What Makes the New Stainless Steel AX and KX the Ideal Wall Mount Enclosure for Harsh Environments

April 11 2024

Product insight

Durability, reliability, and protection are key considerations for automation designers and engineers when specifying industrial enclosure solutions for challenging manufacturing environments. And the importance of these characteristics is only enhanced given the continued development of modern manufacturing to include a wider variety of outdoor or uncontrolled applications, specifically the energy & power industry.

Traditionally, wall mount industrial enclosures have been known more for their flexibility and capacity to help reduce a manufacturer’s automation footprint. While Rittal’s line of AX KX enclosures already demonstrate a high level of durability, the new AX KX stainless steel (SS) enclosure is designed specifically to prioritize industry-leading strength, protection, and reliability to help manufacturers increase productivity and reduce downtime. 

Here, let’s look at a couple of key design and engineering features that make the new Rittal AX KX SS enclosure the ideal wall mount enclosure for harsh manufacturing environments.

A robust, stainless steel construction

When specifying the right wall mount industrial enclosure for any uncontrolled or outdoor environment, the priority is always the ability to protect the wiring and control panels inside the enclosure with a focus on reliability and performance. This is especially important for automotive manufacturers and those in the material handling industry where challenging production environments are just part of the game.

The stainless steel construction of the new AX KS SS creates a more robust enclosure that can handle the rigors of harsh production applications. For example, the AX KX SS utilizes a slimline enclosure edge fold in combination with a seamless PU foam seal to provide IP 66 protection. Plus, the stainless steel engineering offers NEMA 1, 3R, 4, 4X, or 12 ratings.

Not only does the stainless steel construction offer the durability and reliability necessary for challenging deployments, the smooth nature of the stainless steel makes both the AX and KX SS easy to clean and maintain. The stainless steel construction is also corrosion-proof and easy to clean, which helps manufacturers reduce the likelihood of unplanned maintenance intervals and costs — and, for food & beverage manufacturers, this also helps enhance hygienic standards.

Simplified, streamlined enclosure mounting capabilities

The time and resources required to adequately mount an enclosure can make it difficult for manufacturers to maximize uptime or scale their automation infrastructure. Not only can the mounting process require specialized tooling, it can also limit internal wiring and cable configuration or capacity. Plus, once the enclosure is mounted, it can be challenging to integrate enclosure accessories to optimize performance or adapt to changes in production parameters.

Rittal’s new AX KX SS enclosure uses a simplified mounting panel that is easy to pre-attach and secure. A standard pitch pattern makes component assembly faster and easier than ever before without the need for specialized tooling or equipment.

What’s more, punch points embossed on the rear panel streamline the mounting process, and the tool-free nature of the door assembly process further accelerates the ability to mount and integrate the enclosure into an automation system. Additionally, the optional perforated door strip with system punchings on a flexible 25 mm pitch pattern makes for quick and easy extension without the need to machine the door.

These standard design features offer the ability to configure a custom enclosure solution that can respond to the unpredictable nature of outdoor or uncontrolled production environments.

End-to-end digitalization for a more connected ecosystem

The end-to-end digitalization of the design processes increases the transparency and visibility of configuring the ideal wall mount enclosure for harsh manufacturing environments. This helps manufacturers increase their speed-to-market, leverage standard enclosures that can be easily configured based on custom specifications, and create a more connected automation ecosystem with simplified scalability.

The new AX KX SS is compatible with our RiPanel online industrial enclosure configuration tool to provide detailed 3D views of the enclosure, CAD data for more precise renderings, and the ability to match your enclosure with compatible accessories. Designing the AX KS SS via RiPanel helps

streamline the enclosure design and ordering process; minimize the likelihood of design errors; and enhance planning via parts list with real-time availability updates.

This end-to-end digitalization of the design process accelerates the delivery of the AX KX SS to help manufacturers scale their automation infrastructure based on customer demand. Plus, this simplifies the process of customizing an enclosure for specific deployments to help optimize durability, reliability, and overall performance.

Learn more about the new AX KX SS enclosure.