CUSTOM INDUSTRIAL COMPUTER SHOWCASE - DESIGN WINS
Follows are just a few examples of the many custom designs, rackmount and non-rackmount, chassis, systems and LCDs we have designed and manufactured. These examples highlight our capabilities as well as provide examples for future projects for other clients. Chassis Plans' engineers have been providing innovative solutions to industry since 1985 and are conversant in all aspects of design and agency certification. We have provided simple sheet metal boxes through highly complex ship-board Navy certified designs and telco Nebs certified systems. Please visit our web pages which detail our
Custom System Engineering and Design Services,
and the steps involved in bringing a design to market.
From prototype to production, Chassis Plans prides itself on quality rackmount enclosures. For turnkey projects or specialized engineering services, Chassis Plans understands how to overcome the technical challenges involved in converting innovative concepts into successful, timely products.
Our design philosophy is to provide exceptionally engineered, cost effective industrial computers and rackmount enclosures at a competitive price. Chassis Plans provides a turnkey solution for custom industrial rackmount systems, allowing clients to have quality industrial chassis with minimal investment in time or money.
Incredibly well documented
SPAWAR Storage Server
SPAWAR liked our M2U20 computer system for its feature set and rugged construction. However, they wanted additional drive capacity. The M2U20 provided 4 shock mounted 3-1/2" drive positions. Started with that design, we redid the front end of the system to incorporate 6 2-1/2" SAS drives mounted in removable sleds. Standard features were retained such as rugged 5052-H32 aircraft grade aluminum construction, milled 1/4" thick aluminum front panel, support for 3 full-height boards, long-life aluminum body fans with a SysCool adaptive fan controller.
This application had complex computation needs, a 2U space limitation, and large data requirements.
Persistent Surveillance Data ServerPersistent surveillance is a relatively new technology blending multiple sensor paths together to give a highly detailed overview of an area or battlefield. Persistent surveillance has been used extensively in Afghanistan to monitor cities and areas around military bases to enable commanders to determine if insurgents have possibly planted IEDs and to keep our war fighters safe. Massive data storage and fast retrieval in addition to processing highly complex video algorithms are at the heart of this technology.
The client, having been a long-time customer, contacted Chassis Plans to design a new rack mounted solution for their persistent surveillance system. The application demanded the maximum amount of RAID data storage, two full-height Tesla K40 GPUs, dual Core-i7 processors and 256GB of DDR3 RAM. The previous solution involved a custom Chassis Plans 5U chassis in addition to a 2U external RAID array chassis. The customer desired to improve performance and, due to space constraints, fit the total solution into only 5U.
Chassis Plans provided a new custom chassis solution comprised of a rugged military-grade 5U enclosure. The system provides 20 front panel mounted 2-1/2” SSD drives in addition to 3 system drives mounted in the rear panel. All drives are mounted in removable sleds. A high-performance motherboard provides 2 PCIe x16 slots for mounting the two Tesla K40 GPU boards. Two Core i7 processors with 256GB of DDR3 RAM provide the required processing power. A 1500W N+1 redundant power supply provides reliable power.
The system is highly ruggedized for its intended environment. It is constructed of 5052-H32 aircraft grade aluminum with captive stainless steel hardware and a milled aluminum front panel.
Chassis Plans completed a quantity of custom 2U enclosures for a Navy project. Using our M2U20 system as a starting point, we modified the front panel to make the filter door more narrow to accommodate expanded front panel controls. Internal modifications were made to fit the customer’s boards and a new rear panel was created.
Many of our custom projects start with one of our standard products which is then modified to exactly fit the customer’s application requirements.
Robotics System Controller
A company manufacturing industrial robot systems, both fixed and mobile, required a new controller. The company realizes logistical productivity and intelligence currently unrealized through conventional conveyance, transport and AGV systems. The robots are environmentally aware and can avoid people and objects in their path.
Chassis Plans created a completely custom system with an embedded motherboard supporting a single plug-in card and internal I/O. A unique form factor hides the I/O connectors attached to the motherboard while making the plug-in card I/O accessible. The system was powder coated blue to match the customer's corporate color scheme.
Aerostat Camera GPU Processing Platform - 5 Week to Design and Manufacture
The Department of Defense has deployed persistent surveillance systems on aerostats in Afghanistan. These systems scan a city-wide area constantly, day and night. When the system detects a threat in its field of view, a high resolution camera system including FLIR is employed to characterize the target.
