What every good control panel should look like under the hood

What every good control panel should look like under the hood

Industrial control panels in any setting allow their users to manage utilities, hardware and software that essentially run entire systems  in their organizations. In manufacturing – time is money and money is time and everything down to the nano-second is accounted for. Efficiency is the name of the game – but that extends even beyond getting a component from A to B. 

That also gets into the layout of the panel itself. Today, we’re going to talk about the most important aspects of a control panel in an industrial setting and most specifically – what makes a good control panel in and of itself. Let’s jump right in!

Component layout

Components need to be laid out in a functional and logical way. That means high-voltage, heat generating components should be up high (heat rises) and those that don’t – should be placed below. Wiring and connections should be simple and clear as to what leads where and why. That north-south structure – particularly in an industrial setting – also makes sense as most of the power switches and power disconnects are located to the top right of any control panel -so anything generating electricity should be there. 

Labeling

Consistent, clear labeling throughout the panel will allow maintenance pros to not only perform the basics when they show up, but also allow them to diagnose problems and any liabilities before they become potentially catastrophic issues. In a good panel – every component – from the writing to the actual components themselves should have clear, distinct labels. 

Sizing

A good control panel has the necessary spacing for each of its components to function properly both vertically and horizontally. Not only does this prevent overcrowded components from overheating your panel; but it also allows for you to add more to the panel in the future if the situation calls for it. You want to see a panel that has plenty of space for things like additional terminals, distribution breakers, PLC racks and the like. 

Making sure your control panel has these three things is vital for its overall health and continued, optimal performance. If you’re interested in installing a digital control panel in your business, give us a call and we’ll be happy to offer up some guidance. Until then, good luck!