In the US, the two main organizations who set electrical safety standards for electrical enclosures are NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) and UL (Underwriters Laboratories). Although the standards for each enclosure type are independent from each other, the protection expectations are mostly the same. UL ratings are often described in more technical language, but after reviewing the summarized protections in the "NEMA and UL Ratings Equivalency Chart" below, you’ll quickly see that the enclosure protection expectations are almost identical.
If you typically buy standard electrical enclosures and boxes, you know that there are thousands of options available. However, when you need a few modifications to enclosures at high production volumes, it’s best to get help from a manufacturer who provides custom fabrication. HUI’s Industrial Business Development team specializes in these custom enclosures, so we thought we’d share some common modifications you can expect from custom metal fabrication manufacturers.
The industrial design engineering team at HUI has been with the company for many years now. In fact, the longest-standing team member, Chris Freund, has been engineering with HUI for 29 years. Wayne Schad has been engineering for 13 out of the 25 years he’s worked for the company. Lastly, Scot Hoerth has also been engineering at HUI for 13 years. Over this time they’ve gained a wealth of valuable knowledge and experience with each new industrial design project. That’s why we thought we’d share some of the secrets they’ve learned from 55 combined years of engineering for manufacturing at HUI.
The New Year is finally here! It's nice to take this time to think about everything we’ve accomplished in 2018, as we get excited to begin 2019. That’s why we’d like to take a moment and reflect on the top five manufacturing posts published on the HUI Manufacturing Blog in 2018.
IP ratings define an electrical enclosure’s level of protection against ingress of water and solid objects based on the enclosure’s ability to pass performance criteria outlined by the international standard IEC 60529. The rating consists of the letters IP followed by two digits, e.g. IP54. The first digit indicates the level of protection against solid objects. The second digit indicates the level of protection against liquids. To help you understand what kind of protection each IP rating offers, we’ve created this guide for your reference.
There are two types of enclosure rating systems. One is the National Electronic Manufacturers Association (NEMA) rating system, which is primarily used in the U.S. and Canada. The other is Ingress Protection or International Protection (IP) rating system. Both of the standards establish specifications about the performance criteria for different enclosures. To help you determine which type of enclosure is right for you, we’ve put together a list of NEMA enclosure types, IP Equivalency Ratings and definitions to help you compare your options.
When creating a new custom enclosure take time to consider which parts, or hardware, you can share between designs. For example, if one preexisting design has specific studs or latches, you might use the same ones for multiple enclosures when appropriate. Designing with intentional commonalities can benefit both you and your customers, and here’s why.
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.