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Bud’s NBE Plastic NEMA Enclosure Part of NASA Contest

Published on: July 15, 2021 by Blair Haas

As a 93 year old company, we, at Bud Industries,  are still excited to encourage young engineers especially when it comes to the value of using Bud Plastic NEMA enclosures.  We were recently contacted by the Space Raiders of Milwaukee School of Engineering for support with the donation of one of our NBE enclosures to assist them in NASA’s Robotic Mining Competition, Lunabotics 2021.  Their task was to design, build, and operate a lunar excavator prototype.  The entire goal of the project, from NASA’s perspective, is to encourage young engineers and to give them a sense of the NASA style of engineering

The Space Raiders of MSOE with their lunar mining unit


This program is geared to college or graduate level engineering students with the goal not only of encouraging them to continue in the STEM fields but to expand the opportunities for student research and design.  They anticipate that the team competition approach will help the student engineers learn the value of collaboration as the best and quickest approach to obtaining the best possible results.  The premise is that in order to have a sustainable presence on the moon, people will have to excavate lunar soil to extract local resource to develop building materials, water or maybe even rocket fuel. With the option of many people needing to be supported, the opportunity to bring all that is required is not cost or opportunity effective.

NBE Plastic NEMA enclosure in use

This is an overview of the MSOE Lunabotics entry with the Bud NBE in the center


The teams were rated on the 3 various phases of design, build and operations.  Within each category they earned points for everything from developing their original plan and how they were able to document it to the build process with detailed engineering support materials, to actually being able to demonstrate its operations.  The focus was as much on process and detailed scientific output as it was on the actual machine operations.  The balance between the discipline of the research and the excitement of the final product truly mimics the student’s professional life after graduation.

NBE use in NASA Competition

This is a closeup of Bud’s NBE NEMA plastic Enclosure in us


While we would not be surprised if a Bud NBE plastic NEMA enclosure had been used on the moon, it has been designed for extensive use here on earth.  Made from durable polycarbonate, it is rated NEMA 4x and also IP66.  That means that it is perfect for most hazardous situations.  It comes with mounting brackets that made its installation into this module so much easier and it won’t compromise the integrity of the box itself.  They are available in three sizes but are a part of our extensive NB series of boxes.

The NBE series is a perfect blend of protection and value

Bud’s NBE series is NEMA rated 4x and is IP66.


So how did the Space Raiders do?  At the virtual awards ceremony 3 weeks ago, the placed 5th out of 39 teams, an outstanding performance.  They were up against the top engineering schools in the country and did an incredible job.  We certainly won’t claim that the Bud NEMA Plastic Enclosure made the difference but we do hope that it helped.

Join us in congratulating the Space Raiders of the Milwaukee School of Engineering for their terrific success and we look forward to hearing of the exciting work in the future.