I am very upset!!
My name is Paolo, I am a Brazilian panel builder. I assemble low voltage power distribution panels using enclosure systems from International manufacturers also known as “functional” panels… and I’m tired of it! I can only state that the expectations are not met…
International manufacturers (ABB, Schneider, WEG…) promote “functional” or “modular” systems (for beginners sold in the form of kit, just like Ikea furniture!). The other solution is to use standard metal-sheet enclosures that many panel builders manufacture themselves.
I first thought that the kit system allowed me to save time with the assembling… However, there are a lot of drawbacks that make me question the relevance of this kind of “kit” offer…
- As soon as you need to add extra functions which are not provided in the kit manufacturer’s catalogue (like motor starter, power supply…), the installation becomes complicated and cannot be optimized… What a waste of time!
- If by misfortune you have to add a functional unit in a panel which is already full, it becomes a tough nut to crack whereas with local sheet manufacturing you always find space to add components as you can install them in the way you need… What a waste of time!
- It’s a closed system in which you have no other option but to use the devices from the same manufacturer… and you take the risk not to get all the references available at your distributor, not to mention the price of the equipment! … What a waste of time!
- There’re way too much packaging, what a waste! Not to mention sorting the items when receiving the products… When I have 4 or 5 columns to assemble and to connect I receive everything in bulk and it’s not even in the assembling order, I’m all confused!… What a waste of time!
Well, I admit that kit system make it easier to do things in compliance with standard. True, it offers somewhat of a guarantee but… with all these constraints, Is the kit system more advantageous at the end? As far as I’m concerned, I’d rather feel free to assemble the components the way I want and avoid all these constraints and waste of time… What about you?
Do you face the same problems as me? Do you know any alternative solutions? What is being used in your country?
For each comment, a free caipirinha! :)