ecc-automation day tank enclosure back door

PLCs In Automation Control

Hard-wired electronic control versus full automation

Yesterday is the time for PLCs in electronic control

The industrial world has significantly advanced by leveraging computer power for automation today. However, some still opine that electronic controls for industrial-mechanical applications should remain “hard-wired.” They believe that harvesting the power of programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and integrated, expandable automation control related to its use should not be employed when it comes to certain types of machinery and equipment. This argument primarily comes from those experienced with traditional control systems. They are used to working with dials, buttons, and analog readout instruments. Unfamiliar with the power of a fully automated PLC solution and HMI readout, they stress simplicity. Yet, the growing demand for complex processes in turn requires modern automation technology that can handle them. The PLC-based solution for automation control, well-tested now over time, provides numerous benefits in terms of innovation, risk management, and increased efficiency.

Simpler paths to let the PLC centrally handle complexity

A more traditional electronic control system, unable to rely on the central processing power of a PLC, can require far more materials and work. More relays, controllers, and readout instrumentation can be required to handle industrial projects. For example, a data center requiring day tank control to supply diesel fuel backup generators would require significant more relays without a PLC. Without a PLC-based automation control for this system, a constant readout of remaining fuel would also require many more controllers. These additional electronic components and wiring increase the physical complexity. The impact in terms of higher costs of labor would be felt, from the stages of design and building up through the maintenance of the system.

One could make a strong case that if a PLC programmer’s logic is not sound, then yes, the ability to oversee and interact with the system could be a detriment when compared to a simpler hard-wired control process. Again, modern computing and the time-tested expertise behind advanced logic now offers enough PLC hardware and software to make this argument null.

PLC-based electronic control provides the ability to solve most any challenge to automating a process with the right components. One such advantage is making additions and upgrades to an industrial process. A new piece of equipment can be wired into the existing system. The programmable logic controller can be reprogrammed for its accommodation of the new modality.

Modern facilities now controlled through PLCs

If there is a modern industrial or commercial building facility, it is controlled by a PLC through the building management system (BMS). Equipment and machinery, wired one way or another to accomplish whatever process is necessary, is most likely integrated into that BMS.

Once mastered, the PLC’s human machine interface or HMI, allows field engineers to work smarter with more efficiency including Inputs and Outputs for alarm triggers and any kind of level readouts required, such as pressure of an operating steam boiler or fuel tank transfer process. The amount of time troubleshooting can be greatly reduced through programming sequences of operation that help isolate and readily identify the problem. Making the case for PLCs starts with demonstrating how much easier automation control becomes when the controller handles what is complex so the person in charge can focus on other priorities.


Electrical Wiring for Automation Controls

veins and arteries for electronic controls

If Programmable Logic Controllers are the brains of an automated control panel, and power sources are the heart, then electrical wiring would be the veins and arteries. And no matter the size of a project here at Electronic Control Corporation, we use tons of it. The need for scaling as we employ larger projects as well as multiple projects, while still maintaining the highest quality demands an automated high-volume widget capable of keeping our operations in optimal health as we flex to meet growing customer demands.

The Komax Kappa 320 for Automated Cutting and Stripping of Wires

Komax Kappa 320 - Electrical Wiring - ECC-Automation

The Kappa 320 Automated Cut and Strip Machine by Komax

ECC-Automation has procured the flexible, ultra-fast Komax Kappa 320 cut and strip wiring machine. This cutting and stripping machine offers the latest in high-range processing, and quick set-up for simple to harder electrical wiring materials. The controls are user-friendly and provide for great flexibility, allowing the operator to set-up job runs in no time.

A quick look at some features we like:

Electrical Wiring Sizes

This fully automated cut and strip machine we use for our electronic control panels allows for wire sizes from 0.05mm to 10mm2.

Inkjet marking

From Komax provided TopWin software, wiring can be custom-marked. This provides a tremendous advantage for electronic controller projects that require any unique identification on the wiring of a control panel.


Intuitive touch screen and software

TopTouch and TopWin, respectively, for seamless machine communications

Sensors like the optical cable detector

For quick job setup and significant reduction of material loss from cutting by early detection of stripping errors

As part of ECC-Automation commitment to producing state-of-the-art electronic controls, we continue to invest in equipment and operational assets that yield the quality and durability, regardless of the volume required. Our recent procurement of this cutting edge cut and strip wiring machine is now an integral part of keeping our operations running smoothly at an optimal level.

