Enclosures/Consoles Product Research Study-February 2005

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

By Control Engineering Staff January 12, 2005

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

Executive Summary

•Among those who specify, recommend, or buy enclosures/consoles, 70% do so for in-plant requirements, while 44% do this for OEM needs.•SCADA and machine control tie as the most popular applications for enclosures/ consoles.•77% of respondents require PLCs to have dust-proof enclosures. Waterproof, explosion-proof, washdown-resistant, and A/C cooling protection are also required more for PLCs than any of the other items under evaluation. Heating and EMI/RFI shielding enclosures are most often needed for instrumentation. Office level protection is most commonly required for computers or workstations.•More than 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.•NEMA rating is the overwhelming requirement for cabinets and faceplates.•Four out of five respondents mount enclosures on walls, and nearly three out of every four mount on pedestals or floors.•Seventy-nine percent of survey participants use computers, HMI’s and/or printers with enclosures. See-through windows and keyboards are the next most popular accessories.•Availability of stock, as well as cost, 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 control engineering professionals specify fabricated metal enclosures/consoles.•On average, nearly three-quarters of the enclosures/consoles 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 43% bought directly from manufacturers. Over three-quarters of those surveyed bought enclosures/consoles from Hoffman in the past year; this being more than four times the penetration registered by any other manufacturer. 60 was the average number of enclosures/consoles each respondent purchased in the past 12 months. This equated to average spending of $32,398 per respondent. Survey results suggest purchases of enclosures/consoles will grow over the next 12 months.•Twelve percent of control engineers bought enclosures/consoles via the web, and another 11% plan to do so in the next year.•Fifty-six percent of Control Engineering subscribers responding do not receive Control Design. Sixty percent do not receive IAN.

Enclosures/Consoles Product Focus Study 2005