Greig Cameron from RS Components’ DesignSpark, looks at the evolution of the humble control panel and discusses how contemporary technology is dragging the internal and external design of these ubiquitous steel cabinets into the 21st century.
Designing and building process control panels requires considerable experience and expertise, especially when they are destined for hazardous areas.
The control systems for many devices, from mobile phones to cars, have already been switched from physical buttons to touchscreens.
The challenges facing panel builders and machine designers to reduce costs, increase flexibility, and meet user requirements to optimise plant floor space, have seen trends to reduce panel sizes.
Today’s highly integrated IP protected, fanless panel PCs are easy to integrate and come in many different variants.