Control panel design advice

Do you know someone who has a useful and interesting control panel design story to tell? Giving advice about control panel design and construction, like any tutorial, can be a challenge. How much does your audience know? Should it begin with a review of basic design principles or should the tutorial go right to the most important attributes—advanced or basic? Consider doing a tutorial video.
By Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief February 1, 2010
Learn more about the control panel design contest here. Open doors with a short tutorial video .
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Giving advice about control panel design and construction, like any tutorial, can be a challenge. How much does your audience know? Should it begin with a review of basic design principles or should the tutorial go right to the most important attributes—advanced or basic? What’s the proper explanatory mix of component specifications, system integration, electrical standards, and attributes of the attached machine?

Finalists in last year’s Control Engineering Control Panel Video Tutorial contest offered a compelling mix of advice (below) in their five-minute offerings.

Response was so good, we’re holding a second contest this year. Do you know someone who has a useful and interesting control panel design story to tell? Send them to www.controleng.com/controlpanelcontest for submission information.

Summary advice

Here are five bits of summary advice from last year’s videos. Watch them at www.controleng.com/video for additional details to help with your next project.

1. Consider the purpose and goals of the machine that the control panel will serve. How can the next generation design further those goals?

2. Use hardware and software components and industry standards to speed control panel design, assembly, test, and installation, maximize reuse of intellectual property, and ensure compliance with electric codes and safety requirements.

3. Design with attention to ergonomics for operator safety and comfort, machine access for maintenance and repair, and cleaning, and security needs.

4. Distribute components beyond the enclosure or panel as needed to enhance performance and lower wiring costs.

5. Enhance quality, enable predictive maintenance, increase throughput , and meet enterprise and supply chain goals by integrating appropriate sensors, logic devices, actuators, automation software, human-machine interface, I/O modules, industrial Ethernet and other rugged network protocols, wired or wireless.

Think Again MHoske@cfemedia.com

Also read from Control Engineering :

Control Panel Design: 60% Less Space – CP Packaging won the first Control Engineering panel design contest based on a tutorial video its engineers produced and posted online at www.controleng.com.

Submit a tutorial video about control panel design.

Submit a tutorial video about control panel design.