In an increasingly automated world, manufacturing control panels can be a production bottleneck, a time consuming and costly manual process. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Steiner can help you take the chore out of modifying your electrical enclosures, and let you get back to helping your customers and doing the contracting work that actually makes you money.
Whether you need modified one-off panels or require complex modifications to vital enclosures or subpanels, let Steiner automate the process with its Hoffman Certified Modification Center, aka the ModCenter293. Utilizing our available production capacity, broad range of capabilities, and experienced technicians, we can help you slash your production costs and lead times. Our engineered solutions can help you design and select the right electrical protection solution for your application.
Manufacturing control panels is traditionally a labor-intensive process with a lot of steps: drilling and tapping, milling and mark up. A typical enclosure might require marking each hole and cutout location, drilling pilot holes and expanding those holes with larger bits, and using a jig saw to do the final cut out. Then, of course, there is the post-processing work: the deburring, filing sharp edges, performing general clean-up work. Those are just a few of the potential manual processes that might be required. After all that, you might still find holes off centered or threads misaligned.
All-and-all, not a fast, precise or repeatable solution.
Considering that a 36-in. by 48-in. electrical enclosure could have 40 to 50 holes and cutouts and a back panel could have as many as 200 holes with taps, the ability to accurately and expeditiously customize enclosures is vital. Especially at a time when customers are demanding shorter build times, and accuracy and quality requirements are increasing.
Steiner can help contractors meet customer mandates. Dan Williams, manager of the Steiner Electric Custom Products Group says, “By automating labor-intensive modification tasks we can increase productivity, quality, and flexibility. We can produce holes and cutouts in minutes, not hours, and when we are done the holes are precise and clean and ready to populate.”
The ModCenter293 features software that integrates seamlessly with CAD DXF files and other file formats to push jobs forward.
The CNC unit handles enclosures up to 93.7 in. by 86 in. and back panels up to 93 in. by 94 in. It can process a variety of materials including mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper and PVC, polycarbonate, amd glass-reinforced plastic (GRP).
It features smooth, low-vibration movement of the cutting head, which is precision ball-screw spindle driven. Minimizing vibration helps extend tool life, but more important to our customers is that it processes materials fast and accurately. For instance, it can process up to 78 in. per minute (2000mm/min) in mild steel.
An automated tool changer with a magazine that holds up to 21 tools to perform all necessary drilling, milling, tapping, circular milling – all the processing steps required for enclosure modifications.
Vertically oriented and operating in multi-axes, the unit grabs a tool and makes all the cuts that it can with that cutting tool, moving along a preprogrammed cutting path, before exchanging the cutter with another tool to continue the process. The CNC machine operates along these vertical lines, explains Williams. “It rides on this plane, modifying whatever is on the plane.”
A flexible machine, the ModCenter293 allows for fast changes if needed. “We are like an on-site job shop,” says Williams. “Our number one priority is to make sure our customers get the enclosure they need for the job, at a competitive price, and get it on time, every time.”
Vast Array of Options
As an authorized Hoffman Distributor, Steiner offers the largest inventory of Hoffman enclosures in Northern Illinois. And these enclosures can be modified to specific requirements. In fact, by combining standard enclosures with available modifications, thousands of unique enclosures are possible.
Standard options available include:
- 100+ standard paint finish options
- Dimensional changes
- Holes and cutout options
- Studs, nuts, and tapped holes
- Installation of standard accessories
- Ventilation options
Hoffman enclosures are UL-certified to comply with all relevant specifications including UL, CSA, NEMA, CE, and IEG classifications. Some models are UL explosion-, chemical- and corrosion-proof, and some are IP-rated to prevent dust and water ingress.
Our factory trained Hoffman Enclosure Specialist, Bret Bevers, can assist you with product and technical application information, training, research, design and special quotation for your enclosure needs.
“The range of enclosures are remarkable,” says Bevers. “We can make them from a variety of materials and in all different types of classifications. For instance, a contractor might need a NEMA 1 enclosure or a multitude of different enclosures with different ratings.”
Stainless steel can be appropriate for food and beverage projects, and special coatings can be applied to the stainless steel to prevent corrosion. A corrosive environment might require special coatings to protect the enclosure from dangerous and corrosive gases or harsh liquids.
“The options are great with the Hoffman line,” says Bevers. “Each one has its own character.”
So, come and get modified enclosures without the hassle of measuring, drilling, cutting or any of the other tedious operations that are required.