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Category Archives: Data Enclosures
I recently returned from Asia on a trip to see our factories there. I continue to be amazed at the rapid development of the infrastructure in these countries. There are many new roads, buildings, and transportation hubs being developed. The factories have new issues to deal with, labor shortages, rising prices, inconsistent government policies on growth, all of which create an unstable business climate. Yet I continue to be impressed with the strong desire of the companies that seek to export, especially to the US. With a product that is as large as electronic enclosures, export can often be a challenge, so they have to continue to improve their productivity and creativity to remain competitive. We continue to see that with our various enclosure factories, developing improved products in areas ranging from large cabinet racks to extruded boxes. We have also seen some creative us of plastics in mounting boards and tablet screens. Yet we still find that the most creativity comes from the US and the ideas that our customers present to us to meet their specific needs. As the economy becomes more global, the improvements in productivity will continue to be important, but the creativity will drive the market.
Education is one of those areas that is on everyone’s “to do” list. We all know we need to keep up in today’s fast moving marketplace yet finding the time to attend classes, even virtually, is a huge challenge. Even more difficult is finding options that are quick, meaningful, and easy to attend. Newark Element 14 is hosting a series of Webinar 101 sessions that are run by their top vendors and are meet those needs and if the timing does not work for you, there is an opportunity to listen to the session later although the live question and answer period will not be available.
Of great interest to me is that I will be hosting a session on Electronic Enclosures that is titled “How to avoid the top 10 pitfalls in designing and specifying an enclosure”. The session will be held this Tuesday, April 23 at noon central time. You can sign up below:
I have just returned from Electronica in Munich and was amazed by its size and scope. There is nothing like it in the US, both for the breadth of products that are represented as well as for the numbers of companies who go to extremes to make an impact at the show. From people demonstrating chips by dancing “Gangham” Style to race cars to Marilyn Monroe look alikes, this show has it all. But what delights me is the impact that all components, especially Electronic Enclosures has in creating a truly whole industry. It still attracts companies of all sizes, we are all still innovating, we are moving with the market as electronics becomes an innate part of our lives. I listened to an economist forecasting the future of our industry and he noted that with areas such as medical electronics, products to provide support for the aging, information technology of all sorts, the future of our industry is even greater than it has been with the consumer electronics explosion. For all of us, as we learn to develop new skills and new services, we will continue to evolve and lead the world economy.
Perhaps we are counter-intuitive, but we, at Bud, feel this is a great time to invest in our business. With our greatest focus on North America, we feel now is the time to upgrade our equipment, take advantage of the tax policies, and continue to improve our offering. With that in mind, in the last 3 months, we have acquired a new panel bender and brake, investing over $1 million. These pieces of equipment offer a number of advantages:
- Reduces setup time per bend from 30-40 minutes to 2-3 minutes including programming on repeats
- Reduces the need for old style experienced brake operator who have become very difficult to find – allowing for a more flexible work force
- Increased product run flexibility – can run one piece, can run large quantities, can run all components in series vs production runs, reducing inventory and increasing throughput. It eliminates the need to focus on an economic order quantity, allowing production to focus on customer needs.
- Improved energy savings
- Ability to make new products here cost effectively. For the last 15 years, virtually all new products have been made with our overseas partners. Now that we have this equipment, we are developing two new product families that can be produced in our facility.
We have a video of the new panel bender that you can view.
All too often, under the guise of providing choice, many enclosure vendors try to lure you in with cheap prices and no features. For example, several vendors of cabinet racks will provide the rack, but you have to read the fine print to realize that it includes nothing but the frame, not even any panel mounting rails. When you add in such basics as the rails, the rear door, a top or sides, suddenly you have a double problem: 1) you have to figure out what components you need to make this cabinet rack work, and 2)your budget has just been blown out of the water.
At Bud, we operate differently. As an example, the SRP rack, Bud’s Server Rack, comes with a top, bottom, two pairs of mounting rails, and two sides. It also includes such important features as a fan tray, cable management brackets, and casters…the typical accessories that any user would need. So rather than creating a “do-it-yourself” system that cannot be used out of the box, Bud anticipates your needs and provides you with a rack that not only meets expectations, but exceeds them, a revolutionary thought in enclosures. Check out the video or the web page on this truly unique enclosure
I have just returned from a rapid trip through Asia. We started in Taiwan, rolled through various Chinese cities, and wrapped up in South Korea, visiting 7 factories in 6 cities in 5 days. What impressed me, as we reviewed the enclosures made at factories in these countries, was how rapidly these countries have grown and continue to pace their economy. As the US, and especially Europe, struggle for any sign of recovery, while we hear of slowing in Asia, everywhere we went, the skyline of cities, big and small, were covered with cranes and new buildings. We saw how infrastructure needs were being addressed on a consistent basis. Freeways were being built, airports were updated, and housing was expanding at a rapid clip.
The other piece that impressed me was how the people we visited still seemed in awe of the United States. All were eager to visit, all felt our economic and political might, and we were most surprised at how positively people felt. The point of all of this is that we are truly in a global economy, even for a low tech item like Electronic Enclosures. Our industry has rapidly evolved in the recent past and it is up to all of us to keep that momentum going. We believe our model, combining the best of home grown manufacturing with skills of the world, will allow us to compete and grow for many years to come. Thank you to our customers for being a part of this journey with us.
Bud is in the process of redefining its family of 19” cabinet racks. We brought out our first welded rack in 1959 and have been at the forefront of both design and function ever since. While it is true that these enclosures have evolved in style and features, the basic function has not changed; the need to take 19” equipment, the norm in the industry, and to provide security and style to the product.
Our review process for the cabinet racks has involved extensive survey work of current and former users of Bud’s offering to gain insight into what they like and do not like about our family of products. While overall there is a strong positive feel to the line, there are some interesting features that we will look to include in the next generation. These range from casters that can be readily removed or folded out of sight to decreased assembly hardware with more creative approaches to equipment mounting. An interesting side note is that there continues to be a strong preference for black cabinetry as opposed to the brighter colors of the past including blue, sand, and gray.
This week Bud returned to the BICSI show for the first time in a decade. This show, an important vehicle for meeting with the data and data installer market, marked Bud’s strong re-entry into the Server and Data Markets with our broad line of products that target this industry. We were impressed with the caliber of attendees and how vibrant this market continues to be.
A big hit at the show was our SRP line of Server Racks. One comment we heard often from the people at the show is that they are looking to speed the installation process. Having the fan box and cable management brackets included and already installed was a huge advantage. Also a big plus was the notches on the mounting rails and the number of the “u” height that made server installation much more rapid and avoided the counting of the holes. In a previous blog, I highlighted the video for this product, but take a look again at the video.
While a picture is said to be worth a thousand words, we have all learned that in today’s world, video is even more “valuable.” From celebrity reputations that are made or damaged to either positive or negative police actions, the prevalence of video in our culture has changed the way we view and react to events. In a business environment, video has become a simple but effective way to evaluate products or to learn about their benefits and features. Bud Industries has a wide library of videos that provides a close look at many of their products and services in a way that a photograph cannot. From a clear explanation of Bud’s custom electronic enclosure modification capabilities to detailed product reviews, the Bud video collection is a great tool for any engineer. Our newest video highlights the incredible features of the SRP professional server rack series that has a low price, yet includes many accessories that other provide only at an extra cost. From included fan boxes for heat management to cable management brackets, this is a turn key unit that will provide a data center with the best in design and protection. Check out Bud’s entire video library at www.youtube.com/budind or find the videos throughout our product pages.