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Choosing an enclosure may not be the most glamorous job in an engineer's life. But the outer clothing makes an important contribution to a product's appeal and may account for a significant portion of its manufacturing cost.
This survey summarizes the product ranges of principal manufacturers and highlights some recent product launches.
Multi-rack range of computer cabinets based on a skeleton of aluminum extrusions and with panels made of a PVC-covered aluminum-polyethylene sandwich. Custom-designed enclosures can be assembled on request.
Company specializes in custom-designed polyurethane moldings for the electronics industry. The Exten range of standard enclosures comes in four basic sizes with two bezel options (upright panel or canted); vent slots are incorporated in the base. Prop-up handles, extra vents, special colors and RFI-shielding paint are among the optional extras.
Boss Industrial Moldings
Range extends from small die-cast boxes to large Eurocard consoles for computers, keyboards and display panels, with over 250 permutations of size, material and color. Instrument cases in ABS or ABS/metal can be supplied with solid walnut side-panels. Die-cast and ABS boxes incorporate PSB guides and stand-off bosses. One recently launched range is a series of potting boxes in black ABS, in 11 sizes. Standard housings can be prepared to customers' requirements (for example, by pre-punching or modifying existing panels) and special units can be produced to individual specification.
Several ranges of sealed enclosures: among them, a polycarbonate type with anti-static and fire retardant properties approved for use in coal mines. A sealing gasket assures EMI protection.
Briticent also offer EMI protection in a separate low-cost range of polycarbonate boxes ready sprayed with a copper-acrylic coating. The EFI range, made of impact-resistant ABS, is claimed almost completely resistant to aqueous acids, alkalis and salts.
Agents for equipment cases, racking systems and card-frames manufactured by Merath-Peltzer in West Germany. Custom design and manufacturing service for all types and sizes of aluminum enclosure in one-off quantities or large volumes; usual turn-round time is six weeks. The company also offers a backplane production and cable harness assembly service.
Parent company, Knurr AG of Munich, claims to be one of Europe's largest manufacturers of 19in. equipment enclosures. Two ranges of extruded aluminum racks, Dacobas and Unirack, give many choices of height and depth, with steel or glazed doors and with various accessories and finish options. At lower cost, there is a further series of steel enclosures. A special shielded 19in. enclosure is available in fixed or mobile versions, with various accessories. For mounting electronic instruments for card-frame systems. Mocain cases are available in 2U, 3U, 4U and 6U heights with several widths and depths, in two powder-coated finishes. The company can modify standard products to customers' specifications, with special trim and color.
Enclosure range includes standard aluminum diecast boxes with screw-on lids; two-part heavy gauge mild steel housings with ventilation slots; a case incorporating two black anodized extrusions for heat-sinking; sloping-front cases; a keyboard case; a robust transformer case with sub-chassis for heavy assemblies; and two two-part steel cases with carrying handles for portable or bench units.
Several ranges of floor-standing and wall-mounting steel enclosures; 19in. swinging frames; control desk. Special enclosures produced to customers' drawings.
New products include Eurostyle aluminum instrument cases, available from stock in many versions including one for 19in. card-frames and chassis and another for panel-mounted instruments. The Agora cabinet range meets full IEC and DIN specifications; among its features are variable positioning of vertical rack mountings, lockable side-panels, baying options and a wide choice of fittings. Also supplied are the Euronorm sub-rack for anti-vibration applications, the Challenger all-plastic frame; Entel's 1U rack-mounting chassis and 3U 19in. socket chassis; the Synthese range of desks, tables, computer-type cabinets and cases; Ambiance and Technik cabinets; card-frames and guides. Full design consultation and prototype services are offered.
Large range of hardware items includes many instrument cases and small boxes with various accessories. Among them are aluminum extruded cases, potting boxes, a two-part plastics hand-held case, ventilated cases, and a variety of 19in. types: frames, cases plates, modules, bus backplanes, aluminum profiles and more. Special sheet metal items can be produced to customer specification.
---- Modes from the Motek Eurocard rack series, from Global Specialities.
----West Hyde can supply 1100 different cases in over 750 sizes.
Also see: Developments in packaging
(adapted from: Wireless World , Dec. 1986)