control panel design

Deliver innovation using these control panel builder resources

Industrial manufacturers have been expanding their online, self-service resources available to customers. This curated guide contains innovative digital resources that are helping panel builders and OEMs simplify panel design and optimize component selection.

Staying on top of the latest technology is critical for panel builders and OEMs in order to deliver customer value and grow their business. It isn’t always obvious where the best resources and online tools are, and some of them are well kept secrets. In May of 2019, it was reported that 500 hours of video was being uploaded to YouTube every minute1. Needless to say, there is a lot of content out there. Having a trusted source that also has a history of providing educational content that helps lead with innovation is a win-win.

Here is a quick guide to some of the best resources panel builders and OEMs are using for education and training, product selection, panel design calculations, and more.

Educational tools and training
Selecting the right control panel components gives panel builders and OEMs a business edge. Webinars, technical training, and blog posts will help find solutions that will leverage ways to address customer’s top pain points.

ABB’s InControl webinar series for OEMs has built up a loyal following. In this bi-weekly series, learn about solutions that can help make equipment more reliable to avoid downtime and reduce costs to manufacture. Engineers can attend live webinars or watch at their convenience on-demand. In addition, an extensive list of on-demand webinars can also be found in the ABB Webinar Center.

UL offers over 70 paid virtual training options for industrial control panels on the UL Training website.

Blogs such as the InControl blog have been around for a long time and are continuously being updated with information about the latest industry trends and solutions. Panel builders can find years worth of archived articles from industry experts on ways to improve reliability, keep employees safe, and reduce costs.

For more product specific training and how-to’s, ABB has a massive E-Learning curriculum that has over 200 training modules to choose from.

Product selection
When a panel builder is ready make a purchase, a second category of online tools comes into play, including configurators, and even certain kinds of technical articles.

Aside from the numerous catalogs that can be found on each specific product’s web page, configurators are available for products that require customization. e-Configure contains a comprehensive listing of products grouped by category. Filter based on product type and specific requirements.

ABB’s empower™, combines product selection and configuration functions with quote management, order tracking, and invoice management, providing panel builders with a complete digital customer experience suite.

Technical articles available on the Control Panel Builder Portal or the InControl blog such as “Selecting the right motor starter option” and “Choose the right combination motor controller (CMC) type for your next panel” offer guidance as to which technology is right for various applications.

Why do the work yourself when someone has already taken the time to figure it out? When it comes to things like short circuit current ratings and base load currents, the data is there – it’s just a matter of knowing where to look.

Short Circuit Current Ratings for Combination Motor Controller Components: A UL website with short- circuit current ratings for most major OEMs’ products in combination.

SCCR Slide Rule: A simplified way to apply the information found on the UL website (see above). Enter your address to receive the slide rule in the mail.

Electrical Distribution Tools and Calculators: An ABB website that compiles tools to help with protection systems and fault current information, including Short Circuit and Full-Load Current calculator.

Additional resources you will want to explore
CADENAS eCatalog: A library of 2D drawings and 3D CAD models useful to panel designers.

Drawings Selector: A searchable collection of drawings related to low-voltage power distribution products.

ABB Library: A searchable library of ABB documents on a broad array of topics.

EPiC App download: A link to a no-cost mobile app for installers, maintenance technicians, and panel builders, with features to help with product configuration, installation, commissioning, and other activities related to ABB low voltage circuit breakers.


Daniel Lightsey
ABB Ability™, Smart PowerABB Electrification Business