December 12, 2014

Your new harmonic heroes

In 2014 supply, repair and field service specialist, CP Automation has seen a record level of applications in which its range of harmonic filters, including the active dynamic filter (ADF) range is required. 

The number and capacity of drives used in plant applications is increasing and with it rising levels of harmonics are beginning to play havoc in industry. The most common problems caused by harmonic currents include extreme stress on the electrical network, deterioration of the supply voltage quality and damage to equipment, all resulting in higher operating costs.

The powerful filters have a reduced footprint, which makes them perfect for ensuring power quality in office buildings, data handling centres, the mining industry, chemical plants and in any other industrial application where drives and motors are present.

To ensure these issues are avoided and the power quality in industrial environments remains optimal, active harmonic filters could be used. Comsys’ ADF series can handle any loss-creating behaviour in real time.

“We can’t stress enough how much of a positive impact the right harmonic filter can have on a company’s environmental performance, lowering energy consumption and improving productivity,” enthused John Mitchell, CP Automation’s business development manager.

“The industry still suffers from a piercing lack of awareness when it comes to harmonics; so working with a professional partner that takes the time to understand and evaluate your application before recommending a solution is crucial”.

The ADF series has a small footprint and a high power density, which makes it perfect for small and medium size commercial and industrial applications where space is precious.

The highlights this year are a 4 wire 100A unit, UL Certified models and increased power ratings by 20 per cent with new cooling techniques. A liquid cooled version of the harmonic filter range is also available, allowing a significant increase in power.

The modular design of the Comsys active harmonic filters allows sections to be removed and replaced without the need for a plethora of connectors and cables. This makes the product quick and easy to install, without having to shut down the operation. They lack of cables also makes the product simple to maintain, while significantly reducing costs.

If, for any reason, one of the power modules has a fault, the user can shut it down, while continuing to run the active filter in reduction mode. This will keep plant harmonics low, while allowing time for the necessary maintenance.
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November 13, 2014

Automation supply prioritises trust

Customers of the automation supply and maintenance firm, CP Automation, can now enjoy a whole host of new features and information at their fingertips thanks to the launch of its new website. The UK firm's new website, not only provides detailed product information but also allows the customer to buy there and then with a heavy emphasis on trustworthy supply. 

While it's not difficult to buy a motor, inverter or PLC online, trustworthy online purchasing is a rarity. A lot of products for sale on the internet seem to come from the grey market, without a safety certificate or any guarantee of reliability.

CP Automation specialises in the sale, repair and maintenance of industrial electronic boards, PLC's, AC drives, resistors, DC drives and inverters.

The product range extends from simple general purpose drives to mission critical systems requiring uncompromising control, enhanced intelligence, and high-speed communications capability.

The new site provides more detailed information on the products CP Automation integrates, with individual downloadable product spec sheets. The company's brochures are segregated into product types and are also downloadable from the site.

After the customer has found the information they need to make a buying decision, they then have the option of making a purchase from the online shop. CP Automation's online buying function stands out in the automation maintenance and supply industry, in which ecommerce is a rarity.  

"The new website provides an abundance of relevant information and allows customers to ask specific questions with our new feedback feature," explained Tony Young, a director of CP Automation.

"Our new products are highlighted on the home page and links to our blog keep visitors up to date with new developments. I think it's interesting that even though many automation components have almost become commodities, particularly in the replacement market, very few businesses have invested in e-commerce.

"The consumer  and more advanced B2B markets are already developing and using mCommerce (mobile commerce) solutions and yet few people in engineering are thinking on that level yet.

"It's ironic that the automation sector has countless mobile monitoring and bring-your-own-device apps, for everything from simple inverter or PLC communications all the way to SCADA and DCS management, and yet it's still difficult to buy a trustworthy motor online."

The new website comes just months after the company opened a branch in South Africa after receiving a record number of inquiries coming from the Sub Saharan continent. Bookmark and Share

August 14, 2014

British automation firm opens South African branch

In February, UK automation maintenance and supply firm CP Automation opened a branch in South Africa after receiving a record number of inquiries coming from the Sub Saharan continent. 

CP Automation specialises in the supply of complimentary products to Variable Speed Drives applications, repair and field service of industrial electronic boards, PLC's, AC drives, resistors, DC drives and inverters.

"We've had a good number of enquiries for high power applications such as hoists, steel mills and mining from Africa," explained Tony Young, a director CP Automation.  "The opportunities have reached a level that meant we really needed a local presence so we can make the most of this new market.

"The great thing is that we are entering a growing economy that has huge potential in the global market. There is a lot of scope to sell our products and the newly appointed country manager, Jim Rosser, formerly of Rockwell will make the South African branch a success," concluded Young.

The company believes that the new venture will complement its European business and hopes to establish long term relationships with South African partners.

"The key to success in any new country is to establish a network of local partners and create a robust supply chain,” commented John Mitchell, business development manager.  “We also believe our product and service offering differs greatly from one geographic location to another.

