What are the Benefits of Using Control Panels


What are the Benefits of Using Control Panels?

“Control panel” is a generic term that can be applied to a control cabinet or back-plate mounted sub-assembly delivering a bespoke pneumatic or electro-pneumatic control system solution. They are categorised alongside Manifolds and Modified Products as Custom Solutions.


In our previous article we looked at the differences between these options. In this article, we outline the benefits a bespoke engineered solution can bring to the client.


Benefits driven by the installation environment

Environmental factors are an important consideration in system design. For explosive environments, a suitable ATEX zone cabinet is likely to be the most efficient solution, providing secure housing for control equipment and ensuring safety within a hazardous area. Similarly, wet or dirty applications are best suited to the use of a cabinet with sufficient ingress protection levels containing all the control components.

Furthermore, by selecting appropriate materials for construction of the housing, clients can start to overcome some of their environmental challenges up front. For example, 316 Stainless steel is a popular option for the marine industry.

Benefits driven by the application.

Complexity of system design can also influence choices around custom solutions. Cabinets and Back-plates provide an aesthetically pleasing and efficient way of connecting componentry where as a manifold enables the client to fit a potentially bulky system into a drastically reduced operating envelope.   Additionally, there may be Health & Safety implications for incorrectly connected or housed system components, these can be overcome with the use of a control cabinet.

Engineering and Technical Benefits

Cabinets, panel and manifolds provide a 'one-stop-shop' custom engineered solution, as the whole package comes fully assembled, configured, tested and backed up by comprehensive documentation. The expertise and skill of a pneumatics specialist assures compatibility of all the system components and the correct integration of the solution; in other words, implementation of current best practice. Overall, it will simplify the build and installation process, with the control system circuitry built in the workshop and not on site.

Efficiency and cost benefits

In addition to reduced commissioning times, the process simplification referred to above results in a number of benefits within the client’s own logistical process. Resources can be better utilised due to shorter engineering design and production workloads. Engineers also spend less time sourcing components, that under other circumstances may need to be purchased from multiple suppliers.

This in turn leads to another possible reduction in costs, through the rationalisation of the supplier base. Procurement teams can drive efficiencies by focusing more time on building closer relations with a carefully selected set of strategic suppliers. Purchasing an entire control system from one supplier, can help achieve this. Finally, the multiple components of the control system, and the panel, can be presented as one part-number, leading to a simple one line order.


More information

Find out more by viewing our Customised Control Solutions area.

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