N-Connex

About the Entry

N-Connex is a pre-packaged IP67 rated industrial standard IT communications and control solution designed specifically for use in unforgiving environments. It’s modular, ‘plug & play’ system is rack mounted in the field for rapid deployment and easy maintenance by non-trades people.

Features & Benefits

01

Ruggedised & Fit for Purpose

N-Connex has been specifically designed to withstand harsh environments & extreme treatment. It’s IP67 rated enclosure is CNC machined from custom extruded aluminium section & hard anodised. Super tough, injection moulded glass filled nylon end caps provide both impact protection and accessible carry handles during transit and installation.

The module shape has been designed with a deliberate ‘jaw’ feature, creating a protected cable connector zone underneath the units. The end cap handle feature also double as a cable management zone when the units are installed.

Materials and finishes have been deliberately chosen to provide hard wearing, high impact resistant solutions to suit the industrial markets.

Easy Deployment & Maintenance

Installation is rapid and simple. The N-Connex modules hook easily onto an expandable custom rail system and then lock in place using a thumb screw.

In underground mines the design allows the mount rail to be hung from the rock wall via chains, but it can just as easily be directly wall mounted in more typical factory environments.

Modules simply ‘plug & play’ using Power over Ethernet (PoE) and externally inter-connect via IP rated connectors and cable looms, all identified using clear and concise product graphics. Module status is identified using high brightness LED indicators.

These features mean that non-Trades people can be easily trained to provide rapid first line support for a customer’s IT Network.

System Flexibility & Expansion

N-Connex modules enable configurable functionality that ensures the customers’ needs are met.

Available modules provide high speed data, wifi, video & voice communications, alarming, tracking of personnel & equipment, environmental monitoring and automation.
 
Additional modules can be easily added to an existing installation to meet increased demand. As a site expands, N-Connex can be relocated as individual modules or as an assembled frame.

NLT’s plug in network extenders enable multiple N-Connex frames (nodes) to be connected in order to support  evolving client sites. This provides customers with flexibility to expand or contract as a project demands.

Industry Paradigm Shift

By creating an expandable, modular system NLT has created a paradigm shift in an industry sector that has previously relied on high cost, custom designed enclosures.

The N-Connex range significantly reduces deployment and ongoing maintenance time and costs, whilst delivering a high quality technology solution to industry.

Combined with the ability to use non-Trades staff for basic maintenance, the reduce installation and maintenance costs equate to significant savings for NLT’s customers.

Innovative Design for Manufacture

The design team was challenged to deliver a high performance industrial enclosure that would be cost effective to manufacture in small to medium volumes, yet retain the flexibility to produce many different configurations.

The extruded body has been designed to house all current internal configurations whilst also providing a platform for future variants by using a slide-in fabricated gear tray system and directly machined fixing details. A new module can be easily created by adjusting the CNC machining or gear tray specs.

Every module uses the same end caps and moulded seal, the same mount brackets and rail system, meaning that repeated parts can be produced at a lower cost.

Product styling and brand image

It was important to NLT to create a new and iconic design language for N-Connex. Along with clever functionality and cutting edge technology, they needed to make an impact when the new range was launched.

Whilst the N-Connex enclosure styling is very much a case of form follows function, a deliberate decision has been made to make the products look contemporary and stand out from competitors.

The hard anodised black finish provides a consistent backdrop for the high vis orange end caps. Clean, modern product graphics have been screen printed onto protected surfaces for both branding and operational purposes.

The completed range is bold and easily identifiable, yet clearly maintains a rugged heritage.

Expanding NLT’s brand into new market segments

NLT has traditionally serviced the volatile mining and resources sector. One of the key design goals for N-Connex was to develop a system that not only performed well in their existing markets, but opened up new opportunities for the business.

It’s been pleasing to see that in addition to increasing sales in typical local and international markets, N-Connex has gained significant interest in other industrial and telecommunications applications that were not previously serviced by NLT.

Key Sustainability Design Features and Benefits

Although sustainability wasn’t a key priority for N-Connex, as designers we always implement steps to minimise the environmental impact of our products.

Key components make use of recyclable materials that can be easily disassembled at the end of the product’s useful life. By using a 1 piece CNC machined aluminium enclosure fewer parts were needed and the number of fasteners was reduced, making disassembly easier and separation and recovery of materials faster and more efficient.

The ability to customise the length of the extruded enclosures means that internal space utilisation is optimised, minimising the size and weight of each module for shipping.