Mechanical Design Beyond Commercial Grade
Enclosures designed to accommodate single board computers and PCI Express backplanes or embedded motherboards come in a range of form factors, including standard 1U to 6U 19” rackmount chassis, shelfmount, wallmount, benchtop and custom open frame configurations. In addition to well designed and manufactured electronic sub systems, system packaging is a critical design element when crafting solutions for harsh environments.
Even the most basic system enclosure must withstand levels of shock, vibration and heat not found within commercial environments.
System airflow evaluation charts are typically used when designing rackmount computers to ensure a particular enclosure is going to perform as expected when fully populated.
Creating Extraordinary Computing Solutions
Structural integrity is a prerequisite for any rugged rackmount system, yet meeting this design requirement can be challenging when trying to meet the conflicting objectives of Size, Weight & Power (SWaP). Thermal characteristics must be understood for each system configuration in order to provide proper cooling under extreme conditions.
As shown here, infra-red imaging illustrates the thermal profile of a computer. Using test tools like these drive enclosure design and cooling system refinements that enhance system performance and reliability within adverse application environments.
Standard products in each of these packaging options can fulfill a wide variety of requirements. However, many cases call for customer-specific enclosure modifications to satisfy a unique set of specifications based on program or application needs. This latter situation requires an engineering approach which satisfies the need for fast delivery COTS solutions, while at the same time providing a foundation for modifications to address a wide range of situations.
Mechanical Design Considerations
- Structural Integrity
- Shock & Vibration
- Thermal Characteristics and Subsystem Thermal Profiles
- Fan & Filter Placement
- Electromagnetic Interference
- System Power Requirements
- Hard Drive & DVD Mounting
- Backplane Slot Configuration
- I/O Card Hold Down Brackets
- Front & Rear I/O Port Connections
- Cold Rolled Steel vs. Aluminum
- Size, Weight & Power (SWaP)
- Paint, Power Coating, Electroplating
- FCC, UL, CE Agency Requirements
- MIL-STD 167-1, 461F, 810G, 901D