Making decisions for and manufacturing the right enclosure for smart devices is a crucial task for every IoT device company. Your decisions impact the safety, cost, durability, accessibility, and aesthetics of the device at the same time.
A big reason for the confusion during the decision phase is that there are different types of enclosure designs to choose from, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ concept. Based on the end-use case, budget, material, manufacturing process, and other factors, you can have multiple types of designs of IoT enclosures for the same smart device.
In this blog, we explore the different types of enclosure designs and their classifications to help you narrow your search and select the best enclosure for your smart device.
#1 PCB Housing
PCB (Printed Circuit Board) is one of the most essential components of an IoT device, and the housing that protects it has to be carefully planned. Housing for different types of PCBs (Single-sided, double-sided, multi-layered, flexible, rigid, and others) is mostly separate.
The placement of the PCB within the device would also impact the design of the enclosure for PCB. Along with that, the placement will also help in deciding the level of protection needed by the PCB boxes and the best materials that can make it possible.
#2 Bezel and display housing
Bezel and display housing plays a significant role in the overall aesthetics of the smart device. This is the reason why there are numerous options available in this category.
Brands spend a lot of time and money designing housings that would make the device look bezel-less and the display stand out, as aesthetics are directly linked to the success of the product.
There are different variations in terms of materials (Plastic, steel, aluminium, and others), compliance, strength, and other factors.
#3 Classification based on NEMA and other ratings
Compliance is a key factor when deciding on the type of enclosure to choose for your smart device. NEMA, IP, UL, and RoHS are some of the most commonly used compliance ratings to judge the capabilities of different enclosure types.
Some examples of different categories are:
- NEMA 1 IoT enclosures
- NEMA 2 IoT enclosures
- NEMA 3, 4, 5, 6, and other NEMA-rated IoT enclosures
- IP 68 enclosure
- UL 94 rated enclosure
Based on the end-use case and the level of protection needed, the design of the enclosure and the compliance rating would also differ.
#4 Speaker enclosures
The enclosure is one of the most important components for any speaker. The quality, design, and other factors of the enclosure would impact the speaker’s sound output.
Here are some examples of speaker enclosures based on different factors:
- Sealed (air-tight) enclosures
- Bass reflex enclosures
- Infinite baffle speaker enclosures
- And others
#5 Classification based on material types
The design and the manufacturing process used will also depend on the type of material chosen for your smart device’s enclosure. IoT Enclosures are also classified by the material types used:
- ABS plastic
- Stainless steel
- ASA plastic
- Painted carbon steel
#6 Other types of classifications
Numerous other types of IoT enclosures and enclosure designs are based on factors like the end use case, the strength required, aesthetics, etc. Here is a list of commonly used enclosure types that you must know about:
- Transparent or opaque IoT enclosures
- EMI/RFI shielding IoT enclosures
- Passive or active IoT enclosures
- Wall-mounted and portable enclosures
- Impermeable enclosures
- Cabinet enclosures
- Waterproof, dustproof, weatherproof enclosures
- Enclosures for smartwatches, wifi and other devices
Things to take care of before selecting a particular type of enclosure
Before you select the type or design of your device’s enclosure, many factors must be considered. Here are some of the main ones:
- The right fit for all components with optimum space for them (Creating a prototype before manufacturing and testing it helps with this)
- The durability of the material
- Scope for future changes
- The total cost of material + manufacturing
- Temperature and chemical resistance
- Weatherproof factor
- And other factors
How can Karkhana.io help you manufacture the right IoT device enclosures
The design and type of enclosure to choose are just two of the many decisions you have to make before manufacturing the right enclosure for your smart device. We at Karkhana.io help IoT and other EEE companies select the right enclosure type and other linked factors with detailed inputs from manufacturing experts.
Our vast network of manufacturers, engineers, designers, and manufacturing experts help you with detailed DfM analysis along with helping you decide on factors like strength, rigidity, material, shape, weight, manufacturing process, compliance, and other factors.
We have made this process seamless for companies with Karkhana.io’s digital manufacturing platform that gives you access to instant quotations for different manufacturing processes, end-to-end project management, DfM feedback via our expert engineers, regular QC, audits of suppliers, logistics, payments, sharing project files within your organisation on the platform dashboard, viewing your CAD files, and more.
Want help in selecting the right enclosure and manufacturing it for a successful launch/optimisation? Start by registering on our digital platform.