Posted tagged ‘electrical control panel’

6 Things You Must Know Before Choosing a Control Panel Enclosure

May 21, 2015

Picking the right enclosure for a machine design is extremely important. If you get it right everything is going to last and work great and be easily maintained. If you get it wrong things will overheat, you can get contaminants in the cabinet, things will prematurely fail. It may seem rudimentary but there are a lot of different options to consider. I want to tell you about the 6 that I think are the most important.

1. The environment is critical in picking the right cabinet. If this is going to go anywhere where water or dust or any type of contaminants are present in the atmosphere then you want to make sure your cabinet has some sort of seal on it so that you can remember to keep the water and the dust out, that’s the main thing. You want to make sure there isn’t going to be too much heat in the cabinet. You want to make sure that the components have room to breathe. So again all kinds of enclosures exist, each application is unique, the enclosure should be unique as well. The smallest enclosure is not always the best enclosure. You may want the smallest enclosure because space = cost. The bigger the enclosure the more it’s going to cost because the more metal there is. Just think about the long term maintainability of all the equipment that you are going to put inside of it. It is not easy to change an enclosure once you decided and installed all the components so make sure you take the time to get it right. Consider all the options; way all the pros and cons and make an educated decision. So again the first thing is going to be the environment that dictates the type of enclosure. That’s going to be the NEMA or the IP which means Ingress Protection rating that’s going to keep all the contaminants out of the cabinet.

2. The internal components that are going to go inside. Most of the time it’s going to be electronics inside and those electronics produce heat. All these electronics have an associated watt loss, heat loss that’s associated with them. That’s usually part of the specification for each of these components. Add all that up and make sure your cabinet can dissipate that much heat. There are calculations you could use to determine that.

3. The need to access all the different sides of the components. For instance, if you need to get your hand up underneath here to grab a hold of this wire and it’s too close to the wire duct you can’t get your hand in there. Same thing if I need to be able to grab the in stop on the side of the piece to pull it off of the din rail. If I can’t get my hand in here it’s going to make it a lot more painful for me to do that if I’m a maintenance person. Remember you want to make enough space in here for things to be able to breathe and for you to be able to access these things with your hands.

4. Surrounding obstacles outside of the cabinet.Anything that is going to be on either side or the front or back is going to determine how big your door needs to be. If you have any cables that have to come out with a minimum bend radius or anything like that. That’s going to affect how far away you need to place things from the cabinet. If there is going to be any corrosives in the environment, if it’s a wash down say for a food and beverage application the type of enclosure you’re going to want to make sure it’s stainless or something that can’t corrode with cost of chemical wash down.

5. Think about any arc flash mitigation that you have to deal with. Certain customers of ours require the internal disconnect be located on the outside of the panel completely, so when power is removed there is no internal components that will have live power to them. Think of your maintenance personnel when you pick these component because it can really mean the difference between being able to work on these efficiently and effectively to reduce downtime. Make sure you can prolong the life of the equipment inside, which has to do with heat loss and contaminants.

5 Reasons to Add Lighting Solutions to Your Manufacturing Lines

April 28, 2015

Hi, my name is Andy Lewis with Innovative-IDM, and today I’d like to speak with you for a couple of minutes about a variety of lighting solutions that you can utilize for your plant floor, for your industrial facility.

We carry a line called Patlite and they have a wide variety of novel solutions to allow greater through-put, production visibility, enhanced speed at which maintenance is done and responded to, increase operator performance as well as, in general, give you an idea of where issues may lie in your plant and where they usually happen.

What’s great about lights? They light up, they’re bright, and they draw attention. Say for example, you have a plant floor with about 100 CNC’s; the plant manager is always interested in knowing when they make money, when they’re down, how much time it takes to go from loading a CNC to another part coming out and making money.

Enter the Patlite stack light. For example, green means that the machine is in operation, it’s actually using the CNC to tool the part. Yellow might be loading, and red flashing could be, emergency, machine is down for whatever reason. You can actually tie that in to faults from the PLC in the CNC machine.
Another example, say for example, you’re using an automated welder and you don’t want people to walk into the area where they might get an arc flash or something like that. Well, you can have visibility and safety for your customers and not only your operators by having this on outside the door, so they know that they are walking into a dangerous environment.

You have maintenance guys constantly going into panels. Panels could be eight foot tall with components all the way down to six inches from the ground. Lighting isn’t always the best in this situation. What’s pretty convenient is the magnetic strip on the back side here, and lit up with LED lights that won’t break on you if it falls. This will give better transparency and view ability for your maintenance guys.

Finally, one cool thing that Patlite is really good at is noise. What I mean by that, is they can tell a CNC operator “This step just finished, now load the CNC machine.” Or “Please press the start button.” There’s a variety of different alerts and instructions that can be provided.

If Patlite seems like a good fit for you, please go to http://www.innovativeidm.com for more information. Innovative-IDM is Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

Clean Electrical Panels Save Money

April 7, 2015

Hi, I’m Adam Ring with Innovative-IDM. Have you ever walked up to a control panel and it just looks like a complete rat’s nest in there? Have you ever wondered, what would be the value of having a nice clean control panel and how can that save you money?

Well, there’s three main reasons. Number one is that it’s going to last longer. Number two, it’s going to be a lot easier to troubleshoot in the end. And number three, it’s going to be a lot easier to repair if something were to break.

Now, let’s take a closer look. Inside this panel, you’ll notice that there are labels on every device that identify it according to what it’s called out on the schematic. Also, every single wire that terminates into a terminal block, has a label on the wire that actually matches the label on the terminal block. So, if that wire were to ever come out or you had to replace a component, it can be very easy to make sure that it gets placed back in the right location.

Also, if you take a look at the general wiring in this panel, you’ll see that everything is very nice and neat, very organized and just has a very nice look to it. When the wires transition from the inside of the door panel, you notice that there’s spiral wrap that adds an extra layer of protection, so that if the wires rub against the door from being opened and closed, it makes sure that it doesn’t wear through the insulation ad cause electrical problems.

Finally, you’ll notice that there’s also stainless steel hardware that’s mounting each of these devices to the panel and that’s what will give it that extra longevity, so that it doesn’t break down over time due to corrosion. So remember, a clean panel is more than just looking good; it’s going to help save money, by lasting longer, being easier to troubleshoot and easy to repair.

So if you’d like to learn more about how Innovative-IDM can help you build clean control panels, visit our website: innovativeidm.com. And if you like, we can actually have you in for a tour and show you around the place. Remember Innovative, Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.