify the user’s search, and the selection takes place automatically.
Significant increase in productivity
Equipment marking projects can be easily created and subsequently converted in the office using the Clip Project marking software. The converted project file can be emailed to the user on site. This approach is very useful, as the user on site rarely has time for the complete and tedious preparation of the equipment marking. Finally, the print project is printed entirely with the handheld Thermofox printer.
This digital solution in the form of an app speeds up processes as early as the planning phase, and makes them safer as well. Due to the highly up-to-date underlying digital data, the user will always choose the correct marking solution. In combination with the high flexibility in the field, this digital solution is an ideal tool for industrial marking. The Marking System app is available free of charge for smartphones and tablets from the Google Play and Apple iTunes stores.
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