Posts by: MIS Controls

Four Benefits of the UL-508A Certification

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Certified Excellence

MIS Controls, Inc. provides customers the satisfaction and efficiency of all company-assembled control panels. However, to ensure the safety and effectiveness of all industrial control panels, MIS is a UL 508A certified company. For all UL-required assemblies, MIS meets all requirements and proper procedure specifications. Request an MIS quote today to receive all necessary high-quality, UL-certified industrial control panel needs.

What is UL 508A?

The UL 508A certification is a third-party certified standard for the assembly and manufacturing of industrial control panels. Contract manufacturers must assemble and adhere to the requirements to offer UL-certified project services. Industrial control panels with the UL 508A certification should successfully include listed critical components, proper spacing, regional electrical codes, circuit protection protocols, and correct identifiable labels. In meeting such specifications and necessary inspection, manufacturers can place the UL mark of approval for the respective control panels. The UL 508A certification and marked products are beneficial to both manufacturers and customers as it provides additional accountability and safety in the production and service of industrial control panels. The four main benefits of the certification include company credibility, component selection, safety, and circuit protection.

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Credibility

With third-party certification, MIS gives customers complete transparency and credibility for each designated project. The UL guidelines highlight assembly procedures to establish the reliability of certified manufacturers. Additionally, manufacturers can widen the accessibility of industrial control panel projects and ultimately gain more customers.

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Component Selection

With the presence of UL certification, manufacturers must use particular components within control panel assembly and design for the highest efficiency level. Listed on UL sources, the critical components minimize productivity errors while maintaining control panel assembly time. All in all, customers are knowledgeable about the possible components, creating further design transparency.

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Safety

In addition to proper spacing and labeling requirements, a UL certification creates an additional layer of product protection and employee safety. All components and conductors must contain standard labels for easy identification and assembly. Similarly, all industrial control panels must match electrical spacing specifications to increase safety precautions.

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Circuit Protection

UL-certified panel projects must incorporate a required circuit protection standard to limit potential electrical shock incidents to both the panel and its users. Additionally, manufacturers calculate short circuit current ratings to mark the lowest rated device on each panel.

Take “MIS” Control

Overall, MIS ensures all customers have the highest quality control panels that meet the UL 508A certification protocol. Customers seeking certified industrial control panels and other unnecessary certification projects are guaranteed product safety and efficiency from MIS. To contact and request a quote, click the link here.

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Five Types of Control Panels and Enclosures

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Just My Type:

Control Panel Benefits and Misconceptions

 

The wide variety of control panel and enclosure options showcase the immense opportunities and services offered at MIS Controls, Inc. In effect. each panel design or enclosure material requires specific considerations in regards to assembly environment, time, and size. To ensure customer satisfaction, MIS Controls provides a range of customizability in panel configurations to enclosure shape. The following sections discuss the five types of control panels and enclosures for further exploration of the common benefits and misconceptions regarding each. 

 

 

Floor Mount

A Floor-Mount Industrial Control Panel refers to electronic panels elevated from the ground for purposes of protecting internal electrical control devices. All in all, the Enclosure Cabinet should remain in a wet setting or be hosed down regularly for added protection. 

 

Benefits 

  • Strength and quality enclosure frame made from metal.
  • Several frames can attach for infinite configuration designs.
  • Easy additions for customizability as well as convenience and ease of use.

 

Misconceptions

  • Floor-Mount Panels lack strength and durability.
    • TRUTH: The Floor-Mount Panels’ structure and material provide a strong structure and long-lasting panels.
  • The necessity of various separate orders to acquire control panel parts. 
    • TRUTH: Floor-Mount Panels assembly parts can be ordered and shipped in a single purchase.

 

Free-Standing

The Free-Standing Industrial Control Panels may be placed either with or without elevation. However, regardless of elevation, Free-Standing Panels share similar functionality as Floor-Mount Panels. Such panels come in a variety of customizable shapes, sizes, and door configurations. Generally, for assembly and use, Free-Standing Industrial Control Panels require a dry environment lying on a flat surface.

 

Benefits 

  • Immense customizable features and layout configurations.

    Types of Control Panels Infographic

  • Offers options of floor or elevation placement.

