UltraBox: A Commonsense Approach to Junction Boxes

Whether you are taking on a new construction project or performing maintenance on an existing pipeline, chances are you’ve come across the need for a junction box. But traditional junction boxes come with a variety of frustrations for users.  With its modernized snap-in module system, Dairyland’s innovative UltraBox offers professionals a customizable and streamlined approach to address their individual needs.

What is a Junction Box?

A junction box is an enclosure that brings various wired connections to one central location and is a very common component found in cathodic protection systems. The junction box allows a technician to monitor cathodic protection levels—including voltage and current outputs—and to make minor adjustments, such as increasing or decreasing the resistance of a circuit. This is typically done to equalize the anode output on a ground bed so that the anodes are depleted equally over the life of the ground bed.

Typically, a traditional junction box is manufactured by mounting components (shunts, resistors, test points, etc.) on a fixed back plate inside of an enclosure. Although some companies have automated this process, most still build their junction boxes by hand. This requires each box to be custom built for each requested configuration.

Dairyland’s UltraBox – In a Class of its Own

While there are many junction boxes out on the market, Dairyland’s UltraBox stands in a class of its own. What is the difference between a traditional junction box and Dairyland’s UltraBox? If you compare the exterior designs, they look pretty similar. While they may look similar from the outside, they aren’t remotely the same inside the cover. Opening the cover of an UltraBox you’ll find an entirely new mounting system designed to reduce frustration and increase customization. Taking a closer look at each component reveals a clip that is mounted on the underside of an insulating G-10 board. This clip easily attaches to a DIN rail in a matter of seconds and does not require any tooling to accomplish. Once everything is in place and attached to the DIN rails, the circuits can then be connected using the link bars for the shunts or corresponding wires for the resistors all with a 7/16” nut driver. Even the most complex configurations can be assembled in a matter of minutes.

Want to take a closer look? Check out these assembly videos to see how easy it can be to assemble custom configurations using UltraBox.

Examining the Benefits of The UltraBox

Is there anything wrong with a traditional junction box? Not really. They generally perform as intended, allowing technicians to monitor CP levels and make necessary adjustments. However, there was also nothing wrong with the rotary telephone, but there aren’t many people eager to trade in their smartphones for one today! Junction boxes perform their necessary functions, but like advancements in all sorts of fields, the UltraBox offers notable benefits for its customers to enjoy.

The UltraBox’s superior design puts control in the technician’s hands. It also removes common frustrations associated with traditional junction boxes, including long lead times and design revisions requiring junction box alterations. It also reduces the mis-wiring of components and frequency of loose connections, etc.

Let’s examine some common scenarios where traditional junction boxes can add frustration and review how the UltraBox addresses them.

  1. Revisions to the original cathodic protection system design based on field conditions that require additional components to be added, like a shunt, resistor, or test point:
  • Traditional Junction Box Options
    • Order a new junction box to reflect the new circuit design.
    • Remove the back plate and manually add the components, taking care not to mis-wire the circuits or loosen existing connections, and finding space to maintain a clean and consistent circuit.
  • UltraBox
    • Snap in the additional module(s) to reflect the new circuit design.
  1. Replacing or adding a ground bed means replacing the junction box:
  • Traditional Junction Box
    • A new junction box needs to be ordered to accommodate the new ground bed design.
  • UltraBox
    • Remove the old ground bed wiring, add the additional modules for the new circuit design, and connect. There is no need to change out the UltraBox enclosure, and the modules may be able to be re-used if they match the new configuration.
  1. Adding a test point to an existing junction box:
  • Traditional Junction Box
    • Remove the back plate and manually add the components, taking care not to mis-wire the circuits or loosen existing circuits, and finding space to maintain a clean and consistent circuit.
  • UltraBox
    • Snap in the additional test point module(s).
  1. Long lead times for orders with standard components:
  • Traditional Junction Box
    • Long lead times are typically due to the layout and custom manufacturing process needed to build a traditional junction box, making it necessary to incorporate this timeline into your project plan. Typically, it is not feasible for your company to have junction boxes in stock due to each configuration being unique.
  • UltraBox
    • Custom-designed boxes can be ordered and shipped rapidly thanks to the UltraBox’s modular design. Because of the ease of assembly, your company could opt to keep enclosures and modules in stock and ready to be assembled from start to finish in a matter of minutes, regardless of unique configurations.
  1. Junction box arrives and is not configured correctly as per design:
  • Traditional Junction Box
    • Return to manufacturer for a replacement causing delays.
    • Remove the back plate and manually correct the circuit design, taking care not to mis-wire the circuits or loosen existing connections, and finding space to maintain a clean and consistent circuit.
  • UltraBox
    • Snap in additional modules or rearrange existing modules to reflect the correct circuit design.

In all of the above scenarios, the UltraBox’s modular design saves users the frustration of long wait times, the hassle of disassembling/reassembling or having to replace a junction box due to changes on their system.

Conclusion

Why has it taken so long to improve the junction box? We have all heard the saying “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” and “that’s how we have always done it.” Thankfully, not everyone prescribes to those sayings. Innovations come along to save time and reduce frustrations. The Dairyland UltraBox gives industry professionals a reason to rethink their junction box solution — reducing frustrations, saving time, and simplifying the process of applying and using a junction box on their systems.

Want to read more about the UltraBox?  Click here to learn more.

Have more questions about the UltraBox?

Our tech support team is always available and happy to answer any questions you may have regarding products or applications. if you have additional questions or would like our assistance determining how to configure an UltraBox, reach out to us here.

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