One of the great discoveries for mounting equipment, particularly in factory automation, is the din rail. This simple structure (see photo) allows for the power supplies, mini enclosures, terminal blocks, or their components to simply be snapped into place with no other tools required. This makes installation quick and easy, allowing for rapid adjustments as well. This has caused an entire new segment of the components industry and product offerings to arise which are those with the din rail clips either molded in place or already installed
One of Bud’s newest products is a din rail enclosure created from an aluminum extruded box. On the DMX series, the din rail clips are molded into the plastic panels that screw into the ends of the extruded aluminum. This box also comes with pre-formed EPDM gaskets that allow the box to meet IP66 requirements, perfect for any industrial automation application. The unique shape of the extrusion and the built in slots allows for the mounting of two different sized pc boards (sold separately). Also available are IR or clear end panels which can be rapidly installed. These light weight but durable enclosures come in one height and width but in 6 different lengths and in either black or gray. To make the product uniquely your own, custom lengths are available as is Bud’s rapid modification program. Bud can insert holes, slots, or cutouts in your box in just 5-6 days, the fastest in the industry.
Check out the new DMX series today and discover that there is more to Bud than you ever knew.
When the calendar turns to May, all eyes at Bud turn to the Electronic Distribution Show and conference in Las Vegas. We have participated in this show and its predecessors almost since its inception as the May Parts Show in Chicago. It has gone from a show where manufacturers of electronic components meet with their distributors to discuss inventory and work to build orders (after negotiated discounts) to one where mutual marketing and end customers are the focus as a mid-year check on sales and also a chance to promote the newest products. It is also a great place to take the pulse of the sales trends in the industry and to learn the newest concerns and opportunities. The show is packed with meetings as we at Bud meet with a different distributor every hour, sometimes two at a time in separate rooms.
This year, we are very excited about our broad new product offerings that are being introduced at the show. The leading product is a Fiberglass enclosure, the PTQ series. Available in 10 sizes and with either an opaque or clear cover, this IP67 NEMA 4 and 6 box is a great value in providing top protection in even the most challenging environments including periodic submersion. Best of all, the fiberglass content is only 10% which provides an ideal balance between tight tolerances and the flexibility of polycarbonate while maintaining a high quality finish.
The other new products range from development board accessories to extruded din rail mount boxes. Be sure to watch for the releases on all of the new products in the coming weeks…or in this column! And if you are going to be at EDS, we look forward to seeing you at some of the major all industry events.
I am finishing a trip to Chicago that has consisted of traveling with our company’s new president, a salesperson from our local rep firm and a distributor salesperson from Allied Electronics and then attending a sales show run by Carlton Bates. I often dread making calls with sales people wondering if they are prepared, if there really is a reason for our call or are they only calling in a favor to keep me occupied. Yesterday, I saw some of the best salesmanship I have seen in some time. Our rep did not know the account contact specifically, but we were there at the request of the Allied salesperson. Both jumped in once the meeting started, delving into the customer’s needs rather than just promoting our products. Once they had clarified the need, they identified opportunities that we could provide to help them solve their enclosure requirements. In this case, the customer was delighted to learn about our 5 day modified enclosure program, an industry leading turnaround on customized products. He was using his internal team to do the modifications, but their lead times were often excessive. The sales team continued to drill down to learn specific products, time frames, and next action items. They were not aggressive, but they were supportive, leaving the customer feeling that his interests were paramount and understanding that we were there to help him, not push our own agenda. They even asked for other contacts at this account, setting up follow up approaches to provide a total solution for that customer.
We then went to the Carlton Bates reverse trade show. They had their outside team prepared to discuss a specific target account and then let us review it with them to determine the enclosure opportunities. They were well prepared, interested in what we had to say, ready with good suggestions, and eager to learn. Several were waiting for us to visit their table to discuss other potential accounts. Again, their focus was on the best aspects of selling, how they can provide exceptional service to their customers. They were excited when they could see approaches to solving sticky issues that the customer had been experiencing and partner with these accounts to be a meaningful support.
I recently spoke to someone who does not allow a salesperson to call on him. He claims to be too busy and tells them he will call when he has a need. I now realize how isolated that person really is. He is not being kept up to date on new products or services, he is not aware of different solutions than the one he develops himself, and so is short changing his company and himself. Of course, there are many weak salespeople who are out to make the biggest sale regardless of what is best for the customer in the long run. But I think as our industry has evolved, these are fewer and the professional salesperson is now helping us drive our enclosure sales. It is an exciting time in our industry.
While the sports world is abuzz over whether Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, or a mysterious stranger ordered the Patriot’s footballs to be somewhat deflated, deflation, or shrinkage, is also an issue with plastic enclosures. Polycarbonate, while very durable and damage resistant, has a tendency to shrink slightly as it cools, as do most plastics. However, there can be inconsistencies in the shrinkage process meaning that both draft angles of the sides and actual box dimensions can vary slightly from box to box. For most applications, this is not an issue as the variation is slight and the impact on equipment or boards being installed in the box are minimal. It can become an issue as holes are drilled in the sides and the draft angles may be slightly varied. When installing the connectors, they may not thread on a complete horizontal and unless the gasketing on the connector allows for this, there can be gaps in the protection.