 

Misconceptions

  • Floor-Mount and Free-Standing control panels are interchangeable. 
    • TRUTH: A Floor-Mount Panel is always Free-Standing, however, not all Free-Standing Panels are Floor-Mount.
    • Free-Standing Panels are Floor-Mount if they are elevated.
  • All Free-Standing Panels are not elevated. 
    • TRUTH: Free-Standing Panels may or may not have elevation.

Wall Mount

Performing in both outdoor and indoor environments, Wall Mount Industrial Control Enclosures offers a variety of material finishes, such as fiberglass and polycarbonate. Wall mount enclosures are typically smaller in size than the previously mentioned floor mount and free-standing layouts.

 

Benefits 

  • The Enclosure Cabinet offers an affordable option.
  • Should corrosion resistance be a requirement, Wall Mount Panels may use stainless-steel material.  
  • Saves space while housing important electrical components.
  • Protects from dust, dirt, and other exterior moisture impacts.

 

Misconceptions

  • Wall Mount Enclosures are only used for small spaces.
    • TRUTH: Wall Mount Enclosures are versatile, allowing them to be used in both large and limiting locations.
  • An enclosed indoor environment is necessary for Wall Mount Enclosures.
    • TRUTH: Both indoor and outdoor environments support Wall Mount Enclosures and Wall Mount Panel performance.

 

Modular Enclosures

Designed for adaptability, modular enclosures provide immense flexibility for additional door and accessory options. Moreover, Modular Enclosures’ multitude of application opportunities allow its ability to enclose components of significant electrical devices. 

 

Benefits 

  • Reduced assembly time as enclosures allows for the addition of rails to slide panels to enclosures openings. 
  • Larger panel openings allow easier panel mounting.
  • Modular enclosures load electronics faster, decreasing assembly time and customer money.

 

Misconceptions

  • Modular systems are more expensive.
    • TRUTH: Based on the structure and specific modular systems determine the pricing, thus modular systems are not definitively pricier. 
  • Some assemblies require immense assembly work to install Modular Enclosures.
    • TRUTH: Modular Enclosures structure provides reduced installation time and assembly workload.

 

Junction Boxes

Junction boxes follow a significantly smaller design housing strong electrical connections. However, within junction boxes, one can find similar protective functions against potential electric shocks.

Benefits 

  • The compact size allows it to operate in tighter places.
  • A unique feature to connect to other control panels due to its compact size.

 

Misconceptions

  • Junction Boxes do not provide powerful electrical components based on their size.
    • TRUTH: Although smaller in size, the box design allows for significant electrical current. 
  • Wall Mount and Junction Boxes have similar functionality.
    • TRUTH: Wall Mount and Junction Boxes share similar sizing, however, overall functionality differs based on purposes in either mounting to a wall or connecting larger close panels, respectively.

 

Panel Expertise, The MIS Controls Type

 

Incorporating the individual necessities and considerations for each control panel and enclosures listed establishes the overall benefits for customers and MIS Controls alike. Overall, MIS Controls addresses common misconceptions to provide quality products to our customers. After all, following the MIS Controls 5-Step Manufacturing Solution, we effectively process and designate each project with the highest service and product standards. In any case, customers can trust MIS Controls with their customizable specifics for general projects. 

 

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Five Initial Steps Before Panel Assembly

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5 Initial Steps Post

Above all, with every assembly comes the steps before wiring electrical connections. Each step is vital in not only assembling a reliable finished build but also one that meets all customer specifications. Whether assembling a simple panel or a complex electrical system, every customer needs to know the process, and every manufacturer needs to be transparent about their operations. This post refers to the steps before assembly; for a look at the steps during assembly, check out the MIS 5-Step Manufacturing Plan, click here.

Discussion Discussion

Before diving straight into a new project, thorough discussions with the manufacturer determine the scope, functionality, and longevity of the build at hand. Additionally, these conversations decide if that particular provider is the right company for the job, making this the most important out of the steps. In that case, you should ask as many questions as you need to analyze the potential relationship; these questions should include:

            • How transparent is communication throughout the project?
            • What kind of certifications are in place / how do they benefit me?
            • Is the equipment up-to-date?
            • What other customers and industries do you service?

