With the limited space available on a control panel, you need to make the most out of every millimeter. Fitting as many terminations as possible is a great way to save space. In addition, using the corner space is a great way to start.
These five ideas will help you maximize the space and get the most from your electrical panels and connectors and improve the reliability of the entire system.
1. Use square-shaped knock-outs and connectors
Replace traditional circle-shaped knock-outs and electrical connectors with square-shaped ones to get more terminations in the same amount of space. Square connectors fit together tighter and utilize the space that would otherwise occur between the circles. These connectors allow you to place more connections on a single panel.
2. Use multiple-hole bushings
Terminate several loose cables into cord grips with one simple fitting—a multiple-hole bushing. Instead of connecting each cable separately, combine them into one and not only save space, but equipment and labor costs as well.
Hundreds of configurations are available, such as slit-style and an infinite number of hold combinations, to fit all kinds of specifications. Materials like stainless steel, silicone, aluminum, nylon and Valox make them ideal for indoor and outdoor applications that resist corrosion, even in harsh environments and high temperatures.
3. Eliminate old components
Older cables, connectors and other components tend to be larger and take up more space. Advances in technology have helped create smaller components that take up much less space and provide more secure, reliable connections. Whether it’s the electrical connectors, cables, cord grips or the panel itself, replacing them with modern, slimmer designs can help you make the most of your space.
4. Use the enclosure’s corner space
One of the most under-utilized spaces in an enclosure are the corners. Take advantage of them with 90° molded connectors. Male and female 90° connectors better fill the corner space, allowing for more terminations in less area. They fit in tight spaces where a straight connector could never go. No matter what size connector is needed, M8, M12 or pico, in any configuration or any material, 90° connectors reduce the overall enclosure footprint.
5. Use Bus systems
Control groups of connections at the same time, from the same panel, instead of creating separate enclosures for each one. A Bus System Connector is also ideal for harsh environments where corrosion and other tough elements exist. Many are rated for IP and NEMA compliance. Various connectors, cable assemblies, receptacles, molded tees, terminators, and multi-port junction boxes are available to build a system that meets your exact specifications.
Finally, for any control panel, it is also essential to get the right cooling systems in place to prevent overheating. Options for cooling include fans, heat exchangers, air conditioners, and vortex tube coolers. In addition to cooling, these devices can reduce dust and moisture, helping to keep control panels and their internal components running at optimal levels.