Polycarbonate Enclosures Stand Up to Outdoor Environmental Abuse

Integra Enclosures make customer a believer for the long haul

Since becoming an Integra Enclosures customer 15 years ago, Bob Cowen, President of Controls, Inc. of Medina, Ohio, has been convinced over and over that Integra’s polycarbonate enclosures stand up to the unrelenting environmental stresses common in outdoor applications for his company’s electronic control units. Controls, Inc. commonly uses the enclosures for oil and gas, construction, chemical, manufacturing, refining and wastewater treatment applications, where they encounter a lot of abuse.

“With Integra enclosures, we know that we will get better longevity out of our products, and our customers get a better experience because of the protection,” Cowen explains. The enclosures typically outlast the lifetime of the electronics they protect—some lasting 15 years, since Controls, Inc. became an Integra customer.

Polycarbonate enclosures pass the test early on in Cowen’s relationship with Integra, a Controls, Inc. customer questioned his recommendation to use Integra’s polycarbonate enclosures. The customer dismissed the enclosures as “plastic boxes.”

So, for his own assurance as much as his skeptical customer’s, Cowen placed one of the enclosures on the ground, backed his half-ton pickup on it, stopped for a minute, then drove off it. It survived without a crack.

Similarly, Integra Enclosures has held up well for the past 15 years as Control Inc.’s enclosure of choice for a wide range of applications that involve harsh environmental and operating conditions. Among polycarbonate’s most significant characteristics:

  • Impact resistance—as Bob Cowen proved—that is far superior to other plastics and even stainless steel
  • Corrosion resistance, even in Marine Applications
  • Excellent Electrical Insulation
  • Heat resistance
  • UV Resistance (bolstered by the addition of UV stabilizers)
  • Fire Suppression (with flame retardants added by Integra)

Polycarbonate also protects electronics from the violent vibrations of 600- to 700-horsepower rock crushers that tear up roads— “one of the highest vibration operations in our line of work,” Cowen said.

A few of Controls, Inc.’s customers still insist on sheet metal enclosures, as that’s what they’re used to working with. But for all other customers, Controls, Inc. uses Integra Polycarbonate Enclosures. They stand up to the half-ton pickup test, but more importantly, they provide protection against the common rigors of outdoor applications—water, sun and impact—for the lifetime of the electronic units they protect.

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