If you would like to learn more our approach to designing and manufacturing electronic control panels, including our wiring capabilities, give us a call today.

ecc-automation facility USA

New Control Panel Design and Manufacturing Facility for ECC Automation

ecc-automation facility USA

ECC-Automation’s new facility in Westminster, MD USA

Electronic Control Corp has now expanded into a larger control panel design and manufacturing facility, located in Westminster, Maryland USA. The company relocated to accommodate increasing demands of existing and future design project and manufacturing production requirements. All design, engineering, fabrication and quality testing of their electronic control panels & components now happens here. Once the completed electronic control systems are approved, they are shipped out of the new location to the project site for installation.


New equipment for electronic control design & manufacturing

As part of their commitment to the highest standards for electronic control manufacturing, Electronic Control Corporation continues to invest in modern technology and equipment. For example, building high quality electronic controls requires an unfathomable amount of wiring. Assuring a control panel is built with speed and volume, while maintain the highest quality requires a wiring machine to meet the demand. So ECC recently procured a brand new Komax Kappa 320 Cut and Strip machine to use in their new manufacturing space. The Kappa 320 cuts to length and strips the ends with extreme precision. This Cadillac of a cut and strip machine automatically ink-labels the wiring as well – for specific identification requirements of a project.

“Our Komax wiring machine gives us peace of mind knowing that every wire is stripped perfectly and is always the correct length. Production time goes down and quality goes up because issues like conductor strands being nicked, or a wire being cut too short are issues of the past.” ~Bradley Keck, Communications Engineer

Other areas of the facility include offices with the latest computer systems and software for designing electronic control systems, as well as developing the logic for programmable logic controllers.

Electronic Control Corp manufactures every system to exceed expectations

ECC Automation engineers work closely with clients to make sure their design fulfills every requirement, prior to product assembly. Once assembled, every control panel undergoes extensive quality control evaluation and testing procedures. Their goal: provide the highest quality electronic control systems to exceed expectations – 100+% customer satisfaction. As part of this goal, they have now expanded into a new control panel design and manufacturing facility. The growing company has procured state-of-the-art equipment and technology, continuing to offer the best automation control systems. Learn more here at and contact Electronic Control Corp today, so they can hear more about your automation control challenges.

ECC’s Polymer Control Panel

At ECC, we design and build panels to control entire industrial processes. One of our

recent projects was a full process control for a polymer manufacturing plant. We are precise

in our work so ECC’s polymer control panel handles every step from start to finish. From the raw materials

coming in on trucks to pumping out the finished product, our panel allows the operator to

control every step from one location.


This particular plant’s process has three main ingredients as well as a special

additive. Our process begins when a truck bearing one of the main ingredients arrives to be

off-loaded. After being hooked up to a transfer hose, the operator uses ECC’s control panel

to select which of the three holding tanks the ingredient will be transferred to. VFD (Variable

Frequency Drives) control pumps and a series of solenoid valves ensure that the ingredient

is added to the correct tank. The operator then starts and stops the transfer, and monitors

the holding tank fluid level via Red Lion PAX meters reading 4-20 mA signals from

Honeywell transmitters located on the top of each tank.


After starting the production process, an exact weight scale stops the transfer of

each ingredient into a blending tank after the operator’s selected amount of each has been

added. An ECC controlled mixer motor blends the mixture. Lastly, an additive is pumped in

with duplex air pumps from 55-gallon drums. The drums are located on another weigh scale

which measures weight differential for the utmost accuracy. After the blending process is

complete, an operator controlled discharge pump is employed to pump the finished product

to the next manufacturing stage of the plant.


This project proves that ECC’s control panels can do nearly anything in an industrial

environment. A crucial feature of any control system is to withstand the elements. This panel

was built to NEMA 4 standards to protect against water and dust ingression. Our panels can

also be built to resist corrosion from chemicals found in harsh environments. Any of our

panels can have the capability of integrating into a BMS (Building Management System) or a

SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system. These communications can be

over Ethernet, MODBUS, MODBUS/TCP, dry contacts or other mediums. Another

advantage of ECC controls is ease of troubleshooting. A logical design, neat wiring and easy

to follow drawings ensure that your system is backed up and running quickly after system

maintenance or replacing a component. Expansion room allows for future upgrades and

additions to your system without the need to replace preexisting controls. Please contact

ECC at 410-374-3057 or email us with any questions or to receive a quote today!polymer control panel - electronic control corporation

Electronic Control Duplex Switches

Technology is Transforming Duplex Control Panels

Duplex control panels are invaluable to facility managers. An intelligently configured duplex control panel can greatly expedite the management of multiple systems, from air-conditioning, heating, and refrigeration to plumbing and electric. They can alert the team at critical times such as when tanks are empty, tanks have been filled, fuel levels are low, or wastewater is high. Recently, cutting edge technology has changed the way that Electronic Control Corporation develops and builds duplex control panels today.

