This article sheds light on how to make custom electronic enclosures. Virtually every electronic device in your home requires some form of enclosure to keep all the components protected and safe. Electronic enclosures are typical in our home, and for those who aren’t familiar, an electronic enclosure is that tough and durable casing you find in most electronics in your home. It could be that handheld device or complex medical technology, but they all serve one purpose.
In certain situations, you might have an off-the-shelf option that doesn’t fit your current enclosures; how do you deal with it? It is only reasonable to contemplate how to make customer electronic enclosures in such a situation. However, the process of making custom electronic enclosures isn’t easy and can be highly expensive. In most situations, the cost outweighs the benefits of having a custom electronic enclosure.
How to Make Custom Electronic Enclosures
It is not enough to tell you how to make custom electronic enclosures without understanding the manufacturing process of enclosures. Enclosures are made using different processes, depending on the material. However, let’s explore a few of these standard manufacturing processes.
- Aluminum Enclosures – These are made through extrusion or die casting. The aluminum is pushed via a die during the extrusion process, creating long parts. These parts are later cut to fit in size. However, the die casting process involves injecting molten aluminum into a die mold.
- Polycarbonate Plastic Enclosure begins with feeding thermoplastic pellets into a heated barrel, which is then melted and mixed. Furthermore, the mixture is then sent into a mold through a pressurized injection before it is left to cool down.
- Stainless Steel Enclosures – This particular enclosure is manufactured from different stainless steel plates, which are cut, joined, and welded together. Because of the hardness of the stainless steel, the cutting and welding processes requires specialized tools to accomplish.
- ABS Plastic Enclosures – This manufacturing process uses a similar process to the polycarbonate plastic enclosure. However, the ABS plastic enclosures allow you to heat the material and reform it multiple times. In most situations, ABS plastics are recycled.
Essential Factors to Consider when Designing Custom Electronic Enclosures
In creating custom electronic enclosures, you need to have specifications on what you want to create. However, there are a few factors to consider that can help produce the best custom electronic enclosure. These factors include the following:
- Size – Importantly, an electronic enclosure must be significant to comfortably accommodate all components. However, that is just half of the story, as you need to consider the distance between the components such that they have adequate space to avoid interference and crosstalk. In addition, the enclosure must provide adequate space during device maintenance and assembly.
- Material – The enclosure material must meet every standard by the relevant authority. The material will be crucial, especially if you are doing in-house enclosure manufacturing.
- IP/NEMA rating – the IP and NEMA ratings are the two systems used to assess the quality of an enclosure. You need to abreast yourself with the latest rate to ensure you meet the industry’s standards.
- Temperature Rating – Another vital factor to consider is the ambient temperature rating. It must be within the temperature in its environment. Ensure you have the rating operating temperature under the limit of your device.
- Accessories – Most device enclosures need an additional accessory such as cable glands and mounting hardware, which must fit into the enclosure.
Understanding these features can help when designing custom electronic enclosures. These factors are crucial to the success of your custom enclosure.
Is it possible to Make customized Enclosures in-house?
It is highly possible if you want to make your own custom enclosures in-house. However, it involves a daunting process requiring manufacturing tools and high-quality material that you don’t have. Even if you acquire these items, you might not get the desired result. Because of this, many companies prefer to outsource their customized enclosure manufacturing. Let’s explore a few of these reasons that contribute to companies and brands outsourcing custom electronics enclosures.
High investment required
Materials to make electronic enclosures such as polycarbonate, stainless steel, and aluminum require complicated equipment to produce at a high-performance rate. Are you ready to invest in such equipment for a one-time project? Besides this, if you decide you want to use CNC machining or digital printing on your custom electronic enclosure, you must purchase different equipment to customize the job.
If you decide to make custom electronic enclosures, do your team have the different tools required for metal and plastic enclosures? Can you keep up with the techniques required to create an item without any damage? Process-wise, these are a few things you should take into consideration.
Another issue to contemplate is the labor cost. Using in-house manufacturing involves diverting labor away from essential tasks. In addition, your engineering staff would have to work on a project that is out of their expertise. This can create dissatisfaction, low morale, and inferior product.
Basics of Customizing Electronic Enclosure
There are several customized electronic enclosures that are easier, faster, and more cost-effective than having your own fabricated enclosure. You can choose from these custom full-color digital printing or custom CNC machining cutouts. Here are areas where these outperform others in the enclosure customization process.
Look for a company that has the expertise to handle all your enclosure need. Furthermore, ensure they have adequate knowledge about the in and out of the industry. In addition, their customer service experts should be professionally trained to assist customers in navigating through the customization process.
You don’t have to place your orders for months before getting your product delivered. Look for a service provider with the best lead time in the industry. When faced with a time-sensitive project, you need a brand that offers fast and responsive service.
Enclosure comprises various models that fit any application. You don’t have to go through the complex and expensive custom fabrication process for every electronic enclosure, as you want a selection of prefabricated enclosures for you. These are tailored to meet your need with flexible options.
CNC Machine Electronic Enclosures
CNC Machining is a process that involves creating accurate cutouts from a material through a computer-aided laser. The process is the industry standard for enclosing machines due to the extreme precision. There are several advantages of using a good CNC Machining process.
Precise Cutting – CNC machining yields exact cutting using a tolerance level of +/-0.005. Nowadays, high precision CNC machining wastes a little material with extremely low error rates. It means that the cost for customization is typically low. Furthermore, it comes with advanced capabilities that include different options, including threaded holes, counterbored, and standard cuts. A good CNC machining company can create different cuts with technical support and provide adequate feedback to customers.
Digital Printing on Enclosures
Electronic devices require some form of text or images printed to provide branding, direction, and safety warnings. Manufacturers have several methods of providing this information in different ways, including adhesive labels.
At GloberDesign, we offer customers a better digital printing service. We offer a full-color printing process with unique features compared to other forms of electronic enclosures. Labels on enclosures can produce disappointing results, including bubbling or misalignment. However, look for custom digital printing for your images that uses digital printing, which eliminates any need for laborious application using the hand.
It can be annoying when text and images scratch from your electronic enclosure. Ensure you find a service provider that uses UV-resistant inks, and there is no scratching and fading of the printed item.
Knowing how to make custom electronic enclosures is paramount. Therefore it is essential to hire a brand that understands and produces quality electronic enclosures. When next you want to make an electronic enclosure, your focus should be on quality.