FDB11 RCBO offers Approved Network Rail DC Immune Protection for electrical equipment in DC areas

Where protection of AC equipment is required in areas adjacent to powerful DC currents – as in electrified rail environments – then the special technology of the FDB11 RCBO panel is typically called for as approved by Network Rail.

This FDB11 unit has developed from some 40 years involvement with BR/Network Rail installations and is approved for use on auxiliary equipment, e.g. in coffee shops etc. to protect against induced DC current. The FDB11 RCBO as tested by (BR/Network Rail) is specified for use in DC Electrified Areas as it retains its protective capabilities for AC equipment. Importantly it incorporates loss of neutral indication and comes with overload and short circuit protection – features which are likely to be of interest to electrical contractors, design engineers and plant engineers working in and around rail industry installations where induced DC current may cause problems in adjacent AC lines.

The metal housed unit comes in 10 amp to 32 amp, 40 amp to 63 amp and 80 amp to 100 amp formats with the 10-32 amp specification regarded as a general purpose RCBO of choice – with overload and short circuit protection like all the FDB11 series, it is mounted in a surface mounting enclosure complete with knockouts.

The FDB11 may also be used for simple AC protection in schools and similar institutional establishments where its high levels of quality and reliability are appreciated. It is available for 110V, 230V. (FDB13 380/440V TP&N), 50Hz in 10 amp to 60 amp ratings. Rated trip currents of 20mA, 30mA and 100mA may be specified.

Rocfast Panel Fittings for every enclosure from FDBHere at FDB Panel Fittings there are many years of combined experience in supplying panel hardware, from which we have found that the selection process for correct panel hardware is largely to do with the application. For example there is little point in fitting low cost, light duty locks and hinges to enclosures destined for use in shipbuilding or mining for instance. Of course they will work for a short time but not for very long. Conversely, it should not be assumed that fitting expensive stainless steel fittings is the answer. As with most things, the optimum solution is based on more than one factor – and can make very important differences in cost and reliability – this is where FDB are able to provide truly independent advice and can often act in a “Project management” role – finding an optimal application solution. Balancing weather-ability, corrosion resistance, strength/ruggedness, supply constraints etc. e.g. by matching a stainless handle with a polyamide housing, as a compromise of performance/cost between polyamide at the low cost end and stainless at the high cost end.

A good example is the latest “Buzz” technology in enclosure hardware – Compression Locking, which was confined to a somewhat limited range of applications until it recently came out of patent protection, so that now a much wider market is finding it beneficial. A number of manufacturers seem to have had their own parallel version of this technology under development for some years and have been able to quickly bring their expertise in design/manufacture to provision of a very greatly expanded range of compression latch variants.

However the question stands “is a compression facility beneficial and where?” Well certainly the anti-vibration role of these locks is excellent in preventing opening of panels such as on trucks, railway rolling stock gen-sets, air-con and heating and ventilating systems.

Similarly the ability to provide “soft” gasket compression is valuable on cabinets with EMC gasket to ensure a firm contact, or indeed on large door panels where the closure force needs to be distributed over substantial distances or adjusted to allow for manufacturing tolerances, also compression technology provides several millimeters of soft gasket compression and cam depth adjustment.FDB compression latches

The result then is that customers are finding they are also now in a position to consider “soft-close” compression technology for ¼ turn locks, swing handles, T handles etc, where it may be that the different closure feel is important, or that the additional degree of anti-tamper performance conferred by the design is a valuable security factor

This is just one of many trends in cabinet hardware which tends to work over fairly long time frames. During recent years there have been many new developments in enclosure hardware and today there are products available for almost all industrial applications. Not just locks and hinges but a whole raft of complementary products including grab rails and handles, stays, door seals and numerous accessories.

IPxx degree of sealing is by now a well recognised front line consideration and most engineers will be aware that for example IP54 or IP55, while potentially suitable for external use is not weatherproof or waterproof. Our sales team have become adept at looking beyond this to the complete picture including: frequency of use, ease of operation, degree of corrosive environment, the cost/material balance, key possibilities, zonal security requirements, walk-by clothing entanglement, gloved hand usage, vibrational considerations, e.g. where vehicle mounted, wash down and pressure hose use, type of gasket used, door type and opening required, special industry standards, e.g. railway, offshore, mining, machine tool guarding.

A major long term trend is toward greater use of stainless steel hardware; consequently we have established a comprehensive range of stainless steel locks, hinges and handles suited to petrochemical plants, hospitals, food processing establishments, medical environments, outdoor installations, marine and offshore industries. The range includes piano hinges, integral recessed lock/handles, weld-on hinges, bolt-on hinges, grab handles, spanner locks, rod locks, concealed hinges, lever and T handles. Importantly for marine/offshore installation many are available in stainless grade 316 as well as the more common 303 and 304 with satin and electro polished finishes. Stainless steel fittings are suited for control cabinets, electrical equipment and instrument housings, especially where exposed to the elements or frequent wash down processes. These stainless products are of course designed to complement the standard range of die-cast and mid steel fittings and in many cases are interchangeable with them.New heavy duty hinges from FDB Panel Fittings for railways, garage doors, gates and agricultural equipment

In one large project our team certainly rose to the challenge when they were called in to supply locks for the new T45 warships. Like any very large single community the T45s face security issues for their personnel, in this case the requirement was for a zone based wing lock system to cover personal lockers, wardrobes and other storage areas. With typically over 2000 locks on each ship a project based master key system was specified for crew cabins and furniture or lockers in communal areas.

