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How to Design Industrial Control Panels for Space, Efficiency, and Safety

How to Design Industrial Control Panels for Space, Efficiency, and Safety

Posted Date: 2023-10-13

Industrial management panel designers face a large number of challenges. These embody restricted house and funds, environmental hazards similar to lack of energy and publicity to chemical substances, and human components similar to misuse and tampering. Regardless of these difficulties, designers should produce a panel that gives uncompromising safety, security, reliability, and compliance with requirements.

To realize these objectives, designers want inventive options that simplify the creation, set up, and use of the management panel. Particularly, they want parts which are tailored for his or her particular use case, in addition to set up and upkeep instruments that guarantee correct operation.

This text gives steerage on deciding on these parts, with a deal with value and house optimization. It covers wiring programs, identification programs, security programs, entry controls, and UPS. Utilizing examples from Panduit, it explores every part’s function and choice standards. The article additionally explains learn how to implement these parts to make sure reliability, security, and compliance with {industry} requirements.

Area-efficient management panel design by wiring duct choice

To design an environment friendly management panel, automation and management engineers should take care of quite a lot of components, similar to cable segregation, thermal administration, cable entry, electromagnetic interference (EMI), cable bend radius, and future enlargement house. Wiring ducts play a crucial function on this course of, as they kind the “skeleton” of the general panel design. When deciding on a wiring duct for an industrial management panel, a designer ought to take into account the next components:

  • Panel design: The size, kind of panel, and specs similar to busbar measurement and cooling capability all affect the kind and the traits of the wiring duct wanted.
  • Measurement: The wiring duct ought to enable some house for future additions or changes. It shouldn't be so massive, nevertheless, as to unnecessarily take up house within the management panel.
  • Sort of wiring: Wires with totally different sizes and capabilities (similar to energy, management, or knowledge cables) may have totally different sorts of ducts or channels for correct match.
  • Atmosphere and supplies: Frequent supplies embody polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic, however some circumstances like excessive temperatures, moisture, or corrosive substances require ducts made from particular supplies or with sure protecting options.
  • Set up and upkeep: It must be straightforward so as to add or take away wires, and the duct must be straightforward to put in within the management panel.
  • Compliance: The duct ought to meet relevant security requirements, electrical codes, and industry-specific rules.

Requirements and rules are notably essential, as utilizing a non-compliant wiring duct might lead to security hazards or failure of the management panel. For example of a standards-compliant half, Panduit’s F1X3LG6 slotted wiring duct is made from lead-free PVC with a continuous-use temperature score of as much as +122°F (+50°C). This fulfills the UL 94 flammability score of V-0 and meets the NFPA 79-2007 part 13.3.1 requirement for flame-retardant materials.

The F1X3LG6 can also be well-suited to space-efficient designs. It has slim slots that align with the spacing of high-density parts, and it options rating traces that facilitate the creation of bigger holes for branching or different wire administration (Determine 1). It's out there with snap-on covers that present fast and safe entry to the wires.

How to Design Industrial Control Panels for Space, Efficiency, and SafetyDetermine 1: The Panduit F1X3LG6 options slim, closely-spaced slots with a double-restricted slot design for retaining wires. (Picture supply: Panduit)

Different wire routing options for management panels

After all, ducts will not be appropriate for all conditions. For instance, wires could should be routed by an space the place a duct can't be drilled into the chassis. On this situation, options just like the ABM100-A-C adhesive-backed cable tie mount might be thought-about. This four-way mount is designed for each fast set up and long-term reliability.

As with all adhesive programs, care must be taken to make sure that the proper adhesive is chosen for the appliance atmosphere (Determine 2).

Surfaces Rubber-based foam tape mounts Acrylic-based foam tape mounts Epoxy utilized adhesive mounts
Plastics Good Good Good
Wooden Good Good Good
Glass Good Good Good
Painted surfaces Good Good Honest
Powder coating Good Honest Good
Metallic Good1 Good1 Good
Paper Good Good Honest
Concrete, stone, masonry Not really useful Not really useful Good
Chemical Resistance
Water Good Poor Poor
Oil Poor Honest3 Good
Gasoline Poor Honest3 Honest
Dilute acids Poor Honest3 Honest
Dilute alkalis Good Honest3 Honest
Natural solvents Poor Honest3 Not really useful
Outside publicity Not really useful Good2 Good2
  1. Not really useful to be used on copper or brass.
  2. Mounts manufactured from outside materials solely. For particular functions, particular person testing previous to intensive use is usually recommended.
  3. Is determined by focus, publicity time, and chemical composition.

