Tag Archives: electronic enclosures

Certifications for NEMA/IP Electronic Enclosures can make a Difference

An industry leader in electronic enclosures
Josiah Haas provides guidance on NEMA and IP rated enclosures

While I often use my blog to discuss important issues in enclosures or the electronics industry, it is sometimes nice to hear a different voice in the process.  Josiah Haas, our president, was recently interviewed for Automation World by David Greenfield on the differences between a certified and non-certified enclosure and when to use what type of certification. He clarifies how the use of the appropriately rated products can improve both uptime and component safety.  As companies move their products into different environments and/or upgrade their current products, this podcast is a solid background to insure that the engineer is making the right choices.   Here is the podcast link:

https://www.automationworld.com/enclosures-difference-between-standard-and-certified Read More >>

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Bud Industries 4th of July Musings

NEMA Box
Bud has a complete line of NEMA IP electronic enclosures

As I write this and we prepare for the 4th of July holiday, I am once again struck by the American Dream and how our Electronic Enclosure Company’s story could have only happened in the United States.  As I have mentioned before, Bud Industries was founded as Bud Radio by my grandfather, Max Haas, in 1928.  An immigrant from what is now the Czech Republic around 1900, he had a self-taught engineering and marketing mind and was fascinated by what we would now call technology and the opportunities it would present.  What started as an antenna company (the first to offer a product that eliminated the need for a roof top radio antenna), evolved into car antennas, and then into other radio parts (he sold off the antenna business), and finally into enclosures.  He and my grandmother worked hard to take the ideas he uncovered and turn them into a solid enduring business. 

I think about how few countries, at that time, would allow a refugee family to be welcomed into their land, provide free education for their children, and encourage them to be whatever they wanted with relatively limited restrictions.  While America of that era was not perfect, it offered many the chance to create the best life they could for themselves and their families and to hopefully allow their children to have better lives than theirs. Read More >>

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Bud Plastic Enclosures, We are More than Just the Metal Guys

Key-Fob enclosures are in stock today at Bud stocking distributors
Bud’s Key-Fob Plastic Enclosures come in 2 and 4 button versions

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. Read More >>

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How to Modify Enclosures to Get the Design You Need for Less Time and Cost

What distinguishes a simple metal or plastic box from a functional electronic enclosure? Most often, it’s the modifications necessary to allow access to the interior, stabilize and protect its contents, and present the appropriate appearance. Enclosures typically need a minimum of one cutout for a power cable and often many other modifications, which can include holes, cutouts, tappings, gaskets, pre-assembly, and finishing.

Posted in Custom Enclosures, Electronic Enclosures | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Training on Enclosures is a good Investment

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:

http://www.element14.com/community/events/3611

It will be a simple, no-nonsense approach to learning what not to do, and by extension, what to do to make sure that the enclosure you select is the best for your application.  All too often, engineers understand the intricacies of the electronics but have not really been trained in the basics of enclosures.  While it may seem very low tech, the products often have a high average selling price and therefore can make a huge impact in the ability to use and sell the final product.   This session will help guide you through the process to be sure that you make the best choices.

Join me on April 23.  I look forward to chatting with you.

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Fiberglass Electronic Enclosures Broaden their Appeal

Although I have been involved with the electronic enclosure industry for nearly 40 years, I continue to be amazed at the variety of applications which require these enclosures.  The application space has expanded significantly since we introduced NEMA 4x Fiberglass Enclosures a few years ago.  These durable boxes are priced well below market, but provide industry leading protection.    They are more durable than polycarbonate boxes with less vulnerability to cracking when struck.   Some of the applications that we have seen recently include:

  1. In solid state lighting, the controls for the lighting need to be enclosed and often protected from outdoor or factory environments.  Numerous customers find that fiberglass provides a simple solution to long term exposure
  2. Fiber optic distribution, again in the lighting or energy fields
  3. In food services, we have customers that locate their controls in the fields or barns to track production where frequent hose down or weather situations require proper protection
  4. Climate controls and environmental tracking industries are also a unique niche that fiberglass enclosures effectively support.
  5. Solar Energy collection and conversion is a growing application for these electronic enclosures as they can withstand higher heat and yet are not conductive as one finds with metal enclosures.

