Machine Design

Enclosure protects electronics and controls from harsh environments

The Hygienic Design (HD) enclosures from Rittal Corp., Urbana, Ohio, are built to be easily and quickly cleaned while keeping the contents safe from water and chemicals. Engineers took care to ensure there are no cracks or crevices that could hide debris. For example, smaller HD enclosures have stainless-steel screw covers while large versions use internal hinges on the doors. The walls and door surfaces are angled to prevent anything from sticking to them and to let water run off of the surfaces rather than pool.

The enclosures can mount on walls using rounded stand-off brackets. The brackets leave room behind the enclosure so water can flow around the entire unit during wash downs. For large enclosures, optional leveling feet keep the box off the floor and properly plumbed despite an uneven floor. A wire shelf can also be added to help route cables. All mounting threads are covered to keep them free of debris.

A continuous silicone gasket around the door fits into a precise channel that creates a tight seal without using adhesives. This makes it easy to remove or replace the gasket if needed. The blue-colored gasket ensures any particulate splashed on it stands out so it can be removed.

All these features, including the 400-grain brushed-steel surface finish, reduce cleaning times and the amount of water and detergents used. They also significantly lower the risk of contamination. The enclosures are also available in configurations that meet NEMA-4X specifications.

© 2012 Penton Media, Inc.

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