Handheld enclosures tend to be associated with soft-contoured plastics…but heavy industrial environments call for something much tougher. Metal is the obvious choice, and it need not mean sacrificing ergonomics. You’d be surprised how comfortable a well-designed metal enclosure can feel – even when the device is being held for long periods of time.
Controllers housed in metal casings get used just as much as those in plastic enclosures. So they still have to be light and easy on the fingers – but much more robust. It’s always a fine balancing act between strength and lightness. But striking that perfect balance need not mean compromising on technical features. Here’s how to specify the best handheld enclosures for your industrial electronics…
There are three main ways to manufacture a metal enclosure. You can fabricate it from folded sheet metal – but that means lots of welding to ensure the seams don’t leak. And that’s fine for very tough stainless steel enclosures with angular construction. All those right angles are excellent for maximising space…but not so comfy if those enclosures need to be held in the hand.
So that leaves us with the other two methods – diecast vs extruded. Both offer their own technical benefits:
IP rating could be the ultimate decider or dealbreaker when it comes to choosing your preferred handheld enclosure. If your handheld controller will be operating machinery in a very wet environment then a low IP rating may rule out certain enclosure models.
ROLEC’s handheld enclosures can all be specified with an IP 6X rating:
For more information on ingress protection, view this page and click the tab ‘IP Ratings Explained’.
There are two versions of handCASE. Both of them:
Version S and Version R are available in the same four sizes (7.09" x 3.15" x 1.67" to 8.66" x 3.94" x 2.46") but the lids are different. Version S has a slight T-shape to the lid – the recessed area tapers slightly with an ergonomic bevel to provide added comfort; Version R’s lid has a larger recessed area with a narrow edge for optimal use of the surface.
Like handCASE, extruded mobilCASE is also available in two versions:
But unlike handCASE, mobilCASE is available in many more standard sizes, based on three PCB widths: 3.15", 3.93" and 5.12". Together, the two types offer 12 standard sizes – and remember, custom-length mobilCASE enclosures are very easy to manufacture. Specify your ideal custom length using this configurator.
There is also a choice of six end cover kits which include an M16 screw plug (for battery compartment access) and an adjustable tilt stand. Accessories include a shoulder strap with two protective end caps; a case holder for storing the unit on a wall of machine; an M16 cable gland adapter kit (this replaces the screw plug on deep end covers).
All ROLEC enclosures can be supplied fully customised – ready for your electronics. Services include CNC machining, engraving and laser processing; powder coating and wet painting; photo-quality digital printing of legends, logos and graphics; EMC shielding; membrane keypads and assembly.
Contact the experienced team at ROLEC for expert advice on specifying the best handheld enclosures for your industrial electronics devices.
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