Determine 2: An adhesive system must be chosen to fulfill the calls for of the appliance atmosphere. (Picture supply: Panduit)

Defending management panel wires and cables from abrasion

When wires are routed exterior a duct, care must be taken to make sure that they don't seem to be broken by abrasion or different hazards. For instance, management panels sometimes require the routing of wires from throughout the enclosure to the entrance panel. These wires must be wrapped to keep away from injury. Management engineers can choose from choices together with:

  • Spiral wrap: Basic objective abrasion safety for wire harnesses and cable bundles. Permits straightforward breakouts and is available in totally different colours, supplies, and sizes.
  • Pan-wrap cut up harness wrap: Versatile and abrasion-resistant safety for wire harnesses and cable bundles. It has a singular slot sample and a big overlap that reduces set up time and accommodates varied bundle diameters.
  • Braided sleeving: Steady abrasion safety for wires, cables, hoses, and tubing. It has a versatile open weave that doesn't lure warmth or humidity.
  • Corrugated tubing: Economical answer with a stable wall design that gives full safety of a cable bundle. It's out there in numerous supplies, some with a slit-wall design for straightforward set up and elimination.
  • Warmth shrink: Good for insulating, defending, and color-coding wires and cables. It can be used with terminals and lugs for a clear, protected, and safe set up. It’s out there in numerous supplies, sizes, and wall thicknesses, some with adhesive lining for a watertight seal.

Many components play into the collection of an acceptable wrap (Determine 3). For instance, if the appliance requires an answer that's light-weight, versatile, and in a position to accommodate irregular shapes, the T25F-C spiral wrap is an effective alternative. This wire wrap is designed for ease of set up however can also be sturdy and rated to be used as much as +122°F (+50°C).

Characteristic Spiral
Pan-wrap cut up
harness wrap
Braided sleeving Corrugated tubing Heatshrink
Climate-resistant choices Sure No Sure Sure Sure
Totally-enclosed choices No No Sure Sure Sure
UL-recognized Sure Sure Sure No Sure
Possibility so as to add cables after preliminary set up No Sure Sure Sure No

Determine 3: Numerous forms of wire wraps can be found to fulfill totally different wants. (Picture supply: Panduit)

Enhancing management panel maintainability and security with cable termination, administration, and labeling

To make sure efficient set up, use, and upkeep of a management panel, designers should select the suitable wire termination methodology and materials (Determine 4).

How to Design Industrial Control Panels for Space, Efficiency, and SafetyDetermine 4: Proven are examples of termination sorts and their options. (Picture supply: Panduit)

The optimum alternative is dependent upon a number of components, together with the variety of terminations required. For instance, the DNF14-250FIB-C nylon insulated feminine disconnect might be inserted and faraway from the male tab with out the usage of instruments, resulting in a decrease set up value and simpler upkeep. In distinction, the FSD80-8-KD6 single wire DIN finish sleeve insulated ferrule is designed to be used with automated applicators which are higher suited to high-count terminations.

Cable ties additionally play an essential function in security and upkeep by protecting wiring organized and safe. There may be all kinds of ties to fulfill totally different wants, as proven in Determine 5. Past the essential design of the tie, materials choice is a crucial consideration. For instance, the PLT1.5M-M locking cable ties are constructed from Nylon 6.6 and, as such, are greatest suited to indoor use. For outside functions with hazards similar to salt and acid rain, a cloth like propylene can be higher.

How to Design Industrial Control Panels for Space, Efficiency, and SafetyDetermine 5: Materials choice for cable ties requires cautious consideration of a variety of environmental components; the PLT1.5M-M locking cable ties use Nylon 6.6 and are greatest suited to indoor use. (Picture supply: Panduit)

Utilizing acceptable cable tie instruments can enhance productiveness, scale back prices, and improve employee security. For instance, the GTH-E cable tie gun is designed for ease of use (Determine 6). It requires 15% much less deal with drive than related instruments, and its cable tie cut-off mechanism reduces the affect on the person’s hand by greater than 40%.

How to Design Industrial Control Panels for Space, Efficiency, and SafetyDetermine 6: Proven are the important thing options of the GTH-E cable tie gun, which was designed for ease of use. (Picture supply: Panduit)

Lastly, clear labels are essential for correct use and upkeep of a management panel. The selection of label relies upon not solely on the supposed use, but additionally the environmental hazards (Determine 7). If cables will solely be uncovered to delicate, water-based liquids, for instance, an answer just like the S100X150VATY thermal switch vinyl self-laminating label works properly. These labels are sized particularly for wire and cable functions and are rated to be used as much as +150°F (+65°C).