QuoteQuote

Given that you have chosen the perfect provider, they take over the project, starting with the initial quote. At this point, the quoting process involves a collaboration between the sales team, quoting department, manufacturing floor, and company leaders, so depending on the scope of the work, the timing of this step varies. Due to detailed discussions about the assembly needs, along with assessing their own capabilities, the manufacturer will add significant points to the document, including:

  • The provider’s business details
  • Breakdown of costs with total
  • Space for variations and revisions
  • Payment terms and conditions
  • Preferred payment method
  • Schedule of work with the document expiration date
  • Customer signature area

 

 

Bid PrintsReview Bid Prints

During the above step, providers necessitate further cost and power breakdowns in the form of bid prints for high-level projects. Compared to the quote, a bid print would include deeper details for all aspects of the build, with the agreed-upon work process becoming non-negotiable. For this amplified description of services, the provider must take specific actions to assess themselves before taking on the job, such as:

                  • Assess profitability
                  • Determine definite capability
                  • Review past bids/success
                  • Consider long-term strategy
                  • Prioritize a breakdown of risks

 

Review Build PrintsBuild Prints

Finally, when the customer approves the quote or bid, analysis of the building process begins. This internal evaluation of both equipment and personnel guarantees the proper steps are completed by the best method possible. Comparing automatic to manual assembly while judging workers’ skills only benefits the time frame and accuracy of the final product. Specifically, building to client work instructions, or build-to-print materials, gives power to the client’s vision; these prints may contain:

  • Assembly drawings
  • Bill of Materials
  • Controls programming
  • Lists of components
  • Descriptions of final use

 

 

Wiring MethodsWiring Methods

At this time, electrical machine tool equipment may vary from simple, single-motor machines with repetitive operations to huge, complicated automatic machines, which contain highly complex electrical control systems. Typically, these machines are specially designed, wired with specific intentions, tested by the builder, and then erected in the plant. For this purpose, based on the required certifications and intended use of the panel, manufacturers must install wiring based on these elements:

              • NEC vs. NFPA 79 requirements
              • Wire color and specific use
              • Exceptions to allowances
              • Panel vs. Machine wiring
              • Enclosure type
              • Materials used
              • Customer specifications

 

Overall, using these initial steps to build a solid relationship between customers and MIS Controls is the most significant benefit. If providers go through these steps by honestly relaying their capabilities and requirements for the customer’s project, then the best plan is set forth. In turn, with a specific plan established by the quote or bid, the particular intentions for the build come together in the physical assembly work.

 

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Five “Made in the USA” Benefits

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Made in the USA Blog

“MIS” America

For almost a decade, MIS Controls has been taking the crown for custom control panel assembly based in the USA. Therefore, this designation inspired us to become self-certified as a Made in the USA Certified Company on Thomasnet.com. Besides the pageantry of promoting an American flag on our website, this certification carries many benefits for our customers, suppliers, and employees, along with our distinction as a Woman-Owned Business.

With a world full of “Made in China” stickers, here is a breakdown of some of the reasons to hold out for the good ol’ US of A.

 

Labor StandardsGuaranteed Labor Standards

Overall, US, workers’ rights are a priority with federal and state laws enforcement. These rights guarantee fair labor, employee protection, safe working conditions, age requirements, appropriate licenses, and higher agency for workers. With these measures, a manufacturing team comes to work of their own free will to accomplish assembly and contribute to a field of their choice.

 

Emphasis on QualityQuality Standards

In this case, the USA holds a guaranteed high emphasis on durability and extended use. In order to build for longevity, strict quality standards guide companies on building procedures and component elements to ensure products are built to last.

 

Environmental StandardsEnvironmental Concern

US Manufacturers must follow stricter federal and state regulations when it comes to the environmental conditions of their surrounding areas. In essence, when you partner with an American company, you are also showing the importance of future generations

 

Puts Money Back into the USACash Flow

To reference your high school finance class, taxes and new jobs lower the overall national debt. Being that American companies hire workers who pay American taxes, investing in these places of work cycles money back into the country. With debt over trillions of dollars, every partnership contributes to closing the gap.

