Enclosure Design of Custom Rack Mount Systems

It’s likely you are here looking to supplement your core competency of software and PC board design for a specialized application. Welcome!

custom enclosure and system design

After decades of designing custom rack mount system enclosures we’ve produced a significant array of reference design starting point enclosure designs. Each having specific features to suit different electromechanical system requirements. For Example: do you need redundant hot-swap power supplies, or do you want field replaceable electronics modules, or do you have a single PC board with connectors that protrude through the front AND rear panels? We have produced a family of reference designs for these and many other situations.

Why start at the beginning when we can start in the middle of the process saving you time and money.

rack mount sheet metal assembly

EEi designs to minimize points of failure. Even though we provide cables and harnesses, this philosophy minimizes their use to increase reliability and reducing costs.

  • Physical Architecture/Primary Component Arrangement
  • Electromechanical
  • Motherboard, Daughter Card or Backplane Constraints Layout
  • Harness
  • Thermal
  • Emissions & Immunity
  • Design Reviews Whenever You/We Wish

FRUs can provide an easy customer upgrade path. Click here for more examples.

All designed materials and surface treatments are RoHS compliant unless requested otherwise.

rack mount sheet metal drawing

Our rack mount enclosure development team is heavily steeped in and experienced with manufacturing processes. You’ll know why if you’ve read our founders’ quote as this makes an enormous difference in the design, quality of the enclosure and the entire system. Not only is the quality of the system more repeatable but lower cost too. Each engineer knows the ins-and-outs of the machinery, tooling, capabilities, speed of operation, tolerances and shop floor staff. They know the capabilities of the wire harness shop, they’ve spent time at our painters and platers. All this has a vital effect on the resulting design we produce for your system. Each knows how to design in maximum repeatable quality and take out cost from the initial design and not through “value engineering” after the fact.

Post-production value engineering rarely permits making the maximum number of changes necessary to achieve the greatest minimal production cost without sacrificing quality.

Concurrent Design Advantages

As an electromechanical system developer and finished enclosure integrator, we’re in a unique position to support your PCB designer to specify optimal connector placement for EMC and thermal dissipating component placement for optimal thermal attenuation. Here are the issues and how we address them:

  • Connectors, e.g. SFP cages and many others that need proper chassis grounding for EMC often come with very poor placement recommendation by the connector manufacturers. We frequently work with our customers’ board designer to establish proper positioning as it will relate to the chassis when integrated for proper EMC.

rack mount design contraints

  • To promote concurrent engineering between our design team and your PC board designers, we routinely generate a design constraints drawing placing all front/rear panel connectors, LEDs, etc. This includes determining adequate spacing between components for front panel legends, hand-access and branding.
  • Today, systems are consuming more power and dissipating more heat, in smaller and smaller chassis. Convection airflow is quite often counterintuitive. Decades of experience has taught us how to more accurately predict the often illogical airflow even at the enclosures’ or overall system architecture hand-sketched stage. With that understanding and at this very early stage of design, we recommend heat-dissipating component placement, air intake and exhaust, guidance, etc., to achieve a better balance.

Defining these critical constraints at the onset provides much higher-end result, earlier completion through concurrent engineering and fewer missteps.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.