Enclosures - The quest for sustainable products


An urgent question facing many manufacturing companies is, ‘How do we provide clean, safe, environmentally-sustainable energy products for Britain, Europe and the world as a whole, during the twenty-first century? - Steve Gallon, UK MD of enclosure manufacturer Fibox, explains its approach

With scientists predicting the world's population will continue to grow for several decades at least. It’s clear the demand for energy is likely to increase even faster, and the proportion supplied by electricity will also grow faster still. - However, this is where opinions depart as to whether the demand for electricity will continue to be served predominantly by extensive grid systems, or whether there will be a strong trend to locally distributed generation.

Either way, it will not prevent the need for more power, especially in urbanised and industrialised areas, and much of that demand will be for a continuous, reliable supply of electricity.

To be able to continue to supply these expanding industries with a range of suitable products; in a green and responsible manner, Fibox is investing in a host of innovative projects and developing a multitude of new products to serve a number of new and emerging industries.

Using the knowledge gained from over 40 years of continuous product development, Fibox is well placed to help and coach these customers through any commercial or technical issues which may arise.

Our market understanding and responsiveness also enables us to adapt quickly to operate more in a ‘partnership’ with our customers, which give us a good understanding of their needs, and enables them to respond quickly to future requirements and changing market trends.

Wind technology
With the increasing worldwide energy demand, wind power offers an advanced and highly sophisticated technology as well as one of the most economical renewable energy sources. The global growth estimates from 26.600 MW (2008) to 50.800 MW (2012) are solid proof of the industry’s significance.

There is no doubt wind energy technology is developing fast, turbines are becoming cheaper and more powerful, which in turn is gradually bringing the cost of renewably-generated electricity down.

Utilisation of wind energy has increased spectacularly in recent years, with Europe fast becoming the hub of this high-tech industry. With a 22.5% increase in installed capacity during 2010 following on the back of similar rises in previous years, the 36 GWe increment represented an investment of 47 billion EURO (US$ 65 billion). This brought total world wind capacity to 194 GWe, with tens of thousands of turbines now operating.

Fibox serves quite a number of the worlds leading wind turbine manufacturers and provides a selection of enclosures ranging from standard enclosures to customised enclosures. Fibox also offers custom-made enclosure designs to meet specific customer requirements. Fibox has developed a deep understanding of the customers’ applications, a strong material and electrical engineering knowhow, rapid prototyping processes and can supply a wide range of enclosure bundles for protecting electrical and electronic components and systems, thus ensuring the chosen enclosure system will offer a ‘matched guarantee’ that sensitive equipment has the protection that it deserves. Fibox are currently working throughout the world with manufacturers such as Vestas, GE, Gamesa, Enercon, Suzlon and Siemens as well as with leading component suppliers such as ABB and Moventas, on projects designed to use energy as efficiently as possible, to generate as much power as possible from wind, as efficiently and as cleanly as possible.

Fibox, a privately owned Finnish company, is one of the largest enclosure manufacturers in the world, and a market leader in thermoplastic enclosures used for protecting electrical and electronic components operating in hostile environments. It is also involved in the development of both new products and new technologies for molding thermoplastic enclosures. At Fibox, we consider molding technology an essential part of product development.

For example, Fibox MNX enclosure is one of the first to utilise direct injection of the enclosure gasket material during the body molding process. This new process ensures precision molding of the gasket guaranteeing superior enclosure protection ratings.
Another example is Fibox's emphasis on multiple slide technology for mold construction. While much more costly, this type of mold provides our OEM customers cost effective alternatives for modifying standard enclosures to meet their specific needs.

Early in the company’s development, Fibox realised many customers considered service support to be one of the most crucial concerns when deciding from whom and where to buy; whether that be a single enclosure, a complete system, a totally customised product or a total solution offering - intended to create a complete package that solves a specific customer problem.

Fibox’s production process, which is currently being optimised, provides important advantages in large-scale production and offers its customers the ability to achieve price premiums on many of its principle products and systems.

There has been a massive investment in optical fibre telecommunications technology over the last 40 years. Optical fibres lie at the very heart of modern society, providing the information superhighways required within our global communication systems.

With the demand for transmission bandwidth in the world’s core networks increases by around 80% year-on-year, Fibox has initiated a ‘top team’ to be totally dedicated to operate a whole R&D programme, purely to focus on future fibre devices, and system concepts, that will be required for next generation telecommunication systems. It has also been tasked to investigate new applications of the technology in areas beyond telecommunications including amongst others: high power pulsed fibre lasers, industrial materials processing, aerospace, biology, sensing and fundamental physics.

Based on this pioneering research and product development, Fibox is building more and more enclosure products that enable FTTH connections and the fibre optical solutions to move closer and closer to the end user. The same is happening with FTTX in general. And many Fibox enclosure solutions are in the heart of these FTTH/FTTX applications.

The need to take the high speed fibre connections all the way to the final application is growing. In FTTH this means taking the fibre into the home and office. The same demand is growing in FTTX in general; Fibre to the Antenna, Fibre to the Elevator, Fibre to the Water pump, etc. as well as Fibre to broadband; Fibox enclosure solutions are making these FTTH/FTTX applications possible.

The Fibox FTTH enclosure and cabinet solutions are available for outside plant and customer premises, ranging from access points trough fibre distribution to fibre termination. Fibox wall mounting enclosures can be installed both indoors and outdoors. Cabinets and enclosures are designed to meet the fibre management, fibre storing and fibre splicing and connecting needs of FTTH networks.

With the Fibox FTTH solution family or with a customised solution based on more than 1000 standard enclosures, the company can provide a solution to any FTTH / FTTX enclosing needs.

FDE splice enclosures are designed for MDU and enterprise purposes. The FDE range has two enclosure sizes, the smaller supports up to 24 fibre connections, and the bigger up to 48 fibre connections. The state-of-art splice tray and the fibre management design make installation quick and easy. FDE wall-mounting enclosures can be used both indoors and outdoors.

The FDE range is designed to meet both installation and end user needs. The plug-and-play feature reduces the installation time and eliminates the need for extra tools and its stylish design makes the products aesthetically pleasing for visible locations.
Fibox knows innovative, customised products and services, supported by marketing and design, are the differentiators that allow companies to win: As Steve Gallon said, "If the product is right, and you deliver what your customer wants, the world is your oyster".