The market for Fiberglass enclosures is broad and rapidly growing as pricing becomes more competitive.  With durable protection, limited conductivity, and hose down capabilities, they have much to offer.  Don’t forget that we can modify these boxes with cutouts, slots and other secondary operations to improve assembly time and truly provide a turn-key solution.

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Videos Tell the Story

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.

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Enclosures that Offer Great Value

When selecting an enclosure, often an engineer is focused on the aesthetics of the box, looking to the “shell” to help create an attractive device to promote in the market.  This is especially true in a consumer type product where marketing is as important as design features.  But there are many instances where all that is required is a strong enclosure to provide protection for the sensitive equipment inside.  For a smaller box, one of the most cost effective yet durable solutions is a die cast aluminum enclosure.  Die casting is a low cost operation that produces a product that provides a large level of protection from external damage, yet often comes with great features such as molded in pcb mounting slots and offsets.  The come in versions that include NEMA or watertight enclosure gasket or even protection against EMI/RFI.  While they are tough, they are relatively easy to modify for holes, cutouts or even powdered or silk screened.  Bud offers all of these versions plus options for welded or molded mounting brackets.  For many, it becomes important not to just look at the visuals, but to evaluate all of the electronic enclosure options to determine the best overall value to the project.

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How to Interpret NEMA Ratings

Perhaps one of the most confusing standards for an engineer to follow is NEMA ratings as it relates to enclosures.  It would be natural to consider that the higher the NEMA rating, the greater the protection.  This is definitely not the case.  It is also typical that one might assume that having a NEMA rating of any sort implies a high level of protection.  This is also not the case.  NEMA ratings are set up in a way to address a variety of concerns:  safety from moving parts, protection from dripping water, dripping oils, sprayed liquids, UV, corrosion, ice, and many more.  NEMA 1 ratings, for example, simply suggest that the product protects against contact with moving internal parts.  The ratings becomes confusing when you consider that NEMA 4 protects your product from sprayed water, ideal for wash-down or weather intensive locations.  NEMA 12 only protects against dust, falling dirt and dripping liquids so would be more appropriate in an environment where there may be less significant environmental factors, such as a factory which may not be a clean room.  NEMA 3 is weather resistant, with NEMA 3r protecting against icing as well.  The point is that you want to be sure you are receiving the level of protection you need without overpaying for too much.  For a complete listing of all of the relevant NEMA ratings for enclosures, Bud has a great tool, the Design Tips Handbook which you can download for free at http://www.budind.com/request_designtips.php .  Good luck with your design!

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Marketing and the Electronic Enclosure

This week, the famous Consumer Electronics Show is being held in Las Vegas.  It is a media savvy vehicle for bringing new products and technology to market.  As the various vendors and industry pundits’ work to impress us with what is new, I find myself thinking about some of the basics.  Over time, some of the most exciting advances have to do with packaging and how the product appears to the increasingly sophisticated consumer.  Take a look at ipods or flat screen televisions, and you see that how the components are packaged is often more important than the components themselves.  This brings us to the importance of the enclosure.

An increasing segment of Bud Industry’s market is customizing products to meet the unique design and marketing features of the customer.   In fact, one of the most significant changes in the selling of enclosures is the inclusion of marketing leadership in the design phase.  This is a great approach because we have seen that when marketing is involved near the end of the project, expensive changes can occur.  These can result from a desire to make the product more ergonomic to more in line with the company branding efforts.  For example, we did a prototype for a customer in one of our smaller plastic enclosures which perfectly suited their board mounting, display and connectivity needs.  On a later iteration, they decided that they needed the unit made out of a special color to match their company colors and to help distinguish them in the market.  Although the change itself was not complex, the alteration caused production delays as well as inconvenience for all involved.

The key is to work effectively by recognizing that the enclosure is actually a vital part of the marketing/branding effort.  With minor “tweeks”, that standard plastic box or other electronic enclosure becomes unique, allowing for the meshing of price, visual concerns, and product innovation.  The earlier this is accomplished, the more likely the success of the branding, the marketing, and perhaps the product launch at next year’s Consumer Show.

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