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Topics: Sub-panels into industrial control panels on Variable frequency drive
Start by
Mike Jeske
09-30-2013 10:10 AM

Sub-panels into industrial control panels

Looking for innovative systems, mechanisms, or procedures for physically "loading" sub-panels into industrial control panels. Most particularly large sizes with VFDs. Any thoughts to share?
09-30-2013 12:48 PM
Top #2
Ed Driscoll
09-30-2013 12:48 PM
Years ago I worked contract for a large
Canadian panel builder, of Press Txfr.
Lots of drives and deep heavy off CG crap
drilled and tapped to 6' x 6' backplanes.
They had an Iraqi panel shop lead...
[this guy had the coolest stories]
He did everything "his" way...
He had all the box's worked on there back
doors removed on pallets and cardboard
so he could fork truck them around
to do the connector holes and weld on the
tapping plates for the eventual home on the balcony.
He put bolts threaded in thru back panel to mount 4
eye's, threaded just for lifting, just inside the
normal hammond/hoffman backplane mounting bolts.
Craned off the easel stands that he drilled and wired on
into a horizontal position... lay backpanel in box with the crane...
Put TFN Caps "nipple-caps" over the bolts...looks good...CSA.
09-30-2013 03:25 PM
Top #3
Mike Jeske
09-30-2013 03:25 PM
I've thought about doing similar but feared that the weight of the VFDs would be too much stress for the sub-panel when held up horizontally. Interesting to hear that it worked well with such large sub-panels. Thanks for your input.
09-30-2013 05:37 PM
Top #4
Manny Freshman
09-30-2013 05:37 PM
Mike - I have a customer that provides unique lifting/handling solutions made in the USA. The companies name is Gorbel, located in upstate NY. Special end effectors are available or can be made to accommodate almost any type of load. Here is a link to their website: https://www.gorbel.com/Products/Intelligentliftdevices/gforceiQ.aspx. If you watch the videos, you will get a better understanding for what Gorbel offers.
09-30-2013 07:53 PM
Top #5
Steve Evers
09-30-2013 07:53 PM
Mike, do you need large or custom linear systems for guided motion? I'd talk to Tony Cirone 1-800-622-7661 he's been doing this kind of mechanical design for over 20 years. Once you've solved the mechanical layout drawings with him you can do all the motor sizing, gearbox and controls with your own Mitsubishi stuff.
09-30-2013 10:39 PM
Top #6
- -.
09-30-2013 10:39 PM

Hiwin can offer you some solutions. Please contact Jean-Marie at 630-883-4424. In the meantime check out our website at www.hiwin.com
10-01-2013 12:43 AM
Top #7
Jeff Mowers
10-01-2013 12:43 AM
Mike, I would suggest reviewing some of the products offered by the Rollon Corporation (www.rolloncorp.com) for "innovative systems and mechanisms" to accomplish your linear movement challenge. We offer actuators that allow for the simple integration of your own motor solutions as well as guideways for all the load management.
10-01-2013 03:34 AM
Top #8
Mike Jeske
10-01-2013 03:34 AM
I see how these recommended products can be useful in designing a system but am really looking for another panels shops previous experience on an overall design for such as Ed's description. As a custom job shop, we're certainly not going to be investing in an automated system. We just need a safe, tried and true, mechanical setup. More than likely this will be something we can build ourselves as we have a fully capable metal fabrication department but if there is a company that has developed and markets something specifically geared towards a VFD panelbuilder, I would entertain purchasing that product. Any other design suggestions from any of the hundreds of panel builders out there would be much appreciated. I know most are reluctant to reveal "secrets" that may give their competition an advantage but this is strictly for the safety of my employees. Thanks!!
10-01-2013 05:48 AM
Top #9
Mike Jeske
10-01-2013 05:48 AM
Apparently I've not been clear. I design and engineer industrial control panels which often include VFDs. We have the engineering, designing, and building under control as we typically do about a million in control panels a year. We are currently using an overhead crane to load in the sub-panels by hanging the sub-panel from a chain. This has proven to be an awkward system. We've had a couple thoughts on designing a better balanced loading mechanism that would attach to the sub-panel and hang from the crane. I am simply looking for other panel builders out there to share what type of setup they use for this. Again, only an issue when there are large drives & reactors on the sub-panel. I hope this makes sense to someone out there.
Thank you all for your time and input.
10-01-2013 10:13 AM
Top #10
10-01-2013 10:13 AM
In general,we adopt following for large drives

1.We hang the drive in a single hook from the crane using suitably designed supports
2.Supports are designed specifically to each type of drive based on size and weight. These supports facilitate single point hanging by hook by means of over head travel crane
3.We position drive using only up and down motion against panel back plate.
4.Panel back plates are fitted with custom designed supports to drive enclosure.
5.We provide additional power terminals and control terminals.
6.We always find that mechanical fixing arrangements of drive enclosure is NOT ADEQUATE and reinforce them with our own supports.
7.For large drives, we allocate one vertical section of panel for mounting,so that we can position drive from top using cranes.
Hope the above helps
10-01-2013 11:14 AM
Top #11
Kevin White
10-01-2013 11:14 AM
Roller table, length = 2x panel depth, width = 80% door opening width
Bolted to temp holes in back panel at one end
Frame at other end with various vertical sets of holes to match various backplate holes.
Load onto roller table with crane or fork truck, use a jig (wood) to square off and support the bottom of the drive /assembly and provide a smooth surface for the rollers..

I'm sure there are more sophisticated methods but this is cheap and proven.

It only fails if the bottom of the drive/assembly is not strong enough to take the weight even on a supporting jig with holes or cut outs for projections.
Even an unstable top heavy load can work with a well designed jig/base
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