Article
I've designed and built control boxes on several occasions. The resulting component did the job, and I did my best to make it look professional. After all, that's kind of a trademark of mine. You don't just stuff things in a box and call it good. You need to take pride in your work! Most of the time, it was just a box of electric and electronic controls. Cube relays, VFDs, and sometimes a PLC, placed in a stainless steel enclosure, often with the front window panel.

Integrated Panel Solutions – Power and Pneumatics

Steve Maurer, IME
I've designed and built control boxes on several occasions. The resulting component did the job, and I did my best to make it look professional. After all, that's kind of a trademark of mine. You don't just stuff things in a box and call it good. You need to take pride in your work!

Most of the time, it was just a box of electric and electronic controls. Cube relays, VFDs, and sometimes a PLC, placed in a stainless steel enclosure, often with the front window panel.

Photo eyes of various types and sometimes pneumatic valves were connected to the box via conduit and tubing.

Even so, there's nothing quite like a professionally built enclosure, integrated with the proper components.

There are companies out there that can take your design ideas and turn them into virtual works of art that function properly, often more quickly and efficiently than your inhouse team.

When mounting to an OEM machine or adding additional controls to an existing one, these enclosures look good, work great, and make your operation run more smoothly.

Not all companies are structured to design, build, and commission your specific automated solution. But when you find a company that not only can build the box, but has the controls you need already in stock, you're money ahead.

A company that can build an integrated enclosure, one that has the components readily available, can help you reduce fluid automation project costs, complexity, and reduce your risk as well.

How an all-in-one integrated enclosure company benefits you
if a supply company already manufacturers and stocks the electrical and pneumatic components you need ... And has a design and build team ready to take your drawings and turn them into an integrated enclosure, it helps you in several ways.

  • You cut down on the number of sources to contact.
  • You end up with a ready to install system … almost plug and play.
  • The enclosure is engineered to your specs, and is pre-assembled and tested.
  • You free up your engineering and fabrication departments to work on other projects.
  • You don't get a cookie-cutter product. You get a fully customized solution for your application.
  • You can budget your projects more precisely, including your time investment.
Whether a retrofit, a new project, or replacing or upgrading a damaged unit, integrated enclosure solutions make perfect sense.

A quick look inside
With an integrated enclosure, the electrical/electronic components are housed in the same box as the pneumatic controls and valves. From personal experience, this greatly simplifies troubleshooting.

Whether analog or digital component are used, you get a neat and very traceable layout that makes it easy to follow the path, from start to end.

Depending on the size of the enclosure, a number of components can reside in the same box:

  • Fieldbus electronics
  • PLCs
  • Relays
  • Proportional actuators
  • FRLs (filter/regulator/lubricator assemblies)
  • Fluid control valves
  • And various other accessories

Many of the electrical and electronic components can be modular, making removal of failed units and replacement literally a snap.

A more simplified design reduces the overall footprint, keeping required space to a minimum. And since most come in stainless steel or corrosion resistant cabinets, they're suitable for biomedical, pharmaceutical, food and beverage processing and many other industries where it's not just beneficial, but critical.

To ensure your integrated solution meets all the requirements and standards, consider choosing a company outfitted to design and build you custom equipment.
Photo courtesy of ASCO
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