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Why We Redesigned Our Popular UNICASE Instrument Enclosures

Updated UNICASE instrument enclosures

September 2020

Why Simple Is Smart

Much of what we write about electronic instrument enclosures talks about cutting-edge aesthetics and hidden fixings (and rightly so). But that’s not the whole story…

For every flush-fit, lavishly bezelled TECHNOMET that we sell, there’s another model that’s just as popular – UNICASE. It doesn’t have bezels. And all its assembly screws are clearly visible…all 16 of them…each one testifying to the smart functionality of this much-loved 30-year-old design.

This simple, form-follows-function design is what makes UNICASE so timeless and so popular. Even after three decades, electronics designers still hold UNICASE in high esteem – it’s always in demand. That means a lot to us, because UNICASE was the first metal enclosure we ever designed. And here’s what it offers you…

Why Electronics Designers Specify UNICASE

UNICASE is so quick and easy to assemble and take apart. Remove four screws and off comes the front (or rear) panel – allowing you to slide out your PCBs. Or you could remove the four screws that secure the wraparound top panel (or base). Doing so gives you complete access to your components. It’s that easy. No cosmetic trims. No fuss. Just a few screws.

UNICASE is also highly cost-effective because the design is so simple. There are no diecast bezels – just flat front and rear panels screwed directly to the ends of the extruded chassis profiles. Bezels are great for concealing fixing screws on enclosures such as UNIMET, UNIMET-PLUS and TECHNOMET. But the design ethos behind UNICASE has always been about functional minimalism. (Incidentally, going bezel-less has also been highly successful for COMBIMET, our bestselling 19” rack cases.)

Why New Improved UNICASE Is Now Better Than Ever

Thirty years on, how do you improve a design as simple as UNICASE? How do you make it even better…but without adding features that would detract from its enduring and alluring simplicity? The trick was to implement a design tweak so subtle that you wouldn’t even know it’s there – a modification so minimal that you’d assume that UNICASE had always been built that way from day one.

That modification is in the chassis profiles…

New UNICASE assembly tool

Now UNICASE Is Easier To Assemble

We’ve redesigned the extruded aluminium chassis profiles so they hold the caged nuts absolutely upright. This perfect vertical alignment helps to ensure you locate the assembly screws perfectly each time.

Okay, so that’s the vertical alignment sorted out. But what about the horizontal? How do we (and you) make sure the caged nut is sitting in the correct place in the channel to match up with the incoming assembly screw?

Once again, the answer is simple. We’ve created a plastic tool (available as an accessory) that you can use to push the caged nut into exactly the right position – first time, every time. It’s 3D printed from tough PA2200 so it’s built to last. You’re going to love this handy little timesaver when you’re fitting eight assembly screws to the profiles on each enclosure. Especially if you’re assembling a large number of units.

View UNICASE range >>

Customised UNICASE enclosures

Customised UNICASE – Ready For Your PCBs

UNICASE is one of our most customisable instrument enclosures. You can specify custom heights, depths, widths, ventilation, holes/cutouts, bespoke colours and digital printing. UNICASE is one of only two METCASE instrument enclosures that offers custom heights as an option. (The other is TECHNOMET.)

The full range of customising services offered by METCASE include bespoke sizes, custom front panels, CNC machining, fixings and inserts, painting/finishing and digital printing of logos and legends. Specifying the services you need is now easier than ever because you simply add them to your list as if they were products.

You can choose any colour you like for your enclosures. There is no extra charge if you choose one of the large range of colours that we always keep in stock.

Cutomising Service >>

METCASE instrument enclosures range

Other METCASE Instrument Enclosures

As versatile and popular as UNICASE is, there are 10 more METCASE instrument enclosures to choose from. They include:

  • Advanced TECHNOMET and TECHNOMET 19” (mini-racks) – their flush-fit bezels create a modern cohesive design with no visible fixing screws. You can mount your PCBs on pillars and slide them in on guide rails.
  • UNIMET and UNIMET-PLUS that can be specified with or without a tilt/swivel carry handle that doubles as a desk stand. (UNIMET has PCB pillars; UNIMET-PLUS has PCB guide rails).
  • MINIMET – stylish, lightweight and (like UNICASE) very easy to assemble or take apart. The flat front, rear and base panels are secured to the U-shaped top and sides by just four screws each. Only the rear screws are visible.

View our full range of aluminium enclosures for electronic instrumentation. Also check out this at-a-glance comparison guide for more information about specifying them fully customised.

View Instrument Enclosures range >>