Alleviating the Pains of Older Duplex Control Panel Systems

Previously, in older systems, duplex control panels would require a lot of human interface, which translates into both more manual oversight and higher labor costs. Factoring in these elements, issues in the system could take longer to identify. This means more downtime for facilities and more time spent on fixing a problem, rather than operating the building. In addition, finding a solution to the problem could become timely and costly since, in some cases, highly skilled wiring logic could be necessary.

After hearing clients’ needs and recognizing a demand to make the process more efficient, Electronic Control Corporation began developing and testing a way to modernize duplex control systems. Now, duplex control panels can be manufactured with user-­friendly touchscreens and alarm systems, as well as other time­ and­ money saving capabilities.

NASA Updates Their System

In fact, NASA recently put ECC’s duplex control panels to the test at one of their facilities. ECC was hired by NASA to update and modernize a 15-year-­old wastewater and sewage pump system. The result was control panels that created more efficiencies and required overall less energy as it monitors and manages pumps throughout the building.

Running two 11 horsepower pumps, the duplex control panels contain elegantly designed current switchers and alternators. Phase monitoring is fed by dual power feeds, which is important for critical operations. If a fault is detected on a pump, the system is designed to automatically switch over to another pump. Likewise, it is important to have built-in redundancies to keep systems at optimal operating capacity. ECC ensured the NASA building included redundancies using two control circuits housed within the same panel, so that if one stops for any reason, the second control circuit kicks in seamlessly and pumps still function.

When to Update Aging Duplex Control Panels

Most manufacturing plants that have a system between 10­-15 years old are now recognizing a need for more modern duplex control systems. Systems this old or older tend to be outdated, have more downtime, and can be more difficult to operate. Building engineers and managers are now taking advantage of how ECC has modernized the development and operation of duplex controls.

For more information about building or updating a duplex control panel for your building, contact ECC today.

ECC Honeywell Controls

Touchscreen Control Panels: Changing the Way Facilities Run 

Duplex control panels have come a long way from the first iterations installed in buildings. Though many control stations can be custom tailored for nearly any application, some time­ and ­cost saving features like alarm systems and touchscreens are accelerating control panels into the future.

A Multitude of Benefits

Previously, facilities may have incurred high labor costs, as there was significant manual work. Now, that’s all changing. 
One of the biggest feature changes of the duplex control panels is the addition of the touchscreen. Touchscreens offer a multitude of benefits to the facility manager, such as offering a much more streamlined way to manage multiple processes and offering helpful email alerts for building maintenance reminders.

For example, the innovative touchscreen design aids building engineers to efficiently determine the reason why a pump may not have come on, thus enabling the engineers to troubleshoot quickly just by looking at the touchscreen interface.

Less Space

Engineers, along with other maintenance team members, appreciate that the touchscreen control panel takes up significantly less space. It is approximately half the size of a 
traditional control panel. The new and sleek design is a clean, user-friendly look, which eliminates a lot of unnecessary push buttons and lights.

See touchscreen control panels in a HVAC Supervisory Control system.

One of the most exciting features with the newly designed touchscreen duplex control panel is that when a building engineer or facility manager wants to add a new control or system alert, it is a seamless process to add on a function later, after the system has been installed. With older systems, adding capabilities like this would be a more significant undertaking. An additional benefit is that with the new systems, adding functionality can even be done remotely by ECC over the internet using remote login capabilities. Because the system can be used wirelessly, systems can be controlled in different rooms and can even be remotely monitored through BACnet, Modbus/Modbus TCP or IP.

Touchscreen Control Panels & Outdoor Usage

The one downside of most touchscreen control panels is when it comes to the outdoors. While the touchscreen panel is not recommended for direct sunlight use and should be kept away from water or moisture, ECC does has the capabilities to design and offer additional casing for those facilities that desire the advantages of the touchscreen, but need to use the system outside.

ECC is proud to be able to respond to our clients’ desires for more streamlined and innovative tools that help cut costs; the touchscreen duplex control panel is just our latest!

If you would like more information about touchscreen control panels, contact Electronic Control Corporation and we will be happy to answer all of your questions.


