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Old March 3rd, 2018, 07:07 PM   #1
RheinhardtP
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Office Test Bench/Lab

Hi All,

So we are moving the company to new offices and we have decided to showcase the test bench/ lab area instead of hiding it away in a back room.

So my thinking is to use aluminium profile as the structure of the bench. I think it represents well and is easy to use if you need to alter/adapt change anything.

Portion of the bench will have an acrylic cover to close of power supply section. The rest will have loads of space for din rail to mount controlled, switches or whatever we might be testing at that point.

Below the desk top some drawers to hide the consumables normally used as well as the tools, and maybe some adjustable monitor stands or brackets for touch panels.

Because this will sit in our main office my biggest concern is that it would appear untidy due to cables going all over the place.

Im looking for some ideas around cable management or potentially integrating supply point into the base of the back-plane where the din rails would sit on.

I still want to make it easy to use for the guys when swapping out equipment between projects, and minimize the time it would take to make it look neat and tidy so our client can see the testing processes in action.

Anyone done this before? anything learned that you can share?

Like i said the cable management worries me the most but i am sure with the correct design this can be managed.

Would appreciate whatever advise , or experience you might have had on similar projects.

Oh and any photos with some ideas would be appreciated!!!!

Happy Coding!!!
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Last edited by RheinhardtP; March 3rd, 2018 at 07:13 PM. Reason: kos == pie
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Old March 3rd, 2018, 08:17 PM   #2
mendonsy
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Run some plastic wiring duct on the desk to contain the cables. The gray color would probably be less apparent and with a bit of thought you might be able to hide most of it behind the desk.
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Old March 3rd, 2018, 10:11 PM   #3
Saffa
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Some plastic spiral wrap should be easy enough to add afterwards to tidy things up.

My test bench is far from tidy! However what i do have is some old Remote IO mounted on DIN rail and wired to terminals. I have a PLC that is my I/O simulator that drives these. I don't bother with switches etc, all that gets done via the simulator.

Means that the only wiring that needs to change is from terminals to the PLC under test.

For complex stuff i write bespoke simulation code. For simple stuff i have a copy of Intouch and a simple program that drives outputs from buttons and displays inputs as lamps.
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Old March 4th, 2018, 05:10 PM   #4
Jeev
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You can run the cables behind the surface you are mounting the components to. That way everything just disappears down a hole at the front, and you can work on whatever you want at the back.

Don't forget a switch that turns the coloured LED illumination when people are walking through
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Old March 5th, 2018, 09:28 AM   #5
CapinWinky
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Get some stand-offs to mount you DIN rail a few inches ways from the backing (because you better be including some sort of permanent DIN rail if you have any hope of a tidy test bench) and then use door sweeps mounted on either side of large slots in the backing. All wires come out of components into the slots and disappears into the very easy to access space behind (ideally the DIN rail stuff flips up and self supports, like a hatchback or the other side is cabinet doors).

Also, any wire that is going to be used more than once needs to have ferrules, which means the test bench should own a crimper and array of ferrules. Also fancy terminal blocks and/or plenty of terminal block jumper bars so people aren't trying to cram more than one wire into a terminal point.
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Old March 5th, 2018, 10:23 AM   #6
JohnCalderwood
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I was given an (almost empty) room to make a test and training facility.
We had the wooden benches already, so they have boxes under the worktop for storing various spare parts, cables, keyboards etc - all labelled.

Above the bench we installed some 3-compartment plastic skirting trunking for the mains sockets and network points for PCs/laptops etc.
Each of the 3 walls was sheeted out above the worktops with some MDF (we make it here..!), these sheets are 6 feet high and about 12 feet wide.
On each of these walls, we have mounted 2 banks of distribution blocks (240V and 24V) alongside an 8-way ethernet hub, all at the top of the board. A power supply cabinet is in one corner of the room, with individual fuses for each of the distribution blocks.
The boards are kitted out with DIN rail, PLCs and slotted trunking, some PLCs are permanent, other spaces for projects.
We have PLC5, SLC, Siemens S7, ControlLogix mounted and used for training purposes, with some temporary switches and lights, as well as a dedicated SCADA system.
I also hope to put in a VSD and motor for training needs.

All done over a couple of years and developing as major projects allow, as we also have a manufacturing plant to run.
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Old March 6th, 2018, 08:45 PM   #7
RheinhardtP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeev View Post
You can run the cables behind the surface you are mounting the components to. That way everything just disappears down a hole at the front, and you can work on whatever you want at the back.
I like the idea of the cables being hidden completely behind the panels. Maybe something i will explore, i was also thinking perhaps to have connectors on the back plane . Back entry to the unit will be an issue for day to day power requirements. Im thinking the same with the network points a switch and then network point distributed across the board.

I am not too concerned about additional wiring as switches and other devices can be simulated through SCADA or HMI screens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnCalderwood View Post
I was given an (almost empty) room to make a test and training facility.
We had the wooden benches already, so they have boxes under the worktop for storing various spare parts, cables, keyboards etc - all labelled.

Above the bench we installed some 3-compartment plastic skirting trunking for the mains sockets and network points for PCs/laptops etc.
Each of the 3 walls was sheeted out above the worktops with some MDF (we make it here..!), these sheets are 6 feet high and about 12 feet wide.
On each of these walls, we have mounted 2 banks of distribution blocks (240V and 24V) alongside an 8-way ethernet hub, all at the top of the board. A power supply cabinet is in one corner of the room, with individual fuses for each of the distribution blocks.
The boards are kitted out with DIN rail, PLCs and slotted trunking, some PLCs are permanent, other spaces for projects.
We have PLC5, SLC, Siemens S7, ControlLogix mounted and used for training purposes, with some temporary switches and lights, as well as a dedicated SCADA system.
I also hope to put in a VSD and motor for training needs.

All done over a couple of years and developing as major projects allow, as we also have a manufacturing plant to run.
Any chance you can share a pic?
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Last edited by RheinhardtP; March 6th, 2018 at 08:51 PM.
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Old March 7th, 2018, 03:39 AM   #8
JohnCalderwood
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RheinhardtP,

attached are a couple of photos of the testroom

Work in progress as usual, other users of the room not as OCD as I am...!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg test_room1.jpg (41.7 KB, 74 views)
File Type: jpg test_room4.jpg (46.7 KB, 71 views)
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Old March 7th, 2018, 06:33 AM   #9
A_G
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I'm jealous, at every company I ever worked at, any "spare parts" set aside for testing/training were usually "borrowed" and used on customer jobs sooner or later
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Old March 7th, 2018, 01:53 PM   #10
RocketTester
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I recall that Panduit has (or had) a system where DIN-rail mounts on top of the plastic wiring channel. Personally, I don't like Panduit within an enclosure since the cables become harder to follow, but it does look nice and your setup is out in the open.

In one installation here, they mounted DIN-rail on the front of an aluminum panel and milled long slots alongside it, to feed cables in from the rear. In that case, the rear had DIN-rail T-blocks and was accessible, but yours is flush to the wall.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 11:15 PM   #11
RheinhardtP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnCalderwood View Post
RheinhardtP,

attached are a couple of photos of the testroom

Work in progress as usual, other users of the room not as OCD as I am...!
Thanks for that John,

Certainly gives me a good perspective of space required on the bench.

Anyone else have some good test bench pics they can share on here?
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