Metal case for Ballast

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#1
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Hi there,

I am searching for any manufacturer in European Union are that produces metal cases for electronic ballasts.

I found too many manufacturers in China and India, but I would like to find a European Source.

Please see the photo I attach to understand what I am searching for.

Regards

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Michael.

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With "ballast" you surely mean "load", right? I assume you want to build an electronic load that simply turns watts into heat, is that correct? If yes, are you looking for a complete case or just a heat sink?

Einstein was right: "Two things are unlimited: the universe and the human stupidity. But i'm not quite sure about the former..."

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Hello there,

We are designing an electronic ballast for LEDs and we would like to put it inside a metal case like this in the photo I attached in my previous post.

We are not looking for just a heat sink, but a metal case similar to this in the photo.

We found some in China and India, but I am wondering if we could find womething in the EU or even Turkey.

Regards,

Michael.

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There is a subtle difference between "ballast" & "load".
I often refer to the resistor in series as the ballast resistor.
The LED is in the part of the load which does useful work, whereas the ballast is the part of the load whose work is generally wasted.

Charles Darwin, Lord Kelvin & Murphy are always lurking about!
Lee -.-
Riddle me this...How did the serpent move around before the fall?

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Whatever...

Lighting control electronic equipments usually called "Fluorescent Tube Ballast" or "LED Ballast" in the Market.

"I really don't need to learn it, I need to eat it" - That was a jog stolen from a TV film.

Guys, do you know anyone that produces anything like this enclosure (metal case) ?

Michael.

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you could try these :

http://www.kasperslighting.com/

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Thanks,

but http://www.kasperslighting.com/

is a distributor of lighting products.

My point is to find a metal enclosure for my LED driver PCB.

Michael.

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You should have designed your PCB to fit a suitable enclosure.

Leon Heller G1HSM

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As I understand it Leon, Michael is in the process of the design phase and wants to make sure that he can source the metal case BEFORE he designs the pcb.

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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For something like that I'd simply go to my local sheet metal company.

#1 Hardware Problem? https://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/...

#2 Hardware Problem? Read AVR042.

#3 All grounds are not created equal

#4 Have you proved your chip is running at xxMHz?

#5 "If you think you need floating point to solve the problem then you don't understand the problem. If you really do need floating point then you have a problem you do not understand."

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Brian,

We went to a huge company that produces metal products and told us that the cost to make the tool that produces this type of metal cases is 50 to 60K euros aprox.

This is impossible for our 1st step in this area. That's why we are trying to find a ready one.

Ross, correct. We made the prototype and it works fine. Now we need the enclosure. It's very easy for us to redesign the PCB to meet the enclosure.

Michael.

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This case is afaik of standardized size and bolt pattern.

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What sort of quantities are we talking of here?

#1 Hardware Problem? https://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/...

#2 Hardware Problem? Read AVR042.

#3 All grounds are not created equal

#4 Have you proved your chip is running at xxMHz?

#5 "If you think you need floating point to solve the problem then you don't understand the problem. If you really do need floating point then you have a problem you do not understand."

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Quote:
tool that produces this type of metal cases is 50 to 60K euros aprox.

that may be true in "Euro" cost for tooling a metal blanking/bending die..blanks the metal and bends in same operation..or a blanking die and then a bending die...so each part can have two to four dies (top and bottom) needed to be machined/EDM...and in the case of your picture you have at least a base and a top so you are looking at quite a few to be machined/EDM.......can not help with Euro vendor as this was typically done in very large volumes in china and mexico if for no other reason then to reduce the tooling/mfg cost to almost nill on a per piece mfg cost...somewhat ironically it will cost in some places more on a per pc basis to finish the metal than make the metal case...as in some places environmental concerns increase the cost significantly for a metal finish like paint and anodizing...
but if your prototyping it should be easy to source a vendor to laser cut and box bend on a digital brake from a dwg file for a very limited volume..
and then you have the joy of working with the regulatory agencies for certifications...at that point the metal case will be the least of your headaches unless of course it does not pass!

Last Edited: Mon. Feb 6, 2012 - 05:43 PM
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Typically, a large production company would approach this differently than a small shop. A large company would approach this as a die cut piece with the corresponding high non-recoverable engineering (NRE) cost, such as Michael quoted. That would only be justified IF you have a proven design, and sales to justify the investment.

