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Custom Control Panel Checklist: The Outsourcing Cheat Sheet

Custom Control Panel Checklist

So the time has come when your old control panel just cannot perform as it used to and replacing it becomes a top priority.  Maybe you're a machine builder who needs controls, but are mechnically trained without extensive knowledge in electrical engineering.  Or say you're in purchasing and have been tasked with getting quotes for a replacement panel, but are lost the minute a panel builder asks a question about your specific needs.

Fear not! 

PanelShop.com wants to provide you with a cheat sheet to assist the outsourcing of control panels and get preliminary information established early on in the quoting process. Check out the table below for an easy cheat sheet of common questions in the custom panel building process.

 

Question

Reason

Do you have a set of drawings for the requested panel?

Having drawings eliminates time allocated in a quote for drafting and engineering, thus saving you money!

Will you be supplying any of the parts required for the panel?

Some companies have better pricing than even panel builders on components, or have proprietary products that can only be supplied by the customer

Is there a preferred manufacturer for components?

Part pricing can fluctuate dramatically depending on which manufacturer’s parts you prefer

What is the incoming voltage to the panel?

Knowing this helps define what type of parts are needed for the panel and ensures compatibility among components

What NEMA rating does the enclosure need to be?

Depending on application and environment, the NEMA rating needs to be chosen to provide the appropriate protection

Does the panel require any certification (UL, CE, CSA, etc.)

Certifications may be done in-house or by a 3rd party depending on what type and if the panel builder carries that certification

Can parts on a Bill of Material be cross-referenced to an equivalent?

When given that flexibility, panel builders will often quote components that have the best price or lead time without sacrificing quality

Does your Drive/PLC/HMI require programming?

Writing a program for a panel is common, but having one already written that you can upload will cut costs when outsourcing

 

Those are eight questions out of many more that we ask our customers every day when they contact PanelShop.com for a custom panel solution.  How they are answered can have a substantial impact on pricing, so having responses prepared can be of great value when outsourcing your panel needs.  Additionally, knowing that these questions will likely be asked by most panel builders, and being prepared for them, paves the way for a prompt quoting process. 

Sure, there are follow-ups and more specific questions that get asked along the way, but by starting with these questions, your outsourcing partner will have a strong idea of what your needs are, and what needs to be done to provide an accurate custom solution.

 

Choosing Control Panel Builders for Your Project

PanelShop.com builds custom control panels for customers all over the world. We offer comprehensive engineering services and support with the buying power of a single source provider. If you're looking for a custom solution, give us a call and we'll work closely with you to make your project a successful one.

Get my Custom Quote »

 

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