Control Panel Builder vs Control Systems Integrator
You may be tempted at times to think of a company that produces control systems as a control panel builder. Yes, it’s true that control systems integrators build control panels. But the process is much more sophisticated when each job is customized for the client or clients involved in the project.
About 75% of Pendant’s revenue this year will come from control systems projects in the conveyor and material handling segment. Pendant’s systems integrator clients in these projects typically design, engineer, install, and start up the mechanical system. Pendant handles the design, panel build, programming, and startup for the control system.
The difference between being a genuine integrator and a control panel builder largely lies in the quality and quantity of communication. An integrator first strives to understand the client’s business in order to add value by making appropriate choices to maximize the return on the client’s investment. An integrator emphasizes the need for back and forth conversations, not just exchanges of specifications and drawings. In cases where there are two clients, the mechanical contractor and the end user, the required level of communication is even higher. One of Pendant’s core values is to “Communicate, ‘Too Much'”.
What Does All This Communication Get You?
You will get all of the following and more when you work with Pendant on your control system projects:
- A custom system layout, with thoughtfully placed field devices to maximize operational efficiency and minimize electrical installation costs.
- A clear and concise Description of Operations.
- Component choices that align with your preferences.
- Thorough and well-designed drawings made with CAD electrical software.
- Well-designed control panels that allow for future expansion while maintaining the smallest effective footprint.
- Custom software to smoothly connect your control system to your enterprise applications.
- Efficient and effective programs, written in ladder logic.
- Easy access to your project status via the Teamwork app, and to drawings and other documentation by scanning field device and control panel QR Codes.
It is possible to build a control panel to a recipe from a client. This approach is appropriate for producing volume quantities of the same type of panel with minimal customization. For all other needs, a true control systems integrator is the better choice.