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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or call 440-946-3200 for help specifying the perfect enclosure for your design.
It is often confusing for an engineer to know what type of rating they need to look for when they desire to have a “waterproof” enclosure. Much like with watches or other sensitive information, there is a big difference between waterproof, water resistant, and other descriptive but not specific labels. To help out, there are several rating systems that have been developed although and several testing agencies that verify the results. Among these, the two best known are NEMA and IP. This blog will deal only with the IP system.
For enclosures, the typical “waterproof” IP ratings are IP67, IP66 and IP65 enclosures. The chart below gives the specifics of what these ratings mean and how they are measured.
| IP Rating
|Able to protect against water jets
||Water projected by a nozzle (6.3 mm) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
||Test duration: at least 15 minutes
|Water volume: 12.5 litres per minute
|Pressure: 30 kPa at distance of 3 m
|Able to protect against powerful water jets
||Water projected in powerful jets (12.5 mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
||Test duration: at least 3 minutes
|Water volume: 100 litres per minute
|Pressure: 100 kPa at distance of 3 m
|Able to protect against Immersion up to 1 m
||Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 m of submersion).
||Test duration: 30 minutes
|Immersion at depth of at least 1 m measured at bottom of device, and at least 15 cm measured at top of device
IP ratings, or ingress protection, were developed by the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and are most heavily used in Europe and Asia, with some adherents in North America as well. Since these are international standards, the testing is often certified by the TUV instead of UL, although both provide stringent testing. One area to note is that while these are developed to deal with harsh environments, they do not address UV protection standards (outdoor) and the engineer should look for or ask about the ability of the enclosure to include UV protection materials.
In a later Blog, I will discuss NEMA ratings and how they relate to the IP standard
Here at Bud Industries, we are learning a lot about resilience. On November 8, our Ohio factory was hit by a freak storm/wind gust that not only took off portions of the office room, but also blew out windows, our front door, and our receiving dock door. Roof leaks were everywhere, carpeting was ruined, and even some walls were soaked. Fortunately, the factory was relatively unscathed. While emergency repairs were done, we have learned that you need 6-8 days of temperatures above the low 40’s to be able to effectively install a roof. Enter Mother Nature again, with one of the coldest winters on record in the Cleveland area. As we enter month 4 of the wait for warmer temperatures, I have been amazed at how readily the Bud team has adapted to raw floors where the carpeting has been removed, buckets everywhere, dripping ceilings whenever it warms above freezing (fortunately, not very often), and the nightly ritual of covering our desks with plastic. We have learned to combat the elements and can only look longingly forward to spring and the eventual repairs.
It is ironic, therefore, that our fastest growing product area is NEMA 4 enclosures. Bud now has one of the widest arrays of NEMA 4 boxes available in the industry today. From die cast to fiberglass, from polycarbonate to steel and stainless steel, Bud’s rugged offerings provide complete protection for your electronic equipment at a price that is well below the industry average. Virtually all are UL tested and rated and many now provide IP67 protection, allowing for heavy sprays of water or liquids as well as submersion. Whether your application is on the factory floor or on a rooftop, Bud can provide you with the perfect alternative to the high priced boxes that you may have purchased in the past. In fact, Bud’s stainless steel boxes are priced so low that they compete with others painted boxes, or even those that are non-NEMA. Contact your favorite Bud distributor today for more details or check out our website. Bud has proven that it takes a tough group of employees to make the very best in tough enclosures
Years ago, futurists and experts determined that electronic cabinet racks would gradually cease to exist as the push towards miniaturization continued its relentless pace forward. Like so many expert opinions, this one has proven to be totally false. While more and more capacity will fit on a chip, and the population of a board has continued to expand, they overlooked the demand for greater capabilities and speed. Today, the demand for 19” cabinet racks continues to grow as server farms and others expect high quality mounting capabilities for their ever increasing requirements.
Bud Industries first introduced welded cabinet racks back in 1959 and has led the industry ever since. With a broad range of products providing variations in features and price points, Bud can meet almost any demand, most from stock. Recently, Bud has added a line of racks, its Server Professional Series, that not only comes with the features of the best outfitted server racks, but its pricing is significantly lower than almost any on the market.
The service rack features ventilated locking front doors and split ventilated rear doors and two pairs of fully adjustable mounting rails with notches at the “u” increments to make installation a breeze. It includes some sought after accessories such as a fan box with 4 exhaust fans in the top, four casters and four levelers, ventilated shelves and 6 cable management brackets, all at no extra charge. Made of 18 ga steel with 14 ga panel mounting rails, the server rack is a heavy duty marvel at a shockingly low price, and all sizes are in stock ready to ship today.
For a combination of value, features, and rapid delivery, Bud’s Server Rack Professional Series can’t be beat. Contact us or your local Bud distributor today for more information.