Automation and Control Systems, LLC Digitalizes Panel Modification and Wire Processing for Increased Productivity and Growth

MC Automation and Control Systems Digitalizes Panel Modification 1 400x275

November 25, 2022


As a full-service control systems integrator, Mississippi-based Automation and Control Systems, LLC (ACS) was facing a handful of common yet critical challenges in modifying, assembling, and wiring industrial panels. Labor shortages, time-consuming manual tasks, and legacy design and engineering programs made it difficult for ACS to scale their business and expand their footprint as a state-of-the-art system integrator and panel shop. 

Plus, emerging market forces such as supply chain disruptions and increases in shipping costs accelerated the need for modification and assembly process automation, as well as a digitalized design and engineering platform that simplified alterations and revisions to panel schematics. 

In order to overcome these hurdles, ACS partnered with Rittal and our Rittal Automation Systems (RAS) suite of panel and wire modification machines to optimize workflows through more detailed and precise cuts, drilling, hole punching, and wire processing and crimping. Rittal’s Perforex MT milling machine and Wire Terminal processing center helped reduce labor costs by 75% and gave ACS the capability to facilitate multiple tasks simultaneously while still ensuring a high-quality end product for their customers.

Combining the Perforex’s automated panel modification with Eplan’s CAE platform further increased productivity and efficiency through detailed 3D modeling, digital twins, and real-time design changes. In addition, bringing together Rittal’s Wiring Terminal, WT-36, and EPLAN’s Smart Wiring platform created a digitalized, fully automated wire processing ecosystem that reduced errors, saved time, and helped overcome labor shortages.

Watch this video to see how Automation and Control Systems, LLC Digitalizes Panel Modification and Wire Processing


“Integrating the RAS equipment with Eplan allowed us to automate our workflows at every stage, from the engineering process to the shop floor,” said ACS President, Clay McNutt. “One engineer is able to complete multiple tasks at any given time and this efficiency has helped us provide a better product for the end-user.” 

In addition, Rittal’s Wire Terminal and EPLAN’s Smart Wiring platform allowed ACS to upgrade the panel wiring process, a manual task that can typically account for up to 49% of enclosure processing. Manual panel wiring can be automated to increase workflows up to 8X faster with Rittal and Eplan technology. Capabilities of the WT-36 include selecting wire type, printing on the insulation, cutting to length, stripping the insulation, and crimping the ferrules. The wires are then deposited to a wire rail and kept in sequence for subsequent work steps. 

This automated wiring technology has enabled ACS to meet the increased demand of their current customers and bring in new customers that they wouldn’t have been able to support without the RAS machines and Eplan technology. Precious resources previously used in manual tasks are freed up with the switch to automated solutions – the technician’s time can be used to complete additional projects. 

To streamline the wiring process, design the wire routing in EPLAN Pro Panel and export the file to the WT-36 which builds the sequence creating an optimized workflow for panel wiring. The 3D wiring guidance of EPLAN Smart Wiring is synchronized with the processed wire for an optimized 1:1 workflow. This technology streamlined the panel wiring process for ACS by providing the exact wire path needed and allowed their technicians to move faster and more accurately. 

“Without the combination of EPLAN Smart Wiring and the WT-36 our team wouldn’t have the tools for the automation, speed, and precision our customers require” states McNutt. McNutt credits the vertically integrated nature of the RAS suite and its ability to create a more connected value chain with allowing ACS to partner with customers they otherwise would have been unable to serve. 

“Since integrating the Perforex, WT-36, and EPLAN, we’ve taken on multiple customers that require high volume work and consistent repeatability,” said McNutt. “Automating the panel building process with Rittal has made it possible for us to take on these projects and grow our business.” 

Aside from helping to combat labor shortages and costs, the combination of the Perforex MT, the WT-36, and Eplan helped ACS seamlessly adapt to a new, industry-wide paradigm shift in panel design and building: digitalization in modern manufacturing.

McNutt also feels partnering with Rittal and Eplan on an automated panel modification and assembly system makes it easier than ever before to accomplish their most foundational goal: Providing their customers with the products they need to succeed. 

“We’re able to do more work in less time with a much higher degree of quality,” said McNutt. “Rittal and Eplan have allowed us to accomplish that.”  

To learn more about how Rittal’s RAS suite can help you increase your panel building and wiring efficiency by 85%, click here 



Rittal Logo 300x300







Related Articles

  • Humber College Receives $30 Million Gift from the Barrett Family Foundation

    Humber College Receives $30 Million Gift from the Barrett Family Foundation

    January 27, 2023 Humber College is the recipient of a $30 million gift from the Barrett Family Foundation, marking the largest single donation made to an Ontario college. Combined with their donations to Humber’s Unlimited Campaign, the Barrett Family Foundation has given a total of $42 million, making their donation the largest in Canadian college history…. Read More…

Latest Articles

  • Rotary Encoders for Harsh Environments

    January 30, 2023 Rotary encoders are electromechanical devices that provide feedback on the rotational movement of an axle or shaft. Comprising two parts – a reader and a scale – they typically accomplish this task either by either “absolute encoding” or “incremental encoding”: Absolute encoders measure the precise angular position of the reader relative to… Read More…

  • Energy Technology Perspectives 2023

    Energy Technology Perspectives 2023

    Energy Technology Perspectives 2023 highlights major market and employment opportunities, as well as the emerging risks, for countries racing to lead the clean energy industries of today and tomorrow. The energy world is at the dawn of a new industrial age – the age of clean energy technology manufacturing – that is creating major new markets and millions of jobs but also raising new risks, prompting countries across the globe to devise industrial strategies to secure their place in the new global energy economy, according to a major new IEA report. Read More…

Featured Article

Access Management for Your Plant and Machinery

With PILZ’s “Identification and Access Management” portfolio, they offer you a comprehensive range of products, solutions and software for the implementation of safety as well as security tasks. Below you’ll discover more about potential applications, from simple authentication to complex access permissions, and access management through to safe operating mode selection, maintenance safeguarding and safeguarding of data and networks. Experience safety and security in one system!

This solution ensures that a machine cannot resume operation while people are still in the danger zone. The maintenance safeguarding system “key-in-pocket” is designed for machines with danger zones, which are protected by a safety fence and which staff need to access – robot cells for example. In comparison with conventional lockout-tagout (LOTO) systems, maintenance safeguarding with the key-in-pocket solution is implemented via RFID keys with corresponding permissions and a safe list in the PILZ controllers. As a result, it provides a purely electronic restart protection and makes both mechanical interlocking devices and warning tags redundant.

Read more


  • The One Stop Shop for Industrial Sensors

    January 30, 2023 POSITAL understands how frustrating and costly it can be when your operations are standing still because of a broken encoder. They are here to help! The new webshop of POSITAL aims to make it easier for purchasers or MRO customers to get the parts they need to keep their machines running and… Read More…

  • New Schmalz End-of-Arm Tooling Components from AutomationDirect

    January 30, 2023 AutomationDirect now offers end-of-arm tooling components for robot arm vacuum pick-and-place applications. Components can be purchased individually or in kits that include everything needed to create a single-beam or dual-beam end-of-arm tool. End-of-arm tooling components for vacuum pick-and-place systems are used to create tooling that connects to the end of a robot… Read More…