The new frontier for electrical power management

GFX4-IR, the new frontier for electrical power management

GFX4-IR is the all-in-one solution by Gefran – the Italian multinational group specialised in the design and production of sensors, industrial process control systems, electric drives and automation components – for managing electrical power, which can improve the efficiency of production processes thanks to the integration of several functions for the total control of 4 independent electrical resistive loads.

Compact and performing

Extremely compact and high-performing: GFX4-IR combines within a single device 4 closed-loop PID controllers, 4 solid-state relays (SSR) up to 40A/channel, 4 fuse-holders, 4 current transformers and 4 digital/8 analogue inputs, bringing to a reduction in the size of the electrical panel as well as of cabling. The option to choose, for each load, the most suitable firing between Zero crossing, Half Single Cycle and Phase angle makes GFX4-IR able to adapt to numerous applications. For example, the Zero crossing power control firing mode, which eliminates EMC interferences, makes the installation of filters in the panels unnecessary. More specifically, the 4 integrated PID controllers guarantee the accurate regulation of process variables, thanks to the various configuration parameters which are useful for adapting to any control requirement. On the other hand, the 4 SSR outputs feature a number of functions to control both the simplest, linear resistive loads and the non-linear ones, such as infrared (IR) lamps, silicon carbide (SiC) resistors, molybdenum silicon (MoSi2) resistors, graphite and transformer primaries.

A wide range of applications

GFX4-IR is ideal for applications involving both infrared and electrical heating. It is important to emphasise that IR-lamp technologies are always more widely used in industry: from the production of PET bottles to the baking of products in the food sector, from the finishing of furniture to the thermal treatment of silicon “wafers” for photovoltaic panels, thanks to the advantages offered in terms of process control and irradiation of thermal energy.

Various technological algorithms guarantee, first of all, a heuristic management of energy with the advantage of limiting the total power output to the loads in order to avoid input peaks from the single-phase power supply line, which is useful during the machine warm up and has the objective of avoiding a simultaneous conduction, in the context of an ON/OFF modulation for maintaining temperature. Furthermore, thanks to its V-I-P feedback function, the controller acts as a constant source of voltage (V), current (I) or power (P), with a variable set-point depending on process control requirements. In addition to that, Soft Start allows for the progressive control of the load and HSC serves as an over peak limiter. Another noteworthy function, on top of general alarms, is the accurate diagnostics of potential anomalies within the control loop, for which the LBA – Loop Break Alarm gets activated.