Ten key electrical control components

Automation is now a huge part of everyday life in many industries across the world. Through increased use of automation, labour costs have been reduced, as has the amount of time needed to carry out processes, resulting in huge increases in productivity across the industrialised world. Much of this progress has been made possible through the use of technically advanced industrial control panels. These machines work at 600V or lower and they control the equipment in a manufacturing process, allowing one engineer to be in charge of the whole process.

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Let’s take a look at some of the various electrical control components that can be found inside a control panel.

Power circuit

This is a circuit that operates a machine that is attached to the control panel. When electricity is passed through it, the machine starts to operate and when the circuit is stopped, so too will the machine.


These are the components that turn the power on or off to a machine that is connected to the control panel.

Circuit breaker

This is the component that guards the electricity loads by not allowing the machine to pull too much current.

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The job of the transformer is to convert a large AC voltage into a smaller one.

Terminal blocks

These insulated blocks are able to connect wires together at a single point and connect the circuits on an industrial control panel to each other.

Grounding panels

These keep people safe from the possibility of electric shocks. These grounding panels are normally found buried deep beneath the ground, where people or animals aren’t in danger of coming into contact with them.


These are magnetically operated switches which create a magnetic field that switch the relay contacts once power is applied to the coil.


Like those found at www.osmelectrical.com, fuses serve the same purpose as a circuit breaker. The difference is that they can only be tripped once.

Ethernet switch

As explained on https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethernet_switch, an ethernet switch is a device which is able to create a network between the computers attached to it.

Overcurrent protection devices

These protect the machines that are linked to the industrial control panel by stopping power surges, using a combination of fuse circuits and circuit breakers.

Author: Richard Brown

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