HOW TO SPECIFY CUSTOMIZED TECHNOMET INSTRUMENT ENCLOSURES
TECHNOMET INSTRUMENT ENCLOSURES: THE DESIGN ETHOS…
Our TECHNOMET premium instrument enclosures were always intended to be more than merely solid, dependable and practical – they were also designed to be beautiful. They were created to answer some key questions involved in the fabrication of metal electronic enclosures.
What if a folded aluminum enclosure could be manufactured to tighter tolerances? What if it could be built to the same kind of tolerances as molded plastic enclosures? What if enclosure aesthetics and practicality didn’t have to be a compromise? What if they could be combined to create a more advanced solution that offered greater choice?
TECHNOMET instrument enclosures represent the answer to all these questions. But to truly understand the big picture and all the resultant benefits, it’s important to focus first on one specific part of the enclosure – the bezels – and why they have such a profound and positive effect on the finished product…
WHY TECHNOMET’S BEZELS MAKE CUSTOM SIZES SO EASY
You’ve probably guessed by now that TECHNOMET’S bezels are unlike those of other enclosures. For a start they’re flush-fit, immediately enhancing the appearance of the housing and – by association – the value of the electronics inside. But there is more to it than that.
Yes, bezels improve the aesthetics of instrument enclosures but that’s not the only reason they’re fitted: they also make it easier to gain access to the components inside. Remove TECHNOMET’s front trims, unscrew the front panel and the PCBs can simply slide out. Removing the rear panel is just as easy.
But with many metal enclosures, bezels can be restrictive. They’re diecast, so they can limit the availability of custom sizes. Not so with TECHNOMET – its bezels can be modified for both height and width.
This clever bezel design enables you to specify the enclosures in bespoke depths, widths and heights. This is something we’ve been rolling out across our range of instrument enclosures but the idea started with TECHNOMET.
It’s important to note that this benefit also applies to TECHNOMET when it is specified with a sloping front. However, although bespoke widths and depths are simple to manufacture, custom heights can be a little more complex because the angle of the sloping front changes.
CUSTOM MACHINING TECHNOMET INSTRUMENT ENCLOSURES
Every METCASE standard enclosure – be it TECHNOMET or any other model – is designed to require as little customization as possible. Many clients opt for a standard housing then specify custom front and rear panels. On TECHNOMET, the front panel must be specified as an accessory while the rear panel is included. Both these flat panels are easy to customize.
Every enclosure will require some form of CNC machining to allow the installation of controls, a power supply and other connectors. In April 2022, we announced a six-figure investment in three new state-of-the-art punching, forming and milling machines to further accelerate production.
CNC punching includes holes, slots, half shears, dimples, burst holes and vent louvres. CNC folding includes corners, tabs, flanges, Dutch folds and joggles. Find out more here and see examples.
For CNC milling, drilling and tapping, our machining tolerance is +/- 0.004" (0.1 mm) for cut-outs, recessed areas and holes of lengths up to 1.181" (30 mm), and +/- 0.006" (0.15 mm) for lengths up to 4.724" (120 mm). The minimum corner radius is 0.039" (1 mm). Find out more and see examples.
SPECIFYING TECHNOMET INSTRUMENT ENCLOSURES IN CUSTOM COLORS
TECHNOMET is available in two colours as standard: light gray (RAL 7035) and anthracite (RAL 7016). And for many customers, this is exactly what they want – readily available from stock. But it’s also very easy to specify TECHNOMET in custom colors. There are three options…
The first is to choose a completely different color for the entire housing. We have plenty of colors in stock so it’s simply a matter of specifying the one that you’d like. You can see our range of stocked colors here. There are more than 40 colors to choose from. They include red, orange, yellow, green and 13 shades of blue (14 if you count teal). If you want a different shade not available from stock, we usually work with RAL colors but we can match others on request.
The second method is to add a colour highlight. You retain the standard light gray or anthracite for the main case but add contrast to other parts of the enclosure by specifying them in a different color. It could be the bezels, the trims or the front and rear panels for example. This is a quick, easy and cost-effective way to add corporate branding or color coding to an enclosure. It can be as subtle or as striking as you wish.
Option three involves combining the first two methods. You can specify the main case in a non-standard color…and then add highlights in a different color. But whichever method you choose, it is worth remembering that understatement is often the best policy – when it comes to colour, a little customization can go a long way. Especially when you factor in the printing of legends and logos.
CUSTOM PRINTING FOR TECHNOMET ENCLOSURES
By far the bulk of printing we do for TECHNOMET enclosures involves the front and rear panels. It’s usually a logo plus the requisite legends around the controls. We will have already machined the panels to create the necessary apertures for LEDs, potentiometer spindles and various interfaces.
In-house digital printing allows us to create photo-quality graphics in full-color CMYK. The set-up costs are very low, making it viable for low-volume orders – ideal for instrument enclosures destined for niche applications. Our A2-format flatbed printer enables us to print multiple panels or housings in each cycle. This speeds up production and reduces the cost to you.
Printing legends, logos and graphics on your instrument enclosures >>
SPECIFYING YOUR TECHNOMET WITH CUSTOM FIXINGS AND INSERTS
Every TECHNOMET comes with plenty of fixings and inserts as standard. In the base there are four M3 PCB mounting pillars as an alternative to using snap-in PCB guides (accessory). Furthermore, all case panels are fitted with M4 pillars for earth connections.
There is also a wide range of other fixings and inserts that you can specify as a custom order. They include flush-head fixing studs, standoffs (through, blind, concealed head, PCB), self-clinch nuts, right-angle panel nuts, and cable tie mounts.
View the full range of custom fixings and inserts >>
GETTING STARTED WITH CUSTOMIZATION
Here’s a complete list of all the enclosure customization services we offer. You’ll find useful information about everything we’ve talked about in this blog post – along with links to the individual services. It’s also well worth reading our Complete Guide To Customized And Bespoke Metal Electronic Enclosures. This guide includes:
- bespoke vs customized metal enclosures
- CNC machining
- fixings and inserts
- powder coating vs wet painting
- custom finishes.
Download a 3D model of your preferred enclosure and see how it will look fully customized.
Learn more about TECHNOMET >>
GET EXPERT TECHNICAL ADVICE
View the full range of METCASE instrument enclosures here. Along with TECHNOMET, you’ll find 10 other models – including TECHNOMET 19”desktop mini-racks (which are also available in a 10.5” width).
Need more information? Contact the METCASE team for specialist advice on specifying the best standard, customised or bespoke instrument enclosures for your electronics.