Finally – a Control System for Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater Harvesting is the process of capturing and utilizing rainwater which would otherwise be unused runoff. Harvesting this water represents an opportunity to easily take advantage of a renewable resource that is as useful as it is environmentally friendly! Without a collection system, consumers are missing out on taking part in this highly beneficial process that is rapidly gaining popularity. Luckily, Electronic Control Corp. can provide a control system to fit the consumer no matter what size, from a single home to an enterprise level campus or corporation.

The core benefits of a harvesting system are numerous. Rainwater can be used for irrigation, plants, livestock, fire suppression, indoor heating and cooling applications, and even domestic use (drinking, showering, etc.) if the harvesting system conducts treatment. And these are only a few of the uses of harvested rainwater! The fact that this water is acquired on-site means that every bit utilized is pure gain. This can be indispensable at times when water is in short supply. In fact, many consumers on the West Coast are now installing these systems in response to the recent drought that has been plaguing the area. Incentive programs and tax credits for use of these environmentally friendly, reliable, and sustainable systems are in place across the US.

Rainwater Harvesting System Design

The design of a Rainwater Harvesting system can vary greatly depending on the application. On a basic level, water is accumulated on an installed on preexisting surface and allowed to accumulate. Most commonly utilized are rooftops of both houses and large complexes. The gutter system provides the entry point into the harvester. The water then undergoes any treatment that is required for its intended use. This can range from having no treatment or be simply percolated if the water is to be used for a task such as irrigation, or be completely sanitized if the water is to be purposed for domestic use. Methods for this include the popular, efficient, and effective Ozone and Ultraviolet light sanitation systems. After any treatment, the water is then transported and stored to be reused. This can include being pumped to a tank near an area in need of irrigation, or integrating the water into an existing domestic water supply via control valves.

Rain Harvesting Controls

IDEC’s operator interface (OI) offers a great display – bright LCD touch screens and a user-friendly interface. Depending on your rain water harvesting system, the control will be customized to your needs.

Electronic Control Corp is capable of manufacturing UL Listed controls that ensure the harvester is reliable, efficient, cost effective, and requires minimum human interaction. Our controlsEvery homeowner could benefit from a base level, cost effective Harvester Control designed by ECC.

Large corporations, however, will greatly benefit from the advanced features and cutting edge technology that ECC is known for. For this type of operation, ECC would choose to use IDEC Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) as well as their high performance video-capable touchscreen. These robust controllers carry out important functions and allow an operator to manually make changes to the system, as well as view feedback from sensors and component statuses. Troubleshooting is fast because of our mission to provide organized and consistent wiring, informative electrical drawings, and the best choice of components. For example, our use of self-calibrating under/overload motor current monitoring devices make setup and troubleshooting easy for any operator.

ECC also understands how important networking is to our customers. That is why our panels are integrate-able into Building Management Systems (BMS) via Ethernet connections and the BACnet protocol. Even locations where running cables is impossible doesn’t stop ECC: our panels can be fitted with nodes that make wireless communication a breeze. These communication capabilities are extremely useful to our customers that utilize Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) software. This allows a central operation center to receive real time date from the Rainwater Harvester and be able to make changes right from the same location. Trending data can easily be archived for generating usage reports. Even without SCADA, IDEC PLCs are capable of natively serving a webpage which can display real time statuses, send email alerts, and even allow for programming changes from anywhere in the world!

ECC is proud to cater our panels to fit every niche of the Rainwater Harvester industry. We are confident that direct customers as well as system designers looking to private label our products will be more than satisfied with panels designed and built by Electronic Control Corp.


ECC completes Honeywell HC900 powered Heat Exchanger

We at Electronic Control Corp see the importance of staying on the cutting edge of modern, efficient, and robust control technologies. We strive to provide you with quality components, user friendly design, and informative drawings that exceed expectations. Our reputation ensures that companies and government agencies are confident in our products nationwide. These attributes are palpable in this Heat Exchanger Skid Package Controller designed by ECC to be installed in a government facility.

This project called for a powerful Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) to process the complex operations occurring in this application. ECC’s engineers are factory trained and certified on programming the Honeywell HC900 controller as well as the Honeywell 900 Control Station Touchscreen. We know that choosing this system will reliably serve the customer 24/7!

The project began by evaluating the customer’s requirements. Our panel will be controlling Modulating Valves and Pumps to precisely adjust and maintain water and steam temperatures. The purpose of this efficient system is to both heat the building, and supply domestic hot water to the restroom facilities and cafeteria. Temperatures are monitored via RTD Temperature Sensors, and the system features Summer/Winter modes to efficiently match the requirements of that season.

