Custom Instrument Panels: Transport Vehicles Personalized

In engineering, instrument panels are important as they are where the most essential tools and monitoring instruments are displayed. They are also used to monitor production lines and machines in nuclear power plants, transport vehicles such as boats and aircraft and mainframe computers. Analog instruments are often equipped with buttons, while the modern versions use custom touchscreens for better ease of use.

In Aircraft

Aircraft instruments are usually equipped with standard flight instruments indicating altitude, attitude and air speed.

Aircraft built around the 1950s have their flight instruments in a T-arrangement, where the attitude indicator is in the center, the airspeed is to the left, the altimeter to the night, and the heading indicator below. The turn coordinator and vertical speed instruments are usually found under the airspeed and altimeter. Today, the more modern aircraft also appear the same way.

Given the age of aviation, plastic overlays in older planes are probably used and worn out, from the heat, UV rays and regular wear and tear. For this, a replacement panel designed by the plane owner is the solution.

In Automotive

For automotive, an instrument panel, commonly known as the dashboard, includes the speedometer, tachometer, odometer, fuel gauge, the gearshift position, seatbelt warning, and parking-brake-engagement lights. Located in front of the driver, this houses the controls of the vehicle.

Around the 1950’s, American manufacturers created a dashboard design with chrome and transparent plastic, perfect for aesthetic purposes, but not for practicality as the chrome usually caused a bright glare in convertibles, from the sunlight.

In the modern world of consumer electronics, LED and other digital readouts have made vehicles seem more up-to-date, but eventually faded from use. There was a point where cars resembled a less complex fighter aircraft from the inside, with the speed projected on the windshield.

In some dashboards, manufacturers including BMW and Mercedez-Benz have added a fuel mileage gauge, showing fuel consumption in real time. Custom-made panels allow other cars to have this as well.

In Boats

Boat building is concerned with the construction of the hulls of boats and the masts, spars and rigging in sailboats. Wood, the traditional material used, is still a widely-used material today, as they are inexpensive and widely available. The wood construction also applies to the boat’s dashboard, using plywood laminated into a hull. To install the control panels, pre-shaped plywood would then be glued to the boat and reinforced with fiberglass.

Boats and panels may use steel, aluminum, fiberglass, composite, a plastic material reinforced with fibers other than glass, and cement, all depending on the preference of the user.

Normally, the gauges in an instrument control panel in boats and yachts include the speedometer, tachometer, fuel, water temperature, oil pressure and volts. Today, enthusiasts can opt for their own designs and placement, depending on their preference, by having custom boat panels made. This allows for easier clean-up.