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Should You Repair or Replace Your Industrial Electrical Control Panel?

Mike Jeffries | March 27, 2018

Electrical Control PanelIndustrial electrical control panels fall under two categories:

1. Units that contain components that control major industrial production systems, such as presses, cranes, conveyors and refrigeration units

2. Units that contain components that control necessary nearby environmental systems, such as lighting, HVAC and pumps

When power or control components, such as motor controllers, wires, relays and switches, fail to work properly, production immediately slows or screeches to a halt resulting in lost revenues and high on-site emergency repair call costs. For these reasons, it’s critical that you hire a trained technical professional to perform a preventative inspection and repair work if any of the following conditions currently exist in your factory:

Related Blog: Industrial Control Panel Contactors: ABB vs. Schneider Electric

Precursor Events
Many workers fail to order control panel inspections after seemingly non-related emergency events, such as power surges, roof leaks and floods. Some factory employees also fail to seek assistance when they notice warning signs, such as an unusually warm enclosure, low performance, metal corrosion, component wear, strange smells or noises, even though these warnings often occur before electrocution and fire events. Causes of some signs vary -- for example, defective and worn wire insulation and current leaks can cause performance problems and strange odors.

Disorganized Units
Many factories have custom, D-I-Y patched and junction box control panels designed to fit their unique industry, product and/or environment needs. These units usually have messy and overcrowded interiors that create unnecessary repair and safety problems and allow noise interference. Users and technicians also often find it difficult to determine the purpose of components in disorganized units.

Non-Compliance Issues
Many older and customized control panels fail to meet National Electric Code requirements. As a result, they also fail to meet some of the National Fire codes. Obviously, older units with worn and/or damaged parts are fire hazards. Disorganized units can also fail to provide enough required space. Many units simply fail to provide appropriate printed markings, such as part labels and system diagrams.

Bad Location
When a control panel is located near anything that blocks air vents or certain industrial byproduct and environmental conditions, such as corrosive vapors, oil, dirt, vibrating equipment, moisture and heat or cold, the unit is more likely to suffer damage. Additionally, higher labor-related costs often occur if technicians can’t access a control panel with ease because it's located in a partially inaccessible spot.

For more information about industrial control panels or to schedule an appointment, contact Mader Electric today!

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