Should I Repair or Replace a Control Panel?

Control PanelA control panel is an essential element in the efficient operation of an industrial workplace. Interruptions can severely affect the productivity of a plant floor; costing time and money for a business. When a Control Panel fails it is common for customers to get in touch with Controlsforce, to ask whether they Should Repair or Replace the Control Panel?

Although there are many different uses for a control panel, we can break them down into 2 categories:

  • Panels that control major production systems e.g. cranes, conveyors, presses etc.
  • Panels that control environmental systems e.g. lighting, HVAC etc.

Over time components such as wires, relays and switches can become faulty and stop working properly. This can lead to production losses and in more extreme situations, total shutdowns. No business wants to experience this, which is why it is paramount for companies to carry out regular inspections of their control panels to identifying the need for repair or replacement, thus avoiding the occurrence of any monumental disasters.

Many factors can come in to play when making the decision to either replace or repair your entire control panel or the components inside it; the most common factor being cost. Faulty relays and switch connector blocks are relatively easy and cheap to replace, but other equipment such as faulty drive or legacy equipment can be hard to replace, so sending for repair may be the best option. The reasons for these operational issues can just be father time catching up with out-dated components, but there are things you can look out for to prevent the untimely degradation of components and control panels:

Environmental Factors

Environmental issues such as power surges, blackouts and leaky roofs are very common emergency situations that can have a detrimental effect on a control panel. Once the problem is resolved, it is vital to have an inspection of the control panel to avoid a prolonged halt to a production line or process. It is important that managers take notice of these situations and organise control panel inspections if such issues arise.

Unorganised Control Panels

Control panels often require upgrades and maintenance to take place, which are normally done by the on-site maintenance engineers. Time pressures can sometimes lead to these upgrades being carried out in a rushed fashion, which can lead to a messy and unorganised panel. This makes it difficult for other engineers to carry out work on the panel, which increases the risk of mistakes occurring. Making a conscious effort to perform any alterations or upgrades in a neat and tidy fashion will make it easier for the next engineer to work on and reduces the risk of mistakes occurring; mistakes that could be very costly to a business.

The location of the Control Panel

Industrial environments can be prone to hostile conditions such as chemicals spewing and harmful dust particles in the air. The location of a control panel can be very important to avoid it coming under too much stress. For example, locating a control panel near to an area that produces a lot of hot air or that blocks its access will almost certainly lead to further problems. Special attention should be taken to accommodate that it is in a reasonably hospitable environment and easy for engineers to access for inspections, alterations and upgrades. This will help to reduce labour costs and any damage being inflicted on the control panel.

If you’re interested in Controlsforce control panel design, manufacturing and servicing then please call us today on 0121 783 8676 to discuss your requirements.

If you have found this blog helpful, you may wish to read our previous blog on What makes a good control panel?, 5 Reasons to Use Controlsforce and Control Panel Design Starts With a Company You Can Trust.