Electrical control panels are metal or plastic enclosures that contain important electrical components for monitoring and controlling the mechanical functions of industrial equipment and machinery. Hitaltech explains how an electrical control panel box works, what components they contain, and why our enclosures are the number one choice.

How does an electrical control panel box work?

Electrical control panels come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, ranging from small wall-mounted boxes to row upon row of cabinets installed within a designated control room. In order to better understand how an electrical control panel box functions, we must explore their general design and typical components. Let’s begin by looking at their core structure, which comprises of an enclosure and a back panel. 

Enclosure

The main body of an electrical control panel box is known as the ‘enclosure’, which is where vital components are stored. The enclosure keeps personnel safe and protects components from all manner of environmental hazards, such as liquids, vibrations and chemicals. Correct sizing of an enclosure is critical. Too small and enclosures may overheat. Too big and enclosures can take up unnecessary, and often vital, space.  

Back Panel

Within the enclosure is a sheet of metal, known as the back panel. The back panel is what supports standardised DIN rails, which are what the electrical components that make up an electrical control panel are typically mounted upon. The back panel will also support wiring ducts that are used to effectively route, protect, conceal and organise wiring within control panels, and dampen any noise from devices.

A-Z of electrical control panel components

The following A-Z list of components are typically found within an electrical control panel.

Circuit Breaker 

This automatic switch protects the electrical circuit from overloads and short circuits.

Human Machine Interface (HMI)

HMIs enable the operator to monitor and control specific aspects of the machinery.

Network Switches

Network switches facilitate communication between the PLC and factory floor devices.

Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) 

The PLC is the brain of the operation that monitors and controls the mechanical processes.

Relays and Contactors

Relays and contactors control mechanised functions based on the commands of the PLC. 

Surge Arresters

Surge arresters prevent power surges and lightning strikes from damaging components.

Terminal Blocks

Terminal blocks help to organise and distribute wires within an electrical control panel.

Transformers

The role of transformers is to reduce the voltage for components to either 120V or 24V.

Electrical control panel enclosures from Hitaltech

Hitaltech is a leading supplier of high-quality plastic enclosures for electronics, including DIN rail enclosures (wall-mounted or panel mounted) and IP-rated enclosures. Our superior range of Italtronic electronic control panel enclosures is suitable for HVAC, building automation, and energy metering applications. Our experts ensure that all our competitively priced enclosures are thoroughly tested to exceed industry standards.

If you would like to find out more about our products, including our connecting technologies and enclosures, please contact us today on +44 (0)1253 899910 or email uksales@hitaltech.co.uk. The Hitaltech team is always on hand to answer any questions you may have.