There are many options for choosing an enclosure for electrical, instrumentation, control, and industrial applications.
Asking and answering key questions can help you select the best enclosure for your specific needs.
1.) What Are The Precise Demands And Challenges Of My Application?
The requirements of your application are the first priority to take into consideration. These include:
- Corrosion resistance
- Chemical resistance
- Impact resistance
- Electrical conductivity issues
- Thermal/humidity and temperature issues
- UV resistance
- Contamination risks (water, moisture, dust, debris)
- Security issues (vandalism, theft)
- Electromagnetic interference issues
- Aesthetic needs/style of enclosure
2.) What Are The Environmental Considerations Of My Application?
It is important to consider the area of use and environmental requirements of your application to determine which enclosure will work best for you. It is key to understand the following potential environmental conditions impacting your application:
- What is the location of the application (interior/exterior)?
- Are there ingress protection requirements (water, dust, etc.)
- What UV exposure will the enclosure need to withstand?
- Are there space constraints? (size requirements)
- Ease of accessibility issues
- Mounting requirements
- Access power and venting needs
- Thermal management considerations
- Is the product going to be installed in a hazardous (Classified) area?
3.) What Are The Performance Standards Of My Application?
Some applications have specific performance standards that enclosures must meet, such as NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) and UL (Underwriters Laboratories). Understanding enclosure ratings is essential to determine the level of protection offered by each enclosure.
4.) What Materials Responds Best To The Needs And Challenges Of My Application?
Based on the environmental protection that you identify, the appropriate material for your application can then be selected. For example: polycarbonate material, as well as other non-metallic enclosures, offers excellent protection for equipment installed in extremely harsh environments where certified resistance to water and ice, corrosion, and UV protection is required.
5.) What Materials Enable Me The Best Ease Of Modifications And Installation?
Enclosure materials feature differing properties of weight and handling ease. Installation speed translates into reduced labor time and elimination of overall costs. Ease of modification can provide the same benefits and also relates to value-added product performance. Some types of customization which improve installation, handling, and improve value include:
- Holes, cutouts, windows, slots, vents
- Color variations
- Silkscreening, decals, digital printing
- Specialized finishes or coatings
6.) Who Can Best Help Me Understand The Enclosure Needs For My Application?
When in doubt, or if in need of additional information, turn to professional experts with proven leadership in solving application challenges.
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