In homes and in workplaces, it’s often important for electronic equipment to be housed and stored in an enclosure which can protect against water, dust, and other outside interference which may affect performance or safety. Especially in industrial and commercial settings where a lot of electronic equipment is used on a day-to-day basis, enclosing valuable wires, servers, computers, and more in a secure unit is highly recommended.
Metal enclosures are typically used by companies looking to protect their expensive and sensitive electronic equipment. Metal is often the material of choice, largely due to the practicality of perforated metal in ventilating, filtering, and customizing the atmosphere of electronic storage.
Over the years, perforated metal manufacturers of electronic housing equipment have organized to develop a set of voluntary standards for their industry. These standards are overseen and maintained by a group called the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).
Founded in 1926, NEMA now consists of over 450 electrical production companies who operate across a wide variety of industrial sectors. As a group, NEMA encourages voluntary compliance with their widely-recognized industrial standards for electronic enclosures, particularly those made of perforated metal.
The members of NEMA include developers of metal electronic enclosures in the fields of medical imaging, aerospace engineering, telecommunications, utilities, mining, and more.
Enclosures vary in size from the very large (such as server racks) to the very small (handheld and/or portable electronics). Because of the available variations and options in manufacturing these enclosures, many large companies and businesses opt to have them custom designed by a perforated metal manufacturer who can develop a unique product specific to the customer.
The type of metal used for electronic enclosures varies, but the most popular choice is aluminum, due to its strength and flexibility. Aluminum can be sheared, bended, rolled, and degreased to constitute the parts of a custom metal enclosure. Also, perforated aluminum can allow for better air flow, climate control, and filtration within the enclosure’s environment.
NEMA standards are a great way to tell if the company from which you buy your metal enclosures is reliable and up-to-date with current industry norms. Consumers should ask for NEMA certification or documentation from their industry’s equivalent trade association when searching for a custom perforated metal manufacturer. High-quality manufacturers should be able to work with you to implement a custom design to hold your electronics in the safest, most efficient enclosures.