Control panels have become a significant aspect of manufacturing units. They are used in all types of industries to control, monitor and maneuver the production processes, machinery, applications and assembly lines.
Over the years, the industrial control panel technology has evolved to a great extent. The touch technology may seem quite a new innovation, but control panels with push buttons handled with analog systems have been for a long time now. Without a control panel, the industrial applications succumb to the challenges of efficiency, stability and safety at the very beginning at their installation. That’s why an economically designed control panel can add to the efficiency and performance of the industrial applications.
Control panels are mainly custom designed and engineered for all industrial applications as the requirements of every industry are different with a set of different control instruments.
Control Panels and their Usage
There are three major types of control panels for industrial applications that are recommended by UL, a global safety organization. Open industrial control panels, enclosed control panels and modified industrial control panels. These control panels mainly serve the purpose of control of in-house industrial application such as lighting, ventilation systems, pump controllers, alarm systems, security and safety systems, motor or for other mechanical and electrical devices.
The installation of control panels in the industries requires the NEC (National Electric Code) approval and marked ratings. The components of the control panels such as push buttons, light beams, relays, power circuits, power transmission buttons, contractors are some of the must-to-integrate components in the engineered control panels so that they can be categorized under the UL and NEC ratings and standards. For safety purposes, the industries using the control panels must have a marking of instructions or field installation diagrams with the information about the name of the manufacturer, power voltages, short circuit rating of the current and trademarks.
Ensuring the efficiency of control panels
Every day the requirements for industrial automation are escalating; along with the requirements to control and monitor the different assembly units through networked yet safer control systems. In this scenario, control panels need to be produced and installed with higher consideration for the different prospects of different industries and their applications. After a careful and prudent survey and inspection of the industries by the engineers, first the diagrammatic then the configured and engineered prototype of the control panels is installed in the industries. To ensure their efficiency and sustainable performance without any hazards or security dangers, the control panels must be prepared with following considerations:
- Spacious Industrial Area: Control panels can be both small and large depending on the industry requirements. Large space needs to be allotted to the control panels for their operations like control and monitoring so that they are not hindered by other industrial processes and mechanical work. And, large space to control panels will mean that the error free control supervision can take place, without the interference of industrial applications.
- Low Noise: For efficient control panel functions, noise mitigation can play an impertinent role. The low noise control panels can be more efficient and environment-friendly than the high noise producing panels.
- Higher Safety: As stressed by the UL standards, efficient control panels are safer for the working environment. This safety needs to be integrated at all levels of designing, manufacturing, installing and functioning of the control panels.
- Grounding power systems: The whole power control panels must be connected to other devices with a proper networking system. The automated and networked usage of control panels can ensure the efficient, effective and protractile performance of control panels.
Along with observing the aforementioned guidelines, the industries using the control panels must be looking to repeatedly check and upgrade according to the standards and ratings of UL and NEC.