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MCP vs MCC: Which one is best for your building automation systems?

August 16, 2022

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MCP vs MCC: Which one is best for your building automation systems?

You’ve likely heard of motor control panels (MCPs) and motor control centres (MCCs). But what exactly are they, and how can they help you have more control over industrial motors, conveyors, fans and pumps. They work together with electrical panels, building automation systems, and HVAC.

You might know the difference between MCC and MC Hammer, but what about MCPs? Whether you like to try new things, or you’re a traditionalist, either option will have you covered. 

In this post, we’ll take a deeper dive.

Table of Contents

MCPs (such as those from Rittal Canada) and how they work

You know that when many electric motors are required, control is crucial. And that’s where MCPs step in: combination starters and variable frequency drives are grouped into one assembly. MCPs offer efficient component organization within one control panel and busbar systems for optimal distribution of current and decreased resistance.

The specific way components are connected makes each MCP unique. They’re also safer: you can turn high-power circuits on or off with a low-voltage control circuit.

Pros

  • Manufacturer independent: YOU have more control over your components
  • Modular format: suits your specific needs
  • Custom design: fits wide-ranging requirements and physical constraints
  • Gives you a competitive advantage: thanks to its unique design
  • “In-house” design and fabrication: with the use of standard components
  • Faster delivery: think locally sourced
  • Easy install and commission: for both factory and site acceptance tests (FAT/SAT)
  • Front access: better to reach all connection points
  • Suitable for any environment: available in NEMA 3R, 4 (IP66) and 4X versions, and 12 (IP55)
  • LOTO: Lockout, tagout safety design
  • Interlockable doors: safety first
  • Reduced footprint: supports our environment

Cons

  • Not hot swappable
  • Bus ampacity: currently limited to 3200A

What makes MCC'S tick?

MCCs control some or all electric motors in one central location. An MCC has multiple enclosed sections with a common power bus. Each section contains a combination starter and/or a variable frequency including power disconnect, fuses or circuit breakers, and sometimes line/load reactors.

Pros

  • LOTO: lockout, tagout safety design
  • Hot swappable: no need to “shut ‘er down” for a single fault or bucket
  • Arc-resistant: Arc flash containment and venting rated

Cons

  • Long lead time: manufacturer needs to source and deliver
  • Configure and commissioning: needs drawings, specs and docs from manufacturer or certified manufacturer solutions provider
  • Pricey: individual components can’t be replaced or sourced; you have to source and replace the entire bucket. Changing or scaling will also cost you
  • No real competitive advantage: gives you the same solution as other project bidders
  • Large footprint: not so great for the environment
  • Limited suppliers: manufacturer needs to replace components or expand a system

Rittal MCP vs Siemens MCC

For large commercial and industrial uses, a Siemens MCC is rugged, reliable, and saves you time during installation and startup. 

On the other hand, a Rittal MCP offers a flexible design and cost-effective integrated solutions. And — because it’s locally made — it can be delivered to you faster.

Need to modify your panel? No problem! E.B. Horsman & Son can help. Did you know we’re the only Rittal-certified modification centre in Western Canada?

Why choose a Rittal MCP?

The newer kid on the block, the Rittal Canada MCP is the perfect way to solve motor control, power management, and quality control challenges. MCPs are also available in higher NEMA ratings — such as 3R, 4, 4X, and 12 — to meet environmental conditions.

A Rittal MCP meets your needs reliably and quickly. For systems integrators, this means being able to build scalable industrial automation solutions that help you stand out from the crowd.

The benefits of a Rittal MCP

Speed of design and build

  • Modularity = ease of expansion
  • Customization using standard parts 
  • Flexibility of design
  • Cost-effective integrated solutions
  • Self-configuration possibility with EPlan
  • Vendors agnostic for internal parts…i.e.; can use any manufacturers VYD, softstart, surge arrestors, etc.
  • Direct support from Rittal (and the team here at E.B. Horsman!)

What about my specs?

No worries. You won’t need to rewrite engineering specs — we can assist you with that process. We partner with local systems integrators and MCP-design consultants to rewrite your specs and produce drawings.

Added bonus: Sourcing your MCP locally gives you better access to stock, faster delivery, and convenient parts replacement.

Rittal MCP's fabulous features

Constructed on the world-leading TS 8 range of enclosures, a Rittal MCP offers endless possibilities for excellent modularity and space.

Need to easily and quickly adjust the mounting depth of plates? Rittal MCP’s innovative internal compartment system allows for that.

Rittal offers a wide range of compartments sized from 150 mm to 2,200 mm and large cable chambers.

Rushed for time (as usual)? You can flush mount your ACB or mount it behind the door in no time flat, leaving you more time to relax with your family, and watch the game!

We sell lots of accessories to outfit your MCP for any situation and need.

The Rittal MCP configures over a wide range of short circuit ratings — up to and including 100 kA. With current ratings available up to 3200 amps, it distributes power safely and reliably with separation up to Form 4 (BS EN 60439-1) giving you a well-engineered, cost-effective solution.

 

E.B. Horsman has the only Rittal certified panel modification centre in Western Canada at our head office in Surrey, B.C. Our Rittal Perforex machine allows us to take care of measuring, enclosure cutting, and drilling for you. Again, more time for family, and the game!

How does the Siemens MCC stack up?

Tried and true for decades, traditional MCCs have long addressed the problem of controlling all components by the same power source. The Siemens MCC shines when faced with complicated processes.

MCCs use busbars connected to components that share the same power source. The hot-swappable horizontal and vertical busbars make it easy to plug or unplug while the system runs.

 

A Siemens MCC needs detailed engineering drawings, but maintenance is easy! Need to fix a fault? No problem. You can disconnect individual starters without turning off the whole system. 

Important note: MCC manufacturers design and manufacture each bucket (or starter enclosure) based on engineering drawings and component specifications, so scaling an MCC and adding components later can cost you.

Which one should I choose?

We’ve taken a closer look at MCPs and MCCs, and compared a couple of outstanding products. Both options offer great solutions. The one you choose will depend on the problems you’re trying to solve. Contact us to help you decide!

Need Help? Talk to one of our experts!

If code compliance worker safety cost efficiency or facility up time are important to your business, then you insist on switch rated plugs and receptacles from Meltric. E.B. Horsman is the BC Authorized Stocking Distributor of Meltric DS and DSN products, so contact us today!