Ensuring a fast turnaround on enclosures
To the untrained eye, electrical enclosures can come across as very uniform, standardised products. However, experts such as Spelsberg, a leading manufacturer of premium enclosures, must be adaptable when it comes to meeting specific customer requirements within a short timeframe. Thanks to decades of experience in providing standard and custom enclosures, the business has a proven track record in delivering optimised electrical protection solutions quickly. Here, Chris Lloyd, Managing Director at Spelsberg UK, explains the challenges of supplying enclosures to customers quickly, and how Spelsberg as a business overcomes them.
Ensuring regulatory compliance for the intended application is a process we manage through continued dialogue with the customer. Having to return an enclosure because it is not suitable for the application can lead to missed deadlines for our customers, so getting it right first time is a must.
For example, a UK based manufacturer of transformers recently contacted us requesting TK polystyrene (PS) enclosures specified to a certain size - the product was destined for the American market. Upon consultation the client explained that the enclosure would house potentially hazardous parts, therefore we instead recommended a TK polycarbonate (PC) enclosure that was NEMA 6 compliant and UL certified. The suggested enclosure was sent to the client for testing and it was approved for use within three days of the initial enquiry.
It may sound simple, but specifying an enclosure of the correct size is also key. An enclosure can be well suited to the application, but if it doesn’t fit the space available it will need to be sent back. Enclosures may be required to fit into a finite space or feature certain knock outs and cable entries to allow easy system integration, which is something we aim to deliver.
For example, a manufacturer of hydraulic lifts reached out to us regarding a box with specific measurements with exact knockout sizes. We first tried to meet the order with custom machined TG/TK enclosures but that didn’t fit requirements. Next, we tested an Abox junction box with a flat lid as it had the required knockouts, but not in the right size. We overcame this by sending out a sample enclosure with reducer glands and locknuts, which delivered a perfect fit. The customer was impressed that there was a solution to their bespoke size requirements available as quickly as a standard order would be.
Enclosures are designed to last, so when it comes to replacement, the original enclosure design may have been discontinued. If there are no adequate equivalents, lead time is consequently extended.
This was something we had to overcome for a specialist in industrial boilers, who wanted a match for a box they could no longer order. We assessed the customer’s requirements and offered an Abox in black with DIN rail and WAGO terminals. As we were waiting for stock to arrive, we sent a grey equivalent sample to the customer to ensure the Abox was the right fit. Once the black Abox was available, we quickly dispatched the order, as the grey example had already passed customer approval. This was all conducted within a week, so we were happy we could be responsive to the customer’s needs despite the challenging request.
Sometimes however, customers require even greater urgency. A manufacturer of on and off-road buggies contacted us regarding specifying a TG enclosure, of which we had none in stock. The customer needed the enclosure quickly, so we worked on an alternate solution: ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) enclosure modified to suit the brief. The manufacturer was satisfied and placed an order immediately, so they were able to receive the enclosures within 2 days.
We’re able to offer this capability and responsiveness to our customers thanks to a dedicated customisation capacity, which can provide samples of specified enclosures within 24 hours. Spelsberg operates production line and assembly capacity to specifically address the application challenges of our customers, so that we can be dynamic and prompt in delivering optimised solutions even under challenging conditions. This is backed by our versatile range of enclosures suitable for indoor and outdoor use as part of applications across the engineering spectrum. With this combination of customer service, breadth of range and production capacity, we can meet every customer challenge quickly.