It is a crucial decision to choose the right and appropriate enclosure
to protect electrical equipment when used for outdoor applications. Also the
main factor that will influence their decision in choosing the right enclosure
is the location where the equipment will be placed. With this in mind, a
company needs an enclosure that can withstand hars environments and it should
have protection from corrosion, high-temperature, and direct sunlight or UV
rays. This is crucial if a company like to keep their equipment functional,
last long and in great shape.
Among the harsh elements present in outdoor environments, the worst
factor that can damage any equipment is the UV rays or the direct sunlight form
the sun. Aside from the fact that direct sunlight can cause melting or warping
of the enclosure, it is also important to note that this can also cause most
electronic applications to condensate. Even if the enclosure can protect the
equipment from water ingress, the sudden change in the temperature especially
when there is high moisture in the air, condensation is possible to occur
inside the unit. Any engineers know that one of the worst enemy of any
electrical equipment is moisture. With this in mind, any efforts to prevent
this from happening is crucial.
It is important to note that not only UV rays or high temperature are
the only risk factor present in outdoor applications. But high heat can cause a
decay in certain materials which can greatly jeopardize the equipment inside
the enclosure. Later on, the warping of materials can lead to creating leaks.
This will create damages on the enclosure that will also result to the damaging
of certain equipment. This is the very reason why it is important to choose the
right material for our electronic enclosures especially if they will be exposed
to these elements for a very long period of time.
The solution: polycarbonate enclosures
With this application, one of the best material to choose for an
enclosure is the polycarbonate material. It has features that can protect the
internal components of your equipment when housed inside an enclosure. It has
an amorphous thermoplastic and naturally, it can withstand UV rays. So it is a
very good choice for an enclosure for outdoor use. Not only that this material
is used for enclosures, it is also used in other applications. It is also good
for replacing traditional roofing. Because of its lightweight, weather-tough,
and UV blocking feature – polycarbonate material is very versatile. Aside from
this, it is virtually unbreakable.
A company can also use venting accessories to prevent
condensation on their enclosures. As previously said in this article,
condensation is caused by the presence of heat and humidity that can form
moisture. Which in case can impose great damage on the electric component. It
can also from mold that will contribute to its detoriation overtime. An
engineer can also choose to improve the airflow inside the enclosure via vents,
especially within electronic housings. This is also a great way to keep the
enclosures watertight while making sure that the enclosure allows airflow so
that moisture doesn’t accumulate.
NEMA enclosures has different assortment and variations of
electrical components – such as simple terminal blocks to having a full
industrial automation system. It even has high voltage switchgear. In most of
the industrial automation companies now, they use NEMA enclosure that has
existing house motor controls, drives, and termination systems. There are NEMA
electrical box design that are shaped to have operator controls.
With this in mind, you need to carefully determine how to
carefully select your NEMA enclosure. Listed below are the things you need to
Define Your Security
Your electronics enclosure might need to protect the
contents it houses in from any unwanted and unauthorized access to the
equipment it is placed inside. There are companies that offers customer
different options to accommodate their company security needs. For some of the
low-risk installation so the enclosure – like a screw cover, lift-off cover, or
single-door that has clamps with it should get the job done. In some places
where there is a high risk in installing the electrical boxes, the customer
should get an enclosure that has keylocking/padlocking to make sure that the equipment
is safely locked inside.
With this in mind, the customer should carefully determine
the width and height of the enclosure by properly laying out the footprint
space needed for several control components that has a standard subpanel size.
Always remember to carefully consider differeing mounting holes needed for the
subpanel when you are planning to set out the required footprint space. This
sizing will carefully determine if the customer needs a single-door, two-door,
wall-mount, floor-mount or even a freestanding enclosure.
Carefully Set Out
Your Thermal Management Needs
In addition to the need for proper security of the
enclosure, the customer should also consider the different thermal management
needs. Because the electrical box should be able to condense the heat being
generated by the equipment placed inside the enclosure – either by solo or by
adding an extra cooling device. The heat being generated inside the enclosure
should be able to effectively decrease the life expectancy of the controlling
units and other items that comes with the enclosure.
To properly anticipate this, the heat has the capability to
change the performance of the circuit breakers and the fuses – which can cause
a shutdown to the whole system. Therefore, if one has an electronic equipment
suitable for the heat sensitive devices, a cooling system should be set up.
One of the main challenges companies face in terms of
utilizing an electronics enclosure for their outdoor application is making sure
that it can effectively withstand the environment it will be in. There are lot
of factors that project engineers should consider such as level of moist,
temperature, possible object or water ingress, and so on.
This is very important because companies and their engineers
should make sure that their electronics enclosure is effectively designed for
their outdoor application. To make this happen, they should be familiar with
different NEMA ratings. This is set by the the National Electrical
This rating will become very handy and extremely beneficial
for businesses, empowering them to make the most effective and effective
decision in choosing te right enclosure for their application.