Bud’s PIP Series is a polycarbonate box that also includes 10% fiberglass. This provides for virtually no shrinkage in the cooling process, creating a more consistent box. It also provides the “toughness” and UV protection of fiberglass yet still retains the visual appeal of polycarbonate. It is a UL508 Nema 4x rated IP67 enclosure which means that it is not only able to withstand water sprays but can be submerged as well. All of this is available at a price that is below many competitive polycarbonate boxes. Contact Bud Industries (email@example.com) or your local Bud distributor for more details. However the science of the Patriots deflated football evolves, rest assured that Bud Industries has solved the problem for plastic enclosures
As we have mentioned in this blog before, Bud Industries recently celebrated its 85th anniversary. There is something a bit disingenuous about a company that is so involved with the high-tech industry having survived and thrived as long as we have. Often we have heard the story of a technology employee being considered old and near the end of their “desirable” employment by the time they are 30. One can rapidly list the companies who missed the next step in the technology world and are no longer with us. Having given this all a great deal of thought, I think one of the secrets to Bud’s longevity is the inherent flexibility of our products. We have products that have been in our line since the 1930’s and what has changed is what they enclose as opposed to the need for totally new enclosures. For example, a product that might have housed small tubes now can house boards.
A perfect example of this is our Pi Sandwich enclosure, designed for the first of the raspberry pi development boards. Recently, the foundation released a completely new version of the pi, level B+. It has many new features including more USB ports, a longer GPIO among others. This means that the location of holes or slots required of an enclosure to fit the board have all changed, which might mean a new box would be needed. However, because of the flexibility that we built into the box, the new version fits well and all features are easily accessible.
All too often today, obsolescence is designed into the product. At Bud, we strive to make enclosures that will endure, will be able to adapt to the new technologies, and provide value for our customer. It is one of the major ingredients in the “secret sauce” that have allowed us to thrive through the generations.
Bud Industries Server Rack
I recently returned from my annual quick trip through Northeastern Asia. It is hard to assimilate all of the variety of issues, both political and economic, that we saw. One trend that we heard repeatedly is the shift in direction of the Chinese government towards military buildup and away from manufacturing. We heard of increased taxes, reduced sales, and an overall sense of concern. The Chinese manufacturers are not receiving some of the incentives as they traditionally did. Yet, still many are growing and while there is much less building going on, there is still a strong effort to latch onto any business that they can.
I was pleasantly surprised at the level of innovation that I was seeing in server racks. At our factory’s there we saw a variety of solutions ranging from a basic 4 post open cabinet (a great solution for maximum air flow) to complete server rack rooms. We saw units with narrow panel space for maximum space utilization to those that had extra width for cable waterfalls. We saw welded units, knock down units (for easy transportation), Seismic units, and all manners of ventilation from perforated doors to curved doors (more ventilation space). We also saw some clever solutions to cable management, with plastic “teeth” that could be readily snapped to fit the size needs of the customer and covers to protect it all. It opened our thinking to recognize that the industry continues to evolve and that even though servers continue to shrink, the applications and the opportunities to work with multiple servers is consistent.
Even with products as large as server racks, the market is truly global. It is up to us, as manufacturers, to continue to glean the best innovations from around the globe. Watch for some new products in these areas from Bud in the coming months.
There have been ongoing debates for years about the advantages of polycarbonate over fiberglass as a material for enclosures. Both are great for NEMA/IP boxes, often being able to reach IP67 or IP68 ratings. Here are a few advantages of each:
- More impact resistant
- Provides greater UV protection
- Easier to modify. With Fiberglass enclosures, there is a fine dust that can be irritating to the skin or when inhaled. Fiberglass also can splinter, ruining the box, if it is not modified correctly
- More visually appealing. The enclosures made from polycarbonate tend to be smoother with less texturing
- More true to shape with less mold variability. The glass particles will retain the rigidity through the production process, insuring that there is more consistency between boxes. This is very important as the installer tries to maintain their IP rating with a situation where wall thicknesses and slope can vary. This means it is much more difficult to create a tight seal between the box and the accessories
- Fiberglass may hold up better in extreme heat or cold. Polycarbonate has a tendency to shrink slightly when cold or to expand slightly in heat. Fiberglass maintains its original shape much more readily
Bud Industries has introduced several lines of products (our PIP and our PBB series) that combine the best of both worlds. Since it has a lower Fiberglass content at 10%, it maintains many of the features of the polycarbonate boxes with the add benefits of fiberglass. The look is closer to that of a polycarbonate box, but with the added consistency that engineers demand. Check out our new line at http://www.budind.com/view/NEMA+Boxes/NEMA+4X+-+PIP.
As electronic components have migrated into the area of industrial controls, demand for integration with existing equipment has increased. Often it is required to seal or segment specific components or to develop techniques to mount those components in a way that will not hamper the integrity of the unit and its ability to be used in hazardous or dirty environments. One of the most popular techniques is using a din rail and din rail clip that provides great flexibility in solving this problem.
Bud Industries has recognized that there is a need for many types of din rail enclosures to meet these diverse applications. Bud has a complete line of enclosures that offer a variety of options in protecting components or equipment and then readily allowing them to be installed and easily adjusted. A din rail enclosure may have many different features but all have a clip either mounted on the base or molded into the base that allows them to “snap” onto a din rail, which is a “hat” shaped strip of metal, often an extrusion. Here is a typical example of a din rail and an enclosure that mounts on that rail.
Bud’s din rail enclosures include plastic terminal boxes that have the capacity to mount printed circuit boards either horizontally or vertically, a din rail mount plastic box, and a multi-board din rail mount box that allows for the mounting of up to 3 boards of differing sizes. Each of these are offered in several sizes and configurations. Also offered are clip kits that can be attached to the base or side of the enclosure to allow virtually any box to be mounted to the din rails. Bud also offers din rails as an accessory to ease the user experience.
Contact Bud at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or call 440-946-3200 for help specifying the perfect enclosure for your design.