Enclosures/Consoles Product Focus Study, February 2003

Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding enclosures/consoles.


•Among those who specify, recommend, or buy enclosures/consoles, 73% do so for in-plant requirements, while 39% do this for OEM needs.
•SCADA narrowly emerges as the most popular application for enclosures/consoles.
•Eighty-one percent of respondents require PLCs to have dust-proof enclosures. Waterproof, A/C cooling and heating protection are also required more for PLCs than any of the other items under evaluation. Explosion-proof, washdown-resistant and EMI/RFI shielding enclosures are most often needed for instrumentation. Office level protection is most commonly required for computers or workstations.
•Nearly three-quarters of respondents report a cooling fan is required for their enclosure/ console applications.
•Nearly ninety percent of control engineering professionals apply enclosures/consoles in a plant-floor environment; more than double that of any other environment.
•The bulk of respondents require NEMA and/or IEC specified ratings for cabinets.
•Availability of stock, cost, then ease of use are the most important factors to control engineering professionals when selecting an enclosure/console supplier.
•Enclosures/consoles made out of carbon steel and stainless steel are the most widely purchased types. Nearly all respondents specify fabricated metal enclosures/consoles.
•On average, nearly three-quarters of the enclosures/consoles that respondents currently buy are off-the-shelf. The remaining one-quarter are customized. Not only is this 3-to-1 ratio consistent with past buying patterns, but results suggest future purchases will be segmented along the same lines.
•Over ninety percent of respondents have purchased enclosures/consoles from distributors, while less than two-fifths bought directly from manufacturers.
•Over eighty percent of those surveyed bought enclosures/consoles from Hoffman in the past year; this being more than three times the sales registered by any other manufacturer.
•Results indicate the average respondent purchased 83 enclosures/consoles in the past year. This equates to average spending of $52,440per respondent during that time. Results further suggest enclosure/console purchases will grow slightly over the next 12 months.
•Six percent of control engineers have bought enclosures/consoles via the web, and another 10% plan to do so in the next year.

Enclosures/Consoles Product Focus Study

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