On the other hand, a smaller shop might approach this as a hand cut and formed sheet metal piece (maybe on a shear and a brake) with punched holes (maybe power punch, maybe hand punch). The setup cost would be MUCH smaller but the per unit price would be higher (because of labor).

Try this: use the "imported" parts to get started, as your prototype, if you will. Sell your first ones using these parts. Then, take one to a production sheet metal shop and ask for a quote to reproduce. You should find a much lower set up charge that might not even be broken out from the unit cost. You would probably be told that the cost would be X if you buy 10 and Y if you buy 100 and Z if you buy 1000.

You will need to shop because not all "sheet metal" shops will be equal. Some will specialize in vehicle shapes (fenders, hoods, etc). Some may specialize in heating duct work. You will need to look for one that deals with aluminum, and and fold into box-shapes and can punch and notch.

Jim

 

Until Black Lives Matter, we do not have "All Lives Matter"!

 

 

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We are talking for 1000 to 1000000 pieces. I really don't know yet.

Pilot production will be 1000 pieces for sure.

Michael.

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Quote:
Lighting control electronic equipments usually called "Fluorescent Tube Ballast" or "LED Ballast" in the Market.

Correct! That is the point that I was trying to make to DO1THL.
Your ballast will produces no useful work and is therefore not called a load!

IMHO You wont get any prices from the EEC or anywhere else, as good as China/India/Taiwan etc. That is why, in the long term, all manufacturing in other than in Asia is screwed.

Charles Darwin, Lord Kelvin & Murphy are always lurking about!
Lee -.-
Riddle me this...How did the serpent move around before the fall?

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There is no reason to expect to use the same supplier for the first 1000 and the 2nd (or 5th) 1000. When you reach an accumulated sale of 4000-5000, THEN start looking for a high volume, die-cut producer.

After all, you don't know, with absolute certainty, that you will reach 10,000 or even 5000. When you can prove that you have a good sales stream, that is the time to start investing in things that will reduce your unit cost.

Jim

 

Until Black Lives Matter, we do not have "All Lives Matter"!

 

 

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I say get a cnc machine and a brake and do it in house. You can get a cnc machine for 1k or less, depending on the working area and how much effort you want to put into building it. It is a fun project so long as you have time to fool around with it and get experience, not very fun when your cutting bits start to break and you need the part cut yesterday.

CNC machining is pretty accessible these days to anyone with some technical competency, use google sketchup to draw the part, run a gcode generator, fire up mach3. The actual cutting part though is a pain in the butt as you need a feel for how your machine/cutting-bit performs with the given material and feedrate.

I think every electronics company should have a CNC machine on hand and someone who knows how to use it. Even if you never use it, it serves as a backstop to getting gouged for custom enclosures and milling work.

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A shear, a break, and some kind of mill or CNC machine is indeed valuable for prototyping. But, making more than a few per day of the kind of part that was shown in the first post is really hard. A single person who knows aluminum working with good tools (notching shear, punch, straight shear, and break) might do a few 10s per day. But, that would be nearly a full-time job for that person. Clearly, at best, this would be a small production "solution".

As I mentioned above, it is important NOT to get hung up on one source, only and forever. The source that is good for prototyping may not be suitable for for quantities of 1000. The source that is good for 1000 may not be suitable for quantities of 10,000. And that source may not be good for quantities of 100,000.

Be flexible and choose what fits best for the foreseeable future.

Jim

 

Until Black Lives Matter, we do not have "All Lives Matter"!

 

 

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There are progressive die machines that have versatile punches that can stamp holes of various shapes and sizes, including slots in an incremental fashion similar to using a nibbler. I have seen these at contract manufactures. They work fast. That leaves only painting, form and crimp. That could be manual, forming dies for automation could be fairly simple.

It all starts with a mental vision.

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Quote:
Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank.
Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world!
(from the internet)

Ha ha ha ha..........

Fantastic.

Ancient Greeks found Democracy.

Democracy under now days financial system sends a pizza rober in jail for 2 years and makes president the man who robed the world.

Michael.

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icarus1 wrote:

Pilot production will be 1000 pieces for sure.

Have you tried looking for suppliers in South Africa?

#1 Hardware Problem? https://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/...

#2 Hardware Problem? Read AVR042.

#3 All grounds are not created equal

#4 Have you proved your chip is running at xxMHz?

#5 "If you think you need floating point to solve the problem then you don't understand the problem. If you really do need floating point then you have a problem you do not understand."