The system developer required a custom rugged 5U system providing a high power System Host Board and four GPU processor boards in a PCI Express backplane to process the bandwidth coming down from the aerostat. In addition, 48TB of very high speed RAID storage is attached to the system to provide up to four weeks of image retention.
Because the systems are deployed on the battlefield in Afghanistan, Chassis Plans designed the system to be in full compliance with MIL-STD-810G including blowing sand and dust rejection and shock and vibration. The EMI gasketed front door contains a high efficiency air filter in combination with a honeycomb EMI filter. The three high reliability aluminum frame fans are controlled by Chassis Plans's SysCool® fan control board to maximize filter life while minimizing fan noise.
Chassis Plans engineered, fabricated, integrated and tested these systems in a very short 5 weeks allowing the contractor to meet their obligations with the Department of Defense.
Rugged Portable Computer w/ 17" LCD
A defense contractor required a portable computer system which was very robust yet light in weight. They required it "to survive the trauma of repeated shipping to the four corners of the earth". Systems they had previously tried were not rugged enough and were constantly failing.
Chassis Plans responded with a very rugged portable system that delivers the power of a high end desktop in a design that provides the flexibility to work anywhere. With shock mounted removable drive bays, aluminum alloy construction, I/O card retention, and a spill-proof keyboard and touchpad, the unit stands up to the bumps and bruises of a day on-the-go, including the rigors of shipping to anywhere on the planet. Included is Chassis Plans' proprietary SysCool® system fan management board to minimize fan noise by controlling fan RPM. The SysCool board also provides for system over temperature fan and failure alarm.
The system is provided with a 17-inch high resolution widescreen and the dedicated graphics on the TSB System Host Board makes it perfect for their mobile testing labs.
Their particular installed card suit required the use of a BPX5 passive backplane (2 x8 and 2 x4 PCIe slots) with a TSB Sandy Bridge System Host Board providing a 3.4GHz XEON processor for blazing fast multi-core processing power.
Rugged Forensic Computer System w/ UPS for the FBI
The FBI challenged Chassis Plans to create a radically compact, yet extremely powerful server for forensic computing.
Included in the specification was:
• XEON Processor in a MATX motherboard
• 32GB 1333MHz RAM
• Four 900GB 10,000RPM removable hard drives
• Internal non-removable system drive
• Blue Ray DVD Drive
• 10-Port Ethernet switch built in
• Internal UPS with battery
• Light weight aluminum construction
• Robust go-anywhere construction
These units are used in a sensitive investigative capacity. The customer required the built-in UPS to allow a controlled shut-down in the event of loss of external power so that no data would be compromised.
The systems are used world-wide in a variety of environments which required good system cooling and air filtration. A tailored card support system holds the plug-in cards in place when subjected to high shock and vibration. Included is Chassis Plans' proprietary SysCool® system fan management board to minimize fan noise by controlling fan RPM. The SysCool board also provides for system over temperature and fan failure alarm.
Rugged 17" LCD for Military Vehicle Mounting This design challenge was for a rugged mobile military application which required an LCD with features such as very high resolution, daylight visibility and protection from sudden shock - in a compact form factor. Chassis Plans started with two solid aluminum billets and milled a high precision enclosure with the two halves mating with an o-ring seal meeting IP67. The 17-inch LCD started as best of breed with 800:1 contrast. This LCD was further enhanced with circular polarizers and a high transmission (88%) touch screen with an anti-glare hard coat. These components were optically bonded to the LCD using index matched adhesives. Bonding prevents dirt and moisture between the filters and display. Bonding also significantly ruggedizes the LCD, reinforcing the glass and minimizing shock which might damage the display. The bond will also hold the glass together should the display be significantly damaged such as from a bullet or explosion. The finished product came in at 15 lbs. The enclosure is manufactured from high strength 5052 aluminum alloy with heat dissipating fins milled into the back. Stainless hardware and self locking fasteners were used throughout. The display is highly visible even in direct sunlight. The LCD controller was modified to scale a 1600x1200 image input to a 1280x1024 native resolution display.
Lear Jet Camera Controller
A Fortune 500 aerospace and defense contractor required a controller system for an airborne ultra high resolution panning camera system mounted in a Lear business jet. As this is flight qualified hardware, there are strict requirements for human factors, flight crew safety, structural integrity and crash worthiness. Chassis Plans designed and manufactured a rugged compact system to house a Micro-ATX motherboard, slim slot-fed DVD/RW, and two canister mounted 2-1/2" form factor solid state drives. Wiring was low smoke halogen free for fire safety. External cable connections are through Mil-Circular locking connectors. Two fans cool the system. Tailored plug-in card retention assures the cards stay seated regardless of flight vibration and landing shocks. The system is constructed from high
strength 5052 aluminum alloy. Stainless hardware and self locking fasteners were used throughout. Configured weight is a low 19.1lbs. See the MBT-1A4MTX for details.
