Never change panel shops without a good reason. It can be a painful process so look for reasons not to change. A good reason to change is you can’t think of a reason not to. Another good reason is your current panel shop is okay not great and you keep having control panel problems. These are your signs.
You choose what you do about the signs. Ignore them, or pay attention to them so you know why and when you’re ready to change.
The Top 3 Reasons why Equipment Manufacturers change Panel Shops.
- Our panel shop can’t provide what we want
- Our control panels create too many problems
- Control panels don’t add enough value
Can changing panel shops help ?
Changing panel shops can help if you pick the right one. There are~5,000 UL 508A Panel Shops to choose from. No two are alike. Most are small and service their local market. And most specialize in a specific controls market segment (Process Controls, Building Controls, Machine Controls, etc.).
To pick the right panel shop you have to figure out what you want. See Control Panel Builder basics for OEMs for guidance because figuring out what you want is often the hardest part. When you figure it out you have to talk with or visit each prospective panel builder and decide which one can best delivery what you want.
If you’re serious about changing panel shops, think about what you want from your next one. Think about what you want to be able to do. The Top 3 things Equipment Manufacturers say they want to be able to do are,
- Solve control panel problems before they create other problems.
- Redesign our standard control panels to improve cost, functionality and appearance.
- Quote and produce custom control panels per customer specification with ease.
Write down what you want
If you’re serious, write down everything you do and don’t like about your current panel shop and what you’d like from your ideal panel shop. Do a cost benefit analysis to compare your current panel shop with your ideal panel shop.
|OPTION A – Your current panel shop|
|Work||Your Current Costs||Perceived Company Benefits|
|Product Development||Engineering / Sales||Answers|
|Panel Documentation||CAD / Clerical||Answers|
|Panel Components||Purchasing / Inventory||Answer|
|Panel Quality Control||Quality Control||Answer|
|OPTION B – Your ideal panel shop|
|Work||Ideal Company Costs||Desired Company Benefits|
|Assembled Panels||Purchasing / Inventory||Less Expensive|
|Product Development||None||Better Products|
|Panel Design||None||Beter Designs|
|Panel Documentation||None||Better Documentation|
|Panel Production||None||Better Production|
|Panel Quality Control||None||Better Quality|
|Panel Delivery||None||Better Delivery|
|Technical Support||None||Better Technical Support|
Start searching for your next panel shop
When you decide to change panel shops and know what you want from a new one, assemble the following information and start your search. See Control Panel Builder basics for OEMs for some guidance.
- Existing Panel Information
- Bill of Materials
- Desired Changes
- Desired Procurement Information
- Cost (Dollars)
- Order Size (Quantity per Order)
- Order Delivery (Weeks After Order)
- Totals (Estimated Annual Quantity)