A lot of people think the panel industry is a quiet, staid industry where very little innovation happens. That may have been true decades ago, but electrical control panel fabrication has enjoyed the benefits of new technology. And UCEC is definitely taking advantage of these new technology innovations to bring our customers better panels with greater efficiencies.
Below are five ways new tech helps our customers.
1. We're forward thinking
UCEC is on the forefront of adopting new tech for our panels. Using the latest innovations allows us to create panels more efficiently which benefits our customers. Others are noticing what we are doing.
UCEC has been featured on CompanyWeek, an online publication dedicated to news about the Rocky Mountain manufacturing economy. CompanyWeek has a unique focus on the "new" manufacturing sector with its progressive emphasis on new tech.
Featuring an extensive interview with our CEO and President Mark Inboden, the article touches on UCEC's history and exciting upcoming plans. Learn more about why Mark wants to take UCEC into the future with the industry's first wireless panels.
2. Our new technology has to benefit the customer
We constantly evaluate new technology. Why? We need to make sure we're serving our customers using the best and brightest tech out there. "Every dollar we spend has to make sense," CEO and President Mark Inboden says. "If we place a "bet" on some new technology, it has to benefit all parties."
3. UCEC is dedicated to solving problems for our partners
We work hard to cultivate great relationships with our valuable partners. From time to time, we share those relationships with our blog readers in the form of Partner Spotlights.
Not too long ago, the Golden, CO office of Logical Systems, LLC came to us with a special panel project. We've detailed this RFID panel project in our case study.
You can download it below by clicking on the link.
4. We save our customers time and create a better product
Sometimes, a new machine can make a huge difference. A great new piece of technology joined the shop earlier this year: a Schleuniger wire stripping and cutting machine. Made of three components, the new tech allows us to improve our wire consistency and greatly increase efficiency.
The “new” way of stripping and cutting wires beats the “old” way. Previously, an employee on my team would need to walk over to a wire spool and pull the wires they needed, then cut them to the same length. Finally, they would have to strip the ends of the wires to a desired length. This took a lot of time and energy because it’s common to need 200 identical pieces of wire for a job.
Now, with the Schleuniger machine, we load up a spool and input the wire gauge; how long we want our pieces; and whether or not we want the ends stripped. The machine feeds the wire in; cuts and strips it; and then places them neatly on a wire stacker.
Every efficiency we enjoy is passed on to our customers; when we work more efficiently, our customers receive their projects faster. We take great pride in our work, and having the latest technology is just one more way we can produce the best handcrafted electrical control panels anywhere.
5. Some new tech upgrades make sense for our customers and are just plain awesome
Recently, we upgraded our engraving software. This software is used to engrave the phenolic nameplates that we affix to the panel cabinets. Nameplate engraving is an example of technology that hasn’t changed for decades. But recent improvements in software led us to make the upgrade. (Phenolic nameplates are made of a material similar to plastic. Our engraving machine mechanically cuts away the top layer of the nameplate, exposing the contrasting color of the next layer. This permanent lettering is ideal for panel cabinets because it can’t be rubbed off.)
We’ve been working with the new software and it’s enabled us to be more efficient in our engraving (we do a lot of it). We can also scan images into the software program, so we can engrave customer logos with a cool texture or shadow.
Our new engraving software is a small piece of the entire puzzle of a panel, but it’s a great value add. By affixing a logo (the customer’s or ours, or both) we create a little bit more customization that echoes the panel itself: unique, handcrafted and entirely one-of-a-kind.
We are constantly evaluating upgrades to our current systems and processes, and only pursuing those that are cost effective and provide a better product for our customers.