 

Lower Lead TimesLowers Lead Times

Fact: You cannot complete a puzzle without all of the pieces in front of you. Much like the frustration around an unfinished puzzle, supply chain issues around the globe contribute to misplaced components. Relying on an American company that provides turnkey services increases the chances of gathering all pieces on one table in less time.

 

Crowning the Winner

As stated above, there are numerous benefits to choosing a Made in the USA manufacturer. The ones listed here are the most significant, though not the only ones to consider. Especially in a time with huge supply chain issues, an American company, such as MIS Controls, could mean the difference between success and failure to launch.

Contact our team for a transparency guarantee with any questions about MIS capabilities!

 

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Nine Trending Topics in Enclosure Design

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Your Design, Our Assembly

It’s important to realize that MIS assembles control panels, complete with the physical enclosure and its contents after the design has been approved. In order to confirm the proper functionality of a finished project, customers discuss the design thoroughly with the manufacturers before production. Moreover, in these discussions, certain topics often appear repeatedly, creating trends to follow in enclosure layouts.

In this situation, trends keep customers and engineers informed about the most talked about action items while alerting manufacturers on the most significant concerns to prepare and provide solutions! After all, if we can identify the trends, we can constantly update our services and capabilities to stay ahead of customer demands.

 

Depend on the Trend

With attention to enclosures, many trends can make or break the operation of the control system as a whole. Each one brings its advantages and reminders when planning the system. As a matter of fact, here are nine trending topics in the layout and design of an enclosure to discuss with your manufacturer:

 

DensityDensity 

Being that customers continuously want the enclosure to get more compact while carrying the same amount of weight, density has become a staple in layout discussions. In this case, there are apparent advantages to creating a dense system; however, there are also notable pitfalls when limiting the volume of a space. 

 

    • Advantages: 
      • Increases the impact for the amount of space 
      • Widens range of installation possibilities (wall mount vs. free-standing)
      • Fits better into specific spaces
    • Reminders:
      • Must be aware of attempting to house too much power in a small space. 
      • Extra attention needs to be given to the following trending topics to maintain safety. 
      • Rework will be complex, and the customer must review maintenance considerations. 

 

ModularityModularity

On the other hand, another way to assist with de-cluttering is using distinct functional units in an overall electrical panel design. With trends such as this one, prefabricated units piece together the complete build.

    • Advantages:
      • Distribution of control functions to distinct areas of the panel build. 
      • Manageable sub-plate layout with a focus on separate modules at a time. 
      • Easy to distinguish problem areas and resolve issues within functional modules.
      • Future additions available
    • Reminders:
      • Restricted flexibility due to a specific layout of each function type being housed together with other components in the same module. 
      • Module sizes and shapes can be limiting. 
      • Modularity is not always cost-effective (paying for additional functionality)
      • May create additional interconnect wiring

 

DistributedDistributed

Similarly, shifting the power from a central source to more minor, dispersed sources is familiar for installation in modern building designs or complex machine layouts. For instance, if there is not enough floor space, separating the panel from one large floor mount to an HMI paired with compact wall mounts would accommodate the space. 

 

    • Advantages: 
      • Aids in flexibility with building layout 
      • Allows for human control from different points in the room
    • Reminders: 
      • The distance of the electrical box or control system to the panel is a factor in deciding the price of a build. The further away, the more effort must go into organizing the room for functionality and practicality. 

 

TerminationsTerminations

Critical considerations for terminations include installing ferrules, rings, or fork Sta-Kons, wire stripping and prepping (solder thinning), and calibrating tooling for installation. Certainly, the proper termination solves many issues before they occur

    • Advantages: 
      • Eliminates loose connections
      • Better conductivity
      • Strengthens terminations for longer-lasting, maintenance-free wires
    • Reminders: 
      • Wires lacking terminations are more susceptible to a failure point and breakage.

 

Breakout BoardsBreakout Boards

Given that some customers prioritize the amount of time for a project compared to the complete originality, breakout boards may be the perfect time-saving solution! These technology assets for high-tech connections take away trial and error runs in the design process. 

