Enclosures: Automation expansion, corrosive application

Stahlin Non-Metallic Enclosures announced expansion of its SMC (sheet molding compound) production capabilities with automated mixers and, in separate news, noted customer success using enclosures in a highly corrosive environment.


Control Components

Stahlin FormRight Lab automates sheet molding compound mixing.

Stahlin Non-Metallic Enclosures announced expansion of its SMC (sheet molding compound) production capabilities with automated mixers and, in separate news, noted customer success using enclosures in a highly corrosive environment.

The expansion enhanced Stahlin's FormRight Laboratories ability to develop SMC formulations with specific application benefits, such as UV-protection, anti-microbial properties, and anti-ballistic/high impact performance qualities, the company says. Expansion includes a new SMC compounding system featuring fully automated, computer-controlled mixing, a 5,500 lb batch capacity, mass flow metering of paste, pigment, and thickener, continuous SMC compounding with 10-60% glass or carbon fiber reinforcement capability, and a 24-in. SMC line with chain compaction and adjustable VFDs (variable frequency drives).

Related automation brings "state-of-the-art level of consistency and reliability to our commitment to providing the highest quality material for production of our diverse electrical and industrial enclosures. It also significantly boosts the volume of SMC we are able to produce in keeping up with the growing global demand for our products," says Jeff Seagle, president of Stahlin Non-Metallic Enclosures. Using a new enclosed lab area with controlled temperature and humidity, engineers and designers can create enclosures with physical performance qualities unmet by off-the-shelf products, he says. For example, enclosures can reduce effects of UV degradation (surface roughening and fiber blooming) with a second layer of protection, such as a sacrificial additive that acts as a UV absorber, says Seagle. "We intend to apply our new formulating flexibility to exploring the development of compounds that serve as solutions for challenges in a wide variety of areas including impact resistance and anti-microbial properties," he says.


Rugged, non-metallic enclosures suit corrosive environments, Stahlin says, such as this threader at galvanized manufacturer ECN/Korns.

In the customer application, ECN/Korns (a manufacturer of galvanized couplings, elbows, clamps, and nipples) recently installed a new threader in its production facility. The corrosive environment previously damaged metal enclosures used to protect electrical wiring, measurement equipment, and machinery controls and contributed to system failures. Ken Gibbon, general manager of ECN/Korns, decided on DiamondShield, a non-metallic enclosure from Stahlin. The enclosure design reportedly optimizes interior volume and allows mounting of panels at any height or depth, hinged in any direction, even on the door. Gibbon says the non-metallic enclosure ends corrosion, eases handling, and provides "strength to handle any impact, so we feel the components inside will always be protected in our manufacturing environment." DiamondShield enclosures are available in 10 sizes from 6 x 6 x 4 in. to 20 x 16 x 10 in., with more than 150 configurations, meeting applicable IEC, NEMA, UL, and CSA ratings, to NEMA 6p and IP68.

—Edited by Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering editor in chief,

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