Control systems are used in everything from waste treatment facilities to nuclear power plants. The more potential danger or heavier workload involved, the greater the need to design a control system that is effective and manageable. Here are some examples of control system designs, and what these systems are capable of doing.

Simple Systems

​Simple control systems are often designed with a small basic panel that contains an on/off switch or two, an emergency off button (if applicable), and a few valves or levers to control certain components within just a few feet of the control panel. An example of this would be a control system panel for use with an overhead crane. A green button to turn the crane on, a red button to turn the crane off, control switches to control the direction of movement of the crane, and an emergency stop button to prevent accidents in the plant are part of this control panel.

Midgrade Systems

Midgrade systems are comprised of much larger control panels with significantly more switches, buttons, and levers. Sometimes there may be an additional control panel linked to the primary control panel. Both panels are to be used in conjunction with each other and to aid in the process of moving liquids, gases, solids, and products in production along through the plant. An example of this is a chemical plant that needs to mix this chemical with another chemical and control the amounts that pass through the lines and into vats. 

Complex Systems

Complex systems, like those in a nuclear power plant, are wall-to-wall control panels with dozens of buttons, gauges, switches, levers, etc.. Everything on these panels is assigned a specific task, from monitoring the temperature of the nuclear cores to managing the cooling of the plant's main systems. The gauges keep track of heat intensity, power productivity, and radiation. So much has to be carefully monitored, managed, and controlled, and it could not be done without a more complex system. 

Another example of a complex system in action is a the dash of an aircraft or spacecraft. Like the nuclear plant's control system, every gauge, every button, and every lever serves a purpose. Those at the helm are trained to read it all, work it all, and understand the functions of everything on the dash. If your industrial or manufacturing plant has need of a control system, consult with a control panel engineer. Contact a company, like Solutions Engineering, for more help.