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  1. #1
    Newbie level 5
    Points: 2,611, Level: 11

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    0 / 0

    Advice for enclosure processing

    Hi all,

    Currently I have some products which are produced in batches of few thousands per year. So far, processing of enclosures (abs material, approx dimensions 80x40x20mm) is quite slow. There are two basic operations, one is cutting some holes in the box for connectors from pcb with a cnc mill and second is printing product name and an unique serial number+barcode on a label to be sticked on the case. Also, the same serial number is currently written on pcb but by hand with a marker. These operations are slow and have some drawbacks. After milling, lot of time is spent cleaning debris and labeling operation is prone to mistakes.

    I need to seriously step up the speed and quality of these operations but I cannot afford very high investments, max 1-2k usd. As I do not have too much experience in this direction, my initial thought was to find a laser engraver/cutter which can help me to both cut enclosures where is needed and to engrave a serial number. Cutting is not so hard judging after what I saw on youtube with various machines from aliexpress, perhaps a 40w co2 laser would be enough to cut through 2mm abs. Engraving serial numbers on pcb may also be easy with this machine. But I do not know how to engrave the enclosure. It is black abs and I imagine nothing engraved by laser will be visible.

    Injecting enclosures may not be feasible at this point, as the product comes with several options, and each option can affect position and dimensions of some holes on the case. Not all cases are milled identical.

    Any ideas toward this goal? Thank you.

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  2. #2
    Full Member level 5
    Points: 1,292, Level: 8

    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    2 / 2

    Re: Advice for enclosure processing

    I live with a mech engineer whos specialty is automation, he would likely tell me to have a hopper filled with adhesives serials/barcodes whatever and simple pick and place with vacuum suction, vacuum nozzle is rubber thus you would not easily crush your product as it would be cushioned by the rubber. You dont need an engraver or mill, they are costly to operate and maintain, what you want is a method much like what farmers used to braze their cattle. Another words you have an extremely hot emblem negative and press it onto the plastic for a few moments then repeat the process, its fast, precise, very cheap and effective. You may make holes using the same hot method also if you have a hollow shape such as a tube. You would need to rapidly insert the tube into its negative to eject and clear out the melting plastic before it fumes too much.

    1 members found this post helpful.

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