IP-66 housing for a car-sharing company

Custom dust and moisture-resistant IP66 enclosure for automotive application, accommodating a custom PCB. EnCata delivered the industrial design, DFM, and manufactured in-house a steel mold along with the first batch and product assembly.

Industry:

IoT

Equipment & Tools

TRL:

5 → 9

Project duration:

7 months

Challenge

A fast-growing car-sharing startup company contacted EnCata to design a special enclosure for its custom PCB electronics which would be able to sustain vibrations and sharp temperature changes within the range -40 …+85 deg. C. The device should be mounted inside a car engine compartment.

Our Role

  • Industrial design
  • CAD model and full documentation (drawings)
  • 3D-printed prototypes
  • Design-for-manufacturability
  • Moulds design and manufacturing
  • First product batch with our own injection moulder
  • Tests under IPX6 standard

Technologies Used

SLA 3D printing

SLA 3D printing

Silicon moulding

Silicon moulding

Plastic injection moulding

Plastic injection moulding

IP-66 ingression protection

IP-66 ingression protection

Mini-USB

Mini-USB

48 Pin FCI

48 Pin FCI

EnCata offers comprehensive hardware and IoT product development services at a fraction of the cost

For Enterprises

R&D + design + manufacturing under ONE roof
Scale up and down your team
Intergrated hardware + software development
New technologies and research 

CORPORATIONS click HERE for more info

For Startups

MVP and POC prototypes
Affordable consultancy rates
All IP is yours
In-house batch production

STARTUPS click HERE for more info

Approach & Solution

Since the customer had already developed the PCB, we qualified the customer’s technology readiness level as TRL-5. The customer requested to have a distinctive industrial design to portray his advanced hardware + software technology.

Among the offered variants of the industrial design, the customer adhered to a futuristic touch with strong geometrical features and easy access for quick battery interchange. The design had also adopted IP66 protection (vandal, dust and water resistance). The casing also incorporated a 48 Pin FCI Automotive Waterproof ECU interface, as well as mini-USB and U.FL/IPX to RP-SMA interfaces.

In the industrial design phase, a selected shape was modeled in CAD, and a 3D printed prototype produced as part of the concept development. The color, materials, finish (CMF) was also part of the industrial design. To survive the aggressive and harsh environment, a fire-proof plastic was selected.

To incorporate the functionality and test the design (as part of the DVT) a small batch of cases was produced using silicon moulding technology.

The project further required steel moulds design and larger batch production at our semi-automatic plastic injection moulding machine. The moulds were designed and produced at EnCata’s facility; a batch of 100 units was produced and tested to comply with the IPX6  standard.


Incorporating connector and wired interfaces in a waterproof design is challenging in terms of DFM and achieving performance in the PVT phase. In this project, we had to solve challenges associated with small curvature radii at the housing’s corners. So the enclosure required the design and production of custom rubber sealing.

Results

In this project we delivered the end-to-end service to our client, starting from the existing PCB design and building a contemporary and robust enclosure design. The industrial design was validated with 3D printing and prototyping with silicone moulds. 

The project took 7 months from the EVT through DVT to the PVT phase, providing the customer with full documentation and a batch of enclosures produced by injection-moulding technology.

2

moulds made of steel were designed and manufactured as part of this project

10

prototypes were produced as part of the DVT

100

enclosures were produced in a pilot PVT run

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