How HMI/Command Enclosures Are Rewriting The Rulebook

The days of small metal boxes comprising little more than six flat sides and a button are not over…but now the expectations are much higher. Mission control in a 21st century manufacturing plant is infinitely more sophisticated. Today’s modern human-machine interface (HMI) is a large touchscreen attached to a modular suspension arm (or the more cost effective option of a wall pivot mount). The beauty of these enclosures – and they are extremely aesthetically pleasing – is not just skin deep: it lies in their smart design.

Unlike diecast aluminum enclosures or folded and welded stainless steel enclosures, this new generation of IP rated HMI/panel enclosures is manufactured from aluminum profiles. This makes it possible to specify plan sizes to within a millimetre in either axis (up to 31.5" x 31.5"). Enclosure depth is determined by the width of the profile (or combination of profiles) – making it easier to offer a wide choice of sizes and capacities. From that point it’s simply a matter of choosing your preferred door or handle options. Maximum choice, minimum hassle – it couldn’t be easier, especially when there are standard options designed specifically to accommodate displays by leading manufacturers such as Siemens, Beckhoff and B&R.

Which HMI/Panel Enclosures Are Best For My Electronics?

There’s much more to this type of housing than first meets the eye. Various HMI/panel enclosures can look very similar…and they can be constructed in what initially appears to be the same way (from extruded aluminum profile)…but that is not the full story. There are significant cost savings to be enjoyed by selecting the right model.

A flagship model such as ROLEC’s multiPANEL offers cutting edge aesthetics and a wealth of technical features. There are various front plate and rear panel options (a bolted panel or a choice of rear doors) plus accessories such as keyboard trays and handles. But despite this – and the fact that you can specify any plan size up to 31.5" x 31.5" – there is another option that may better suit your project. That’s hard to believe when a supposedly standard housing like multiPANEL can be so bespoke and so customizable but it’s true: there is another panel enclosure that offers a wider choice of sizes…profiPANEL. ROLEC multiPANEL and profiPANEL enclosures may look similar. And the design and construction are similar. But profiPANEL has a trick up its sleeve. It combines 3.54" and 2.36" profiles to offer a choice of eight different depths (twice as many as multiPANEL) – and yet with significant cost benefits.

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