Control panels are essential for industrial automation as they monitor controls, helping manage and organize production objectives. They can be a simple relay system or a complex panel for cohesive control of mechanical aspects of machinery and industrial equipment. Electrical control panels are an essential part of many industries (food and beverage, manufacturing, oil and gas, agriculture, etc.).
What is a control panel?
An electrical control panel is a metal box containing electrical devices (switchgear, relays, controllers, PLCs, pushbuttons, indication lamps, etc.) that control and monitor mechanical processes. These panels are designed to regulate equipment (pumps, motors, engines, machinery, heaters, lighting, HVAC systems, etc.). Each panel is created for a particular equipment arrangement and allows an operator to control that specific machinery. Control panels are used in many industries. Every industry and every company has defined preferences, making each electrical control panel a customized solution for a particular installation.
Types of control panels:
There are three main types of electrical control panels.
- Power Control Center (PCC Panel): The PPC panel is used to supervise and control the voltage and power of a power system. It contains switchgear (modules for power supply, switchboards, gears, distribution boards, etc.).
- Motor Control Center (MCC Panel): The MCC panel is used as the primary means for controlling various motors needed for a facility’s electrical system. This panel contains all motor control and protection devices (MCBs, contactors, timers, relays, MCCBs, isolators, bus bar, circuit breakers, transformers, limit switches, etc.) and is generally installed in the operation or control room of a facility. MCCs are classified as either low-voltage (for controlling motors from 230V to 1000V) or high-voltage (for controlling motors from 1000V to 15kV).
- Automation Panel (SCADA PLC Panel): A supervisory control and data acquisition panel is a system of software and hardware elements that allows organizations to control industrial processes locally or at remote locations, monitor/gather/process real-time data, interact with devices through human-machine interface (HMI) software (sensors, valves, pumps, motors, etc.) and record events into a log file.
How do control panels save your business money?
Depending upon the type and number, control panels save money by:
- Improving efficiency
- Increasing productivity
- Increasing accuracy
- Ensuring safety
- Ensuring reliability
- Reducing labour
- Reducing error
- Reducing lost time/product due to breakdown
- Reducing liability (monitoring for potential environmental problems/impact)
Industrial equipment and machinery require defined functions and orderly control to achieve process goals. Electrical control panels carry out these functions and are of critical importance to industries. Each business has specific needs. Custom control panels meet those specifications and help businesses save money.
Gaspro builds certified control panels for each of our compressor packages. Our certified control panel shop is your one-stop-shop for all your control panel needs. We provide custom-built panels to suit your needs at an economical price. Contact us to request a proposal.