I really like the idea of your side panel extrusions. They seem affordable, and I'm sure they are very solid. For the purposes of making rack cases however, the costs of top/bottom panels adds up very quickly.
For my purposes, I don't have any special requirements for top/bottom panels. Perhaps a few air vent holes, but I don't really even care where they are located. For an 11" deep 19" wide rack case, the cost of the top and bottom panels comes to around $60 a piece, which is about the same as front/rear panels. That makes a 1U enclosure somewhere around $260.
I like the flexibility of front and back panel design, but I wonder if one of the following could be a solution to reduce cost and increase sales:
1. Manufacture standard rack width top/bottom panels similar to your extrusions: in one big long sheet, and then cut to the customer's length requirements.
2. Keep several standard length top/bottom rack panels (like 6", 10", 13", 16", 20"), and manufacture them in bulk so that you can make them more cheaply and offer them more cheaply.
3. Source some standard length top/bottom rack panels (like 6", 10", 13", 16", 20") in steel from another supplier in bulk and just resell them. This way they could be thinner (0.06") and cheaper.
As is, I'm probably going to end up purchasing a stock rack chassis from somewhere else and then either send a front and rear panel to you to customize or just drill it myself. If you offered simple stock top/bottom panels at $10 a piece, an enclosure would be around $160, which would be affordable enough where I would be much more likely to get a custom chassis from you.
I have no idea how many rack cases you sell, but it seems that if you sell enough to warrant having some top/bottom panels in bulk then you could sell more.
Posted By: Eric Pruett on Jul 24, 2010 07:46PM Category: Whishes
Thanks for the input! While I can sympathize with you in terms of the costs associated with fabricating a custom enclosure, cutting a pre-cut sheet to various lengths would add significant time (and cost) to the process of enclosure fabrication. For a 19" wide rack enclosure, the top and bottom panels would need some mounting holes for the housing brackets, and adding these after a sheet is cut out would raise the price significantly.
This caveat makes the bulk purchasing/manufacturing less advantageous. When you add in the observation that nearly all of our rack panel boxes are made with different depths, we end up holding onto significant amounts of additional material.
If you wanted to use our extrusions, front panels, and back panels, you could investigate obtaining raw 1.5mm aluminum provided elsewhere for your top and bottom panels.
You could also likely purchase and machine perforated sheet on your own for this application.
Hopefully this is helpful!
Posted By: Paul Birkeland on Jul 26, 2010 07:25PMReply
Any chance you will be adding the ability to Laser Image/Engrave an anodized panel vs using an engraving tool and infill? This should be more economical and a lower cost for the customer while stillreatining the excellant machining you provide.
Posted By: Jeff Wilson on Jul 10, 2010 06:01PM Category: Production
Hello again Jeff,
We do not foresee purchasing a laser engraver any time in the near future.
While the actual purchase price of an engraving machine is less expensive than a mill, the additional time of moving and positioning a piece of material in a second machine would wipe out any possible cost savings. The time taken to engrave text into a given panel is not generally cost prohibitive, and this process is completed without additional handling of the panel.
Posted By: Paul Birkeland on Jul 12, 2010 08:31PMReply
Laser engraving machine, using a laser engraving technology equipment for carving materials. Laser engraving machine is different from mechanical engraving machine and other traditional way of manual sculpture, mechanical engraving machine is the use of CNC machines, such as high hard just high hardness materials such as diamond to sculpt low hardness of other things. And artful and laser engraving machine is using the heat energy laser on the material to engraving, laser in the laser engraving machine is its core. In general, the use of laser engraving machine, broader and higher precision carving, carving speed is more quickly. And compared with the traditional way of manual sculpture, laser engraving engraving effect can be done very exquisite, no less manual sculpture of the art. It is because the laser engraving machine has so many advantages, so now the application of laser engraving machine has gradually replaced the traditional equipment and methods. Be the main engraving equipment. Is laser cutting/engraving processing technology :badgrin:
Posted By: ciciswift on Sep 17, 2013 09:55AMReply
Any chance you will be adding the ability for Color Printing (natural aluminum) the Front Panel similar to your competitors?
Posted By: Jeff Wilson on Jul 10, 2010 05:58PM Category: Production
There are a few layers to this question, so I will try to address them all as clearly as possible.
What we generally see offered by other companies is silk screening. Silk screening requires a fairly hefty investment with each new design, and it is generally only used when quantities are high. Also, silk screening is printed on top of the material, and it can be scraped off quite easily in many cases.
We are in the experimental phase of printing into aluminum (not on top of). This should offer an economical solution to printing a one-off prototype without a giant setup fee. This type of printing would also be less vulnerable to abrasion. Keep an eye out in 2011/2012 for more on this.
Posted By: Paul Birkeland on Jul 12, 2010 08:19PMReply
It would be helpful after carefully placing macro objects that if they need to be replaced with a different macro object at the same location...maybe something like
(1) right click the object
(2) popup menu > click "replace"
(3) select macro object in sidebar
(4) click "enter"
(1) select macro object in dwg
(2) click a new "Replace" button maybe in macro sidebar
(3) select the macro object in sidebar to replace with
(4) click "Enter"
Posted By: Jeff Wilson on Jul 10, 2010 05:31PM Category: Whishes
The best way to accomplish a macro replacement would be with the alignment tool.
You would place your new macro anywhere on the panel, then click on it. Hold the shift key and click on your old macro. Right click on the group and select "Aligning/distribution". You would want to align the reference points on the last selected object, then click OK. Your two macros will now align themselves, and you need only delete the old macro.
I hope this helps!
Posted By: Paul Birkeland on Jul 12, 2010 08:38PMReply
(1) in the new version where are the macro objects (files) I create stored on my computer by default so I can find them and back them up?
(2) When you upgrade designer software from v4 to v4.01 does it erase the macro objects I previously created on the computer?
Posted By: Jeff Wilson on Jul 10, 2010 05:23PM Category: Front Panel Designer
The macro objects are in the FrontDesign directory in the folder called "Makros". The software will not erase your macro files. From 3.5 to 4.*, there is a procedure to import your old macros. From 4.0 to 4.1, they should import automatically.
Also, if you use the "View" drop down menu and click "Macro Objects" to bring up the right pane window, you can right click on either folder and click "Import old macro file..." to navigate to your previous macros and bring them into the new software.
Posted By: Paul Birkeland on Jul 12, 2010 08:33PMReply