The Basic Elements of An Electrical Control Panel Design
Several questions may arise when it comes to the choice, installation, and use of the electrical control panels, in areas including the type of devices used, wiring of machines, temperature control, rating specifications, and others. The panels contain the power or control circuits or either of them to provide and relay signals for running the particular industries that are controlled through the panel. The panel does not have the main power supply and also does not include control equipment and be contained in an enclosure or mounted on the subpanel.
Below are some of the essential design elements for the industrial control panels-
A control panel may be a crucial part of the interface through which machinery can be controlled quickly and safely. The back panels should include the necessary hardware, and wiring between it, and the mechanism should be proper. The basic design and built of a control panel may be based on requirements, specifications, and regulatory guidelines.
The panel should have adequate space so that the components are not overcrowded, and there is space for the wiring as well. A good design will also accommodate receptacles for equipment/appliance testing purposes. Sometimes, the placement requirements may also be considered, for instance, in the case of panels that have the swing cabinet doors. Panels located in areas with high temperatures may need the ventilation fans or air conditioning so that the temperatures do not exceed critical points.
The switches may be placed following the requirements. For instance, the mute buzzer will be pressed by someone responsible on the floor, which means that the alarm has been acknowledged, and the pressing action will mute the buzzer. An emergency button may also be there on the door of the panel, and pressing it will shut down the entire system connected to the particular panel.
Emergency switches often come with a “lock” mode to prevent tampering.
Wiring should be chosen and installed following the load requirements. Wire size may also be a determining factor for circuit protection, which ensures safety against threats like fire. Any component used should also have enough capacity to bear the current and voltage specifications.
Control options may include the various relays, timers, terminal blocks, and other featured components. For a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) panel, the components may consist of CPU, input/output cards, PLC wiring, ethernet switch, and power supplies, among others. To know the strength of supply conductors, the sum of the different connection types of machinery like motors is calculated. The resistive loads are also added to this, and the end strength is even more significant than the amount to face the highest possible current and voltage figures. Overcurrent protection may include a protective device installed within the panel or ahead of it. Aspects like labeling are even more critical in times of repair or emergency. The panel construction builds, materials used, features, capabilities, and quality should satisfy the regulatory guidelines, including those laid by Ul (Underwriters Laboratory) and NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency), among others.
The leading electrical control panel manufactures are experts at evaluating industrial scenarios and can manufacture panels (including the assembled and custom) panels following the client process requirements and aspirations.