Online Configurator Enables Custom Enclosures to be bought through Distribution

Foremost Electronics, the engineering-led Essex based importer and specialist distributor of electromechanical components, celebrates 30 years of Electronic Component sales in the UK in November 2019.

Founded in 1989 as a direct importer and specialist distributor of switches, keypads, joysticks, connectors and other electro-mechanical products, they have witnessed many technology breakthroughs and major changes to how products are designed-in and sourced.

One area of particular significance is the design and supply of enclosures. Standard moulded plastic and cast metal boxes have largely been replaced by more aesthetically pleasing modular enclosures and the world of industry standard 19” racks has been transformed.

Industrial control, utilities, instrumentation, test and measurement, rail and transportation equipment all make different demands on enclosures. These include resistance to moisture, dust and vibration, temperature control, EMC shielding, cable access, sub-racks, DIN-Rails and other internal fittings.

As a channel partner for nVent Schroff, Foremost offers designers access to the world’s 1st Online 3D Sub-rack Configurator and Cad File generator. This comprehensive suite of online tools allows users to configure a bespoke enclosure and sub-rack simply and quickly using the intuitive and smart online design tool.

The configuration process is broken down into stages;

  • Rack type and Front Panel – Security and defense, Advanced Physics, shock and vibration proof, Test and Measurement, Audio/video, Broadcast, Mobile and Stackable
  • Sub-racks, and card locks and retainers dependent on application

The resultant custom designed enclosure provides the user with a proven solution and all relevant documentation including 30 native CAD files, 2D and 3D drawings and complete bill of materials (BOM). The BOM is then simple to order from Foremost. A demonstration video is available to guide designers through the process.

The enclosure specified by the configurator creates files which may be used directly in the manufacturing process, including 3D printing if required. Designers can easily modify or copy a saved configuration and different project lists can be managed in parallel for multiple designs. The process from design to delivery is fully automated and the manufacturing facilities are capable of processing the digital data from the configurator through to delivery with no human interaction, requiring zero paper and compliant with industry 4.0.

The final design is issued with a unique part number which is permanently allocated to the configuration on all documents. The design is costed automatically by the Schroff internal ERP system which can then generate a quotation or be ordered for direct manufacture. Enclosures designed using the configurator are available on the same lead-time as a standard configured product, even with custom modifications.

For less demanding enclosure requirements Foremost Electronics has a micro-site, enclosures4u giving designers a direct source to standard cases and more complex standard, modified and customised enclosures including the first enclosure compliant with the embeddedNUC™ standard which features an innovative “Flexible Heat Conductor” (FHC) integrated cooling solution and is compatible with 1U embedded NUC enclosures.

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