As part of my job, I have seen many manufacturing sites across a lot of different industries. Since I started my working life as a machine operator many years ago, it is always interesting for me to see how machine design have changed during the last decades. The speed of change has even accelerated over last few years with Industry 4.0 becoming one of the most popular themes in the Industry. As a visitor of factories, it is typically the machine or production line that gets the attention and less so the control cabinet or control panels. But also here technology development hasn't stood still. Space saving solutions, better thermal characteristics of parts or easier wiring or assembly are just a few improvements to mention.
We also should not forget the design and technical developments of "simple" pushbuttons or signalling devices.
Let me use Siemens as an example. They are upgrading their product ranges on a regular basis. For their SIRIUS 3SB3 range of push buttons, this was done back in 2015 when they launched SIRIUS ACT. Over the last few years a lot of customers have changed over to SIRIUS ACT mainly because they like the new design, the easier installation and the further improved robustness, but also because ACT allows direct communication with other devices like HMIs or PLCs.
There are two useful pages that will give you the full overview of the technical benefits of SIRIUS ACT:
In addition to all the technical aspects, there is now another important reason to change over to ACT for all who haven´t done so yet. The final period of the SIRIUS 3SB3 phase-out will start from October 2018. On the above SIRIUS ACT site Siemens just added a note that´s saying:
From October 2019 onwards, the predecessor series of our command and signalling devices will no longer be available.
So time is ticking...
To make it as easy as possible to find the best suitable replacement RS has created a cross-reference list which provides not just the Siemens part codes, but also the ones from RS.
Next time I'm visiting manufacturing sites I will watch out to see if my article was successful.