When we think of electrical control panels in the automotive industry, images of great long assembly lines come to mind, robotic arms swinging to and fro, whilst miscellaneous car parts move steadily down the conveyor. Automation within the automotive manufacturing industry is heavily reliant on control panels to keep production output at a maximum and costs to a minimum.
Control panels and car manufacture
Control panels have been an integral part of the automotive manufacturing process for decades, enabling the mass production and importantly, the installation of a massive range of car components. From seat pads to brake calipers, exhaust manifolds to air conditioning units – indeed almost all components within the majority of cars made today are installed by machines. Machines that are controlled by a control panel.
Whilst there is a level of uncertainty in by how much the automotive industry will grow in coming years, what is definite is it will continue to grow steadily and the complexity of the technology in cars will also increase. Meaning the reliance on control panels used for car manufacture is only going to increase along with it.
How control panels are used in the manufacturing processes
In the past, control panels in automotive manufacture were mainly used for the control of Motor Control Centres (MCC) and the Power Distribution Centres (PDC). MCCs are an assembly of enclosed sections containing motor control units that are installed on the factory floor, alongside the machinery they control. PDCs regulate the distribution of electrical power to various pieces of equipment, often including the MCC.
As cars become more complex, so do the systems and control panels in place for their production. Modern control panels provide the user with much more flexibility in how the panel may be used, this is known as the Human Machine Interface (HMI) because the machinery the control panels are distributing power to require much more intricate solutions.
How control panels are being adopted for the driver
Control panels are no longer solely utilised in manufacturing cars, but are being adopted increasingly within vehicles as well, providing drivers with electrical and display controls for the operation of various aspects of their car.
The increasing electrification of vehicles has driven consumer expectation so that car manufacturers are striving to include more and more features within their vehicles. The features controlled by in-car control panel systems range massively, from autonomous driving systems like parking assist to in-car entertainment features like smart phone connectivity. Some cars have control panels that allow the driver to change the power output of their engine, engine tone, even the ride height or firmness of the suspension.
As more manufacturers make Bluetooth connectivity and parking cameras standard features, the competition between brands hots up, and so does the competition to find and adopt the newest and most efficient automotive control panel. With the future of the car manufacture industry set on hybrid and electronic vehicles, we can expect to see this demand for integrated electronic features within our cars rise exponentially.
Control Panels at Dualtec
DualTEC specialise in building bespoke systems that are customised for our customers specifications and requirements. We pride ourselves on building control panel systems with unrivalled efficiency, so that our customers can rely on a quality product, delivered on schedule. Just like automation in the manufacturing process, control panels are not limited to the automotive industry.
The vast majority of assembly or manufacturing lines will rely heavily on control panels to operate an increasingly extensive list of machinery. Whatever industry your business is based in, whether manufacturing machinery, consumables or electronics, DualTEC have the industry knowledge and experience to build your control panel on time and to specifications.