How to Design Industrial Control Panels for Space, Efficiency, and SafetyDetermine 7: Proven are samples of labeling options and their suitability for varied environmental hazards. (Picture supply: Panduit)

Options just like the TDP43ME thermal switch printer can assist guarantee correct labeling (Determine 8). This thermal switch printer permits operators to put labels on wires and cables as shut as 1/2″ (12.7 millimeters (mm)) from the tip of connectors and terminals. The printer gives cycle occasions which are as much as 3 times quicker than conventional guide set up and twice as quick as aggressive options. Its ergonomic design reduces operator fatigue and minimizes the danger of repetitive movement damage.

How to Design Industrial Control Panels for Space, Efficiency, and SafetyDetermine 8: The TDP43ME thermal switch printer comes with software program and equipment for environment friendly labeling. (Picture supply: Panduit)

Grounding and security in management panel functions

Contemplating the excessive energy current in industrial management panels, correct grounding is essential for security. Deciding on a floor bar is thus a crucial design alternative—one that may affect not solely security but additionally the cost-effectiveness and maintainability of a management panel.

The UGB2/0-414-6 common floor bar illustrates this level. It is part of the Panduit patented StructuredGround&commerce; Common Floor Bar System (UGB), which is suitable with all forms of wire termination strategies and over 140 connectors. This flexibility significantly simplifies design and upkeep. Moreover, two stand-off mounting choices can be found, offering further wiring house in tight areas.

Security and productiveness are typically at odds. For instance, rules mandate a check to verify the absence of voltage earlier than servicing electrical gear. This is usually a time-consuming course of with hand-held devices. The VS-AVT-C02-L03 VeriSafe absence of voltage tester simplifies issues by automating the process. As soon as this system is put in into the entrance panel, a single button press permits staff to verify the absence of voltage (Determine 9).

How to Design Industrial Control Panels for Space, Efficiency, and SafetyDetermine 9: Automated testing utilizing devices such because the VS-AVT-C02-L03 VeriSafe absence of voltage tester is just not solely quicker but additionally safer. (Picture supply: Panduit)

Sustaining dependable networking and avoiding tampering with industrial ethernet options and UPS

Knowledge networks at the moment are part of most management panel designs. To keep away from safety breaches and downtime, whether or not resulting from tampering or misuse, you will need to make sure that community cables stay in place. The PSL-DCJB RJ45 jack module block-out gadgets had been created to this finish. These gadgets are inserted into unused Ethernet ports, solely giving entry to licensed staff who can take away the plugs with a specialised instrument. Conversely, lock-in gadgets forestall the elimination of community cables from lively Ethernet ports.

In some circumstances, an Ethernet port should be accessible from the outside of the management panel. Right here, options just like the IAEBHC6 IndustrialNet Cat 6 UTP bulkhead RJ45 coupler module with a protecting cap play a useful function. This bulkhead gives an IP67-rated seal that gives safety from mud and short-term immersion in water, making it appropriate for work cells requiring washdown.

For network-powered gadgets, the Ethernet plugs require particular options. For instance, the FPS6X88MTG IndustrialNet, Class 6A shielded, discipline terminable RJ45 plug is designed for Energy-over-Ethernet (PoE) and related functions, per IEEE 802.3af/802.3at (PoE/PoE+). Amongst different options, this plug exceeds ANSI/TIA 568-C.2 Class 6A and ISO 11801 Class EA Channel efficiency necessities, and adheres to ANSI/TIA-1096-A (previously FCC Half 68), IEC 60603-7, and IEC 60529 (IP20) requirements.

Whatever the supply of energy, many management panels require an uninterruptible energy provide (UPS) to keep up performance within the face of outages. When deciding on a UPS for a management panel, management engineers ought to take into account the next:

  • Energy capability: The output ought to exceed the management panel’s energy consumption.
  • Upkeep: Distant administration permits monitoring and management of key parameters, saving value and time.
  • Mounting: Choices like DIN rail mounting ease integration into management panels.
  • Security and compliance: At a minimal, the UPS ought to meet related requirements similar to UL508.

The UPS00100DC industrial community UPS demonstrates numerous methods to transcend these fundamentals. It makes use of ultracapacitors as an alternative of batteries, reducing the danger of downtime and avoiding potential hydrogen fuel buildup. The no-battery design is maintenance-free, delivering 2X higher ROI and 50 to 70% decrease value of possession than a battery-based UPS.


Designing industrial management panels is a demanding and complicated course of that includes balancing house, safety, security, and reliability. To realize optimum outcomes, designers want to make use of management panel options that may assist them set up, wire, and label their panels, in addition to protect them from exterior and inner hazards. These options must be tailor-made to the precise necessities of commercial management panel functions and will include set up and upkeep instruments that assure correct operation. By utilizing management panel options that meet these standards, designers can construct panels which are efficient, safe, protected, and compliant.