A control box provides the physical interface to allow an operator to control a piece of equipment and monitor its performance. Control boxes typically contain a variety of instruments such as switches, knobs, sliders and buttons. These are connected to the equipment and are used to control it, allowing operators to start, stop or adjust various functions.
Control boxes also often contain instruments that provide data from sensors. The data is used to ensure that the machine is functioning correctly and allows operators to make control decisions. The actual connections from the controls to the equipment usually consist of relays, timers and programmable logic controllers (PLCs).
Controls are typically located inside electrical enclosures to prevent accidental contact, unauthorized access or damage to the controls. Many newer control box models also use touch screens to provide operators with intuitive and fine-tuned control over the processes they work with.
Controls of all kinds are integral parts of restaurant equipment operations. A control is a switch or other device by which a machine is regulated. A control may be manual or automatically operated. An electro-mechanical control typically consists of multiple relays, timers, and/or counters wired together on an enclosure panel. Electro-mechanical control is also referred to simply as "Relay Control", which is a more accurate term since solid state electronic relays, timers, and counters are standard components. Contactors, motor and compressor starters, valves, thermostats, and other output devices are used to turn on/off motors, indicator lights, heating elements, and other components used in the equipment.
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