Advanced Search Part-No.
Login / Registration Your location/language Canada, English

Why CONNECT Plastic Enclosures Are Ideal For Wired Electronics

CONNECT enclosures for wired electronics


With the exponential rise in wireless technology in recent years, it’s easy to forget the enduring importance of wired electronics. They’re still very much with us. Granted, that might sound somewhat obvious, given that the number of plug-reliant devices is visibly myriad.

But there’s a lot more to wire-connected electronics than simply taking power from a socket in the wall. And this will affect the type of housing you’ll need. True, you might argue that any enclosure that accepts a cable grommet is suitable for wired electronics. However, that is merely scratching the surface...

New CONNECT S enclosures for wired electronics


Let’s briefly revisit that question about whether the rise of wireless electronics has resulted in less call for wired enclosures. From our perspective, we can confirm that the answer is very much ‘no’. They’re still in big demand.

In fact, our CONNECT wired enclosures are so popular that we’ve just launched new S sizes (2.36″x1.65″x0.87″, 3.54″x1.65″x0.87″ and 4.72″x1.65″x0.87″). These complement the existing M sizes (2.99″x2.13″x0.87″, 4.57″x2.13″x0.87″ and 6.14″x2.13″x0.87″). Put succinctly, the new S sizes have doubled the CONNECT range.

The key dimension for the new S sizes is the width: 1.65", compared with the M sizes’ 2.13". This new skinny width makes CONNECT S even easier and more comfortable to grip than the already highly ergonomic M housings.

CONNECT enclosures range


CONNECT was designed primarily for wired electronics, though it’s also great for wireless duties too. Applications include data systems, networks, building services technology, safety engineering, IoT/ IIoT sensors, medical devices, data loggers, sensors, and measurement and control.

These enclosures differ from others in the OKW range. CONNECT is among 19 OKW handheld models so it was always going to be comfortably contoured, sitting snugly in the hand. No surprise there…but CONNECT also has some features and benefits that set it apart from other models.

Among the most obvious of these is the fact that CONNECT has two ‘fronts’. One is flat and recessed to accommodate a membrane keypad; the other is curved and tactile. As a bottom section, that curved surface makes CONNECT easier to cradle in the palm. And on top, the curved surface looks great when it’s home to some buttons or a row of LEDs.

Either of these two shells can be the ‘top’ of your device – it’s up to you. And that explains the next feature – snap together construction. We wanted to ensure there were no visible fixing screws, no matter which way up you used CONNECT. The best way to do that was to remove the need for fixing screws altogether.

Next comes the important matter of connectivity. The enclosures have long flat sides that will accept multiple interfaces, making CONNECT the logical choice if your device features a string of USB ports. And then there are the two short sides. We deliberately left them open so you could specify your ideal solution.

In many cases, that will be a cable gland. The CONNECT range of accessories currently offers six cable gland kits in different sizes and colours. They’re all molded from SEBS (TPE) which is soft to touch but strong enough provide kink protection. Each kit provides integrated strain relief thanks to a screw-fitted clamping element.

CONNECT’s design makes it possible to wire in cables at either end. If you’re using only one cable gland, then the remaining open side can be neatly finished with a plastic end part. Or if your device is wireless then you can use end parts to close both openings.

CONNECT enclosures with integrated cable glands


CONNECT is molded from ASA+PC, a thermoplastic blend that combines the UV stability of acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (aka acrylic styrene acrylonitrile) with the strength of polycarbonate, the plastic used in bulletproof glass.

It’s always worth noting when an OKW enclosure is molded from ASA or an ASA blend because this is usually a clue that the housing is a newer model. ASA and ASA+PC/ASA+PC-FR are much better than ABS when it comes to coping with the damaging effects of the Sun’s rays.

ASA+PC-FR is also more flame retardant than ABS:

  • ASA+PC-FR (UL 94 V-0) – the test samples are extinguished within five seconds’ average time (mean of 10 successive tests). None of the test samples burns longer than 10 seconds. None of the test samples emits burning particles.
  • ABS (UL 94 HB) – slow burning on a horizontal specimen. The burning rate is < 76 mm/min for thicknesses < 3 mm. Burning stops before 100 mm.

View our guide to flammability ratings for more information >>

CONNECT enclosures rail clamp


We’ve already talked about CONNECT’s model-specific cable gland kits. But the arrival of the new S sizes means there are new additions to the accessory range too. S sizes have their own holders, rather like the M sizes.

The accessories range also includes rail holding clamps for clipping CONNECT to a tube up to Ø32 mm. This is why CONNECT makes a great wired controller for hospital beds; it clips conveniently to the bed rail. The clamps are molded from polyamide (PA 6, UL 94 HB).

An alternative to CONNECT for rail-mounted controller applications is SMART-CASE – the holding clamp fits this model too.

There are great views of CONNECT being used as a hospital bed controller in the technical video for the enclosures which can be viewed below…

Customised CONNECT enclosures


Like every other OKW enclosure, CONNECT can be specified fully customized – ready for the installation of your electronics. As a single-source supplier, we carry out all customization work in-house. This ensures consistency of quality, saves time, and reduces shipping costs, administration and carbon emissions.

Customization services available for CONNECT:

  • CNC machining – including milling, tapping, engraving, countersinking and cutting
  • lacquering – a huge range of colors and surface finishes including metallics, soft-touch, antibacterial, and ESD conductive lacquer
  • printing of legends, logos and photo-quality graphics
  • laser marking – which is particularly good for QR codes, barcodes, DataMatrix codes and sequential numbers
  • decor foils – digitally printed in photo quality, available in full-tone white, and with cutouts for displays or LEDs
  • RFI/EMI shielding – in-house vapour-plating protects your enclosures with 99.98% pure aluminium to a thickness of approximately 2.5 µm, protecting electronics from RFI/EMI
  • Installation/assembly of accessories – including cable glands and rail holding clamps.

View our full range of customization services >>

CONNECT Technical Video


View full CONNECT range here >>



Contact our engineers for expert technical advice on specifying the best enclosures for your wired (or wireless) electronics. Don’t forget to request a free sample.