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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve been doing industrial automation control work for over 35 years. I see many levels of craftsmanship. More often than not as of late there is an attitude of if it works ship it. Being a self-employed contractor leaves me no choice but to button my lip and let it slide (unless it’s an obvious you gotta fix that situation). Some of the stuff is so simple to do it right - why wouldn’t you do it right?! Case in point: cutting terminal jumper bars. I’m forced use jumper bars that need to be cut to length (because that’s what the company uses). I use my cable cutters to do this with good results - nice straight cuts. Others use side cutters or linesmen pliers on a 45deg cut.
What is your opinion on levels of craftsmanship these days? I know this a small detail in a panel, but it’s only one detail. There is many more I could mention. Personally I’d rather have someone say that’s a great panel versus I hope I never have to work on that thing.
Do the best you can do and learn from others along the way. We’re never to old to learn a better way.


White Light Product Architecture Office equipment

Product Grille Electrical wiring Audio equipment Cable
 

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In my normal day to day stuff I use single jumpers for safety circuits. And if I make a terminal block buss using jumpers, I just use full bars if room permits. Sometimes cut one end with a straight cut using dikes if need be.

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I'm at the mercy of what's here already, that's been messed with by countless individuals before me. Much of it is a dog's breakfast.

Most new stuff gets put in by a contractor. Great big new control boxes (very neat inside tho) taking up space we don't have.

One of the panels I have my nose in regularly...
View attachment 167608
I'll try to remember to take pictures of the death traps at my work one day..

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I’ve been doing industrial automation control work for over 35 years. I see many levels of craftsmanship. More often than not as of late there is an attitude of if it works ship it. Being a self-employed contractor leaves me no choice but to button my lip and let it slide (unless it’s an obvious you gotta fix that situation). Some of the stuff is so simple to do it right - why wouldn’t you do it right?! Case in point: cutting terminal jumper bars. I’m forced use jumper bars that need to be cut to length (because that’s what the company uses). I use my cable cutters to do this with good results - nice straight cuts. Others use side cutters or linesmen pliers on a 45deg cut.
What is your opinion on levels of craftsmanship these days? I know this a small detail in a panel, but it’s only one detail. There is many more I could mention. Personally I’d rather have someone say that’s a great panel versus I hope I never have to work on that thing.
Do the best you can do and learn from others along the way. We’re never to old to learn a better way.


View attachment 167606
View attachment 167607
I forgot to mention that the equipment I work on is new OEM going to various customers in the manufacturing world.
 

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If the parts department keeps up on orders I like to use these.


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I hate them with a passion. When troubleshooting i need to be able to narrow the problem down which is easy with the push-in terminal jumper's as you simply grab them with needle nose pliers and pull them out. They also sucks if you have a bad block which means undoing all of the little screws.

Push-in terminal jumpers are available in many different lengths so i keep a box full of different sizes rather than cutting them.
 

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I'm at the mercy of what's here already, that's been messed with by countless individuals before me. Much of it is a dog's breakfast.

Most new stuff gets put in by a contractor. Great big new control boxes (very neat inside tho) taking up space we don't have.

One of the panels I have my nose in regularly...
View attachment 167608
I too have control panels that are a rat's nest.

Or no documentation of what's been added or changed.

Been trying to clean up some of them the best I can.

Unless you are the first one in a box, there is not much you can do.

As far as a big enclosure with not much in it, VFD's and other electronic devices produce a lot of heat.

The volume of the enclosure helps with disapating the heat.

We are upgrading a few panels with new VFD's, due to existing model being discontinued.

We provided the enclosure manufacturer with the information of what's in the enclosure and the potential ambient temperature of the room.

The new panels are 30% larger than the existing, deeper for the new VFD's, and they have AC units.
 

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The volume of the enclosure helps with disapating the heat.

We are upgrading a few panels with new VFD's, due to existing model being discontinued.

We provided the enclosure manufacturer with the information of what's in the enclosure and the potential ambient temperature of the room.

The new panels are 30% larger than the existing, deeper for the new VFD's, and they have AC units.
Its mostly the addition of a whole new PLC enclosure each time a new piece of equipment or alarm point gets added. Its always a new box, never find space in an existing box. A ship has a finite size.
 

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Bilge Rat
motors and controls.........
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I use my cable cutters with great results. Works with PhoenixContact style jumper bars and the ones with the screws in ‘em too! No filing or de-burring, nice straight cuts every time.
View attachment 167781
Same here, those cutters use a shearing action which results in a cleaner cut.
 

