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EMKA cabinet and enclosure hardware developments

Much has happened since the Millennium where the feedback over those years from developing products to keep pace with industrial needs has driven the development of ubiquitous items like quarter-turn locks and latches which form a core range with companies such as EMKA (UK).

In the 1990’s a typical ¼ turn lock was IP54 rated in simple die casting without additional sealing. Firstly flat seals were introduced, then “O” rings, and finally PUR injected seals leading to sealing now commonly available up to IP69.

An early requirement was to look at new materials where leading companies developed capability with reinforced polyamide – for reasons of cost and corrosion resistance as well as stainless steel, which added exceptionally rugged characteristics and corrosion resistance suitable to wash-down areas and marine environments.

As plastics technologies developed greater strength and rigidity were possible so that slim-line polyamide cams could be produced offering cost benefits and reducing paint damage to cabinets.

At that time simple back nut fixing was the norm but was time consuming where multiple panels were being assembled, so EMKA designed a range of “quick-fit” products which push-in and clip-fix.

The humble ¼ turn latch lock was changing incrementally with customer demand for smooth, cavity-free designs suited to food processing plants and high sealing to withstand regular pressure washing.

At the other end of the scale outdoor environments and rail or other transport vehicles have their needs met with high speed dust cap retention and colour coded open/closed indicators.

Perhaps the biggest change in the world of ¼ turn locks and latches has been the spread of compression function products. These now offer vibration resistance to prevent nuisance door opening, as well as more complete gasket pull-down and consistently higher IP sealings.

Pre-2000 traditional L and T handles were being challenged by relatively new styles of pop-out swinghandles in simple die-cast zinc. These handles offered lower profiles to minimise damage and clothing hazards, while providing convenient, comfortable operation for the user.

Parallel developments took place comparable to ¼ turn locks – it is amazing how usage has changed in those years and how products have changed to meet those needs. For similar reasons – enhanced environmental requirements, cost and user friendliness – swinghandles are now produced with “O” rings and PUR seals giving excellent sealing for all applications. Glass reinforced polyamide was introduced as the industry developed slim, strong handle designs alongside stainless steel variants in AISI 304 or 316.

These reinforced machine grade plastics proved extremely capable such that robust anti-vandal designs were possible in these and zinc die – often complimented by low profile escutcheons and inset handles for sealing and anti-tamper purposes.

Just resisting unauthorised access or simple damage however was not enough – in those years we have seen the flowering of the internet and the growth of big data – vulnerable to physical theft. Enter Electronic Locking – developed by EMKA to protect server cabinets and industrial electronic control systems from unauthorised access.

Simple electronically verified swinghandle based protection soon developed into networked systems which could be remotely monitored and authorised. The Agent E stand-alone wireless system was one approach for single or small numbers of cabinets.

For larger installations where building access and complete physical access control is required right down to the individual cabinet or compartment, then Biometric systems have arisen with integrated locking, electronic monitoring of access logs and cabinet environment, full reporting and control over the internet, fully encrypted giving world-wide connectivity.

Addition of the EMKA BioLock with integral fingerprint reader to the ELM program now offers a superior level of security for protection of valuable data; in compliance with PCI, SOX, SSAE 16 and HIPAA in support of EN 50600 – with unique, personal identification and traceability. The use of biometric access control gives the possibility also of an operator designating specific alarm fingers which both open the system and set off a remote alarm to warn of an operator under threat, so enhancing personal safety.

The BioLock, in conjunction with PIN codes and RFID access cards, provides an extremely high 3 level security protection which may be applied on an individual cabinet or on a designated block of cabinets with, for example, a group controller supplemented with separate cabinet release protocols. Multiple releases of separate panels on individual cabinets are catered for by means of linked ELock slave units.

EMKA BioLock fingerprint technology for data centre security at the

BioLock management is handled by means of Control Cockpit software which provides comprehensive control and monitoring functions with the flexibility to add/remove/report/alarm in support of the SYSLOG standard – plus an SNMP interface for integration with third party systems.

