End-to-end automation within your walls

By Rittal   

Industry Manufacturing automation enclosures manufacturing Rittal
Sponsored by Rittal

Sponsored Content provided by PLANT partners:

Rittal’s Modification Centre in Mississauga, Ont.

Rittal and EPLAN provide a solution for North American automation systems integrators

A&E Engineering Inc. is an automation systems integrator that helps clients across a wide range of industries solve their automation challenges and become more productive. A&E provides electrical engineering design, panel fabrication, electrical construction and software for plant floor control and information systems for companies in the automotive, manufacturing, food and beverage, chemical, pharmaceutical, energy and defense markets. The company is headquartered in Greer, SC, and has a branch office in Concord, NC.

“We’ve been using Rittal enclosures for three decades,” said Wright Sullivan, president of A&E. “But what’s changed within the past few years is the nature of our relationship. It has evolved from the tactical use of their products to a truly strategic partnership. We see the combination of EPLAN and Rittal, including Rittal Automation Systems, as a pivotal point between design and equipment; it provides us with an end-to-end process.”

A&E has been working with EPLAN for more than 15 years. EPLAN provides software and service solutions for electrical, automation and mechatronic engineering, including design software for machine and panel builders.


EPLAN tools make design more efficient.

EPLAN software gives A&E’s employees a solid footing in electrical design at the beginning of the process. However, A&E also hosts EPLAN training at its state-of-the-art training facility in Greer.

“EPLAN’s design tools make us more efficient in design, but it flows seamlessly through the Rittal Automation System equipment, all the way through to the Rittal panels,” said Gary Hughes, senior team leader at A&E.

Perforex, the automation giant

A&E invested in Rittal’s Perforex machining centre, which offers A&E a fully automated,  drilling, milling and thread tapping for panels and enclosures.

“The Perforex has improved our business on multiple fronts,” explained Hughes. “The efficiency gain comes directly from the design aspect.”

Hughes explained that previously A&E would spend time creating a design, reviewing the design, taping the panel, marking the panel for all cutouts and penetrations, then manually drilling and tapping the panel, before finally adding the devices. On a small panel this process could take a few hours. On larger panels the process could take two to three times as long.

Rittal’s Perforex machining centre.

“What may have taken us a full day to do before can be put on the Perforex and completed in about an hour,” said Hughes. “It shortens the time significantly and delivers a great deal of labor and waste savings.” The integration of Perforex has freed up the team in A&E’s shop to focus on other aspects of panel development. It also increases the shops throughput.

“When customers come through our doors and see that we’re actually automating panel fabrication, it puts us on a whole new level in their eyes,” said Sullivan.

“Equipment such as the Perforex will work with any supplier’s enclosure, but it works best with Rittal enclosures,” said Hughes. “It gives us the end-to-end appreciation for EPLAN on electrical design, all the way through to a Rittal enclosure. It makes our jobs easier and makes the company more efficient.”

In addition to end-to-end solutions, A&E finds value in support from Rittal and EPLAN.

“I think they are great partners, and the combination of our own efficiency initiatives coupled with the tools Rittal and EPLAN have available, are going to continue to significantly increase our capabilities,” concluded Sullivan.

Through the end-to-end solutions provided by partnering with Rittal and EPLAN, A&E is even more nimble within its market, realizing more business opportunities thanks to the increased output and has been able to pass value on to its customers through quicker turnaround times and lower overall costs.

Perforex machining centres in Canada

Rittal’s Modification Centre in Mississauga offers fast turnaround time for modified enclosures.

• Quick conversion of your DXF and CAD drawings
• Off-the-shelf enclosures modified to your specifications
• Drilling, tapping & milling of enclosures completely automated in a single cycle
• Holes, threads and cutouts created on mounting plates, doors, sidewalls, and the enclosure housing
• All standard materials can be machined, including stainless steel, aluminum, plastics, fiberglass, copper

Rittal’s modification partners have invested in the Perforex machine and offer customers enclosure modification services closer to their location. These modification partners will:

• Assemble all accessories offered by Rittal based on your required configuration
• Complete your customized solution by integrating additional doors and mounting panels or suite enclosures together
• Provide custom cutouts, drilled and tapped holes in standard off shelf enclosures using their Perforex Machining Centre
• Support you with an extensive local supply of Rittal products
• Offer fast turnaround as they are located close to you!

Watch this video to see the difference automated machining makes.

Contact the Rittal Modification Centre in Mississauga, at or call 1-800-399-0748. To learn more about Rittal Automation Solutions, visit


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