Building control panels isn’t rocket science, but electrical panel builders today need the latest design tools and production equipment to be successful. In addition, electrical control panel builders need standard procedures to detect and solve problems before parts are ordered and production is scheduled.
Control panel building success comes from understanding what needs to be done before and after each panel build. An electrical panel builder prepares to build each panel efficiently. A control panel builder 100% function tests each panel to verify operation. A UL listed panel builder validates UL conformance and applies a UL label.
1 • Design
Building control panels is easier when proper design and pre-production steps are executed. When these preliminary steps are executed properly it makes building control panels look simple. Control panel building may appear to be simple, but the entire process is more complicated than it appears. The entire design and pre-production process is
- Select the right enclosure and components to meet the specified requirements.
- Produce accurate physical layout drawings to insure the components will fit comfortably within the enclosure.
- Produce accurate schematic drawings to insure the selected components will be wired correctly.
- Order the selected components and enclosure to determine the earliest production start date.
- Start production after all parts have arrived using skilled personnel with the right tools.
2 • Production
Control panel building is easy when panels are designed properly, all required parts are at hand, and the right tools and production equipment are at your disposal. You have the highest probability of building control panels efficiently with the fewest errors when all the required preliminary work has been done properly.
Still, problems occur. This is when experienced people and standard procedures are most important. If your process falls apart when a problem occurs, all the preliminary work doesn’t matter. The goal is to use problems discovered during production to reinforce the value of experience and standard procedures.
- Document any problems by marking up (redline) the physical layout and / or schematic drawings.
- Review any problems with the control panel designer and work with them to devise a solution.
- Review the marked up (redlined) drawings with quality control to let them know the design changed and why.
3 • Quality Control
In every company there’s a constant battle between production and quality control. Production wants to ship product and Quality Control only wants to ship good product. Some companies downplay the role of quality control to keep their output steady. This is a short sighted business strategy.
The best companies integrate quality control into their entire operation. When a quality problem is detected, everyone stops and immediately focuses their attention on the problem and devising a solution. This forced collective problem solving under time pressure helps the entire company become better and more efficient.
The best companies understand that ignoring quality problems and shipping product with known quality problems is bad for business because customers will eventually discover your quality problems. Each quality problem discovered by a customer creates a lose-lose scenario.
- BEST SCENARIO – Customers compliment your company and products, and your reputation builds.
- BAD SCENARIO – Customers tell you about your problems, and you fix them to save your reputation.
- WORST SCENARIO – Customers don’t tell you about your problems, they just go away.