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Industrial Control Panel Basics

What is a control panel and why do we use them?

First let’s talk about the basic layout of a panel and why we locate items where we do.

 - Many different ways to layout a panel
 - Airflow
 - Safety
 - Field wiring, where do wires enter the panel?

Let’s go over all the components in the panel and what their intended purpose is.

 - Enclosure and Backplate
 - Main Circuit Breaker
 - Branch Circuit Breaker
 - Surge Suppressor - Protects against lighting and power surge
 - AC Power distribution
 - Power Supply - Converts one form of power to another
 - DC Power Distribution
 - Ethernet Switch - It allows several different devices within the cabinet to communicate with one another
 - Radio - Industrial radio that is paired with a polyphaser (which protects the radio and internal panel hardware from lighting strikes) and an antenna ( to enable communication to other sites). Only used in cases where the panel cannot communicate locally via ethernet cable.
 - PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) - This is the brains of the operations. It sends and receives data from all the different inputs and outputs its connected to. It then interprets that data and communicates it into values that we can understand.
 - HMI (Human Machine Interface) - Allows us a way to view and interact with the data being collected by the PLC. Commonly mounted on the front of the panel.
 - IO - Analog vs Digital signals. Digital Inputs and Outputs
 - Relays - Why do we use relays for digital outs? Can be used for many other purposes.
 - Wire Duct and Dinrail

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