Top tips for buying enclosures – How to ensure the quality of design

Protecting computers, printers, touch-screens and LCDs from the perils of shop floor or industrial environments is relatively simple. Industrial computer enclosures or LCD enclosures fro digital signage is now being produced from a multitude of manufacturers at a variety of costs and quality.

In searching for an enclosure there are some important aspects to bear in mind. The first one is where the enclosure is to be situated and the likely conditions it is to face.

Many manufacturers of PC or LCD enclosures claim their products adhere to IP ratings or NEMA standards. The sad truth of the matter is that many of these companies self-certify their products and it is only their own word that they will do what they say they will. In shopping for an enclosure always ensure the manufacturer have third party certification to ensure they can back up their claims.

Dust is obviously a prime concern in many industrial areas and it is vital to protect electronic equipment from it. However, whilst many manufacturers claim they produce dustproof enclosures for computers, LCD’s, touch screens and printers and may even boast of their IP or NEMA rating.

However, the most effective method of dust proofing computer enclosures or similar display or printer enclosures it ensure they are designed with positive pressure inside the enclosure. Few manufacturers manage this as the design and implementation is quite difficult. Never-the-less unless the enclosure is designed with positive pressure (ie pressure inside the enclosure that exceeds the pressure outside) prevention of dust ingress is impossible so always ask your manufacturer how they manage this.

Waterproofing enclosures can be equally as problematic for design engineers as preventing water from entering an enclosure whilst still ensuring the enclosed device can still ‘breath’ is complex. One ingenious solution by one particular manufacturer is to use plenum chambers.

These act as a one-way method for getting air into the enclosure whilst preventing even high powered water jets. If you require a waterproof computer enclosure or waterproof LCD enclosure then ask the manufacturer how they manage to solve this problem.

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