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PCB mounts – What’s best for my electronics?

Blog - July 2017

How you mount your circuit boards can make a big difference to the kind of enclosure you need.
And that in turn will have a significant impact on the component layout of your PCBs.

So – given these two important factors – the humble PCB mounting deserves much more consideration than it’s generally given.

Admit it – PCB mounts were not at the top of your do list today were they? But they are now. Or at least they should be – because they can have quite a knock-on effect on your enclosure, the first thing your customers will see and touch when they encounter your product. PCB mountings fall into various types. Each has its pros and cons…

Standard PCB Mounting Pillars – Keeping It Simple

PCB Pillars Kit

Pillars are the most common option. They’re simple and very cost effective – and for that reason they’re ubiquitous. Virtually all METCASE 19” rack mount and portable instrumentation enclosures are pre-drilled for them.

Screw each pillar into place through a pre-drilled Ø3.2 mm hole. Pillars can be positioned anywhere in an enclosure, making them highly versatile.

Our PCB mounting kit (available as an accessory) features 10 nylon M3 pillars and 10 M3 x 6 mm fixing screws. Each black (RAL 9005) pillar is 10 mm high.

So far so good. But what if you want them to specify them as an accessory for a non-METCASE enclosure, one that has thicker walls? Happy to help – we can supply each kit with longer screws.
Or you could specify custom fixings…

Custom PCB Mounting Pillars

Fitting PCB pillars to suit your equipment

You can specify your enclosures with the PCB pillars already in place – saving you installation time. Choose from metric or imperial sizes, typically with M3, M4, M5 or M6 threads.

We can fit push-in threaded studs or studweld on to aluminium panels to ensure a clean finish on the outside of the panel. Find out more about this service here. But as simple and dependable as standard and custom mounting pillars are, they are not a panacea…

PCB mounting pillars are traditionally used for single-board configurations. What if your enclosure must house multiple PCBs? In theory you could drill holes in both the base section and the lid. But do you really want a bunch of Pozi screwheads to be visible on the top section? OK, you could use studwelds inside the top but you get the point. And do you really want to spend time screwing each individual mounting screw into place? Which brings us to the next option…

PCB Guides – For Faster Installation Times

Clip-in PCB guides for slide-in PCBs

Simply slide your PCBs into place on guide rails. What could be easier?

Mounting multiple PCBs in your enclosure? Simple – just add extra sets of guides. They just snap into place in pre-drilled holes. Two types are available:

  • Clip-in guides for 1.6 mm thick PCBs – available in lengths of 102 mm and 216 mm – to fit our UNIMET-PLUS desktop/portable instrument enclosures
  • New TECHNOMET clip-in guides for 0.5 mm to 2 mm thick PCBs – available in lengths of 102 mm and 140 mm – for our new advanced TECHNOMET desktop/portable instrument enclosures.

And what if you want the best of both worlds? Mounting pillars and guide rails? TECHNOMET features both options as standard. So you’re spoiled for choice!

And best of all, you can request 3D models/drawings for all METCASE enclosures – so you can see precisely how your PCBs will look inside each case.

Find out more by contacting our sales team.