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Hackenschmidt
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I use my cable cutters with great results. Works with PhoenixContact style jumper bars and the ones with the screws in ‘em too! No filing or de-burring, nice straight cuts every time.
Same here, those cutters use a shearing action which results in a cleaner cut.
I wouldn't have thought of that, I am going to have to give it a try. Good info, thanks!
 

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I’ve been doing industrial automation control work for over 35 years. I see many levels of craftsmanship. More often than not as of late there is an attitude of if it works ship it. Being a self-employed contractor leaves me no choice but to button my lip and let it slide (unless it’s an obvious you gotta fix that situation). Some of the stuff is so simple to do it right - why wouldn’t you do it right?! Case in point: cutting terminal jumper bars. I’m forced use jumper bars that need to be cut to length (because that’s what the company uses). I use my cable cutters to do this with good results - nice straight cuts. Others use side cutters or linesmen pliers on a 45deg cut.
What is your opinion on levels of craftsmanship these days? I know this a small detail in a panel, but it’s only one detail. There is many more I could mention. Personally I’d rather have someone say that’s a great panel versus I hope I never have to work on that thing.
Do the best you can do and learn from others along the way. We’re never to old to learn a better way.


View attachment 167606
View attachment 167607
Welcome to the forum. I am a firm supporter of neatness and documentation. So I concur and most of these guys around here know how I feel about this. I'm anal when it comes to this ****.

I'm at the mercy of what's here already, that's been messed with by countless individuals before me. Much of it is a dog's breakfast.
Most new stuff gets put in by a contractor. Great big new control boxes (very neat inside tho) taking up space we don't have.
One of the panels I have my nose in regularly...
View attachment 167608
I always hated it when they would buy new equipment with zero input from the guys that had to work on it. I preferred to design and build my own control scheme. But it took me longer as I had a plant to keep running. Also new machinery came with its own control panel and hopefully a good schematic.
One of my issues was guys that would make changes and not document it. Just do anything they could to get it running and not consider the next guy. And I understood that. But we had a procedure for changes and it was not always followed.

I forgot to mention that the equipment I work on is new OEM going to various customers in the manufacturing world.
American built equipment? I almost took a job in a panel shop many years ago.
 

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The latest ugly issue I had with panels, they stripped the cover off of all the analog as soon as they entered the panel. Then they routed them to the PLC, at this point all shields were touching and not single point to ground. This was done on two jobs and different installers.
 

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The latest ugly issue I had with panels, they stripped the cover off of all the analog as soon as they entered the panel. Then they routed them to the PLC, at this point all shields were touching and not single point to ground. This was done on two jobs and different installers.
I've seen that many times over the years. Then some wonder why there are control issues. I added metering the shield of each analog device to ground at the PLC/DCS as part of my QC. It was met with a ton of push-back. My argument was "How can you say it isn't grounded at more than one spot unless you check.it?". That convinced many of the more detail orientated guys.
One guy argued with me saying it didn't work. When I tried to meter the shield it was showing continuity to ground. When I opened the only junction box in the loop, and looked at the Field side, that he did, I saw all the foil ripped off. I said "Well here's the problem. You didn't listen to how I told and showed you how to work on Belden cables.". I separated the shields, metered them from the PLC, and they were clear. Told the guy to redo the whole box, and do it properly this time. Never had an issue with his work after that.
 

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I've seen that many times over the years. Then some wonder why there are control issues. I added metering the shield of each analog device to ground at the PLC/DCS as part of my QC. It was met with a ton of push-back. My argument was "How can you say it isn't grounded at more than one spot unless you check.it?". That convinced many of the more detail orientated guys.
One guy argued with me saying it didn't work. When I tried to meter the shield it was showing continuity to ground. When I opened the only junction box in the loop, and looked at the Field side, that he did, I saw all the foil ripped off. I said "Well here's the problem. You didn't listen to how I told and showed you how to work on Belden cables.". I separated the shields, metered them from the PLC, and they were clear. Told the guy to redo the whole box, and do it properly this time. Never had an issue with his work after that.
The first contractor had an engineering firm on the job "OK" it, saying since it was 4-20 it would not cause any issues but it was not good practice. Other panel is a pilot job and I do not own it yet, but will not except it when time comes. They are using some voltage feedback and it can cause me issues in the future.
 

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I strip 4 inches of 16g green then use the insulation to cover the analog ground then 1" of heat shrink so the cable ground is never exposed. I do this as i tend to work analog live when calibrating and testing which avoids shorting out the ground due the mess of naked shields.
 
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