In the world of industrial automation, there’s something of a tug of war between modular industrial enclosures and unibody enclosures in terms of which design truly offers configuration flexibility. While the interchangeable panels and parts found in modular enclosures do provide a high degree of versatility, unibody enclosures also feature some key design and engineering components that help manufacturers create a more flexible industrial automation framework.
For example, some unibody enclosures allow for a range of mounting options on the factory floor to give manufacturers the ability to reduce their automation footprint, and be more creative with how their enclosures are deployed in the production space.
As you’ll see, it’s not necessarily a zero sum game between modular and unibody enclosures in terms of configuration flexibility, and, here, we’ll look at a couple of ways in which unibody enclosures can help manufacturers leverage a more flexible approach to creating efficient, adaptable manufacturing programs.
Unibody enclosures offer the ideal interior flexibility to meet your panel and wiring needs
When we talk about configuration flexibility, we’re talking about more than how easy it is to pop off a panel or switch out a door handle. Flexibility can also refer to the interior landscape of the enclosure, as well as how easily the enclosure can be integrated into existing automation systems without causing production downtime or disruption.
The single-piece body construction of unibody enclosures provides a great deal of flexibility in accommodating greater volumes of panels, wires, and cables, each of which is critical for large scale manufacturing environments — think food and beverage manufacturers, or those in the logistics space, like material handlers.
The ability to house a greater number of panels and wires — and to use this large amount of interior space to configure panels as required — makes large, freestanding unibody enclosures the ideal choice for when a compact enclosure is too small, but your production parameters don’t call for a bayed enclosure system.
What’s more, the ability to facilitate more panels and wires doesn’t come at the cost of safety and security. For example, Rittal’s VX SE Freestanding enclosure system is engineered using Industry 4.0 and IIoT principles to help ensure enhanced electromagnetic compatibility for a seamless integration into existing automation systems without fear of electrical failure or fault.
Plus, the new Rittal VX SE Floormount enclosure system features a vandal-proof design to prevent unauthorized entry. With superior protection and durability via IP 55 and NEMA 12/3R ratings, the VX SE Floormount enclosure is ideal for indoor and outdoor applications, even in the harshest of manufacturing environments.
Unibody enclosures can be configured to a variety of widths and depths to fit a range of applications
Many of today’s manufacturing contexts come with challenging industrial enclosure deployment specifications, particularly in terms of the ideal dimensions required to meet these obstacles. For instance, retrofitting facilities for warehouse automation has taken the material handling industry by storm, but the unique floor plans of these facilities can complicate the enclosure specification and configuration process.
With the VX SE, designers can replace up to three bayed industrial enclosures without sacrificing durability and reliability. The VX SE offers IP 66 and NEMA 4 or 4X ratings, and, for food and beverage manufacturers, this means the enclosure can withstand a variety of intense washdown procedures.
The VX SE also comes standard in a variety of dimensions to simplify and streamline the integration process. The space-saving nature of the VX SE allows designers to scale based on demand or space constraints of the production room floor. The VX SE offers a wide range of dimensions with widths up to 1800 mm and depths of up to 300 mm for confined production applications.
Plus, The new VX SE Floormount enclosure system is an off-the-shelf solution that is available in seven standard sizes, and the new floormount version of the VX SE can be configured with or without legs to help you adapt and thrive in almost any production facility.
Rittal’s dedication to innovation has helped us introduce a new breed of unibody industrial enclosures that provide configuration flexibility, and help manufacturers create a more versatile industrial automation framework.