The Benefits of Control Panels from a Specialist Engineering Solutions Provider

April 9, 2019
Simon Harrison, Product Specialist at HP Systems

In this article we hope to illuminate some of the benefits that a customised industrial control system solution can bring to the table and also to highlight what you should and can expect from a specialist control system manufacturer.

In this context the term Control Panel refers to a bespoke pneumatic or electro-pneumatic system, other terms referring to the same might be control cabinets or sub-assembly mounted to back-plates, modified products, bespoke manifolds; all of these represent a custom solution for a specific problem designed to improve cost and efficiency benefits, improved health and safety, ease of installation and maintenance, reduced risks, and reduced waste in time, labour and materials.  For most of us involved in industrial automation, process and manufacturing sectors, this are all considered desirable outcomes!

If it looks Good it is Good

Besides all of these great benefits Cabinets and back-plates look good or they should and I don’t say this lightly! We pride ourselves at Harrison Pneumatics in producing clean, good-looking, high quality engineered systems, where the maintenance and installation has been considered into the design and build of the panel every bit as much as application, budgets and other parameters and this doesn’t cost more, its just how we operate and the standards we set ourselves. I’ve seen and been asked to rework some control panels on sites that looked like components have been literally thrown in an enclosure with no consideration at all, and wiring that looked like a birds nest! That’s completely unacceptable and not good practice. So if this has been your experience to date, don’t accept this level of service or workmanship but don’t give up on the idea of a control system solution, just find a better strategic partner, give us a call!

Problem Solving

Aside from looks, there are potentially Health & Safety implications for incorrectly housed or connected components, and these can be solved with the use of a control cabinet and a good systems builder. Control Panels are proven to be the most efficient way of connecting componentry. And if space is an issue manifolds enable a potentially bulky system to be reduced into a dramatically reduced operating space

Simplicity is key;

cabinets, panels and manifolds, as a fully configured, assembled, tested and documented package represent a simpler engineered solution. The expertise and skill of a pneumatics specialist like Harrison Pneumatics Ltd ensures the compatibility of all the system components and the correct integration of the solution; it gives you peace of mind that the current best practice has been adhered to. And ultimately it means the build, installation and maintenance process will be so much easier, with the control system circuitry built in our factory and not on site.

Critical Environment Solutions

When it comes to explosive or potentially hazardous environments, you really can’t afford to take risks with less than knowledgeable in-house efforts or poor suppliers. You need a key partner you can rely on and trust to bring you the expertise you need to solve the issues you face. We have built for the oil and gas industries, power industries, food processing, and more. Atex zone cabinets offer an efficient and secure solution, housing control equipment safely within a critical area or other challenging environment such as wet or dirty applications. When you work with a knowledgeable design and manufacturing partner they will ask the right questions to help solve your environmental challenges up front saving you time and money by selecting the right materials and making the best design decisions.

Hidden Cost Savings

But this isn’t all, by choosing a reputable partner for your engineering solutions there are more than face value benefits, and the back office cost savings and improved efficiencies cannot be understated. The process simplification referred to above leads to a number of benefits within a customer’s own logistical process. Resources can be better utilised due to shorter production workloads and time in engineering design. Reduced commissioning times, reduced repair and maintenance problems, Engineers spend less time sourcing components that would otherwise need to be purchased from multiple suppliers.
This, in turn, results in another possible reduction in costs, through the rationalisation of the supplier base, something very current in this Brexit climate. Procurement teams can drive efficiencies by focusing more time on building closer relations with a carefully selected set of strategic suppliers and purchasing an entire control system from one supplier can help achieve this, where the multiple components of the control system and the panel can be presented as one part-number, leading to a simple one-line order. On large volume production, you would also be benefitting from not stocking the multiple components yourselves, increasing your operating profits and cash flow.

Environmental & Social Benefits

Finally there are the ESG goals we hopefully all aspire to; as an aspiring B Corp Certified company Harrison Pneumatics Ltd makes a particularly strong and reliable strategic partner that brings integrity to engineering operations to whoever we work for or with. We are actively working towards making the our whole manufacturing and internal process, including company structure, policies and ethos set up to minimise waste & emissions as much as we possibly can for both us and our customers and our planet with zero% waste and emissions goals. We are actively striving to improve the quality of life of our employees, our customers, our neighbours, the localities we work within and our planet. Our mission is to ensure our success is never judged by profits alone or even reputation alone but always to include the measurable outcomes of our ESG goals and that our success will never be at the expense of people or planet.

More information
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