There is a process to control panel design
Approaching control panel design can be a daunting task, especially for those starting out in the industry. One of the main things to consider is that control panel design is a process, one in which creativity, skill and very specific knowledge are intrinsically linked.
It takes time, organisation and planning to even get your initial ideas down on paper. And once building begins, you’ll probably find that you deviate from your plans. The fundamentals of control panel design are simple:
- Cost – dictates the reliability of the components
- Reliability – dictates the cost
- Usability – dictates the overall appearance as well as the components
- Appearance – dictates the usability as well as the cost
It is worth prefacing this article with the fact that each of these fundamentals are equally as important as the last. The process of a control panel build requires all of them.
Control panel building fundamentals
Whilst cost is often a controlling factor in a control panel build, the overall cost is generally dictated by the cost of the individual parts. You could plan to build with cheaper components and would be able to offer a more affordable end product in doing so, but the trade-off would be the control panels overall reliability.
This brings us to the second fundamental rule: plan, design and build for reliability and for quality. Without reliability, the control panel is truly useless as an important, functioning piece of machinery.
Usability (or functionality) is just as important as reliability. A simple design is easier to use, simpler to build and ultimately cheaper. The control panel operator needs to be able to use the panel easily so the initial designs need to be as intuitive as possible.
Whilst the majority of people would not look at a control panel and think it had been designed with aesthetics in mind, believe us when we say there is such thing as an ugly control panel. Appearance is as important as the usability and there cannot be one without the other. Functionality plays into the hands of intuitive and appealing control panel design.
Before you design your control panel
The control panel designer must keep these fundamental points in mind before embarking on designing a control panel. If you’re interested in having a control panel designed and built by our professional team here at Dualtec, please get in touch by phoning 01535 609314.