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Category Archives: Plastic Enclosures
One of the most consistent questions that Bud Industries receives deals with the best materials for a NEMA or IP rated enclosure. Bud provides Nema and IP rated boxes in almost every material including steel, stainless steel, abs plastic, polycarbonate, fiberglass and die cast aluminum. In the last few years, we have added an interesting combination of polycarbonate and fiberglass (10%) that is becoming increasingly popular for many good reasons. This combination offers many advantages over both polycarbonate and traditional fiberglass materials when utilized for electronic enclosures.
Fiberglass is typically stronger than polycarbonate but because of the glass fibers it can crack upon impact. Polycarbonate is much less likely to crack. By adding a relatively small amount of glass fibers, the enclosure gains significant strength but still is basically crack resistant. This makes this product especially useful in a factory or other environment where the box may be more likely to receive impacts from other materials or equipment.
Bud Industries was founded with a focus on metal enclosures and rack, so people often forget that we have a broad line of plastic enclosures today as well. To do so is to risk overlooking one of the broadest lines of plastic enclosures in the industry. The focus of this and upcoming blogs will be on the non-hazardous environment products, just the traditional products that are typical of many of today’s indoor applications. It would probably surprise most readers to learn that Bud provides nearly 60 different products families in small plastic enclosures. They range from plastic rack mount chassis to small potting boxes. In today’s blog, I am going to focus on the key-fob enclosures.
We offer two series of key fob type plastic enclosures. The first, Hand Held Grabbers style F, and the more traditional rectangular shaped enclosures with either 2 or 4 buttons. Made from ABS plastic that is UL 94-HBrated, the buttons are gray silicon rubber. The second series is more ergonomically designed. The smaller sizes have rounded edges and come in 1 to 4 button configurations. There is a fifth size, with 5 buttons that has a curved handle and it is a bit more substantial and so easier to hold. This series is also made from ABS UL 94-VO plastic with the same gray silicon rubber material for the buttons. All are easy to pop open for installation of your pc board and we provide drawings for both board and button circuit layouts. Step file drawings are available for all parts. Bud can also provide different button configurations upon request.
Bud is excited about our new FBR-Series Fiber Optic Distribution Boxes. They are molded from a high quality light weight polycarbonate ABS blended material that is a completely enclosed structure. All 8-sizes have the ability to manage fiber lines, which are a thin piece of flexible glass, that cannot bend. They are used as a termination point for the feeder cable to connect with drop cable in FTTH (Fiber To The Home), FTTx (Fiber to The Location) communication network system. There is no electricity in these boxes; it integrates fiber splicing, splitting, distribution, storage and cable connection in one unit. Meanwhile, it provides solid protection and Management for the FTTH, FTTx network building. The boxes come in multiple sizes and configurations from 6.57×4.02×1.22 to 12.6×9.45×3.94 and all serve the same purpose. The smallest two sizes of FBR-series boxes, typically harder to find, expand the target market into home usage. With our very low prices, we have already found partners with those selling into internet providers and the installers who were contracted to install them.
Many consider the safest way to protect electronic components in a hazardous environment is to use a completely plastic NEMA enclosure. This eliminates the possibility for rust even in such often overlooked area as the latches and hinges. An entirely plastic enclosure provides the ultimate in low weight for the toughest durability. Bud’s very popular NBF series is the ultimate combination of great protection (NEMA/IP) and a value price.
Sometimes, here at Bud Industries, we take a look at some of our long term products such as our plastic rack mount chassis and are pleased to see that they are still as relevant today as they were when they were introduced more than a decade ago.
A bonus in the use of enclosures is that while the applications and, of course, the components will evolve over time, a product such as this chassis is flexible enough to accommodate the technological updates. It represents a simple solution to many of the engineers racking problems.
We are always delighted when a customer sends us a photo of one of our enclosures in use. It fascinates us to see the diversity in applications where electronics needs to be enclosed in industries of which we had no idea needed them.. From farming where enclosures are used in chicken coops to track the productivity and safety of the chickens to health care where motorized wheelchairs have their motor enclosed, the usage is impressive. But every so often, an application comes from an unexpected source and we find an enclosure is being utilized to solve a problem we never thought about.
