Electricity has been readily accepted for residential, commercial and industrial usage at an unprecedented rate. Today, almost all modern manufacturing plants rely on electric power as a utility for fabrication & production processes. Due to the level of complexity & interconnectivity of the current system, even seconds’ worth of offline time can result in monetary & material loss.
Any electrical system, no matter how small, will generate heat since it will contain a resistive element in one form or another. As the size of your load increases, so does the quantity of heat produced. Your system might be able to bear the increasing temperature initially but at some point, it will give in and the result can be fatal.
Electrical control panel design basics is a vast field, dotted with problems pertaining to management, visual appeal, reliability and safety. The design basics for control enclosures that house various components from Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) to high-voltage relays is dependent on several parameters, however, keeping down the cost is one that can’t be sidelined at any time.
Protecting Sensitive Sensors
Sensors that gather electronic data directly affect the reliability of electronic devices that use that data. With that knowledge, manufacturers tend to create protective housings around electronics using high-quality, delicate sensors. While control panel designs are often built to function in non-hazardous environments, a lot of sensors are required to withstand the strain of harsh daily weather elements: heat, cold, dust, moisture, etc. Sensors are not alone; many machines are required to survive in damaging surroundings5. Therefore, creating airtight housings is often the go-to solution for sensor protection. However, even with hermetic seals around the enclosure, sensors will still experience wear and damage from invasive contaminants.
The industrial environment is a tough one, and it takes its toll on all electrical equipment. For this reason, we make electrical enclosures to protect our sensitive electrical components from damage caused by elements such as water, wind, dust, dirt, heat, cold, humidity, and chemicals in the environment in which they’re located.
To the layman, electrical enclosures may all look alike: gray boxes that house the real concern, sensitive electrical controls. But control panels are only as valuable as the electrical enclosures that protect and preserve those inner workings. Selecting the best material for the enclosure when specifying a control panel maximizes the life of your equipment.
In the cold winds of winter or the heat of summer, electrical enclosures require temperature control.
More often than not, electrical enclosures must be cooled because internal components continuously radiate heat. Overheating within an enclosure can dramatically reduce the lifespan of the equipment (including PLCs, HMIs, and drives), and cause malfunctions or entire system shutdowns.
To regulate the temperature of your electrical enclosure, consider passive cooling design or active cooling technology.
How often do you really notice your kitchen cabinets when you reach for a bowl? You may not give enclosures much thought until something squeaks, breaks, or fills to overflowing.
Electrical enclosures are an integral part of control panel design, not an afterthought. Choosing an optimal enclosure design affects the application’s flexibility, efficiency, and maintenance throughout the life of the panel. There are 3 major concerns that control panel professionals take into account for the highest quality results.
Electrical equipment manufacturing has become an ever-expanding global market. There are various standards that exist worldwide to define the type and use of enclosures for electrical equipment. It is necessary to understand the distinction between NEMA and IP ratings to ensure proper installation of equipment based on environment and locations.
The NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) and IP (Ingress Protection) rating systems are used to describe the degree of protection provide against intrusion (body parts such as hands and fingers), dust/dirt, accidental contact, and ingress of water. The NEMA rating system also makes a distinction between hazardous and non-hazardous environments.
In the modern world, with the growing population and advancing technology, people are working in more extreme conditions than ever. Whether they are natural elements, like the brutal conditions of the Arctic, or manmade ones, such as scorching temperatures in factories, machines in today’s era must be able to withstand a range of harsh conditions. The call for extremely durable machinery has been answered by the creation of numerous, widespread, innovative engineering feats.