Products & Services

Protocase manufactures fully finished custom electronic enclosures and associated parts from a wide variety of materials and components, in 2-3 days with no minimum order. Protocase also provides expert and affordable enclosure design services.

Materials, Components & Finishes

Permanent Marking

Protocase offers permanent marking on sheet metal enclosures and parts, via machined engraving or dot peening. Each process offers its own strengths, from dot peening's ideal usage for cost-effective serialization and traceability to machined engraving's first-rate aesthetics.

Machined Engraving

Advantages:

  • Aesthetically superior
  • Best for branding and schematics
  • Available for sheet metal with a larger area
    up to 26" x 16" (660.40mm x 406.4mm) in a single setup)
  • Excellent for decorative purposes,
    such as a logo

Dot Peening

Advantages:

  • Cost-effective
  • Best for serialization and traceability
  • Ideal for small pieces of sheet metal
    (maximum area of X=1.875" (48mm) (x) Y=1" (25.4mm) in a single setup)
  • Can be hidden in discreet areas

Machined Engraving

Protocase offers machined engraving on sheet metal enclosures and parts using our high-speed 3-axis vertical CNC milling machine. Also known as machined etching, this process offers permanent marking on your enclosure, panel or part, which is ideal for labeling, branding or schematics.

Machined engraving can be done on aluminum, stainless steel and cold rolled steel.

Machined engraving is completed after a panel or part is cut, but before it is bent. Machined engraving is ideal for flat areas of an enclosure, however they may also be put over a bend line (although this may result in some distortion).

Constraints:

Machined Engraving Examples:

Machined Engraving by Protocase Machined Engraving by Protocase
Machined Engraving by Protocase Machined Engraving by Protocase
Machined Engraving by Protocase Machined Engraving by Protocase
Machined Engraving by Protocase Machined Engraving by Protocase
Machined Engraving by Protocase Machined Engraving by Protocase
Machined Engraving by Protocase

Our 3-axis milling machine places certain limitations on the size of sheet metal parts that can be engraved. The maximum size of sheet metal parts we are able to engrave in a single setup is 26" x 16" (660.40mm x 406.40mm).

Engraving Depth:

The depth of Protocase's machined engraving is standard, set at 0.010" (0.25mm).

Our standard machined engraving depth can vary depending on the material used, as well as any secondary finish applied post engraving. For example, stainless steel and cold-rolled steelís stiffness will produce a shallower depth compared to aluminum, which is a more lightweight material.

Font Capabilities:

Maximum font size is only limited to the size constraints of our milling machine (see above). For ideal legibility, we recommend using a font with a size no lower than 10pt.

Finishes:

We offer machined engraving on a variety of finishes:

Aluminum:
  • Smooth Polyester Powdercoat: Both pre- and post-painting (flat parts recommended)
  • Grained Finish: Post-brushing
  • No Finish:
  • Anodizing*: Both pre- and post-anodizing (Note: machined engraving after anodizing will mean it is no longer corrosion resistant)
Stainless Steel and Cold-rolled Steel
  • Smooth Polyester Powdercoat: Post-painting (flat parts recommended)
  • Grained Finish: Post-brushing
  • No Finish:

*Anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface (aluminum, typically) into a decorative, durable, corrosion-resistant, anodic oxide finish. Although anodizing is a finish we offer, it is performed externally. As a result, our standard lead time does not apply - turnaround times are typically 1-2 weeks.

Please contact our sales team for more information.

Dot Peening

Permanent markings are dot peened onto each part after it is cut, but before it is bent. The identification codes are generally marked on flat areas of an enclosure, however they may be put over a bend line as well (although this will result in some distortion of the text).

Dot peening may be used for parts with or without powdercoat (the depth of the peening is sufficient to show through the powdercoat). The presentation of the dot peened characters will vary from the different powdercoat colors.

Dot Peening Examples by font:

Dot Peening by Protocase
Dot Peening by Protocase
Dot Peening by Protocase
Dot Peening by Protocase
Dot Peening by Protocase

Dot Peening under powdercoat:

Dot Peening by Protocase
Dot Peening by Protocase
Dot Peening by Protocase

Marking Area:

The maximum area of each marking window for text is X=1.875" (48mm) (x) Y=1" (25.4mm)
Permanant Mark Finish: Marking Area

Please Note: The text CANNOT be rotated to create a window that is X=1" (25.4mm) x Y=1.875" (48mm). However, customers can request smaller X and Y values for their text window - please inform our sales team if this is the case.

Tolerances:

Positional tolerance of text is +/-0.125" (3.18mm) on x and y. Tighter tolerances are possible, but you should contact our technical support should this be necessary.

Thin Material:

When requesting Dot Peen Marking on aluminum material thinner than 0.051" (1.30mm) , ghosting or witness marks may appear on the reverse side of the print area. However, this is not an issue with other material (ie: Cold Rolled and Stainless Steel) above 0.048" (1.22mm)

Serialization:

We have the capability to add incremental serial numbers as part of a marking.

Information required when placing an order:

When placing an order with dot peening required, ensure you provide us with:

  1. Characters to be "peened"
  2. Character Size
  3. Specific Location of the Text; in particular, the location of the first character.

Font Capabilities:

Our system contains 5 different fonts with 2 dot pitches and variable text heights. We currently offer five font types: Varidot (default font), Varidot OCR, 5x7 Dot, 7x9 Dot, and 5x9 Dot OCR. Our standard text heights are between 0.075" (1.86mm) to 0.150" (3.52mm). The following are maximum lines and characters varying by our standard text heights:

0.150" (3.52mm)
  • 5 Lines of Text
  • 14 Characters / Line
  • 7x9 dot = 13 characters / Line
  • 70 Characters / Window
0.125" (3.10mm)
  • 6 Lines of Text
  • 16 Characters / Line
  • 96 Characters / Window
0.100" (2.48mm)
  • 8 Lines of Text
  • 20 Characters / Line
  • 160 Characters / Window
0.075" (1.86mm)
  • 8 Lines of Text
  • 26 Characters / Line
  • 7x9 dot = 25 Characters / Line
  • 208 Characters / Window

Lower case text is available but may be obscured under powdercoat; testing will be required.

Please contact our sales team if you require non-standard text heights, as testing will be required.