"For instance, in Europe we mostly deal with high speed OEMS, the African industry is powered by significantly larger applications. This means that the requirements will be different, but we want to ensure the end users get the right support,” he added.

CP Automation's core strength is supplying universal peripheral equipment to drive applications including dynamic braking resistors, regenerative units, brake choppers and harmonic filters. Passive devices such as line chokes, sine wave filters and EMC (Electromagnetic Compliance) filters are also part of CPA South Africa's offering.

CP Automation's new customers can expect a wide range of products from British and European suppliers from Cressall Resistors, Re-Spa, Chiaravalli, TAE Pickatron to Comsys, Roxburgh and RevCon.

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August 11, 2014

Whitepaper targets harmonic mitigation

Industrial component specialist, CP Automation, has made available for download a new whitepaper that addresses a lack of industry awareness of different methods of harmonic mitigation. It is designed to educate engineers on the most appropriate solutions to mitigate the damage caused by harmonic currents and utility level voltage distortion. 

Authored by Jonas Persson, product manager at Comsys AB, the paper highlights the challenges facing original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in tackling the growing problem of harmonic currents. For many years this has held the industry back; the fact that engineers struggle to identify the best solutions for their needs due to a lack of information. The overall context is to reduce harmonic loading in a drive system.

The whitepaper details the four main mitigation techniques and their associated technologies. Covering series passive, series active, shunt passive and shunt active solutions, it presents in-depth case studies of real life implementations of each as well as theoretical worked examples explaining the benefits and drawbacks.

Knowing the different types of mitigation technique to employ is essential. There are three variations of the series-passive solution alone, line reactors, series harmonic filters and multi-phase, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Choosing one over another is a decision that must be made from an informed perspective.

“Without both breadth and depth of knowledge, it is possible that the most efficient method of harmonic mitigation is being overlooked,” says John Mitchell, business development manager at CP Automation. “On top of that, there are numerous other challenges faced by engineers caused by the rise of non-linear loads, such as extra stresses on outdated equipment.”

“We hope this whitepaper will go some way to addressing the lack of information issue, which in turn will go some way to reducing the amount of harmonics related problems the wider engineering community encounters in electrical industry applications.”

To download the new whitepaper on mitigating harmonic currents, visit
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July 14, 2014

CPA launches new range of enclosures

CP Automation has today signed a new partnership with electro-mechanical expert DEM Manufacturing, to supply a leading range of Deltron heavy duty industrial enclosures. Suitable for use in harsh conditions, the new enclosures allow original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to use electrical equipment in various offshore and marine environments and other wet environments such as food and medical. 

Rated to a standard ingress protection of IP66 and a maximum of IP68, the range of heavy duty enclosures protect vital electronic equipment from a host of ingress types. They range from ingress by dust and high pressure jets of water to protection from complete, continuous immersion in water. Both IP66 and IP68 variants are certified to BS EN 60529:1992; IP66 for protection from jets of water and dust ingress and IP68 being fully submersible to 10m for 20 hours.

Made of LM24 die cast aluminium, the heavy duty enclosures are ideal for use in a variety of harsh conditions. These include deep water applications, such as marine as well as the renewable energy sector and offshore wind farms.

"This waterproof enclosure has all the benefits you would expect from a heavy duty component, whilst prioritising creative design and ease of installation," explained John Mitchell, CP Automation’s business development manager. "One of the key design features is protection against EMI and RFI," continued Mitchell.

"An excellent level of screening is achieved against electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio-frequency interference (RFI) by enclosing the silicone seal well inside the box and ensuring a good contact between the lid and the base. In addition to this, integrated mounting holes allow the mounting bolts to be concealed within the enclosure. This results in the entire inside of the box remaining free for assembly."

The range of IP66 and IP68 heavy duty enclosures is available in plain, powder coated and nylon coated versions. All the enclosures are robust and lightweight, boasting a smooth finish with no sharp edges. Perfect for analytical, test and measurement equipment, the units are ideal for the water industry as well as for the security and lighting sectors.

All the enclosures include lid and seal as well as captive and earth screws in addition to PCB card guides and stand offs. The unit offers base plate and DIN rail mounting points and has a silicone seal rating of -60 to +200 degrees Celsius.

The powder coated version features a polyester powder coating, which is ideal for corrosion protection when facing continued outdoor UV-light and all-weather exposure. The hard finish on the powder coated unit offers superior toughness to conventional paint and is resistant to chipping, scratching and abrasions. This durable, high quality finish offers consistent surface colour and texture and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor environments.

For the harshest of environments, including the water industry, the nylon coated enclosure option is ideal. Water resistant and non-contaminating, the unit features improved chemical resistance to sea water, oil, grease, solvents and fuel. This high level of contaminant-resistance makes the unit hygienic for use in the food and medical industries.

The nylon coated unit backs up its mechanical strength with high abrasion, impact and damage protection. Its durable and corrosion resistance surface offers a hard, shiny and smooth finish with a low friction coefficient.

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