For better or worse, customers driving control panel trends

Users are demanding simpler interfaces for control panels, but their desire for mass notification systems may be misdirected.

08/10/2009


Control panels are an integral part of building systems for many reasons, but the latest trends emphasize certain market concerns. According to a report by Security Systems News , building owners and managers want greater value, meaning that panels should work with all types of building data as well as be capable of remote control. They also want graphic interfaces that are straightforward and easy to use. Most recently, owners and managers have also been demanding that control panels have mass notification systems (MNS) built in, but that may only be a temporary craze, according to some industry leaders.

Spurred somewhat by Sept. 11, and then further by the shootings at Virginia Tech University, clients are asking about MNS capabilities first when discussing fire panels, said Bob Gomersall, a marketing product manager at Honeywell .
David Ringenberger, president of Protection Systems in Dallas, said he's seeing small- and mid-sized jobs demanding MNS, but also said the concept of mass notification may still be a buzzword that clients have latched onto.
Mark Hillenburg, product architect with Digital Monitoring Products Inc. , said that both integrators and end users are making "more and more requests for time- and money-saving features and functionality." This includes making the panel easier to use and understand.
In the past, there's been an "arrogance" inherent in the panel systems, said Ringenberger, and customers struggled to use panels with awkward graphic user interfaces. Now, control panel manufacturers are more cognizant of customer requests, and they are responding by making control panel data accessible to building owners and other facility staff.





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Leaders Under 40 program features outstanding young people who are making a difference in manufacturing. View the 2013 Leaders here.
The new control room: It's got all the bells and whistles - and alarms, too; Remote maintenance; Specifying VFDs
2014 forecast issue: To serve and to manufacture - Veterans will bring skill and discipline to the plant floor if we can find a way to get them there.
2013 Top Plant: Lincoln Electric Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Bring focus to PLC programming: 5 things to avoid in putting your system together; Managing the DCS upgrade; PLM upgrade: a step-by-step approach
Balancing the bagging triangle; PID tuning improves process efficiency; Standardizing control room HMIs
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.