We have known the Poncher family in the Electronic Component Industry for generations. Chuck Poncher’s father and uncle founded Newark Electronics in the early days of the industry at about the same time my grandfather founded Bud Industries. Chuck has a photo of a Bud truck delivering product to them dating back to the 40’s. After their business was sold, Chuck founded Hawk Electronics in the Chicago suburbs and that distributor still carries Bud products under the leadership of his son Kip. Kip, like me, the father of 4, recognized he had a tech problem in his home. The chargers for their electronic devices kept disappearing. To solve this, he grabbed a trusty Bud enclosure (CU-388-MB, a Bud plastic utilibox) and created a charging station for his home. The multi-purpose plastic enclosure proved perfect for housing allToday, once again, peace reigns within the Poncher household and our multi-generational friendship continues.
Between the new discoveries of water movement on Mars, and the Matt Damon movie, the Maritan, space and space travel is in the news. It is probably little known that Bud Industries played a small but important role in early space flight. For those old enough to remember, the astronauts carried with them a large metal box, its use was classified and we never learned exactly what it did. We thought it might have to do with generating oxygen or temperature controls for the space suit. Bud manufactured these boxes to their exacting standards and did so for nearly a decade until they were no longer required. In the intervening years, Bud has provided NASA products for a variety of applications, mostly involved in research and testing.
Today, Bud quality is internationally known particularly for products that protect components in harsh environments. While we have not tested our products on Mars, we have tested them under a variety of extreme weather conditions. One of our customers for our PN series of NEMA and IP rated plastic boxes deploys them in the Arctic Circle as part of a monitoring system. Having to deal with not only the extreme temperatures, but also moisture and wind create a challenge that we have successful met for years. Their boxes have worked flawlessly and the only modification has been that we have sent them updated gaskets as they have evolved to insure that they have the best possible product. While your applications may not be in space or at the North Pole, discover the protection that Bud can provide for all of your component needs.
It is often the case in technology that innovations are often adapted for different applications than was originally anticipated. For example, when the first cell phones were invented, no one could foresee that smart phones would follow and when smart phones were first developed, no one anticipated results that varied from Uber to messaging. When twitter was developed, no one anticipated how it would be so crucial in world developments, often being the sole means of providing communications from war torn or troubled regions. While not on that scale, one of the interesting parts of having a standard product line is that the use that we often consider when we develop the enclosure may not be the use that is adopted over time.
When we first developed our tablet enclosure, we had assumed that people would use it with the various tablets that were on the market. We had also assumed that only a small number of customers would be interested in the then optional gaskets as most tablets cannot be used outdoors in a way that would require NEMA type protection. It turned out that we were wrong. The tablet enclosure quickly morphed into a very popular LCD enclosure with the greatest applications being used for touch screens on a factory floor. We have seen them used for everything from controllers for machines, inspection, and testing. As a younger generation hits the manufacturing world, touch screens are their world and for all it is much more intuitive and accurate.
Bud can modify this enclosure to provide the cutouts that are needed for the displays or other controls to make the box a turnkey unit. We now offer a version with the gaskets included, making this the perfect enclosure for a broad range of applications. Let us know how you are using them!
For those of us who live in Cleveland, we have been living through many very late nights as the Cavs battle the Warriors for the NBA title. With the games starting shortly after 9 and often going into overtime, it has not been atypical for the game to end close to midnight. Whether it’s been a good game or a disappointing one, the adrenaline does not slow down until even later and we are all struggling to get moving in the morning.
In my last blog, I talked about how easy Bud makes it for the engineer or buyer with our fast modification service and increased level of accessories. For those of us (and given the national ratings, I think it is more than those in Cleveland and the Bay area) who are sleep deprived, Bud’s efforts are much appreciated. One more area of simplification is that we also offer products that are just plain multi-purposed and easy to use. This is the case with our new Snap Boxes. These simple plastic enclosures consist of a top and bottom that just snap together. There is no need for hardware (that could get lost) or special tools. They come with pop-out cable holes, so there is often no need for extra drilling. They securely snap together but if the top needs to be removed, it is easy to do so with the blade of a screwdriver, or even a car key. The mounting bosses are included to easily allow for the installation of boards and they have molded in mounting ears. With 12 sizes and two colors standard, the applications for these boxes is endless.
So as you work to recoup from those long nights, discover that Bud has products that make both the box selection and installation of your components basic enough that any of us can do them in our “near” sleep.
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