Metal is one of the most versatile materials used in manufacturing today. Sheet metal is used in the production of many products, including housing units for electronics and other delicate components.
Your company may be in the market for custom sheet metal enclosures that can protect vital machinery and components used by your employees each day.
Despite the fact that sheet metal enclosures can vary in size, construction, and design, there are a few characteristics that all enclosures share. You must take these characteristics into consideration during the design phase of your project to ensure you end up with sheet metal enclosures that will meet your needs.
A sheet metal enclosure should not only be functional, but it should also have a high aesthetic value as well. The finish on the enclosure should reflect the intended use and the overall design of the environment in which the enclosure will be housed.
Choosing the right finish will ensure that your sheet metal enclosures wear predictably and maintain their aesthetic over time. Many finish processes can be used to create your desired aesthetic.
If you need a sheet metal enclosure that can stand up to some abuse, then a textured powder coating is a good option. The textured finish can help camouflage blemishes and hide fingerprints or smudges. If you are planning to silkscreen a company logo onto the surface of each sheet metal enclosure you order, then a smooth finish will help the artwork look crisp and defined.
The profile of your sheet metal enclosures should be considered carefully during the design phase. Profile can have a significant impact on the overall cost of fabrication for each enclosure piece. Specifically, the type of corners that you incorporate into your design can cause fabrication costs to rise.
Broad, sweeping corners might provide a more ergonomic and comfortable grip, but these corners require more processing time during the formation phase and additional time during welding to create. The added time translates into a higher cost per enclosure.
Try to limit your design to a profile with single-hit bends. When the correct angle can be achieved with a single hit to the sheet metal, your enclosures will be as affordable as possible to fabricate in bulk.
Once you have designed a sheet metal enclosure with an economic shape and finish, you will need to consider any functional additions that might need to be added to each enclosure to facilitate proper use.
One example of a common functional addition is the inclusion of louvers or hole-clusters that allow for air to flow freely through the enclosure. These additions help to prevent overheating of the components housed within the sheet metal enclosure.
Specialized tooling is required to create these functional additions. If you want to minimize the fabrication costs for each sheet metal enclosure your company orders, it can be helpful to consult with the fabrication company during the design phase.
Incorporating functional additions that can be created using tools the company already has on-hand will help keep fabrication costs low without compromising the functional efficiency of each enclosure.
Although they may seem like an insignificant element, sheet metal enclosures can play a vital role in the protection and performance of delicate electronic components and machinery. Careful consideration during the design phase will help you produce sheet metal enclosures that are attractive, cost-effective, and functional.
If you are thinking about investing in custom sheet metal enclosures for your company, contact J&E Metal Fabricators, Inc. We can help guide you through the design process and fabricate custom enclosures that will meet your unique needs.