However, while this high-end security has been developing the more mundane security issues of industrial electrical and electronic control and supply cabinets have not been ignored – such that we now have mechanical solutions such as interchangeable lock cylinders which can be removed and replaced at any point in the installation process.

“Everything but the Enclosure” technologies have a long lifecycle and there is much from pre-2000 which is still perfectly suitable, but elsewhere we have seen refined engineering capability for standard and custom products including friction welding, sintered metal production and 3D CAD modelling, a process which has not only enabled development of more complex designs, but also put the panel engineer in direct contact with the product designer via detailed downloadable drawings.

Much too has changed in the small things like gaskets – often overlooked – we can now source pre-cut, pre-assembled and vulcanised gasket, installation-ready without messy cutting and gluing. EMC gaskets have become mainstream, while a major demand has been identified for fire protection and high temperature gaskets in EPDM and silicone.

Previously, assembling rod locks took many minutes, now advances in design and plastics technology mean that rod guides can be fitted in seconds while precision plastic mechanisms provide quiet operation and more comfortable feel than older style units made from die castings or metal stampings. Rod systems not only improved, they moved.

At one time only installed inside the gasket area, rod lock systems migrated beyond the gasket, at the same time freeing up door areas and enabling simpler sealing arrangements for locks etc.

Growth in technology and sophistication of design has been matched with commercial developments which support specialist enclosure and panel builders – toggle latches continue to find new application, torque/friction hinges have become mainstream – not just something to be used on expensive electronic devices, and in response to globalisation we see also an expansion of UL certification.

Combination swinghandle from EMKA UK for Data Centre security

Our program 1155 swinghandle is an IP65 three-digit combination lock and cylinder key system which offers simple security on two levels. Applications for the 1155 program include storage lockers in factories, schools and colleges as well as outdoor storage facilities and standard electrical enclosures and cabinets.

This extremely useful and simple swinghandle unit can be operated with the digital thumbwheel combination lock (which may be easily reset), or overridden with a standard cylinder key. The design therefore allows individual cabinets to be accessible to specific engineers, and also to supervisors by master key – even if the combination has been forgotten.

Fitment suitability includes all existing EMKA flat and round rod actuator systems for single, twin and three point closure on larger doors e.g. typically 2m height, accepting simple single or twin hole mounting. Hole dimensions are fully compatible with all 1125, 1150 and 1225 programs and so enable panel builders to use existing standard door punchings for adaptable installation in established cabinet designs.

Protection degree is IP65, achieved with construction in black polyamide. Operation is available either RH or LH.

Stainless steel precision casting for EMKA enclosure hardware

“Everything but the Enclosure” hardware from EMKA is set to be lighter, stronger and better finished in stainless steel thanks to new processes introduced in our manufacturing systems for locks, hinges, swinghandles etc.

Precision lost wax casting uses a very fine grain sand and ceramic matrix to faithfully recreate small details and to reduce wall thicknesses compared to alternative processes.

The result is higher detail, thinner materials and more complex designs which means greater strength with lower cost. Consequently, slim-line designs and special requirements may be incorporated with stainless steel as a practical economic replacement for zinc die with smaller volumes, less bulk and lighter weight.

Standard ¼ turn locks, and hinges, as well as custom products are greatly facilitated by this process.

EMKA HVAC cabinet hardware for insulated products

In support of our widening capability in the HVAC related industries, EMKA recently took part in the 2017 AHR Expo in Las Vegas where we showed our range of locks, handles, hinges and gasket designed to meet the present trends in this fast developing marketplace.

This meant we were able to exhibit to the 60,000 audience of HVACR engineers our complete program dealing with thick doors, IP65 sealing, personal safety (inner door handles etc.), large handles (for gloved hands), corrosion-resistance, heavy door weights, external viewing requirement, multi-level access (e.g. padlocking), inset handles, compression locking, pressure relief prior to opening, corner frame pieces, lifting lugs and much more.

