HOW TO SPECIFY METAL SLOPING FRONT ENCLOSURES FOR DESKTOP ELECTRONICS
THE CHALLENGE FACING ELECTRONICS DESIGNERS
Specifying the right desktop enclosures for your electronics can often be a difficult balancing act because there may not be much room for compromize. They must be elegant, robust and ergonomic: they must tick all of these boxes – two out of three is not enough.
And that can sometimes present a challenge. Applications such as office systems or point-of-sale may slightly favour aesthetics over robustness – whereas the opposite may be true for security and industrial machine control. But in either case, good ergonomics will always be vital.
Sloping front enclosures must present displays and controls at a comfortable angle for viewing and operation but there are other factors to consider:
- What sizes are available as standard?
- Can the enclosures be easily modified to create a custom size?
- How will the PCBs and other components be mounted?
- Are there recesses for a membrane keypad (front) and interfaces (rear)?
- What level of ingress protection is required?
- Do the enclosures offer wall mounting as an option?
- Can the enclosures be custom finished quickly and easily so they can go directly to a production line for installation of components?
TECHNOMET SL AND UNIDESK
TECHNOMET is METCASE’s flagship desktop enclosure. It has taken the genre to the next level by offering a modern and cohesive design with diecast bezels that flush-fit into the fabricated aluminum case body. The aim was to create a metal enclosure engineered to the fine tolerances typically found on plastic enclosures. TECHNOMET SL is the sloping front version.
UNIDESK is a sloping front terminal enclosure with a tried and trusted design that has proved to be extremely popular over the years – especially for applications involving health and social care. UNIDESK is smart, tough and highly versatile.
WHAT ARE THE STANDARD SIZES? ARE CUSTOM SIZES AVAILABLE?
Creating a sloping front version of TECHNOMET – one that would maintain the flush-fit aesthetics of the range – was not an easy task due to the angles involved. Despite this, TECHNOMET SL sloping front enclosures are offered in three sizes: 8.85" x 9.05" x 3.93", 10.82" x 11.22" x 4.92" and 13.77" x 12.59" x 5.90".
That is comparable with UNIDESK which is also offered in three sizes: 7.87" x 7.87" x 4.01", 11.81" x 7.87" x 4.01" and 15.74" x 7.87" x 4.01". But you’ll notice that only one dimension changes – the width. So when it comes to bespoke sizes, UNIDESK can be specified only in custom widths…whereas TECHNOMET SL can be specified in custom lengths, widths and depths thanks to the design of its bezels.
HOW WILL THE COMPONENTS BE MOUNTED?
There are two ways to install PCBs in METCASE aluminum enclosures. You can either mount them on PCB pillars or slide them in on guide rails. These PCB mounting kits and guides are available as accessories (along with front panels, case feet and other useful items).
UNIDESK has pre-punched PCB fixing points in the base, enabling circuit boards to be mounted on pillars. TECHNOMET SL offers more choice:
- each enclosure’s base panel is pre-fitted with four PCB mounting pillars
- the internal chassis is pre-punched for fitting guide rails (accessory).
ARE THE ENCLOSURES RECESSED FOR ADDED PROTECTION? HOW EASY IS ACCESS?
Both TECHNOMET SL and UNIDESK feature a recessed front panel (accessory) and a recessed rear panel (to help protect interfaces). TECHNOMET SL has a removable rear panel – and the U-shaped top section slides off for rapid access. The front panel is also easy to remove too. UNIDESK also offers swift access, this time via the removable base panel.
WHAT LEVEL OF INGRESS PROTECTION IS REQUIRED?
UNIDESK can be specified with optional IP 54 protection, courtesy of gaskets for the front and base panels. The IP rating – International Protection Mark or Ingress Protection Mark (IEC 529) – is a standard controlled by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
IP 54 signifies that an enclosure provides users with complete protection from voltage-carrying or internal moving parts. However, it does not offer complete protection against dust ingress. That would require an IP 6X rating. But dust is prevented from entering in quantities harmful enough to impair the functioning of the device. IP 54 also confirms that the enclosure is splash-proof (based on a five-minute test in which 10 litres/minute of water is splashed against all sides of the enclosure at a pressure of 80-100 kPa ).
DO THE ENCLOSURES OFFER WALL MOUNTING AS AN OPTION?
UNIDESK is your best bet for this application because it is as much at home on walls as it is on desks. Its front panel slopes by 60° from the vertical, making it perfect for applications such as access control. Wall mounting kits are available as accessories for all three sizes of UNIDESK.
These kits comprize extrusions which fit into grooves on the rear or underside of UNIDESK – enabling the enclosures to be wall mounted either horizontally or vertically. The profiles feature both round and stadium-shaped screw holes; the latter makes it easier to adjust the position of the enclosures when fixing them to a wall.
CAN THE ENCLOSURES BE SUPPLIED CUSTOM FINISHED?
All METCASE standard enclosures – be they for desks, 19” racks or portable use – can be supplied fully customized. All the work is done in-house so we are fully accountable for the quality of the customized housings from start to finish. This ensures consistency of quality, speeds up production and reduces administration.
Customization services include bespoke sizes, custom front panels, CNC machining and fixings and inserts. Enclosures can be specified in any color – and at no extra cost if that color is one of the recently extended ‘always in stock’ range.
Digital printing of legends and logos is now faster than ever thanks to further investment in new equipment. Simultaneous printing of color and white results in faster production times. Photo-quality graphics are possible up to:
- 1800 x 1800 dpi
- size A2 (23.6" x 16.53"), printed on to surfaces up to 5.90" (150 mm) high.
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