D-SNAP technology for quick assembly of flat pack enclosures

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FDB Panel Fittings was excited by the possibilities of the SNAP-LINE range for use in fabricating flat pack enclosures - as illustrated by the videos available on the company's website and YouTube channel. The D-SNAP technology has been designed for quick, easy use and has been applied to a full range of components from panel joiners to hinges and swinghandles so that a complete assembly may be produced for flat transport and simple assembly on site.

FDB offers locks, handles, hinges, compression latches, quarter-turns, swinghandles, joining elements, pull handles and slam latches, all of which are likely to interest specialist enclosure or cabinet builders who are looking for a simple labour-saving way to rationalise panel punching and subsequent assembly. The SNAP-LINE system features a clip-in and tool removal system covering metal thicknesses from 0.8mm up to 2.7mm in convenient steps to suit normal industrial practice. Sealing of hinges and locks/handles can be up to IP65 where specified.

This modular technology requires only rectangular hole punching to suit the relevant component, which can then be pushed into place by hand to achieve a firm, positive fit. The system can be used to fabricate complete cabinets by means of joining elements that can hold sides to back, and panels to frames; other components then complete the assembly with snap-in hinges and door closure/security items, and so on. The technology that enables this involves careful use of detail design criteria and spring utilisation to ensure a 'locked-in' tight fit once installed and a robust assembly when in use.

Application example

A good example is the 40mm-long cast hinges with 180-degree opening capability and sealing to IP65 with right- or left-hand operation, which are particularly applicable where full door opening is required, either for maximum door clearance or for access to the rear of the door. They may be used on standalone enclosures/racks or in suite-style, side-by-side installations with three versions available: with M5 cast-in screws, with screws on one leaf and SNAP-LINE fitting on the other leaf, or with SNAP-LINE (D-SNAP) technology on both leaves to enable a simple 'blind' push-in fitting that does not require access from the rear. This can provide up to 90 per cent savings in hinge assembly time.

The D-SNAP range of panel assembly joiners, locks, hinges and other hardware is designed to enable specialist cabinet builders to quickly fabricate housings with flat sheet into a robust structure. These specialist joiner components from FDB Panel Fittings fasten two or more sheet metal panels together by simply pressing and snapping the joiner into prepared panel cutouts. They are suitable for fastening cabinet components (such as removable top or base panels), and for robust, firm fixing of panels of similar or varying thickness (such as multi-component motor control cabinets).

The 1-044SL is intended for permanent assembly or joining of cabinets side by side, whereas the 1-045SL is specifically for situations where one panel may require regular removal. The 1-046SL also allows one panel to be removed; it is suitable for use where lighting panels, for example, have to be removed. The fixed side is fastened with screws, enabling the joiner to be used with materials such as wood or for retrofit installation where hole purchasing is not a possibility.

Pull-off forces

D-SNAP joiners adjust to varying thicknesses of panel and use standard 30x10mm cut-outs that enable rapid assembly after painting. Where removable panels are needed, then pull-off forces may be chosen from 15N/30N/50N dependent on the component.

As a finishing touch a low-profile SNAP-LINE swinghandle is suitable for enclosures and control panels where 'no-tools' snap-in fitment and resistance to vibration will be appreciated. Features of this D-SNAP technology unit include clamping ranges from 0.7mm to 5.3mm, LH and RH application and blind assembly, all in a low-cost package which – like the D-SNAP hinges – can save up to 90 per cent of assembly time compared with other swinghandles. Fitment is by means of a simple 110x25mm cut-out; removal is also accomplished quickly and without tools.

Further information on FDB Panel Fittings' cabinet hardware products and services may be found at Find the latest information and news on the FDB blog at, or follow the company on twitter at

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