This very special package of HVAC hardware – in fact “everything but the enclosure” for air-con, heating and refrigeration panels, includes thick insulated doors and panels requiring plastic handles to give a more comfortable grip, and plastic components to eliminate thermal bridging from one side to the other. Large operating elements such as handles allow for thick gloves and safety features are needed, such as the ability to open doors from inside.

The range on show at AHR Expo included the new compression locking hinge with multi-function hinge/latch/lock for securing of big air conditioning units and similar – it provides door adjustment for correct sealing, 5mm gasket pull down with pressure relief and the ability to be used both as a hinge and a lock without adjustment.

The full exhibit featured many long bodied ¼ turn locks, as well as traditional T and L compression handles with full 6mm gasket pull down facility. Where complete panel removal is required then a bridge clamp system is offered, along with lifting handles. Heavy duty and adjustable hinges facilitate door fitment – while frame components include corner pieces and heavy duty lifting/transport lugs.

EMKA cabinet hinges

Ease of working and accessibility are major factors in the installation of electrical systems in enclosures. Consequently as the UK's premier supplier of enclosure furniture to specialist manufacturers we have made a point of featuring simple door removal in the design and fitment of our many ranges of hinge styles. The comprehensive EMKA hinge program - Read more ...

EMKA external hinges for cabinets and enclosures

We have a complete system of external hinges comprising over 70 types specifically designed for the specialist enclosure and panel manufacturer. Availability is on an ex-stock 24-hour delivery basis, covering standard finishes in black or chrome, with variants in stainless steel for corrosive/biohazard situations. Virtually all imaginable hinge styles are offered, to suit design requirements - Read more ...

EMKA compression locking hinge for HVAC installations

This new concept locking hinge provides HVAC manufacturers with a full multi-function hinge/latch/lock for securing of big air conditioning units and similar. It provides door adjustment for correct sealing, 5mm gasket pull down with pressure relief and the ability to be used as both door lock and hinge. This remarkable new locking hinge provides an independent - Read more ...

EMKA PROflex Inspection Windows for infrequently accessed equipment

Our PROflex 1210 program inspection windows offer a simple and aesthetic way of protecting infrequently accessed equipment such as meters, reset buttons, indicators/lamps and instruments as used on fire alarm and suppression systems or engineering controls. Typical usage may be seen in the gas industry for flare control and monitoring panels as used with gas analysers - Read more ...

EMKA rod locks, 1/4 turns with L and t handles

Locking systems are a significant area of cabinet functionality and cost. Consequently our rod locking system has addressed this by standardising on a single 20.1mm rounded square cutout and by use of an extensive range of compatible components. This minimises tooling, speeds punching and streamlines lock installation irrespective of type or size. The EMKA cutout is - Read more ...

Dual format authentication – the latest in EMKA biometrics

As our complicated world technologically evolves, challenges naturally ensue to harness and properly use the technology. These challenges become much more serious and difficult when the rate of technological change increases. As customers know, significant time is often necessary to understand, implement, experience, and adjust to the new technology if it is to be employed - Read more ...

EMKA fixed pin hinges

Many specialist enclosures are special because of size, shape, material gauge or some other factor that cannot be adequately accommodated from ex-stock suppliers. Nonetheless, special need not be complex or sophisticated and there are many virtues in the simple low cost and robust approach. This is exemplified in the selection of our enclosure hinges offered - Read more ...


We try to pick out the most interesting new products for our blog posts and this means that we do not cover all new items - a comprehensive update can be viewed at our website http://www.emka.com/uk_en/products/product-news/ - at present we can see: our new wing compression latch - shown above as discussed before Christmas new locking hinge Program 1022 - Read more ...

True 180° hinge from EMKA fits industry standard rivet nuts

Rapid assembly and true 180° opening are provided by this new 1056 series hinge by virtue of its design which enables use of industry standard M6 rivet nuts on specialist enclosures and cabinets where previously this may have been a problem. When fitted with a rivets nuts the hinge is 2 dimensionally adjustable by ±2mm - Read more ...