Shield of honour protects all

01 September 2007

Rittal's 5U ATCA shelf tailors capacity
Rittal's 5U ATCA shelf tailors capacity

There are different cabinet and enclosure formats to store and protect equipment. TOM BRESLIN reports on how these solutions come in different shapes, sizes and shielding levels

Shielding and enclosures from Hammond are now available through Perancea. Hammond has appointed the London-based enclosure and instrument case designer and manufacturer as its representative.

Hammond’s move complements Perancea’s enclosures and packaging for RFI/EMI and EMC applications. Products available include slimline, handheld general-purpose small plastic enclosures as well as extruded aluminium enclosures with integral heatsinks. The 1445 range of extruded aluminium enclosures now have slimline units designed for one or two circuit boards mounted horizontally and directly slotting into the housing walls. Other enclosures available include general-purpose, IP54-rated, small plastic enclosures, available in seven sizes, optimised for horizontally mounting PCBs. There are also 24 Eddystone thin-walled, die-cast aluminium enclosures in three sizes and two reduced heights. For those to whom the name is new, Perancea is a mechanical engineering company and specialises in producing RFI/EMI shielding and enclosures for electronics. It can provide custom shielding and enclosure services.

Thermal cooling
Thermal issues are becoming more complex as processor speeds increase and racks and servers become more densely populated. One solution is the Liquid Cooling Package (LCP) from Rittal. It is fitted as an environmentally controlled chamber on the side panel of the server rack and evenly distributes chilled air, blowing cold air horizontally, across one or two server racks. It can addresses power dissipation at up to 30kW as standard. It has its own regulation system, which can be integrated into a monitoring network via CMC-TC (Computer Multi Control Top Concept. It has TUV and GS certification of proven safety and UL/cUL accreditation.

Compact ATCA
In test or development systems where space is at a premium, Rittal has expanded its ATCA range with two new 5U ATCA shelves with six horizontal slots at the front. The 5U shelf version measures 19in x 5U x 400mm deep and meets the PICMG 3.0 Rev2.0 specification. It is designed as an alternative to 12/13U ATCA shelves, which provide too much capacity for some applications. The unit includes a 1,000W AC power supply or DC PEMS (Power Entry Modules) and both versions have a triple-replicated Mesh/Dual Star backplane of 5+1 slots. The fan units have two pull-out fan units with filters. They guarantee, claims the company, efficient cooling output up to 200W/slot at the front. The unit is wired, tested and equipped with a Dual Star backplane and Pigeon Point or Intel ‘Wagon Tire Shelf’ management controller. The unit also complies with the RoHS directive. In addition to the six front plug-in slots there are also two at the back.

Wall mounting
Aluminium wall cases have been designed for indoor use. The Datamet range from MetCase is designed for control units, measurement systems, medical equipment, safety and security systems, communication devices and machine controllers. They have a die-cast front bezel on the folded aluminium case body and rear panel. The front has a recessed aperture for mounting the anodised aluminium front panels. There are three standard sizes, 250mm x 180mm x 120mm; 350mm x 250mm x 120mm and 400mm x 300mm x 120mm. The enclosures are also available from distributor Farnell.

Wall enclosures from OKW in the Diatec range have transparent lids for use in wall or machine-mounted applications where the controls and displays need to be seen. Applications include machine controllers, door entry systems, time loggers, detection systems, communications and medical equipment. The cases have a contoured design with a central control panel for mounting a membrane keypad, display module or pushbutton switches. Power cables can enter the case via the underside or base panel. Alternatively, batteries can be accommodated in the base part of the case. Dimensions are 210mm x 200mm x 48mm or 270mm x 200mm x 48mm.

Handheld units
There is a clutch of handheld enclosures currently available. Teko, for example, have introduced the MiniTeknet plastic enclosures, which are designed for pocket-sized electronics. Typical applications include RF and infra-red remote control units, medical cabinets equipment, detection devices, measurement systems and personal security equipment.

The ergonomic enclosures have so-called ‘soft-touch’ edge strips for grip and comfortable holding during use. The edge grips also protect the case mouldings. The standard case material is off-white, RAL 9002 or black, RAL 9004 ABS (UK 94 HB) with a textured finish. The edge grips are in contrasting light grey or dark grey elastomer, which can be moulded in other colours for contrast. The cases are in three parts, the top and bottom mouldings and a clip-on battery compartment lid.

External dimensions are 115mm x 70mm x 24mm. Additional holes for pushbuttons, connectors and controls can be made. There is also a silk screen printing service for legends and logos to be included on the cases. The cases are available in other colours, to order.

Rather than ABS plastic, Rolec has produced its IP66 ‘handCase’ enclosures in die-cast aluminium GD AL Si 12. The robust enclosures offer EMC protection as standard and can be used indoors or outdoors. Typically they can be used in test and measurement equipment, machine and robot controllers and data logging units. For secure closure, there are two moulded rubber sealing gaskets and four screw gaskets. The cases are assembled by four M3 machine screws. There are three sizes available with dimensions of 180mm x 80mm x 42mm; 220mm x 100mm x 42mm and 220mm x 100mm x 62mm.

The two smaller cases have an integral battery compartment for four 1.5AA batteries or two 9V batteries. The largest case is deep enough for fitting standard control switches. The contoured top castings has a recessed area where a membrane keypad or product label can be located. The top of the cases can be machined for connectors, switches and cable glands.

TOM BRESLIN is a freelance technology writer and industry analyst

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