Modifying Standard Enclosures vs. Custom Enclosures: What’s the Right Option for You?

Shannon Pelky No Comments

Are you having a hard time deciding whether you should modify a standard enclosure or have a new custom enclosure built for your industrial redesign project? Here’s some information to help you choose the right option for your needs.

Modifying Standard Enclosures

With all of the standard enclosure options available, it may seem easy enough to pick one that’s closest to your needs and modify it to fit your electrical equipment. Though this option might work well and may initially be more economical, there are multiple aspects to consider.

  • Lower price: The price to modify an enclosure will often be lower but not always. The price depends on the number of features that need to be added or altered, the difficulty of those modifications and the volume.
  • Longer lead times: Standard enclosure manufacturers offer modifications, but due to their large customer base major alterations are typically not their top priority. The production process will stay the same over time, so modifications can involve longer lead times (average of eight weeks).
  • Modification capabilities: Every company has different machines and, in turn, different capabilities. You’ll have to find out which companies can complete your alterations, otherwise a custom enclosure may be your only option.
  • Powder Coat Paint Limitations: Standard enclosure companies often have their own specific powder coat paint options. Keep in mind that you will be limited to those options.

Custom Enclosures

With custom enclosures, you might be convinced customizing takes more time and money, but that’s not always the case. Again, there are multiple aspects to consider.

  • Higher price: The price to design a custom enclosure will often be higher, especially if you are only adding a few basic features and expect a low production volume. However, if you expect the opposite, a custom enclosure could be the less expensive option.
  • Shorter lead times after initial design: Factoring in the initial design time, lead times may start at an average of four weeks. Any repeat orders after that may take as little as two weeks.
  • Prototyping allows you to easily spot issues: Part of HUI’s custom enclosure design process involves a prototyping stage, where we build our customers a working prototype, so they can conduct their own tests. Once the prototype is reviewed and tested, design edits can be requested before it goes into production.
  • Design engineering takes the pressure off of you: A design engineering team will help you redesign your enclosure. You will receive their expert advice, and spend less of your own time finding solutions.
  • Design possibilities: You’ll have many options when it comes to powder coat paint colors and design features. Customizing allows you to get the design and color you want, instead of a design and color you were limited to.

The best option for your redesign project depends on your budget, volume and the complexity of your modifications. If you’re still unsure about which option to choose for your project, or if you need help with a custom enclosure project, contact us today.

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