Indoors and outdoors, large and small, standard and customized, metal electrical enclosures suit a wide range of applications. These sturdy, reliable products are designed to protect their vulnerable contents from hazardous surroundings. In addition, they sometimes protect people from their electrical contents. To fulfill their pivotal purpose, most enclosures utilize strong and dependable metals like aluminum and steel (including galvanized, carbon, and stainless steel). Today we’re exploring metal enclosure applications, so that you can appreciate the versatility of these heavy-duty structures.
Metal Enclosure Applications
Because a variety of industries utilize sensitive electrical products in potentially hazardous environments, many companies need metal enclosures. They house switchboards, control panels, transfer switches, power outlets, general-purpose transformers, termination boxes, motor controllers, and much more. We can’t create an exhaustive list of metal enclosure applications, but we can relay some of the industries and applications that commonly utilize metal enclosures:
- Bottling Plants
- Cement Plants
- Chemical Processing
- Coal Mines
- Food & Beverage Industry
- Healthcare Industry
- Industrial Plants
- Information Technologies
- Manufacturing Facilities
- Office Environments
- Oil & Gas Production
- Petrochemical Plants
- Security and Fire Applications
- Solar Batteries
- Stock Batteries
- Traffic Control
- Warehouse Environments
- Waste Water Treatment Facilities
For the next few weeks, keep an eye out for metal enclosure applications wherever you go. You might spot a metal enclosure stationed in your neighborhood, protecting electrical tools at the pool, hiding in the basement of your office, or sheltering equipment at a school. Electrical enclosures are especially prevalent, for obvious reasons, in places where electrical equipment must be stored outside.
With so many metal enclosure applications in existence, you might wonder how to select the right enclosure for your needs. The standards published by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) allow manufacturers and consumers to communicate about enclosures’ design and resilience. Different metal enclosure applications have different requirements, but once you know where an enclosure will be situated and how it will be used, you can determine which NEMA standard suits it. The standards include a variety of attributes. For example, enclosures with different standards provide varying degrees of protection against the following conditions:
- Access to hazardous parts
- Ingress of falling dirt (and other solid foreign objects)
- Ingress of dripping water
- Ingress of lightly splashed water
- Ingress of circulating dust, lint, fibers, etc.
- Ingress of water directed at the enclosure with a hose
- Seepage of oil or coolants
- Spraying of oil and coolants
- Presence of corrosive agents
- Temporary submersion in water (occasional)
- Prolonged submersion in water (occasional)
- Weather (rain, sleet, snow)
- Exterior formation of ice
To select the right NEMA standard for your needs, you must consider what the enclosure will be up against. Will it fight off wind-blown dust, textile fibers, or wood shavings? Do you live in a cold climate and expect your enclosure to confront sleet, snow, and layers of ice? Will your enclosure ever be splashed or plunged into water? Once you know the conditions of the enclosure’s planned environment, you can determine the right NEMA standard and begin shopping.
How to Get Started
If you’re on the hunt for a company that can manufacture premium metal enclosures on your behalf, check out American Products Contract Manufacturing. Manufacturing metal enclosures is our specialty. Our high-quality, innovative enclosures enable our customers to assist the telecommunications industry in expanding and improving their network services. We offer NEMA type 1, type 2, type 3, type 3-R, type 3-X, type 4, and type 4-X metal enclosures, and we form these enclosures from aluminum, galvanized steel, carbon steel, and stainless steel to create a rugged and reliable structure. Give us a call at 1-877-736-2228 to learn more, or request a free quote online.