There are several different types of industrial electrical cabinets which can vary in size and capacity depending on the functions they serve. Some examples are:
The hub of an industrial power system is the Power Control Center (PCC) through which power enters the facility. PCCs contain busbars, transformers, and circuits that supply electricity to Motor Control Centers (MCCs).
In large industrial settings—such as manufacturing and the petrochemical industry—Motor Control Centers (MCCs) are quite common. True to their name, they control and provide power to motors. These motors typically serve functions such as driving pumps, powering large-scale manufacturing equipment (like mixers, rolling equipment, conveyer belts, etc.), and any other functions where a motor is required.
MCCs are typically large vertical cabinets or enclosures that contain busbars and switchgears which handle high-voltage loads.
A Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) is basically a computer in an enclosure that supervises electrical equipment. Depending on pre-programmed commands, the PLC carries out functions such as: driving a motor-controlled valve, operating start/stop motors and machinery, and monitoring pressure and/or temperature. PLCs can be programmed to take specific actions if a process reaches parameters that require an action to safeguard the equipment and personnel.
In many industries, electrical cabinets are also installed in hazardous areas. This is particularly the case where flammable vapors and gases may be present. Any spark from the operation of a switchgear in the cabinet is a potential ignition source. Therefore, the specially-built cabinet enclosure will be explosion-proof rated. There are various classes of enclosures depending on the hazard present.
Electrical cabinets can also be designed to protect the enclosure contents from hazardous chemicals and exceptionally dusty environments.