The 19” modular rackmount equipment consisted of five individual bays bolted together, weighing more than 1.3T and over 3m long and 2m high. Each bay features:-
- A dimmable overhead light assembly capable of producing the required range of lighting on the operator console.
- A thermostatically controlled four fan extraction system for heat dissipation located in the roof.
- Coiled cable mount isolators to protect the installed equipment from potentially harmful external vibrations.
- Innovative mounting arrangement for ease of installation.
The equipment installed within each bay varied dependent on the client’s requirement. Installation included 19” LCD displays, power distribution units, keyboard display units and fibre optic break out trays (FOBOT) plus designated slots with brackets for additional items to be added on the project’s site.
Creative Approach Used to Map Complex Wiring Requirements
The project required over two hundred interconnecting cables made to IPC610 & IPC620 standards, then housed within the racks. The complexity of the wiring included ensuring the correct length was calculated prior to installation, minimising the bend radius and reducing the chance of snagging when in operation. During internal discussion on how to manage this complex issue the engineering department opted to build a full scale prototype of the racks to enable a real time wire map to be created. The construction though simple utilised our in-house 3D printing and laser cutting capabilities to create accurate representations of individual elements of the design. This facilitated the identification of unforeseen challenges prior to the build, ensuring production time lines were maintained once installation began.
In-House Capabilities Combined with Team Work Solves Wire Radius Challenge
To ensure optimal performance, wiring needs to be kept to a minimum bend radius otherwise it can lead to EM radiation and metal fatigue which can drastically affect a wires resistance. Additionally fibre optic cables were used in the build and excessive bending can cause microbending and macrobending losses. Scott Begbie, Managing Director explained how APC Technology came up with a solution. “Our engineering and manufacturing teams are both based in our head office in South Australia. This is extremely beneficial for clients if any challenges arise on a project because we have the ability to engage a number of departments quickly and in person to resolve it. Once our engineering team became aware of the wire radius predicament, they came up with a solution which utilised our in-house 3D printing capabilities. Within a matter of hours we designed and manufactured multiple variants of bespoke connector backshells to address potential issues across a number of locations within the racks. We were able to provide a solution to the client at the same time as communicating the issue.”
The racks are part of a project win through Raytheon Australia announced last year. The 2nd phase is currently underway at APC Technology.