At Controlsforce we believe a well designed control panel is highlighted by its neatness. The aesthetic quality of a control panel is very important, as often a product is judged by how it looks as well as how it works. If you were buying a new car for example, no matter how well the car drives, you would not accept a dirty car. The same philosophy applies with control panels. Metal filings and dirt not only look a mess, they can also find their way into components causing a detrimental effect on their operation. At Controlsforce, we ensure the control panel is clean when delivered to the user and the following aspects are key to good control panel design:
1) Component formation of a Control panel
The manner in which the components, terminals etc. are placed can be a very important factor in the design of an efficient control panel. Most control panels have the main incoming power placed in the bottom left-hand corner of the cabinet, so it makes sense to place the high-voltage components in this area. Separating the high-voltage and low-voltage components is the most logical approach in the design phase of a panel build. This keeps the distribution groups consistent and makes it easy to diagnose faults and errors that may occur. All terminals designed for use by the engineer should be placed at the bottom of the chassis plate to ensure ease of access when connecting to external equipment.
2) Labelled components and wire identification
The labeling of components and number identification of wiring is of paramount importance. This makes it easy for the engineer to identify each component in correspondence with the schematic and avoid confusion with the routing of the wiring. In order to save space, shorthand versions of the components names should be used e.g. PS for power supply or TX for transformer. These labels should be placed so that it is easy for an engineer to see, but not covering any important information on the component. For example, the label for a power supply should not cover where the voltage or amp rating is situated.
3) A suitable size of panel
In many industrial environments space can be a major factor to consider for the placement of control panels and needs to be consideration in the design phase. However, there should be a considerable amount of room allowed for all components that emit a reasonable amount of heat, such as transformers, drives, heat sinks etc. Additional room should also be considered for the inclusion of other components at a later date. Providing adequate space may even eliminate the use for air conditioning or fan units in some circumstances.
4) Wire selection and routing
When a cable is live it can produce a certain amount of ‘noise’ which can create interference with other components. EMC filters can be used to alleviate this issue when powering things like large motors, valves or drives. Another way to limit this is routing cables accordingly. If possible it is best to separate the low-voltage wires from the high-voltage wires by routing the control wires in a separate trunking from the power wires. It is not always possible to completely separate these wires from each other, but making a conscious effort to isolate them will make a big difference in reducing electrical noise.
It is also good practice to stick to the industry standard wire colours for the different voltage ratings. For example, dark blue for extra low voltage/control wiring, black/brown for the mains, light blue for neutral etc.
How can Controlsforce help you?
Looking for a control panel design service? We have been designing and building control panels for over 30 years. This gives Controlsforce invaluable experience in manufacturing control panels and systems to suit your project. From concept to completion, we can help every step of the way.
As control panel manufacturers we are up to date with the latest products and tools available. This enables us to deliver the best possible solution. Not only that, we are fully conversant with the current safety regulations and procedures. This give us an advantage when determining what is needed for your control system to meet these stringent requirements. No matter what the job, whether it’s brand specific or not we have a highly skilled team that will work with you to engineer the best solution.
With over 30 years of panel manufacturing experience, we have progressed with the enormous amount of change and development within the electrical and electronic environment . We know control panel design inside out. Our teams extended capabilities includes fully understanding the needs of our client, as well as, the applications of the panel or panels. Once we are sure we are all on the same page we will begin control panel design. This starts with designing the schematics for the panel, which is then given to the panel building team.
We take complete ownership of a project solution, including the control panel design, programming and testing of control systems. We work closely with all our clients to guarantee quality results that meet exact specifications.
If you’re interested in Controlsforce control panel design, manufacturing and servicing then please call us today on 0121 783 8676 to discuss your requirements.
If you have found this blog helpful, you may wish to read our previous blog on 5 Reasons to Use Controlsforce and Control Panel Design Starts With a Company You Can Trust.