Specifying an enclosure for your application requires an understanding of the hazards that are likely to be encountered once installed, as well as the performance requirements that will be expected. Considerations such as tensile strength, security and ingress protection are relatively straightforward, and most well-manufactured enclosures should provide the necessary performance. But, how can an enclosure offer protection from extreme temperatures, electrical interference or any one of the thousands of other complications which can arise in industrial applications? Chris Lloyd, Spelsberg UK Managing Director, explains how specialised after-market coatings can enhance an enclosure's performance in unexpected ways.
Rather than simply selling enclosures, Spelsberg UK has always tried to address its customers' requirements. There is an important distinction between the two services. The first involves supplying a certain number of a certain product to a certain address. The second requires sharing of product expertise with customers during specification, to help to find the best enclosure and recommend additional customisations bespoke to their application.
It is through providing this second service that Spelsberg has been exposed to the vast number of challenges experienced in enclosure specification. This, in turn, has allowed the company to extend its customisation service further and offer new options. Very often, customers approach the company with a problem that they think will require expensive and cumbersome manufacturing techniques to overcome, when in reality a specialist chemical coating may be the best approach. The range and scope of coatings that are available are staggering, and every day new developments are being made.
Spelsberg has developed a close relationship with a UK manufacturer that pioneers research and development in polymer chemistry, which means that they can offer options which are otherwise unavailable on the market. The coatings can be applied to every enclosure within their range, no matter what the material, and are completely UV stable, waterproof and chemical resistant for long-lasting performance. The company's in-house chemists are able to manufacture new coating technology, bespoke to a customer's specific requirements.
The possibilities really are endless. The company has used specialist coatings to protect enclosures in every conceivable industry and environment, including military applications, the pharmaceutical and food production industries, and installation in arctic environments.
Using the specialist coating service, Spelsberg can offer ESD (Electro Static Dissipation), EMI and RFI shielding which is ATEX approved. The coating works on all surfaces, including touch screens and keypads - which can also be installed prior to delivery. The company can also provide fire-resistant and thermal-resistant (preventing heat transfer into in the enclosure) coatings, as well as an "˜Ice-Phobic' coating which prevents ice from forming in even the coldest environments.
Some of the coatings that Spelsberg provides are quite specific to certain industries. For example, the company has supplied components to the military which are Infra-Red Reflecting, in other words anti-radar, and has also developed a CARC coating which prevents the surface from picking up any chemical or biological particles which could be potentially harmful to human contact. Similar anti-bacterial coatings are very popular for use in food production and pharmaceutical applications which are hygiene critical.
Spelsberg is able to supply the specialist coatings as part of their customisation and assembly service. This means that they can deliver the enclosures pre-coated, keeping lead times low. The service is completely flexible, and the company can adapt most of the coatings to meet the specific requirements of each individual application.
To learn more about specialist coatings for enclosures from Spelsberg Els, please visit www.spelsberg.co.uk.