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There can be no compromise in test and measurement: precision accuracy is everything. And that accuracy depends on sensitive, finely calibrated electronics. So they must be protected at all costs – cocooned to prevent external factors from affecting performance.

Specifying a dependable enclosure  is crucial to the performance of your test and measurement device. The enclosure must be sufficiently sturdy to safeguard your electronics and ensure data validity. This durability will also prolong the operation longevity of your device – especially in harsh outdoor or industrial environments.

But sheer resilience is not enough: there are other equally important considerations. The enclosure must also look smart and modern – reflecting the innovative high-value technology that it houses. Get this right and end-users will be more likely to pick your device, rather than a rival product.

Ergonomics are crucial too. A well-designed housing will ensure your test and measurement equipment is comfortable to view and operate. This is vital for handheld devices such as multimeters or data loggers in particular. Aesthetics and ergonomics play a critical dual role: device users are attracted by the look…and then hooked by the feel.


There are certain key criteria that every plastic enclosure should offer designers of test and measurement electronics:

  • ergonomic design for safe, fatigue-free measurement and precise operation
  • easy reading of displays
  • application-oriented accessories – providing practical solutions to a broad spectrum of additional requirements
  • dependable protection – even in harsh environments and emergency situations.

Here are some vital considerations:

Ingress protection (IP rating) – the level of protection needed depends on the environment in which the measuring device will be used: the harsher the environmental conditions, the greater the protection needed. Furthermore, temperature and pressure fluctuations can create condensation in hermetically sealed electrical and electronic enclosures, necessitating the use of pressure compensation elements. These ensure constant ventilation and adjustment of the pressure inside the enclosure.

Material – plastic enclosures offer a good balance of strength, weight and cost. They also provide flexibility with regard to shape and colour. But different plastics have varying levels of impact strength, UV, chemical and flammability resistance, depending on the composition of the material. So it’s important to specify the plastic. Look for strong, UV-stable plastic blends such as ASA+PC-FR, and a good flammability resistance such as UL 94 V-0. Read our guide to plastics to find out more.

Size – it’s obvious that the enclosure should have sufficient capacity but here’s an important caveat: specify the enclosure first, before you finalise PCB layout. That may sound counterintuitive but specifying an enclosure after the layout has been decided could increase the size of your finished product by up to 30%. Discover the other benefits of an ‘enclosure first’ approach in this handy guide.


Measurement comprises a huge and ever-growing range of applications, driven in no small part by the rapid rise of Industry 4.0/IIoT and its insatiable appetite for data. Requirements are diverse: electronics designers need enclosures for every eventuality, from handheld and desktop devices to small wall- or pole-mounted units for smart automated measurement. And these devices must all be able to integrate into the end-user’s wider infrastructure.

This sector has always been important for OKW. So even before Industry 4.0, our range of standard plastic enclosures was already large. And in recent years it has grown significantly with a host of new models aimed at test and measurement (IIoT in particular). When it comes to enclosure design and the frequency of product launches, the pace of innovation has accelerated dramatically.

All these enclosures must strike a fine balance. They must have technical features geared towards solving a specific challenge – and yet they must remain sufficiently versatile to meet the demands of a wide range of applications.

Here are some examples…