Surgery Robotic Controller
The customer provides a system to allow surgeons to visualize and plan in 3D orthopedic procedures. They can then transfer that plan to a robotic assistant to actually perform the bone milling.
Chassis Plans is providing compact systems with two separate computers inside. Two passive backplanes with two single board computers provide redundant intelligence. Hard drives and DVD drives are provided for each system. A 24VDC power supply was required for patient safety and to fit the existing platform.
The key feature of the system is failover redundancy which is critical for patient contact.
Custom NEBS Internet Appliance
The customer provides a network appliance which sits on and monitors the internet backbone in a Central Office environment. The project required a two step approach to satisfy their program requirements.
The first milestone required Chassis Plans to quickly develop and provide multiple development systems to manage their custom hardware. These systems, while not NEBS compliant, were designed to be close to those standards. The system was manufactured from high strength aluminum with a limited depth. Cooling is front to rear and the motherboard was rotated 90 degrees to allow internal access to the I/O connectors.
The second stage of the program requires a NEBS compliant and certified system for installation into Central Offices. The systems will be in full compliance with NEBS GR-0063.
Modified W5 Wall Mount Can Inspection Controller
The customer liked the Chassis Plans' W05 wall mount chassis but needed to mount several industrial Ethernet hubs inside. They also wanted to prevent falling debris in the environment from getting inside the unit via the air exhaust vents and cable passages.
Starting with the standard W05 Solidworks model, we were able to extend the top plenum to accommodate the added hardware and ventilation requested by the customer. Additional wire harnesses were designed and fabricated to power the hubs via Molex MiniFit connectors installed into the rear panel.
In addition, the unit is controlled by an AC breaker on the side. This required selection of a motherboard with a BIOS support "last state" power control. The power and reset switches normally associated with an ATX style computer were removed.
Modified W5 Wall Mount Carwash Controller
has a compelling system to remotely monitor and control coin operated car washes. Chassis Plans provided extensive modifications to the standard
W5 WallMount Enclosure
to provide mounting for the various digital control modules and required to interface with the car wash equipment.
The modifications included adding a small LCD touch screen to the front door, adding 110VAC outlets to the side wall, modifying the door to hold Opto 22 boards, modifying the motherboard plate to hold digital control modules, and changing the bottom to provide room for installed components.
The chassis was painted to the customer specification and a logo screened to the door.
Custom Telemetry System
This renowned manufacturer of advanced digital signal processing systems providing telemetry capture and analysis to aircraft and missile flight test ranges required a chassis for their new PCI based system. Chassis Plans designed and built a passive backplane system providing mounting for their status display as well as a rear panel dog house for interfacing the myriad cables and signals to the plug-in PCI data acquisition cards.
The prototype system was designed and fabricated in record time to allow the customer to display this important new product at their one major show of the year.
The 14-slot backplane can accommodate 8 full-length and 3 short PCI cards. The system is well cooled with two 120x38mm fans. A redundant power supply assures uninterrupted data acquisition without risk of power supply failure. The front panel provides two Storcase SATA drive carriers and a slim DVD.
IC Mask Generator System Controller
This customer required a custom enclosure to control IC mask pattern generation. This 6U rack mount system includes a 19-slot PCI Express backplane, dual Xeon System Host Board and redundant power supply. In addition, provision was made in the chassis for a 24VDC supply, PLC and Safety Relay. Particular attention was paid to cooling the multitude of high power plug-in boards.
Of particular note, the system includes a "dog house" on the rear of the chassis providing a cable interface betweenthe plug-in card connectors and a custom PCB on the rear of the chassis. This is a common system modification other customers have required.
Shipboard 901D Digital Voice Recorder
Northrop Grumman required a rugged computer system to build a Digital Voice Recorder for use aboard Navy ships. The system records virtually all audio traffic on the ship including radio traffic, PA, and bridge conversations. The rack system is designed to meet
Mil Spec 901D
, Grade A.
Included is a 19-slot PCI Express backplane and dual Xeon System Host Board, four hot swap Ultra 320 SCSI drives, dual DVD/RW drives, and redundant power. The front mounted Touch Entry Device provides system monitoring and control.
