There are a number of different types of commercial and industrial enclosures that can be fabricated and manufactured from metals such as stainless steel, carbon steel, and aluminum. These include boxes, bins, cages, containers, panels and cabinets. Even mobile carts, like the ones used to store tools in a garage, are considered a type of enclosure.
What they have in common is that all are designed to hold or protect other items or equipment, and all require the expertise of a precision sheet metal fabricator in order to be manufactured correctly, especially when intended for use in highly-regulated industries, such as medical, energy, food service, military or aerospace.
Depending on the project, it can also be extremely important to choose a metal fabricator that has the certifications and experience needed for the specific enclosure type that will be manufactured. This is certainly true when a NEMA-rated or UL-certified type 1 508A enclosure must be engineered and produced.
Below is a guide to each of these enclosures, as well as examples, in order to help differentiate between the various types and increase understanding of what they are used for.
Industrial Metal Box Enclosures
The term “fabricated metal box” is often used interchangeably to describe other, similar items, including the generic “enclosure” but also cabinets and panels, just to name a few. They are a very common type of enclosure that has many uses, in particular, for electrical utility products. They can be manufactured using stainless steel and aluminum, in a wide range of sizes. Box enclosures are can be fairly straightforward, but there are also any number of variations that can be fabricated, including galvanized steel boxes, hinged boxes, pull boxes, toolboxes, powder-coated boxes, screw cover boxes, and latch boxes.
Fabricated Metal Cages & Chassis
Some of the most common types of fabricated metal cages are card cages, sub-rack card cages, and chassis. These are types of electrical enclosures that are commonly found in computer data centers, and are used to hold various types of related equipment, including computer servers, printed circuit board cards, and fan assemblies. They are also referred to as equipment racks, rack units and server cabinets.
Industrial Metal Containers
Most often when metal containers are mentioned, it is dry shipping containers that are being referred to. These are the large containers that are used to transport products on cargo ships and trains. Other types of large fabricated metal containers include moving and storage “pods,” and industrial, modular containers that are often used as alternatives to traditional construction, such as those on building sites. There are also smaller metal containers, such as those that provide stackable storage in industrial settings such as warehouses.
Fabricated Metal Panels
This term can be a bit confusing, as “metal panels” can refer to multiple products that are completely unrelated. For instance, there are architectural metal panels, which are decorative and often used for aesthetic reasons when designing the facades of large, commercial buildings. But the term “metal panel” can also be used to describe smaller enclosures, such as electrical panels. An example of these can be found in every home, often in the garage, and houses all of the various electrical circuits. It is also referred to as a fuse box.
Industrial Metal Bins
This is another term that can have more than one meaning. For instance, there are the types of extremely large metal bins fabricated out of steel that have some similarities to metal shipping containers in terms of their size. These are generally rated for both indoor and outdoor applications, and can be used for bulk material and product storage, waste containment and disposal, transportation of materials when outfitted with wheels, and even to secure very large/expensive equipment, such as those used on construction sites, when industrial-grade locks are added. However, there are smaller types of metal bins, generally meant for indoor use, that are essentially interchangeable with metal containers. These are used in commercial and industrial settings, in particular warehouses, and are often stackable to make the best use of space.
Industrial Metal Cabinets
Metal cabinets are essentially a type of metal box with doors. They generally come equipped with inner shelves, racks, or drawers — or even some combination of the three. When wheels are added, they are sometimes referred to as metal carts, such as those used in hospitals to transport medicine or surgical equipment. There are metal cabinets that are manufactured for the purpose of securing expensive or valuable items, in which case they may have locking mechanisms on the doors. They are often used as file storage, bookcases, or lockers, like those found in schools and gyms.
EVS Metal: A One-Stop (Metal Fab) Shop for Fabricated Metal Enclosures
EVS Metal is a leading American precision commercial sheet metal fabricator and manufacturer of all types of enclosures, including NEMA and UL-certified type 1 508A enclosures like those mentioned above. EVS specializes in quality fabrications, such as boxes, cabinets, panels and containers, using the most state-of-the-art equipment available. This includes CNC machining centers, turret punch presses and press brakes. The company also offers exceptional assembly and integration services for items large and small, whether sub-assemblies or finished products. Four convenient metal fabrication facilities are available across the U.S. in New York, Texas, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. Contact EVS online today to submit an RFQ for a commercial metal enclosure project, or call 1-888-9EVSMET to speak with a sales representative.