In addition to the process automation system and industrial controls, IFCO is also using Allen Bradley’s motor control centers (MCCs) with networked I/O to help reduce wiring costs. In the past, engineers ran parallel wiring to each of the local control burner boxes on the furnaces. (A recent project required 32 burner boxes.) The MCCs and networked I/O has helped the company save more than $68,000 in wiring costs and reduced unnecessary use of raw materials.

“The ability to go from discrete wiring to a network implementation has not only helped achieve significant savings in wiring but also has helped reduce installation costs,” says IFCO’s Mike Hilton. “In one recent project, we were able to eliminate more than 600,000 ft of wiring while cutting our installation time in half.”

Because the MCCs come equipped with integrated drives, the technician plugs in a cable and they’re ready to go. To add a drive to a project, the engineer simply gives the drive a name and all the interfaces instantly appear.

Time is also saved via the use of Allen-Bradley CenterOne software, a Windows-based application that helps simplify MCC configuration through a user-friendly interface. At the click of a mouse, the software can generate most of the MCC documentation, which was traditionally created manually. This documentation includes structural specifications, individual unit specifications, front elevation layouts and one-line diagrams.

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