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To Fuse or Not to Fuse Individual I/O Points?

Posted by PanelShop.com on Sep 13, 2017 2:08:37 PM

The protection of individual I/O points is as important as the protection of any other control device. The use of fuses is one of the most fundamental decisions that needs to be taken by a protection engineer to ensure maximum safety as well as uptime for industrial assets.

Circuit breakers and fuses are two of the most widely-accepted types of protection. While circuit breakers have the benefit of reusability, the quicker operation of fuses make them an appropriate choice for I/O protection. In addition, fuses are better at blocking let-through energy, providing better protection for downstream devices. Therefore, wherever quickness is a priority, fuses should be preferred over other modes of protection.

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Topics: PLCs, Industrial Automation, Remote I/O

Communicating Through HMIs

Posted by PanelShop.com on Sep 8, 2017 8:38:02 AM

Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) are vital for streamlined monitoring and control of any Control System whether it’s based on a small-scale or covers multiple geographic locations. Communication is necessary nonetheless, irrespective of the scope of the control system as it ensures transparency, quick reaction and decision-makers to untie themselves of any particular physical location.

In addition, various automation systems should not only have strong inhouse intercommunication portals but support the latest wave of devices such as smartphones and tablets. The reasons behind this is the quick adoption of such devices by operations personnel, which makes it easier for them to acquire information and thus raise their productivity.  

The hardware and software of today have made ample technological advances to support such networked-expansion, allowing remote servers to interact with HMIs and provide a smooth stream of data to all devices. Typically, the use of HMIs is limited to inhouse monitoring and control of devices such as PLCs, Drives and Switches, but their integration with the outside world has slowly become an unavoidable requirement. Modern PC-based HMIs solve this problem through constant back and forth communication with all interlinked devices.

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Topics: HMI Panels

Knowing the Basics of PLCs

Posted by PanelShop.com on Aug 22, 2017 8:57:21 AM

Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) have been around for over 50 years and have established themselves as the preferred hardware for industrial automation. Several competitors have come along the way in the form of PCs, microcontrollers, etc. but none have been able to dent the reputation of the PLC.

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Topics: PLCs, Industrial Automation, Future Industry Trends

UL508A Certification: Why Does It Matter?

Posted by PanelShop.com on Aug 17, 2017 8:10:32 AM

 

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is a century old consulting and certification company that is known throughout the world for its stringent levels of certification for electrical devices and components. Industries such as manufacturing, mining, energy, etc. need to follow a certification system for the equipment they procure to make sure their property and personnel are out of harm’s way. Out of the several UL standards that exist, company's that provide electrical components should be UL508A certified.

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Topics: Safety, Custom Control Panels, Industrial Automation, Motors & Drives

Inside Machines: PC vs. PLC - Comparing Control Options

Posted by PanelShop.com on Aug 9, 2017 9:02:28 AM

The 1970s saw the introduction of PLCs or Programmable Logic Controllers, which would forever change the way automation is achieved in industrial environments. Known for its rugged design and scalable implementation, the PLC was adapted by all major manufacturers and to this day is the norm for industrial automation. Allen-Bradley, Omron, Siemens, AEG, etc. became the leaders in PLC manufacturing, and soon the controllers had the processing capability of a computer while withstanding harsh industrial conditions.

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Topics: PLCs, Custom Control Panels, Industrial Automation, Motors & Drives

Control Panel Design Basics

Posted by PanelShop.com on Aug 2, 2017 9:09:21 AM

Electric Control Panel design is not just about selecting the dimensions of the cabinet, the rating of the enclosure and the IP protection it should offer. It’s actually about creating a design that would ensure comprehensive yet simple control of your plant/machine/process. Planning is the key to proper control panel design, as preemptive rectification of errors is easier than rewiring an established unit. No matter how complex the control requirements are, it’s better to think of the entire design as a continuous process rather than a static entity.

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Topics: Custom Control Panels, Quality

Panel Building: Optimizing Control Panel Design & Construction

Posted by PanelShop.com on Jul 26, 2017 9:22:00 AM

Recent technological advancements have brought improvements to conventional control panel design and fabrication, by a great deal, and if implemented properly can result in lower running cost and higher return on investment. Optimizing control panel design isn’t just part of the modernization process, it is more of a need; one which can bring in a number of positive changes to the conventional working of a plant.

The top five issues currently faced by CEOs include:

  • Productivity
  • Costs
  • Operational efficiency
  • Increasing competition
  • Achieving top-line growth
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Topics: Custom Control Panels, Quality

HMI/SCADA to Increase Efficiency & Reduce Costs

Posted by PanelShop.com on Jul 24, 2017 10:23:38 AM

A glance at the screen should be enough to provide your operators with enough information to carry out a targeted industrial operation. All the potential problems should be clearly indicated and any risks or faults should be highlighted as a top priority. A well-built HMI/SCADA system should be able to accomplish these tasks, and many more, including:

  • Leveraging your HMI/SCADA as the base of all operations
  • Driving the right & most efficient response in the face of alarms
  • Instill consistency and conformity to standards
  • Provide quick, on-demand support

Today, SCADA systems aren’t installed for providing monitoring & visualization of a certain process, with alarms rolling in. A well-built SCADA system should serve as a decision support system, enabling personnel to quickly manage resources and rectify faults.

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Topics: SCADA, Reduce Costs, HMI, Increase Efficiency

What are Smart Circuit Breakers?

Posted by PanelShop.com on Jul 3, 2017 8:32:25 AM

The smart revolution has begun.

From manufacturing industries to power grids, every piece of technology is on the verge of reaching the next level of automation. Same goes for circuit breakers, which are a major component of the field of power systems protection.

Circuit breakers alone are a billion-dollar market, rounding up $13-$19 billion dollars on a global scale by the end of the decade. These electro-mechanical devices are bound to evolve owing to the level of technological development taking place.

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Topics: Enclosures, Circuit Breaker

Can Machines Benefit from Software Configurable I/O?

Posted by PanelShop.com on Jun 27, 2017 10:28:08 AM

Improving Efficiency & Speed in the Automation Industry

Parallel programming has always created issues for the the programming industry. Coming towards the pragmatic workings of the automation industry, the processes are often trapped within a loop that makes use of the same block of code iterative. Software configureable I/O is an up and coming concept regarding automation that can greatly improve the efficiency and speed of a process.

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Topics: PLCs, Industrial Automation, Remote I/O

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About the Blog

This blog will bring you the latest industry news in Industrial Automation, helpful Engineering tips, and exciting company updates. Whether you're behind a desk or out in the field, the PanelShop.com Blog will keep you up-to-date and informed from  new product releases to determining factors in automation equipment upgrades.

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PanelShop.com is an eBusiness solution provider that empowers users, to design high quality electrical control panels online. PanelShop.com produces user-configured control panels, as well as custom built configurations designed to meet your automation needs.

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