Control panels remain a cornerstone of industrial and military operations, and the reliability of the classic control panel means they’re unlikely to be completely upended. However, new technology is changing how the control panels industry works, and the field will continue to change.
While control panels have often connected to computers, the computers older panels connected to were far simpler than modern devices. As computers play a larger role in industry and the military, control panels have to adjust. Control panels that used to rely on parallel and serial ports often now use USB and other newer connection technologies. Other control panel manufacturers can even embed computers within the control panels for more versatile operation.
One of the great aspects of control panels is their simple interface. However, automation continues to grow in various industries, and control panels need to adjust. While control panel manufacturers still rely on the same building components, many are now making panels that are more automated, leading to better operability with modern industries. These automated designs allow people to not allow use the control panels themselves, but they also allow self-monitoring and usage when humans are not present.
In the heyday of control panels, industries often paid little attention to energy efficiency. Control panel manufacturers today, however, realize that businesses and military operations want to conserve their usable energy. More efficient internal components can help, as can new lighting technologies. LED lighting, for example, is supplanting incandescent lighting, leading to less energy usage and better reliability.
Today’s control panels remain as robust and easy to use as ever before, but there has been evolution, even if most of it occurs underneath the visible portion of the panel. As computers and automation continue to change the industry, control panels will continue to adjust.