 

    • Advantages: 
      • Cost-effective: come with terminal and pre-made connections
      • Take up less room in the panel
      • Easy to use and install
    • Reminders: 
      • Minor customization available for pre-made components

 

Heat ControlHeat Control

In certain cases, enclosures require heating if installed outside or in cooler conditions. For these projects, deliberate design to maintain control of the temperature inside a panel build is essential. For instance, heat rises, so placing delicate components over the heat sources would increase the chances of damage.

    • Advantages: 
      • Addresses both the heat sources in a design and purposely adjusts the layout to accommodate for possible heat damage
      • Aids in avoiding fires, explosions, or harm to human operators
    • Reminders: 
      • Less flexible design due to shifting heat sources.
      • Designs with multiple heat sources may need additional heat-controlling elements, such as A/C and Explosion Proof material. 

 

A/C Air Conditioning (A/C) 

From time to time, your enclosure may be too hot to handle. For this reason, cooling air to aid in heat control within the electrical panel is also a popular topic of choice. For example, a build with multiple high-risk heat sources may require a fan and A/C unit to challenge the damage by heat. Experienced manufacturers should advise on component placement and high-risk areas. 

 

    • Advantages:
      • Adjustable settings give the human operator more control over temperature
      • Deliberate placement dramatically lessens the possibility of heat damage
      • Maintains humidity levels 
    • Reminders: 
      • Moisture is also destructive to delicate components, so A/C placement is crucial to the build. 

 

NEMA-Rating NEMA Rating

 

Overall, understanding the appropriate rating for the enclosure allows builds to be assembled for their specific environments. NEMA Enclosure Ratings consider environmental conditions considerations (Explosion Proof, etc.) and materials used, such as the effects of metal v. carbon/fiber.

    • Advantages:
      • Knowing that the enclosure is designed with specific weather and surroundings in mind
      • Security of inner components
      • Tested and approved material and layout
    • Reminders:
      • Customers must also consider the inner layout of the enclosure for potential internal problems.

 

Material ChoiceMaterial Choice

On the whole, trends in material choice include Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel, Carbon, Plastic, Composite, Explosion Proof. Each one brings its qualities to the control systems and electrical wiring. For some, this aspect is the most important, as it has a lot of say in end-life and component protection

 

    • Advantages:
      • Not only customizable options for specific environment needs, but internal processes as well
      • Assistance with heat control 
    • Reminders:
      • Different materials cost more than others
      • Levels of flexibility differ from material to material

 

After the Design, We Take Control

MIS takes the reins for assembly work once customers finalize their designs. Throughout the design process, consult our team with these trending topics to get the assembly perspective and understand that we will advise you with honest feedback. The number one word for us at MIS Controls is #transparency. This policy means that any recommendation we give you is golden; even if our services cannot fully cover your project, we will refer you to someone who can. With this in mind, it is no disadvantage to you to reach out to our team and discuss some new trends!

 

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Vacuum System with Electrical Control Panel

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Challenge

Create a PLC-based control panel mounted to a 2-Pump Vacuum System. 

Application

This job required a vacuum system for the Commercial Building industry that includes a custom mounting base with drilled mounting holes and pre-tapped holes.  Altogether, this system operates with 2-Pump motors and a vacuum to clean dust while working with granite and marble. As a result, it requires readouts and values for the proper procedure. 

MIS Solution 

Straightaway, MIS Controls’ advanced knowledge of PLC control panels aided the UL508A and NEC certified system assembly. Equally important, our team utilized various testing methods to ensure that the design meets all specific customer conditions. These methods included: 

  • Utilizing water to test for leaks in new environments and effectiveness of suction. 
  • Applying air pressure to the system to check for proper distribution and security of the enclosure. 
  • Allowing the customer to cycle the system at the MIS Controls facility as final quality assurance. 
  • Adhering to the UL508A and NEC regulations for assembly practices.

MIS Results

The final system consists of a PLC panel wired to the base-mounted air components of the vacuum and pumps. Overall, MIS is responsible for 25 systems over five months with a 7-9 week lead time for this project. Finally, with our highly experienced team, this system meets UL508A requirements and Code 3 of the NEC. In sum, we encourage custom designs that necessitate unique solutions. 

 

To learn more about MIS Controls, contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Control System in Vacuum Pump