News for the plastics and rubber industry. Macplas
Technology Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Devices to control and manage the power of electric heating

In heat treatment applications, the accurate control of electric heating loads enables a precise and efficient temperature control, with a consequent positive impact in terms of energy saving. To this regard, Gefran closes a 2020 by launching the GPC power controller series and GSLM series of power management units for electrical loads.


The latest generation of GPC advanced power controllers stands out for even more performing features built in a robust device and yet one of the most compact on the market. In particular, the GPC series provides complete single, two, or three phase modular solutions, each available from 40A to 600A and suitable to manage linear and non-linear loads (MoSi2, Sic, SWIR, Graphite and Transformers) for the electric heating of a broad range of industrial applications requiring high temperatures.


GPC devices are equipped with easily replaceable fuses and feature completely configurable analogue and digital I/Os for retransmission of process variables and reporting of alert statuses to control systems. Moreover, perfectly in line with the digital interconnection technology required by Smart Factories, these power controllers are able to communicate with the most known fieldbuses, such as EtherCAT, Ethernet/IP, Modbus TCP, Modbus RTU, ProfiNET, Profibus DP, and CANopen. Additionally, the ODVA (Ethernet/IP) certification is the guarantee of a secure integration.


In addition, the integrated diagnostic features also stand out: three-phase power controllers are designed with no less than 12 incorporated thermocouples, 6 of which placed near line and load clamps to identify any overheating related to their irregular closure or loosening during use. Such situations present frequently and may set off sparks or, in the most extreme cases, fires. Additionally, 3 more sensors have been set up to measure cooling air temperature with the purpose of verifying its real efficiency and reporting any decrease of the latter caused, for example, by clogged dust filters. Lastly, particular care was devoted to mechanical design: the final result guarantees extreme flexibility in power connections, which can be achieved by using any among copper bars, or double or single cables thanks to the aid of a simple adapter.


The smart management of electrical loads is instead entrusted to the new GSLM: paired with power controllers, these solutions are able to coordinate the firing sequence of heating resistances like orchestra conductors in order to avoid overlapping and maintain total energy consumption below the set threshold.