Colour-Coding Or Branding Your Industrial Electronic Enclosures

Enclosures colour-coding

How To Make Your Electronics Stand Out

Adding a dash of colour to an electronic enclosure destined for the factory floor never used to be a priority. Form always followed function…and colour wasn’t far behind.

That always surprised us because every product needs to be distinctive. And one of the easiest ways to differentiate your product from the herd is to change its colour. But if you think that means an all-over makeover then think again – because adding colour is now much easier and more cost-effective.

You don’t even need to specify painting or powder coating for your ideal diecast or stainless steel electronic enclosure (but it opens up more opportunities if you do…)

Why Add Colour: Branding Or Identification?

aluCASE enclosures colour-coding trims

aluCASE enclosures colour-coding trims (above)

Let’s start by taking a few steps back. Why do you need a custom colour for your enclosures? If it’s for corporate livery purposes, then you’re likely to need a precise RAL shade to match your (or your client’s) approved brand guidelines.

But if it’s just for colour-coding, then your enclosures don’t have to be RAL 3024 or RAL 5012: a simple red or blue will suffice. And you don’t have to colour the entire enclosure – just enough for that colour-coding to be recognisable at a glance.

For that reason, we’ve added coloured trims as standard to our aluCASE (IP 66/67/69K) diecast aluminium enclosures and our starCASE (IP66) plastic housings. Both have hidden fixings as standard; all the screws are concealed beneath trims. And now those covers can be specified as red, blue or anthracite (in addition to the existing grey).

You can also add colour highlights to our profiPANEL HMI/machine controller enclosures with four optional colour corner trims. The trims are available in black, blue, red or white, in addition to the standard grey colour. The trims give the enclosures an individual look to suit the brand or the function of the equipment.

profiPLUS coloured corner trims (below)

profiPLUS colour-coding corner trims

Less Is More – How Colour-Coding Can Be Enough To Create Branding

As you can see from the below photo of starCASE, a subtle dash of colour-coding may be all you need to add branding. Look at the red enclosure; note how the scarlet trims match the circular logo and the lettering in the legends.

starCASE enclosures colour-coding trims

starCASE enclosures with colour-coding trims (above)

Now look at the blue case (above); see how the trims match the blue horizontal bar and the button ‘shadows’ on the membrane keypad. Those cases look branded – even though the main case body is still the same standard light grey (RAL 7035). That’s true for the ‘black’ enclosure too; its anthracite trims key in nicely with the dark grey logo, the main case body and the greys on the keypad. These design whispers may be more subtle but they’re still audible…and they’re still intriguing.

aluCASE enclosures with coloured trims

aluCASE with optional red trim (above)

Here is another example, this time using diecast aluCASE (above) in standard window grey (RAL 7040). The red trims match not just the printed logo but also the horizontal lines separating the rows of LEDs and even the red LEDs themselves. Once again, no painting or powder coating beyond the norm has been necessary: adding colour involved just the trims (which are standard) and the keypad (which you would have needed anyway for this project). So in real terms there’s no extra cost involved with choosing a different colour theme for this enclosure.

Combining Colours Cost-Effectively

We know what you’re thinking – ‘combining colours’ sounds expensive. More than one colour means more work, more time and therefore higher costs. But you’ve already seen from the examples above that this need not be so.

In those photos, you saw how it took only a subtle dash of colour to transform the look of a standard grey enclosure. But what if you reversed the process? What if you added a lot of one custom colour but left some areas as standard to create the highlights? Here’s an example…

Custom colour enclosures

Customised aluCASE (above)

In this instance, we’ve coloured the entire aluCASE a fetching shade of blue – but left the trims in grey to match the front panel. That has left blue lines which create a framing effect (co-ordinating with the lighter blue in the logo).

This brings us to an important question: how much do custom colours (like the blue above) cost? There’s no simple answer to that: the price of custom colours depends on the paint type and quantity. But those prices are highly competitive. Contact us to find out more.

Powder Coating Or Wet Painting – Which Is Better?

ROLEC powder painting line

ROLEC's powder paint line (above)

This will depend on your application and the enclosure(s) you specify. Powder coating produces a tougher and more durable finish than wet painting: the dry powder is applied electrostatically before being heated. It is also a cost-effective process because:

  • there is no wastage (no overspray as there would be with wet painting)
  • it is quicker and easier than painting because it involves just one coat
  • it is easier to apply multiple custom finishing colours than it would be for painting.

Another benefit is that powder coating involves few volatile organic compounds (VOCs) so it is an environmentally safe process. The only real downside is that the thicker coating (compared with wet painting) may not be suitable for all projects.

Wet painting is better for products that cannot be heated. But multiple coats will be needed to ensure an even finish. This takes longer than one-coat powder coating.

Customised Enclosures Ready For Your Components

Fully customised ROLEC enclosures

Customised commandCASE and conFORM enclosures (above)

Colour is just the start. It makes sense to specify fully customised housings from an enclosures specialist like us because we’re a single-source supplier that provides turnkey solutions: component-ready enclosures that can go straight to your production line.

We can offer you the full range of enclosure manufacturing and customisation services including CNC machining, engraving, laser processing, painting and powder coating, digital and screen printing, membrane keypads, accessories, product labels and assembly. 

Get Expert Advice On Customised Enclosures

As you’ve read, there are some very smart and cost-effective ways to add colour to your industrial electronic enclosures.

Contact ROLEC to discuss the most suitable enclosures for your applications and how they can be customised quickly and easily – enhancing quality, improving efficiencies, reducing time to market.

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