It has come to our attention that assembly of cabinets for electronic equipment can be a significant bottleneck in the production and installation process for specialist panel builders – with consequent downstream effects on productivity. Normally the idea of reducing time might also involve reducing quality in some way, but the solution was found in D-SNAP® and SNAPLINE® technology which offers very high quality outcomes with assembly time reduction in the order of 90%.
This technology offers a way of assembling racks and cabinets, as well as their necessary hardware without the use of tools or other fittings such as screws or nuts. The need was identified to enable side panels, tops, bases and doors to effectively be produced as flat items and then quickly assembled either at the factory or on site. Of particular relevance to 19” systems we have recently launched a novel captive SNAP-Joiner which fits the standard 19″ rack 9.5mm x 9.5mm cutout and is quicker and easier to use than the traditional screw with cup washer and cage nut. The SNAP-Joiner is ideal for quickly installing 19″ front panels of electronic racking and for assembling other panels where rapid/removal is required.
SNAP-Joiner is simply punched into the front panel where it is held by spring clips, this assembly is then mated to the rear panel and the SNAP-Joiner core push fitted to activate spring wedges which accommodate a clamping range of up to 5.2mm in a vibration proof connection. Removal is simplicity itself with a 45° turn by cross-head screwdriver, thus meeting the requirements of the Machinery Directive 2006/42EC.
This single component thus combines the function of captive screw with captive cage nut, without the need for specialist installation equipment and reducing inventory SKU’s. The simple push and snap insertion is not only faster (by up to 90%) than threaded options, but also minimises risk of cross-threading and of damage to sensitive equipment in the installation process.
The SNAP-Joiner provides positive clamping action, thus compensating for applications where tight tolerances are difficult to achieve. The same technology is applicable to the entire 19” rack where we have found that with this D-Snap approach toolless assembly is possible complete with hinges, locks and handles. Each SNAPLINE® component is an integrated component with its two spring loaded wedge fittings which offer an installation which is comparable with the strength of traditional assembly methods.
Components in the range centre around the panel joining components which are so configured as to allow insertion (and removal) into blind or closed sections – the resulting rack cabinet may thus be extremely rigid with vibration proof fittings.
Each 19” rack of course requires the possibility for lockable and removable side panels which can be achieved with snap in ¼ turn locks while front/rear doors can be fitted with quarter-turn or swinghandles with D-SNAP® facilities where many standard hardware components are available in D-SNAP® options. This is exemplified by a new range of 180° cabinet hinges which are expected to be of interest for specialist panel builders and installers of electrical or electronic cabinets where full door opening is required, either for maximum door clearance, e.g. for insertion of equipment – or for access to the rear of the door. They may be used on standalone enclosures/racks or on suited style side-by-side installations.
Three versions are available – the traditional option with M5 cast in screws, with screws on one leaf and SNAP-LINE® fitting on the other leaf – or with SNAP-LINE® (D-SNAP®) technology on both leaves.
D-SNAP® technology enables assembly/dismantling without tools, screws or nuts, as well as being vibration proof. Not only is this system fast and easy to assemble – it is also a simple “blind” push-in fitting that does not require access from the rear – this often enables up to 90% savings in hinge assembly time.
Needless to say conventional panel fittings continue to be of great interest to manufacturers of electronic equipment of all sizes from plastic hinges for small boxes and housings to pin hinges for side doors or digital combination locks for low cost cabinet security. Typically smaller packaged and mobile equipment also requires recessed handles for manual handling and these traditional components are foreseen as continuing to fulfil the market need alongside their more sophisticated D-SNAP® variants.
Contact us to discuss how you can save up to 90% on your panel assembly time.