When it comes to designing a control panel, there are many variables to consider in order to ensure the end product is built to expectations, completed on time, and within budget. Over ESL’s 25 years of experience as a custom control panel manufacturer we have learned that the design stage of a panel is critical to the success of a project.
During the design stage of a panel it is important to consider some key steps in order to help streamline production and meet deadlines:
First and foremost, scaling drawings properly ensures components will fit properly where desired and assist in the efficiency of production.
Secondly, a good rule of thumb for building a clean and functional panel is “More space is better!” Include sufficient space for wireways to ensure better assembly. Be sure to plan for plenty of finger space to allow access to terminals. This will help with wiring and maintenance in the long run.
It is also beneficial to consider how much space is available where your panel will be installed. Take into account any surrounding equipment and obstructions that may be located near the panel after installation. Ask yourself the following:
- Will the door need to open to the left or right?
- Are there environmental factors to consider?
- Will the unit be housed outdoors in a corrosive environment?
- Is there a possibility for future additions? (i.e., adding an additional din rail to the bottom of the panel is minimal in cost and will allow for future add-ons if there is ever a need)
- Do you know the precise location of conduit installation?
Consider having field workers measure for conduit entries. This will assist in exact alignment and prevent complications during field installation which can cause delays.
Knowing these things in advance can help save time which, in turn, will also save money. In today’s economy, providing customers with time and cost savings is essential. Careful planning of an industrial control panel can equate to value-added benefits and savings.
At ESL, experience, expertise and enthusiasm combine to produce top quality control panels built to spec. To get a quote on your next panel build be sure to fill out our request form.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Panel Design Considerations where we address how to minimize complications.