Whether you’re a panel builder yourself or seeking a control panel partner, it’s important to know the basics of control panel wiring. Selecting the correct quality and type of wire, then arranging them by professional standards and the best practices will ensure a durable, high-performing end product.
Wire Quality and Rating
There are 4 basic factors to consider when selecting wire quality and rating.
- THHN Wire - THHN stands for Thermoplastic High Heat-Resistant Nylon Coated wire. This wire resists water, gas, and solvents, making it ideal for outdoor applications.
- MTW Wire - MTW stands for Machine Tool Wire. MTW wire cannot resist water, so it’s best for indoors applications. This wire features a tinned copper coating, making it easier to solder in the panel building process.
- Wires are rated for temperature and voltage. Older wiring (more commonly encountered in field service or repairs) often reflects outdated temperature ratings, but new builds should always be sized for the correct temperature and voltage levels.
- Standards and certifications: It’s also valuable to base rating choices on respected standards or certifications, such as UL and/or CSA Listed wires.
Here are just 3 of many best practices used in wire arrangement for the highest quality control panels.
- Wires should be properly bundled and spaced to improve noise immunity and make testing, maintenance, or expansions easier. Bundled wires and components should be spaced at least 2” apart to account for these factors.
- Wires should be arranged in straight vertical or horizontal lines, never diagonally. Wire may need to be “trained” by gradually bending it to accomplish clean lines.
- All wires should be labeled for easy identification. Using a set variety of colored wire can make testing and field service much easier by enabling the technician to quickly scan the layout.
Choosing a Custom Control Panel Building Partner
Knowledge and Competency
When choosing a control panel builder for your next project, look for a panel shop with an educated and knowledgeable assembly team. Control panel builders who have a conceptual understanding of electrical design will understand how to work with wires safely and effectively beyond reading off a drawing.
Single Source Providers
It’s also valuable to select a panel shop with the strength of a single source provider. Single source panel shops can leverage strong buying power to keep wires in constant stock, ensuring that your panel arrives on-time, every time.
PanelShop.com takes pride in the quality and worksmanship in our custom control panels. We offer engineering support from concept-to-completion or high quality build-to-print orders.
Whether you know exactly what you need or you're seeking a partner to help develop and accelerate your project, PanelShop.com can help. Call us today or submit a quote and our experienced support staff will be happy to help you in any way we can.