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Let’s Talk Enclosures – Our Five Most-Read Blog Posts This Year

Most popular OKW enclosures blogs of 2021

We’re always keen to see which blog topics most interest you (so we’re always digging through our website analytics). And this year we’ve gone a stage further: we’ve picked out the five OKW blog posts you read most this year.

It was quite an eye opener – because the posts that caught your eye and imagination were not always about our latest new models. Often, the posts that gained the most reads were those from previous years; topics that focused on:

  • the plastics we use in our enclosures – and their technical benefits
  • older models designed for specialised roles
  • the far-from-humble DIN rail enclosure – a perennial favourite available in lots of variations.

In each case, every blog post in our top five was there because it gained traction in the search engines. You were looking for helpful information on the topic in question – and we provided it. Missed these blog posts the first time around? Want to reread them? Here they are again…

ASA vs ABS plastic comparison

1. ASA vs ABS – Which Plastic Is Best?

ASA (Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate aka Acrylic Styrene Acrylonitrile) is as tough and dependable as tried and trusted ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene). But ASA is much more UV-stable than ABS – so it performs better outdoors.

ABS has for decades been the ‘go-to’ material for our plastic electronic enclosures – and it remains so for many tried and trusted models. But ASA has a great deal going for it. Its UV stability is a big plus – even though many of the new OKW plastic enclosures moulded from ASA will spend most of all of their time indoors.

But that’s no reason to skimp on UV resistance. You have only to see how sunlight fades furniture or pictures to know how much sunlight makes it indoors and how damaging it can be.

Update: This post was first published in June 2018. It refers to the New Products section of our website. At that time, the new products were BODY-CASE, EVOTEC, STYLE-CASE and CONNECT. View the News panel on our Home page to see our latest new products – SLIM-CASE, SMART-PANEL, CONTROL-KNOBS and EASYTEC.

Read full blog >>

Toptec PCB enclosures

2. Plastic Enclosures For PCBs With Pre-Fitted Connectors

Mounting connectors directly to your PCB can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s quick and easy – speeding up installation times.

But on the other, not every standard plastic enclosure is suitable for this type of application. In the past that meant having to specify a more expensive custom-made case…negating some of the cost benefits of mounting the connector directly on the board.

Don’t panic. You can still go down the standard enclosure route: OKW manufactures off-the-shelf customisable housings specifically for this scenario.

TOPTEC (IP 40) allows pre-assembled PCBs with protruding connectors and interfaces to be mounted directly into the enclosure. These modern ergonomic enclosures are equally at home on desktops, on walls (using the hidden suspension element) or as part of DIN rail mounted systems (using an optional clip).

Note: This post first appeared in March 2017. It remains popular because our TOPTEC and SOFT-CASE enclosures solve an electronics design requirement that remains very much on our customers’ radar.

Read full blog >>

Smart-Terminal extruded enclosures

3. Why Extruded Enclosures Are The Future

Think ‘extruded enclosures’, and prosaic metal channeling probably springs to mind. It’s all very functional but hardly luxury kit. Think again…

Today’s ultra-modern aluminium extruded enclosures are taking their rightful place at the forefront of case design. They’re the new leading edge products at OKW, even though we’ve always specialised in plastic electronic enclosures (and will continue to do so).

Our extruded housings combine smooth aluminium and performance plastics to create sophisticated hybrids. Designers specify them for high end applications – whether that’s lifesaving equipment for the demanding medical sector or luxury gadgetry for discerning consumers.

Those of you who’ve seen our award-winning SYNERGY enclosures and handled them for yourself will know precisely what we’re talking about here. Are these stunning SYNERGY cases really seven years old now? They don’t look or feel like it. They could have been unveiled yesterday to house the products of tomorrow.

Note: This blog post was first published in February 2018 when SYNERGY was then four years old. SYNERGY and the more recent SMART-TERMINAL were our first enclosures to combine extruded aluminium and moulded plastic. And they’re still cutting edge with smart, modern aesthetics and innovative design features.

Read full blog >>

Low profile DIN rail enclosures

4. Low-Profile DIN Rail Enclosures Save Time, Space And Money

OKW’s low-profile RAILTEC B DIN rail enclosures save you money by taking up less space – enabling you to specify smaller equipment cabinets. They also save time by speeding up installations: the large flat top makes it easier to fit displays, controls and connectors.

RAILTEC B is designed to fit TH35 x 7.5 mm rails. Low-profile models are available in four sizes – 2, 4, 6 and 9 modules. All RAILTEC B enclosures are fully insulated and protected according to VBG4 and IEC 529/DIN VDE 0470-1.

Each comprises a black (RAL 9005) PPO base and a light grey (RAL 7035) PC top. Custom colours are also available. Accessories include a partition plate, front lids and panels, terminal guards and mounting brackets.

There is also the RAILTEC-BUS system which provides common power and data connections between multiple DIN rail enclosures installed on the same rail.

Note: This blog post dates back to October 2014 but remains a firm favourite. With all the advanced handheld, wearable and desktop enclosures we manufacture (and all the new models we launch), it’s easy to forget how popular our tried-and-trusted RAILTEC DIN rail enclosures are. They prove that small is beautiful, practical and still very much in demand.

RAILTEC-B enclosures for TH35 rails offer a wide range of options with sizes from two to 12 modules. And check out our RAILTEC-C range too; it features an adapter for TH15 and G32 rails, hinged front lids and two types of open support (one modular, the other cut to length).

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Enclosures for medical electronics

5. Which Plastic Enclosures For Medical Electronics?

Medical electronics require a special breed of enclosures: tough, high-quality and with a whole host of specialised design features. Hospitals, GP surgeries and other healthcare facilities set the bar very high when it comes to their electronics. After all, patients’ lives may be at stake…

Medical enclosures must be much stronger than you would expect. Don’t be fooled into thinking that they will have an easy life just because they’ll be used in a comfortable heated and air-conditioned hospital (rather than in a factory, a foundry or on an oil rig).

Medical devices will be used intensively…day after day, week in week out, year after year with no let-up. Hospitals don’t have the budgets to buy electronics they will use once in a while. So this equipment must be able to withstand a punishing daily regime – and being handled by lots of different healthcare professionals, virtually all of whom will be working under pressure.

Note: This blog post is from November 2018. With every passing year, medical electronics becomes an ever more important market for OKW as we strive to meet increasing demand from electronics designers. Watch this space for more information about advanced standard and customised enclosures for medical devices. But in the meantime, download our brochure: Enclosures and Tuning Knobs for Medical Equipment.

Read full blog >>

Further Reading

Find Out More, Request A Sample, Register For CAD Drawings/3D Models

Contact us for expert advice on specifying the best enclosures for your electronics.

Customising a standard enclosure is almost always quicker, easier and more cost-effective than opting for a bespoke housing. And new technology means that customised enclosures are now available in smaller volumes.

Ask us about samples. Log in to our VIP lounge (or register if you’re a new user) to download CAD drawings and 3D models of our enclosures – see how your customised enclosure will look with your components installed.

From all of us at OKW, thank you for your support – we wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!