In a digital world, where manufacturing processes are influenced by digitization and smart devices, it is pertinent that the other machineries and components are designed in a fashion to complement the requirements of the shop floor.
The varying need for industrial manufacturing processes need control devices that can match the need for regulation of devices and also ensure the safety of operations.
The control panels are an integral part of the entire design of the workspace which serves as the bridge between machines and humans and thus needs to be reliable and rule out any accidents during use.
The manufacturers of the panels will not only need to understand the core manufacturing process, but also need to be ready for customizing the design according to need.
Apart from the manufacturing process, information about the equipment being used and the plant environment like heat and pressure also helps in making the panel design exclusive.
Knowledge about where the integrated control panel will be fitted, access options, what are the electrical requirements—as in how many operations will be done through the panel are few of the important facts that need to be considered before designing the same.
Software components along with clear foresight on desired functionality help in the customization of the product.
Customized for each shop floor but still Integrated with intricate control requirements — Panel manufacturing solutions need visibility into various facts before embarking upon a project:
- Material to be used for designing is one of the first choices to make before conceptualizing the design. When choosing the enclosure type, the manufacturer needs to evaluate the working environment where the panel will be located in. As an example to the context — a panel that will be exposed to corrosive substances will need a fully sealed stainless-steel enclosure, while a panel that is installed in an area with high ambient temperature may require a ventilation fan or air conditioner to operate efficiently.
- An understanding of power surges in the area where the panel is to be installed is critical for designing it. Control panels help to ensure the right amount of power inflows to the designated machinery thus protecting them from any harm. Conducting full-load calculations helps one to determine the quality of wiring and sockets in the panel. Circuit protection is essential for creating consistency and preventing damage to your wires and components from excessive voltages or currents.
- The types of equipment that the panel will be controlling also need to be considered while assessing the panel’s electrical requirements. A case in point is, if the panel is designed to control motors, one may need to include contactors, overload relays, or motor starters to protect the motor from pulling too much electrical current and overheating.
- Easy wiring and component selection which offers control to the users and ensures efficient functionality is an important part of designing an integrated control panel. Control components such as relays or timers may be used in simple control applications while terminal blocks with push-in plus technology help in easy maintenance and access.
- More complex applications such as those requiring the ability to control a sequence of events may require a programmable logic controller (PLC), which is a microprocessor specially designed to operate in harsh industrial environments. The control panel’s operator interface can take many different forms, including pushbuttons, switches, indicator lights, digital meters, or human-machine interface (HMI) display.
Thus, innovative design along with the right maintenance makes integrated panels one of the most important parts of any manufacturing unit. It is the most used mechanism that is accessed by the workers. Not only it brings efficiency to the entire process, but the panel also helps the manufacturers to control the process from one given location, thus ensuring both safety and non-intrusive control.