Customising a standard enclosure is always faster and more cost effective than going fully bespoke – whether you’re specifying a ‘virtually bespoke’ HMI/panel enclosure or a more conventional diecast aluminium, stainless steel or GRP box. And now that range of customisation options is larger than ever.
CNC machining – milling and drilling – of cutouts, recesses and contours is (or should be) an absolute given, no matter which manufacturer you approach. But does your chosen manufacturer offer all the other customisation services under the same roof as a single-source supplier? Do they have access to the latest technologies or are they more ‘traditional’ in their approach? Do they offer photo-quality digital printing of complex logos, patterns and graduations? Digital printing has superseded the old tampo and screen printing methods – not just because of quality but also because the set-up is much quicker, easier and more cost effective: it helps to make customisation more viable for smaller batches (but remember that a diecast or moulded enclosure will never be as easy to produce in low volumes as a folded metal enclosure because the initial tooling costs will always be higher).
But what if digital printing isn’t enough? What if your IP 69K, IP 67 and IP 66 enclosures have to survive the very toughest environments? What if your products must be bolted to the side of a North Sea oil rig? What if they have to survive repeated high pressure washdowns in an abattoir? You’ll need engraving (which can be filled with any colour) or – if you’ve specified stainless steel enclosures – laser processing. Not all manufacturers have their own in-house laser processing centre…but we do.
Custom colours are crucial if your new product is going to stand apart from its competitors. That means powder coating or wet painting. Powder coating is the more cost effective option for larger volumes because there is less wastage. But for smaller batches you may better off with wet painting because the set-up costs are lower. Either way, you need a manufacturer who keeps a large range of colours always in stock – that way you’ll get a faster turnaround. We can coat or paint your enclosures in any RAL colour you specify – or match to your own bespoke colour. EMC coatings are also available (along with EMC gaskets…or enclosures with built-in protection such as conFORM which needs no conductive gasket thanks to its smart design).
Whatever your requirements, you need more than a supplier: you need a specialist enclosures partner – one capable of playing a key role in the design process, preferably early on to help you gain maximum benefit from their expertise. A true partner is one that is able to provide a full outsourcing solution – offering not just a PCB-ready custom enclosure but also installation and assembly, digitally printed foils or membrane keypads.
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