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Specify SOLID-BOX Plastic Enclosures For Industrial Electronics

Specifying SOLID-BOX industrial electronics


The clue is in the name: our new SOLID-BOX industrial electronic enclosures are tough – much more robust than the average plastic housing. And not just because of the strong materials. Part of the secret lies in the smart design features usually reserved only for diecast aluminium enclosures.

SOLID-BOX desktop and wall-mount enclosures are strong and light. And they’re more cost-effective than opting for a diecast enclosure. These striking new housings are poised to capitalise on the new trend in industrial electronic enclosures – the move towards advanced thermoplastics.


Applications for OKW's SOLID-BOX enclosures


SOLID-BOX is designed to protect high-quality electronics and electrical equipment across a diverse range of applications: plant and machine construction, HVAC, IoT/IIoT, smart factory/Industry 4.0, sensor systems, gateways, data loggers, ICT, measuring and control, agriculture, and safety engineering.

Martin Nussberger of polyform Industrie Design said: “A SOLID-BOX delivers what its name promises. In this watertight and impact-resistant enclosure, your components can be placed stably and securely – even in inhospitable environments.

“And yet the design of the enclosures gives the robust construction an elegant lightness, without visible screw connections or fasteners. The slightly sloping bevels on the long sides and the interplay of light and shadow underline the quality of the product,” he added.


IK08 rated SOLID-BOX electronics enclosures


The short answer is ‘very tough’, especially given that it’s a plastic enclosure. SOLID-BOX has an impact rating of IK 08. To pass that test, it had to withstand an impact of five joules – a 1.7 kg mass being dropped on it from a height of 300 mm.

On the IK scale, that’s pretty serious. Let’s put it this way – there are welded stainless steel enclosures that have a similar or lower IK rating. And stainless steel is the go-to option for merciless, unforgiving environments. When it comes to IK ratings, SOLID-BOX can go toe to toe with stainless steel and provide a very serious and less costly alternative.

Why is SOLID-BOX so tough? The design is key, but we’ll come to that. First, let’s talk about the plastic we used. Those of you familiar with recent OKW product launches will know that ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) – once the plastic of choice for enclosures – has increasingly been superseded by either ASA (Acrylonitrile styrene acrylate/acrylic styrene acrylonitrile) or an ASA+PC-FR blend, both of which offer greater UV stability.

Now new SOLID-BOX employs a different blend – PC+ABS-FR. It contains plenty of polycarbonate (PC), the plastic used in riot shields, CDs and bullet-proof glass. Polycarbonate is 250 times stronger than glass and 30 times stronger than acrylic.

Blending PC with ABS enhances the processability and flame retardancy of the material. It’s UL 94 V-0 in the case of SOLID-BOX, which has an increased heat distortion temperature (Vicat/B 120 = 110°C), and chlorine- and bromine-free flame resistance.

Find out more here about flammability ratings >>.


SOLID-BOX enclosures - lid closed installation


A thick skin is only half the story when it comes to enclosure strength. It’s also important to eliminate potential vulnerabilities – such as having to open the enclosure during installation. There are no such worries with SOLID-BOX. It can be installed ‘lid closed’, thanks to separate channels for the lid and mounting screws. So you don’t have to contend with possible water or dust ingress if you’re installing SOLID-BOX in a harsh environment. It’s a proven design feature (SMART-BOX can also be installed lid closed) – one that’s usually reserved for diecast aluminium enclosures.

All of SOLID-BOX’s corrosion-resistant and tamperproof Torx screws are concealed beneath snap-on trims. And the screws are captive so they won’t fall out. Accessories include securing hinges for the cover – and internal hinges for applications involving regular opening and resealing of the lid. These are important benefits when you’re working at height or in any other awkward locations.

SOLID-BOX also has other protective features. In the base section there are two deeply recessed areas to accommodate connectors, switches and other interfaces. This is a useful detail that has proved popular on other models such as CARRYTEC, NET-BOX and SMART-TERMINAL. And on the top, you’ll find a generous recess for a large membrane keypad or product label – making it very easy to customise these enclosures with smart graphics.

Beneath the lid, there’s an IP-rated seal (IP 66, IP 67) that offers complete protection against dust ingress. Protection against water ingress is as follows:

  • IP 66 – protection against temporary flooding, such as heavy seas. Water must not enter the object in any harmful quantity. In a test lasting at least three minutes, the enclosure must withstand jets of water (100 litres per minute) at a pressure of 100 kPa at a distance of three metres.
  • IP 67 – if the enclosure is fully immersed (at least 150 mm from the top to 1,000 mm at most from the bottom), water must not enter in any harmful quantity. The test lasts 30 minutes.

Find out more about IP ratings >>


SOLID-BOX enclosures range


There are three standard sizes:

  • 115 (135 x 115 x 50 mm)
  • 145 (180 x 145 x 60 mm)
  • 175 (225 x 175 x 70 mm).

All three sizes are available in two standard colours: anthracite grey (RAL 7016) or light grey (RAL 7035). Sizes 145 and 175 feature mounting points on the rear to match the hole patterns of VESA MIS-D 75/100.


Customised SOLID-BOX enclosures


All OKW standard enclosures can be specified fully customised to customer specifications. The enclosures are delivered fully ready for mounting the electronic components and assemblies.

Services include:

  • machining
  • printing
  • laser marking
  • decor foils
  • EMC shielding
  • installation and assembly of accessories.

Learn more about OKW customising services here >>


View full SOLID-BOX range here >>



Contact our engineers for expert technical advice on specifying the best enclosure for your industrial electronics. Ask about requesting free samples.