Once submittal drawings were sent to the customer for review, any changes were made and the panel was constructed. ECC is a UL508A Listed Panel Manufacturer and this panel was built to UL spec using all UL approved components. The enclosure, touch screen, and all buttons are UL Type 4 listed and therefore very waterproof. All programming and testing was conducted in house by ECC’s engineers. We even designed custom touch screen graphics tailored to be easy to follow for any operator. Password protection is utilized to ensure that only authorized personnel are able to make adjustments to the system. Below is a screenshot of the touchscreen’s homepage designed by ECC for this project. The full color graphic provides visuals for a technician of what is really happening in the system; not just numbers on a screen. Values will show temperatures at specific places in the system. Simply tapping on a value will display a more detailed breakdown, and allow that set point to be changed.
Image use for Control Station Home Page

An advantage of the HC900 is Honeywell’s comprehensive alarm and failure detection feature. Not only can it inform the operator and take action should a failure occur; the nature of the issue can be determined right from the screen. Specific alarms are used which make troubleshooting a breeze. Types of alarms include Input Sensor failure, Honeywell Rack or Module failure, 4-20mA failure, Time Clock failure, and many more. Another important feature of this project is network integration. This project called for the data to be remotely monitored and archived by the client’s preexisting Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. This was achieved by using the popular BACnet protocol to communicate over their standard Ethernet network, through the same cabling as the rest of their TCP/IP traffic.

The functionality doesn’t stop there however. The possibilities are limitless once a control system is on the network. Along with pulling data, the PLC can actually be controlled via the SCADA system as if the operator were standing right in front of it. Set Points can be changed and modes can be selected. To expand even further, these functions are not limited to local networks. ECC can configure your system to be accessible over the Internet from anywhere in the world! Emails can also be automatically dispatched to service personnel to inform them of system events such as failures or process completions.

Our customer was confident working with ECC on this project; they knew that our product would exceed their quality expectations and our system would meet all criteria of the application.  We look forward to fulfilling all of your industrial automation and control system needs!


Honeywell HC900

Electronic Control Corp is pleased to announce that we are now a certified Honeywell HC900 Systems Integrator. The Honeywell HC900 is a reliable and powerful, yet cost effective controller that is adaptable to control nearly any industrial process. From small batch operations to controlling an entire plant process, the Honeywell HC900 is the answer to the demands of modern process control. HC900

ECC chose to factory train and certify our engineers on the HC900 system because its simple and universal nature allow for fast start-ups, easy troubleshooting, and minimal software maintenance. It may be expanded with up to four additional remote racks. Additionally the HC900 may be interfaced with up to 32 devices such as peer to peer with other HC900s, and over Open Ethernet/Modbus RTU with SCADA systems and multiple HMIs- simultaneously. These two popular protocols allow for easy conversion to other protocols including Baknet and wireless LAN. Email capability lets alarm and event messages be sent to up to three email addresses. Connectivity is simple with dedicated communication blocks in the function block architecture! Function block architecture offers many advantages over traditional controller logic, due to the simplicity of pre-made function blocks. Why reinvent the wheel when over 125 function blocks can be used in any combination to write your program.

Mission critical applications require redundancy. Honeywell’s redundant control operation fits our goal to maximize up-time when you need it most. Even in the event of full CPU or power supply failure, Honeywell’s system fails over seamlessly to redundant components. Two CPUs run the same process and read inputs; however, only one CPU activates outputs at a time. A Redundant Switch Module (RSM) between the two CPUs shows which is lead and which is reserve, and allows the user to manually switch between them at any time.

Three rack sizes of the HC900 are available to better tailor to your specific needs. There are also three steps of CPU processing speed to match the demand of the application. ECC is capable of installing and programming Honeywell’s matching HMI (the 900 Series Control Station) in both 10″ and 15″ form factors built to NEMA 4X specs. These robust screens are programmable with many pre-designed graphics to save engineering time and costs. Straight forward graphics are user friendly for operators when accuracy counts. As well as directly controlling the HC900 for processes such as PID, Setpoint programming/scheduling, and sequencing; the 900 Series Control Station is very useful for data monitoring and logging. Data can be stored internally and accessed remotely via USB memory or web server. Monitoring trending values can prove to be invaluable for streamlining your process and increasing efficiency.

We at ECC want to deliver top quality products and components to our valued customers. We feel that the Honeywell HC900 can be utilized to best fit your control processing needs. The completion of  this training signifies our commitment to serve our customers.

ECC Launches New Website

Electronic Controls Corporation is excited to announce the launch of our news website. Please let us know what you think!