Appleton Sees Growth, Development Trends in NEMA-Rated Enclosures
James R. DukartA potential coming rebound in capital expenditures in the oil and gas sector, the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) and generally improving business conditions promise to continue to spur the demand for electrical enclosures rated by NEMA, for both hazardous and non-hazardous locations.
Appleton offers junction boxes for both segments. On the hazardous locations side, the company’s new AJBEW line of cast junction boxes is explosion proof and dust-ignition proof, NEC/CEC and NEMA-rated and designed to protect cable and wiring from the harshest conditions. The company also manufactures heavy-duty electrical cabinets for hazardous industrial locations that meet the requirements of ATEX, IEC, IECEx, NEC and/or CEC-certified areas.
While perhaps not needing to withstand an explosion, per se, another trend in the enclosure or junction-box arena is increased use of polyester, rather than metallic, materials for the boxes. Non-metallic boxes are increasingly popular in hygienic industries such as food & beverage or drug manufacturing, where frequent wash downs are necessary. Non-metallic boxes can better withstand wash downs without encountering corrosion or oxidization issues.
Mark Garton, a marketing manager for Emerson’s Appleton line, also notes the increased use of IP video surveillance cameras in petrochemical, chemical and industrial processing as a driver, citing in particular Appleton’s ATEX and IEC-certified camera housings.
Growing use of enclosures in “non-hazardous” or “ordinary” locations, Garton continues, is driven by multiple factors including the expansion of industrial safety regulations, the energy transmission & distribution market, including distributed “clean” energy from community or residentially-based wind or solar generators, and even so-called “smart homes” featuring the introduction of the interconnected so-called “Internet of Things” of smart devices including thermostats, refrigerators and other appliances.
Other trends regarding enclosures, Garton adds, include the size of the components that populate enclosures growing smaller, the wider use of electronics being installed outdoors requiring sealed enclosures, and the growing incorporation of wireless into the enclosure.
Citing research from the BCC, Garton says the overall market for enclosures will grow at about five percent annually through 2019. Valued at $4.4 billion in 2014, the research firm projects an increase to $5.7 billion in annual sales in 2019.
Photo courtesy of Appleton Group