Common Modular Enclosure Misperceptions

By Rittal.

Every industry has its misconceptions, and the modular enclosure business is no exception. Modular enclosures have gained acceptance in almost every industrial market, however misperceptions continue to exist. The most common of misperceptions are:

1. Modular enclosures are not as strong as unibody enclosures.

False. This misperception stems from the fact that modular enclosure walls are thinner than a unibody enclosure. However, the strength of a modular enclosure comes from its frame, not the enclosure walls. The equipment load being exerted on the enclosure is transferred to the vertical frame members.

Some think that since the walls of a modular enclosure are thinner than that of a welded enclosure, they are less sturdy or strong. This is entirely incorrect. The fact is, the overall strength of the modular enclosure does not come from its walls, but rather from its frame. This is because the load that is exerted on the modular enclosure because of the equipment’s weight is transferred to the enclosure’s vertical framing.

Rittal TS 8 Modular Enclosures

2. Many part numbers must be ordered to complete a modular enclosure assembly.

False. A basic modular enclosure consists of two part numbers – the core frame/assembly (with included mounting panel) and a pair of sidewalls. Coincidentally the equivalent unibody enclosure will also require two part numbers – the core enclosure plus a mounting panel.

This is another misconception about a modular enclosure system – that a typical enclosure will consist of so many additional parts that need to be ordered separately in order for the enclosure to be fully assembled.

3. Modular enclosures require a lot of assembly work like an erector set.

False. Assembly work, while required, is minimal for a basic system. The more complex the configuration, the more assembly required. However, the system accessories can be added by someone without specialized training, unlike the more difficult fabrication techniques (cutting/welding/bending) needed to modify a unibody enclosure.

Another related misconception about a modular enclosure system is that assembling them requires some special skill or knowledge. This is not true at all – whilst a little bit of work on assembly is necessary, the accessories of the system can be added on by anyone without any special training. With a welded enclosure, any modification would require more challenging work such as welding, cutting, or bending while with the Ritall modular enclosure, this is not necessary.

4. Modular systems are more expensive.

False. Standard pricing on core systems are comparable to unibody enclosures. Additionally, there are many hidden costs that become evident over the total life-cycle of the enclosure.

And coming to the all significant price comparison, the fact of the matter is that the price of both modular enclosures and welded enclosures do not differ greatly from each other. They are almost the same price, and, what’s more, if you use a welded enclosure, there are usually some hidden expenses as well. Also, a welded enclosure often has a shorter lifespan than a modular enclosure.

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