The Main Components of the Industrial Control System

Industrial control panels are assemblies that permit the control and management of mechanical machinery and industrial equipment. Depending on the application and present machinery, the components of the industrial control system will often vary. Nevertheless, the control panel will regularly feature relays, switches, circuit protection devices, sensors, and other various parts that all work together. In this blog, we will discuss the primary components of the industrial control system, allowing you to understand how they function and assist the management of machinery and equipment.

Power Supply

The power supply of the assembly is what is used to convert alternating current into direct current for various components. Across most applications, the power supply will convert 120V AC to 24V DC.


Just as some components require DC power, others need AC voltage. With transformer parts, AC voltages can be increased or decreased between circuits. Oftentimes, transformer parts are used to convert 480V currents into 120V currents so that different devices can be optimally powered.

Programmable Logic Controller (PLC)

The programmable logic controller is the computer that controls and manages all system processes. For example, they may be used to operate assembly lines and machinery for a specific operation. In order for PLCs to achieve their functionality, they utilize computer language and monitor all sensor inputs and control outputs.

Ethernet Switch

The Ethernet switch is used to facilitate communication between various control panel devices. They may also be used to communicate with external network devices such as SCADA systems, information systems, or other control panels.

Terminal Blocks

With the use of terminal blocks, wires can be attached to one another in order to provide power for all components. While some terminal blocks may serve for internal connections, others may facilitate the attachment of field components.

Wire Duct

In order to maintain cable control for the benefit of maintenance and organization, the wire duct provides housing for all control panel wires and serves as the perimeter of the panel.


Relays are a type of switch that are electrically or magnetically operated, and they are often utilized to control large currents with a smaller current. With the use of relay parts and an electromagnet, electrical current can be induced to the relay in order to produce a magnetic field. With the magnetic field, contacts can be closed or opened in order to carry out an operation.


Contactors are similar to relays, capable of switching electrical currents between on and off states. While relays are more capable of handling smaller currents, contactor parts can take on applications featuring higher currents such as controlling electric motors.

Overload Relay

The overload relay is a component that is used to safeguard electric motors from overheating. To do this, the overload relay ensures that the motor is incapable of drawing on more amps than permitted.

Circuit Breakers

As electrical current will run throughout the industrial control system during standard operations, circuit breakers are important equipment pieces that serve to protect sensitive components from overload conditions by breaking circuits when a fault is detected.


Fuses are similar to circuit breakers in their role of protecting the assembly, though they are a one-time use sacrificial device. When an overload condition occurs, fuse wires are designed to break down so that current is immediately stopped.

Disconnect Switch

When one needs to repair or maintain the control panel and its parts, disconnect switches are used to disconnect the panel and all its components from the electrical supply. Also benefiting emergencies, disconnect switches are important for the protection of operators and parts.


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