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Modified Enclosures Or Custom Enclosures – What is the Difference?

Published on: May 26, 2021 by Blair Haas

Here is an example of a total custom enclosure

Bud has many successes in creating custom enclosures

One of the questions we are asked quite often is what is the difference between a modified enclosure and a custom enclosure and does Bud do both?  While Bud does do both, there can be significant difference in cost and lead time between them  First, a modified enclosure typically means that the product is a standard enclosure to which specific operations have been performed such as adding holes, slots, or cutouts to allow for component installation.  Other modifications include special colors or even digital printing.  The basic enclosure stays the same.  A custom enclosure may have its origins in a standard product but usually is designed specifically for the application.  A few examples of a custom enclosure might include changes in the dimensions or shape of a box or eliminating defining features such as shifting from a screw closure to a hinged closure

A Modified enclosure made from our PN series

A good way to think of the difference is to relate it to ordering a car.  You can order the car with or without heated seats, with or without sporty wheels, or in gray, black or blue.  Those are modifications.  If, on the other hand, you decide that you want to create a new car from scratch, sort of like Tesla did a few years back, then that is a custom car.  In the early days of cars, people would order totally custom bodies to make their car distinctive and that’s what we do with developing custom enclosures.

Here is an example of a total custom enclosure

Bud has many successes in creating custom enclosures


Why does it matter whether an item is custom or modified?  Typically, a modified enclosure is going to be much less expensive and quicker to produce than a custom enclosure.  Custom enclosures require time to develop detailed drawings, to modify or acquire tooling and to meet any certifications.  For example, a modified enclosure is much easier to have UL NEMA rated if the original box is so rated.  Starting from scratch to receive a UL rating can take up to six months.   Keep in mind that quantities can make a big difference in your selection as well.  If tooling costs are say $15-30,000 for a plastic enclosure, running 100 or even 1000 pieces will not be economical.  On the flip side, if you are running 100,000 pieces it would probably make sense to have a unit designed in a way that not only speeds your assembly and maintenance of the end product but also closely aligns with your corporate brand.


Bud does a great job of speeding production on modified enclosures on a broad range of products.  We offer a 5 day modification program that will take many of our products and add holes, slots, cutouts and other modifications in just 5 days after drawing approval without any “rush” surcharge.  Just send us your prints or ask us to help you design it.  We have a modification guide that you can order here.  We also do a significant business in totally custom enclosures.  Let us know what you need and we will get you a quote.

For all of your enclosure questions, contact Bud at 440-946-3200  or on our website via chat at any time.