Protecting outdoor equipment
Published: 8 February 2012 - Joe Bush
Intertec has released its new Multibox Vario range of insulated outdoor enclosures which are produced using a patented CNC manufacturing process, capable of accommodating a wide variety of custom sized enclosures. This means that instead of having to select a standard size of enclosure, or commission a special hand built model, instrumentation and control engineers are now free to specify the precise dimensions they need for their particular application.
By optimising the size and form factor of the enclosure to precisely match the instrumentation content and layout, engineers can minimise its surface area and thereby secure optimum thermal performance.
The Multibox Vario enclosures can be specified to millimetre accuracy and cover a wide range of potential sizes which simplifies containment of awkwardly shaped components, such as process valves or analyser equipment. It also allows the enclosures to be fitted in locations where there may not be enough space for standard sized units, contributing to ease of installation and maintenance access.
To help instrumentation engineers accelerate their design process, Intertec has developed a web-based configurator specifically for Multibox Vario enclosures. Backed by Autodesk Inventor 3D mechanical design software on Intertec’s CAD server, the configurator is free to use and does not cause any software to be downloaded to the user’s computer. After inputting the required enclosure dimensions, users are e-mailed a fully dimensioned PDF schematic automatically, together with a STEP file and a DXF file for direct import into their 3D or 2D CAD system. They are then able to progress their design, optimising internal layout to make best use of available space. The same data is subsequently used by Intertec to control the CNC manufacturing process, with production samples available within short timescales.
All Multibox Vario enclosures employ an energy efficient sandwich type construction, based on UV resistant GRP (glass fibre reinforced plastic) skins and an internal core of highly insulative foam. The internal and external GRP skins are 4mm thick to provide a very high degree of rigidity. Another advantage of Intertec’s non-metal GRP and foam construction materials is that the new enclosures provide a benign environment for housing the new generations of wireless enabled field instrumentation that are starting to become popular - extending their application potential in outdoor locations.
The enclosures have an ingress protection rating of IP65 as standard, with IEC 60079 compliant versions available for use in hazardous atmospheres.