Oh the weather outside is frightful and your electronic device is crucial what do you do if it snows, if it rains or if it’s too bright(ful)?

We all know how pleasurable it can be working outside on a nice sunny day however your electronic device doesn’t get a choice. It has to work come rain, shine, snow or in dusty and dirty environments and it can cause significant issues when designing electronics based products to be used in these harsh conditions.

The considerations a design engineer needs to make are will the product be capable of withstanding the elements, changes in temperatures, ventilation to prevent moisture forming within the enclosure and the protection from the effects of sustained exposure to sunlight?

When housing an electronic device in an external environment the location and access to the unit needs to be taken into account as maintenance or upgrades may be required. When looking at where the product will be located you may require fixing points to be able to place it on a wall or mount it on a pole.

At Phoenix Contact we have introduced a robust field housing for use in harsh operating conditions. The environmental case system (ECS) is the ideal solution for indoor and outdoor applications and offers high degrees of protection of IP69K in accordance with ISO 20653. It’s rated to -40 to +100 degrees centigrade, has optional ventilation using an integral pressure mounted membrane and is UV resistant. The ECS also comes with either snap-in or torque screw locking faceplates with built in protection points for securing with cable ties etc.

The faceplates are available blank, with 1 or 2 M12 housings or with a cable gland. Wall mounting points are integral to the enclosure and there is an optional pole mounting kit available. The ECS also has printed circuit board (PCB) retention safety clips to prevent the PCB from falling out when the faceplate is disconnected from the enclosure, which is particularly beneficial when the unit is mounted to a pole for example.

The range has been expanded in 2019 with the addition of a smaller more compact version, indicator accessories for the front plate and two colour choices of black and grey.