An industrial unit or a setup consists of numerous different types of equipment. Each equipment has its own specified set of requirements and functionalities. One such essential equipment utilized in an industrial setup is the control panel. An industrial control panel is the systematic and uniform arrangement of several components. These components include fused disconnect switches, circuit breakers, overload relays, timers, switches, etc. As there are several components that are interconnected in an industrial control panel, an issue in one of the components can affect the entire system. If your industrial control panel faces any problem, here are some ways to troubleshoot your control panel and get it to function properly again.
Issues with Switch Disconnector Fuse
The switch disconnector fuse or SDF may not operate the way it should because the fuse of the SDR may be burnt. To determine if that is the cause or not, you can test the fuse continuity with a multimeter. When the fuse experiences overcurrent or short circuit, it can catch fire. To troubleshoot the SDF, you would have to replace it with a new one.
Often, Miniature Circuit Breaker or MCB faces an issue of tripping. The most common reason is that of a short circuit current passing through it. To fix this issue, you need to identify the cause by replacing the MCB or MCCB.
The relay equipment of the control panel is essential for the entire circuit. When it does not work correctly, the primary reason for this could be that the coil of the relay is faulty or the power supply is failing. Apart from these reasons, if the relay is still not working efficiently, you might have to take a look at whether the contacts are damaged or not. If the contact is damaged, the relay will cease to function efficiently. You can troubleshoot the relay by checking the power supply voltage. If the voltage is not in the specified range, you might have to repair it accordingly. Apart from that, also take a look at whether all the wires are proper. Faulty wiring should be repaired or replaced for the relay to work efficiently.
Protective Measures Before Troubleshooting
Before undertaking any of the troubleshooting measures, you need to ensure that the person doing so is well trained in such tasks. When an untrained individual tries to troubleshoot such devices, there is a possibility that they might end up causing further damage or even hurting themselves.
Before initiating the troubleshooting process, always assume that all the wires are energized and don’t initiate the troubleshooting process. By doing so, the worker reduces the chances of being electrocuted by the wires. Turn the main power off and then initiate the work on the control panel. By doing so, the worker can effortlessly troubleshoot the system.
There is a chance that some of the circuits and wires are still hot. When a person touches such wires, they may end up harming themselves. Therefore, to avoid such a situation, do not progress with work until the circuits cool down.
Apart from these measures, the troubleshooter is also advised that they stand on a rubber mat. When the technician does so, it negates the possibility of them getting electrocuted by stray wires.
Always refer to the circuit diagram when troubleshooting a control panel. This is because when you refer to the circuit diagram, you get a better understanding of how the system works. Apart from this, you get to know where the problem lies exactly. You can then effectively troubleshoot the control panel.
Moreover, workers and employees in the industrial setup should also be advised about the changes that will take place. The workers can avoid starting the process until the changes are done.
If the technician comes across any alarm being raised, it should not be turned off until the cause of the alarm is found out. Apart from this, the technician should also ensure that the alarm is reset if the system requires to be restarted.
The technician also needs to constantly check the motor or pump. The motors and pumps can get affected due to dirty bearings, clogging, binding shafts, or shortened turns in the motor. Running a timely check is therefore important to ensure that the processes are not affected.
Also, check whether the overheating is evident. If the wiring has turned red or is releasing smoke and gas, you might have to call in the experts. In such cases, it is a good thing to leave all the complexities for the professionals to handle as they know exactly how to treat and fix the industrial control panel.
Finding the fault in a control panel can be done effectively with the help of a voltmeter or ohmmeter. Using such equipment will help you identify any discrepancy between the specified voltage and the actual voltage or current flow. But ensure that the system is secured before you initiate the process of testing and troubleshooting an industrial control panel.
If the control panel problem persists, you might have to get in touch with a company who has the expertise in repairing such control panels. The experts will identify the issues with your control panel and get it repaired in minimum downtime.