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Industrial tourism: Die Rittal fabric

Almost six hours busing and 2 hours flying from our Cork base to RITTAL's HQ, in the heart of Germany, where our smart cabinets are made.

Noel Maloney and Charmene Walker from Rittal Ireland are my guides for this journey. They explained to our group that Rittal is part of the Loh Group, 54 subsidiary sites , 18 global production sites and annual revenue of around $2 billion. All figures I had heard about without taking the true measure of it before today. Rittal is the leading company, and supplies enclosures, climate-control technology, power distribution gear and IT infrastructure… They are a strong element of our smart cabinets offer.
 
Ports, farms, factories, the way we make energy instead of ransacking our oil and mineral resources are all changing, becoming smarter than ever before. Increasingly automated, modern facilities are embracing technological change to drive new efficiencies, reduce waste and speed up innovation. Rittal manufacturing and logistic are embracing this change at all levels.
 
in 2016 SEA-Tech delivered a smart village project in France composed of 24 wireless smart stations. Each single cabinet was fabricated by Rittal in their manufacturing plant near Frankfurt. 
Watching raw metal turning into a cabinet is very instructive, at the same time I could not stop thinking that mass production is the exact opposite of custom work. While Rittal can deliver a one off custom job on a cabinet this is not cost effective. This is how David partners with Goliath, it’s much better than stoning each other. It is not allowed filming inside the factory, for your eyes only they said, so I can only explain in person, how our smart cabinets are made... and tested!! Still managed to do a short clip below...
 
Over the day we moved from manufacturing to logistic. This was the most impressive part of the journey. Our projects can take place anywhere in the world, Rittal can deliver our components virtually anywhere. Watching the automated warehouse operating was really impressive.
Over 4000 references picked by hand at lightning speed thanks to an impressive  super-fast conveyor belt and lots of ergonomic palette picking equipments.
After a quick lunch at the Research and Development department, we witnessed the latest in Rittal technology, cabinets assembly of the future with 3D googles and touch screen guided assembly working together with EPLAN solution design
The day ended at the test centre, in Herborn. You would not believe what our cabinets have to go through, dust, water, vibrations, drop, even some gun fire... but this is another story...
New ideas, new tricks, more innovation, better answers to our questions and those of our customers, here are the learning topics for the day. Time to head back to Cork enjoy the time laps and if you like this article join us on Social Media for more... 
 
Special thanks to Noel, Charmene, Pat, Willy, Raymond, Kevin, Tony, Colum, Bryan, Killian, Neill, Kevin and all the people in Germany for showing us around... 

Written by : Arnaud Disant

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