This ideally suited our expert Rocfast team who were able to carry out planning, supply, specialist project packaging, administration of coding/delivery and long-term backup support. Not only was it important to have a zoned security with key operated wing locks offering a very high number of “differs” – up to 5000 different combinations with master keys – it was also important that the locks and keys were separately labelled for specific locations and delivered at a very early stage so that they could be brought together later during final fit out.

Another good example was the requirement for quarter-turn latches to suit 18000 galvanised steel water meter boxes for domestic installation in the Middle East. For security, a plastic clip-in, quarter-turn latch was specified by the customer – simple to fit and, bearing in mind the quantity, relatively low in cost.

However, our technical sales team felt that the latch would be unsuitable for the service conditions that were likely to be encountered by the boxes. A small but extremely robust die-cast lock with steel cam was suggested for evaluation by the client.

In order to stay within the budget constraints it was proposed that the lock be supplied zinc-plated rather than with its usual chrome-plated finish. A further problem was the very short delivery period for the boxes themselves – a period of just 3 months for the fully equipped boxes with a fixed completion date and no possibility of slippage with container shipment pre-booked. We were able to deliver at the required rate of 1500 locks a week, but after four weeks increased this to 2000 thus allowing the contract to be met in 10 weeks.

FDB have successfully tendered for the supply of panel hardware to many diverse and prestigious projects including: London’s Millennium Wheel, The Channel Tunnel, Russian Oil Pipeline, Hungarian Buses, The Thames Barrier, T45 Destroyer fleet and the London Underground flood defences.

Giussani reprogrammable quarter-turn lock from FDB Panel Fittings

One of our latest introductions is the Giussani reprogrammable quarter-turn lock which provides users with the flexibility to update keys or switch users so that staff changes or lost keys may be easily accommodated. With 9,791 possible combinations the reprogrammable lock offers a high degree of security as the lock can easily be reset without the need to replace the lock itself.

Reprogramming makes use of a special programming key supplied which is then retained by the supervisor.

Typical applications include personal storage and high staff turnover areas in office or public access areas. For additional protection a large anti-vandal escutcheon is available – as are replacement lock cylinders. For details please contact us.

FDB Panel Fittings onlineFDB Electrical equipment onlineWe are delighted that now after nearly 2 years our Online shop has proven so popular – it enables customers to see, order and receive our extensive ranges of specialist ex-stock enclosure and cabinet hardware from gasket seals to swinghandles and winghandles as well as hinges and handles in zinc die, engineering plastics and stainless steel – alongside our earth monitoring and electrical protection equipment – both panel mount and packaged – much of which is approved for specialist installations such as Railways ( online and trackside including DC ) and Military eg airfield and shoreline power etc.

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New illuminating indicator for quarter-turn locks

29 April 2016
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We like this new little gadget – its an LED module from DIRAK  which provides users with a flashing red alert on quarter-turn locks to indicate an “open” status, so addressing problems of doors being left fully or partially open. Of course this is especially obvious in low light conditions acting as a reminder to time […]

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Polyamide hinges – low cost alternatives to stainless steel

24 April 2016
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We now carry a wide selection of panel hinges in engineering grade polyamide plastic which offer good looks, good strength and low cost for enclosure doors and general access. These are frequently an excellent alternative to stainless steel, where good resistance to corrosion is required but not the ultimate heavy duty strength of stainless. Glass reinforced polyamide is a […]

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New DIRAK multi-point compression lock system from FDB Panel Fittings

15 April 2016
Thumbnail image for New DIRAK multi-point compression lock system from FDB Panel Fittings

The new DIRAK compression rod latch facilitates a multi-point 3 or 5 point system with 4mm clamping at each latching point so ensuring constant pressure over the entire edge length with a high degree of sealing. It will be suited to large electrical and electronic cabinets in outdoor or internal wash-down areas. The quality die-cast […]

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Earth protection components for specialist panel builders

6 April 2016
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Our range of panel mounting components at our Online Store has been specifically devised for panel builders wishing to construct their own custom electrical protection for personnel and equipment – for example our range of Core Balance Transformers runs from 16mm to 240mm capacity while our Earth Line Monitors are available for 110V, 240V and […]

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FDB 13 series General Purpose RCDs with overload and short circuit protection

1 April 2016
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Our FDB13 series of wall mounting housed earth monitoring equipment units with RCDs and/or RCBOs provide general purpose overload and short circuit protection in 10A-32A as well as  40A-63A and 80A-100A ratings all available for our Online store. The FDB13 series features Aproved Network Rail DC Immune Protection within a steel, surface mounting enclosure c/w knockouts […]

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Novel 2 stage hinges for flush doors

16 March 2016
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These novel EMKA 1042/3 two stage hinges provide a full 180° door opening for removable flush doors on large or small cabinets, with two sizes to suit industrial enclosures and electrical housings. The 1042/3 hinges provide this unusual facility for flush doors and are concealed within the cabinet using internal weld-on mounting, which combined with […]

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