Programmable logic controller (PLC) control panels or also known as PLC Automation Panel are one of the most important and efficient kinds of control panels. Which are generally used in variety of electronic and electrical circuit fittings. PLC Control Panels are highly capable of giving higher output at less power consumption. Integrated with solid PLC logic and flawless PLC hardware programming.
Ease in modification of logic, reduced size, means of remote communications and advances in the technology have made PLC Automation Control Panels an edge over conventional relay based systems. Control Systems Engineers has provided PLC based Panels from PLC of Allen Bradley, Siemens, Modicon, GE Fanuc. From small I/O application to the complex I/O systems are provided by the Control Systems Engineers. Control Systems Engineers have developed communication software’s for remote communication of the PLC Panels in various different protocols. With PLC based Panels HMI/MMI are provided to provide the operator various messages and controls of the process plants touch screen MMI are provided. To effective control of the system.
What is a PLC in a Control Panel?
A PLC takes a series of inputs, such as proximity sensors, level sensors, and speed sensors, and uses this information to control its outputs. These outputs can be motors, valves, alarms, and other user defined components.
What is an HMI in a Control Panel?
For a panel that may have frequent operator interaction a human machine interface (HMI) might be installed. An HMI provides a graphics-based visualization of the industrial control and monitoring system. The visualization the HMI provides allows the operator to easily see how different components are functioning within the specific process the panel is controlling.
To enable communication between panels the solution is now much more universal. Ethernet switches are installed in nearly every panel. In the past, DeviceNet, blue hose, and ASI BUS were used. They were replaced with ethernet due to its ease of use, availability, low cost and higher data transfer rates.
PLCs, HMIs and ethernet cables provide the basic communication tools every control panel needs to communicate with their human operators and other panels. The next core component in a control panels is motor control.
What is Motor Control in a Panel?
Most panels exist to oversee some type of motor control. We equip our panels with either a variable frequency drive (VFD) or a contactor and overload set up depending on the complexity of the motor function the panel is controlling. A VFD will allow you to program how the motor operates and give the user control over the speed of the motor. A contactor and overload system is a simple on or off system that provides no further control of the motor.
Control Panel Power Supply and Protection
Power supply and protection are two components every panel has so it can function and function safely. The power supply will typically convert 480V or 120V AC to 24V DC as DC is generally regarded as a safer voltage to deal with inside the panel.
The other protection measure in every panel is circuit protection to preserve all the expensive and crucial components inside the panel. This is achieved through either circuit breakers or fuses.
A line reactor or power filter are two more common components found in most control panels. Again, these deal with controlling and cleaning electricity that are interacting with the panel and its different components to reduce inefficiencies and consume less energy.
Beyond these core components of human interface and communication, motor control and power supply and protection the features of each control panel will vary greatly depending on what it’s being designed to do. This creates a seemingly endless way to create and layout a panel.
Universal Control Panel Layout Considerations
The layout of a panel depends on many factors. Beyond ensuring our panels meet UL Guidelines and are laid out to the manufacturer’s specifications, we also consider voltage, the end user and the environment where the panel is being installed.