Being knowledgeable about different NEMA rating of the
electronics enclosure is the fastest way to determine whether the electronics
enclosure can withstand a particular harmful or harsh environmental element.
The electronics enclosure that comes with NEMA rating of 3 would mean that the
enclosure is ideal for outdoor use given that it will be exposed to a very fair
Once the NEMA rating increases, it would only mean that it
is more durable to withstand certain harsh environmental elements. It can give
more protection to your equipment. The most common rating that different
companies’ produces are the NEMA 4X or NEMA 6 rated electronics enclosure. It
gives wonderful and excellent ingress and temperature protection – whether the
ingress can come from hose driven water or even ice formation.
While ensuring that the enclosure you use has a NEMA rating
sufficient for its application, it may be necessary to modify the enclosure to
connect external features such as a cable or antenna. Every cutout that is added to the enclosure
provides an opportunity for water or other contaminants to seep in. Using
accessories, such as cable glands, can help protect the NEMA ratings on the
While making sure that the electronics enclosure businesses
use has the right and proper NEMA rating just enough for its application, it
can be very necessary and important to effectively modify the electronics
enclosure in connection to some of the external features or enclosure
accessories – it can be a cable or even antenna.
Every cutout of the enclosure that is being added to the
body of the enclosure gives an opportunity for the water inside the enclosure
or other contaminants to carefully seep through. In the utilization of some
enclosure accessories – it can give protection to different NEMA ratings in the
I assume that when you read this article, you have a basic
understanding of different NEMA together with the equivalent IP ratings on an
individual basis. Let us now compare the basic classifications of these two
To give back you up a little bit, let us define the IP
ratings. This rating is primarily based on a testing that has not have a
specific degree of protection that it gives and also requires against the
mechanical damage that can be done to the equipment. There is also some risk of
explosions and conditions that can be detrimental to the equipment and can
cause corrosive vapors.
With this in mind, the NEMA has standardized test for some
of the specific environmental conditions such corrosion, icing, oil, rust, and
some of the coolants.
Some of the tests and evaluations should not be identical
between the two ratings, thus IP rating cannot be directly equated with NEMA
ratings. However, some experts have come up with a very simple guide in
translating the NEMA types to some of the IP ratings. Since some of the ratings
can either meet or exceed the needed test requirements that can be directly
converted or associated with an IP rating.
Please refer to the table below for your guidance:
4 and 4X
To help you understand this table, for example the NEMA 4X
electronics enclosure has a minimum IP rating of IP65. However, the IP65 rating
of an electronic enclosure does not can be directl converted into a NEMA 4X
If you have any question regarding the rating of electronic
enclosures from NEMA to IP or vice-versa, you can directly contact the
enclosure manufacturer of your choice. There are companies that does not
produce or manufacture all of the NEMA type enclosure and they choose to focus
on some types of enclosure.
Also with some customization, it is better if the customer
will directly ask them the question regarding the NEMA or IP rating of your
desired electronics enclosure.
Now that we have finally entered the summer season and just
coming out from the tremendous winter, anyone (including me) would like to
spice up their wardrobe. With summer time coming by, it is now the right time
to put away all the bulky, drab, winter sweaters including the overly huge and
overstuffed coat. Now is the right time to pull out all the floral dresses and
bikinis! I guess pink and yellow comes together with green and oranges and we
can add a little bit of white to pop up the style. The natural color of summer
should invade our wardrobes for that added style!
With this in mind, not only our wardrobe should have the
drastic color change – electronics enclosure should have it too. Colors can
give the best style and class to any given standard enclosure. Companies in the
industry offers customization services to their customer if they want their
electronics enclosure look exclusive to their company.
They have permanent graphics printing options that can have
direct printing on any electronics enclosure surfaces. In order for this to be
a continuous effort to satisfy their customers, there should be improvement and
enhancement in their graphics department.
The first step in improving their graphics department
includes a double-hit process. This is much like applying a second coating of
painting on the walls. There are companies that offers printing services but
they only do one coating or printing and the colors may not last long. There
should be a second coating of printing on the enclosure.
This process will result to a long lasting, brighter printed
color on the product. With this in mind, there are also electronics enclosure
that is black in its original color – then the companies should use lackluster
because the dark background contrasted with this type of ink will appear
By doing this process or fortifying the text or graphics
with the second layer of ink, the end result will be accentuated color of the
print. And to be honest with you, bright colors can pop out against the darkness.
Even with white or gray enclosure together with the double hit process, the
print of the colors will eventually stand out.
Because of this companies can have printed graphics that can
be easily read by the using personnel or just by the people seeing it. Clear
printed graphics is very helpful when it comes to effective application of the
enclosure. This can also make the life of the using personnel easier because
they can use the product very effectively and efficiently.