Custom Door w/ Paint & Logo The customer had seen a custom chassis on our Did You Know Paint and Logo Brochure and wanted a similar look. The result is our standard E1Chassis 2U rack mount enclosure with a new 3-dimensional door, custom paint on the lid and ears, and customer logo silk screened on the face of the door. Chassis Plans provided fully integrated turn-key systems to the customer.
F18 Radio Controller aytheon required a quantity of small enclosure and cables to house an F18 radio controller in a ground application. Chassis Plans leveraged an existing design to engineer the enclosure. Utilizing previous art allowed for a low engineering cost and quick turn on the project.
Custom Integrated Battlefield System
L-3 required a very rugged 4U enclosure for their JRE-DLT program. The system required that two custom PCI backplanes be installed with XPT Dual XEON processors. One side was configured as a Windows XP Client and the other side was running Sun Solaris as a Server. The chassis provides a redundant power supply, two hot swap hard drives, and two DVD drives.
A custom rear panel and front panel insert were developed. A custom power control PCB was also developed to provide a time delay for system shutdown to prevent disk corruption. The system was ruggedized for installation in a transit case for battle field deployment.
'Son Of Monster' Logic Emulation Enclosure
The Dini Group, a local designer and manufacturer of highly sophisticated logic emulation boards, approached Chassis Plans to design and manufacture the enclosure for their new DN8000K10 Virtex4 based ASIC prototyping system. This incredibly advanced emulation engine required a 15x22.1" PCB to hold the 16 FPGA chips and 9 daughter cards to provide emulation of up to 24 million gates in logic and memory designs. A board this large is quite fragile and very expensive.
Chassis Plans designed an enclosure that provides a removable inner chassis to hold the PCB allowing the board to be placed on a bench for testing and configuration, yet be fully protected. The inner chassis fits inside a custom 19" rack mount enclosure for system operation. The chassis provides system support, excellent cooling, a 600W power supply, and adaptable rear panel I/O. Close collaboration between the PCB and mechanical design teams assured the enclosure system performed as required on the first design spin.
Go to The Dini Group 'Son Of Monster' page for more information and photos of this amazing system. Click the two photos to the right for larger views.
Network Security Appliance
had been marketing their SME Lock Private Networking appliance in a single channel version. They wanted to expand to the enterprise marketplace by offering a multi-channel rackmount version.
Chassis Plans designed a 1U enclosure that allowed four of their Private Network modules to be rackmounted. The enclosure provides redundant power supplies for fail safe operation. Accommodating the preexisting boards required an innovative front panel design with symmetrical overlapping module ears for retention. EMI compliance is assured by the use of spring finger EMI gaskets. The lid is designed for use with tamper resistant screws.
Custom IC Manufacturing System
A large multinational integrated circuit manufacturer required a new enclosure and integrated system to replace the ancient VAX computers originally used. This required Chassis Plans to engineer an enclosure that fit an odd sized hole in their equipment. Cooling was a primary concern. There is also a custom controller interface that had to be accommodated.
The Chassis Plans Sales Engineer worked closely with the customer and Integration Department to define a leading edge computing platform using new long life components. The result was a system that provided significant productivity improvements over the original VAX systems with assured long term availability.
The system was certified to virtually all safety and emissions regulations including CE, Korean, Taiwanese, Chinese and Japanese certifications.
Custom 1U Network Appliance
The customer required a custom chassis to house two FPGA development boards to monitor network traffic in an effort to reduce network overhead and improve client responsiveness.
Chassis Plans provided a custom network appliance type design with a 1U redundant power supply, mounting for the two boards, rear panel connectors, and two fans. The rack ears are a unique design allowing 4-post or 2-post rack mounting.
Special Integration Sun Tape System The customer was purchasing systems from Sun Microsystems to house a Sun SCSI tape subsystem drive. The enclosure from Sun was too deep for a particular application leaving the customer without a solution. Chassis Plans provided a specially integrated 1U F6000 chassis. We had to design and fabricate new cables, change the power switch, blank the reset switch, and incorporate a brass grounding stud on the rear panel. The result is an attractive chassis with a door covering the tape drive and controls that perfectly fits the customer's requirements. Chassis Plans is providing a Turn Key fully integrated solution for this customer.
Secure Submarine LCD Display
Lockheed contracted with Chassis Plans to design and manufacture an LCD/Keyboard combination for use aboard nuclear submarines. The principle use is for officers to be able to connect to both the secure and non-secure systems from their quarters.
Included is a 17" TFT LCD, full feature keyboard and glidepoint mouse device and two USB ports. Mounted inside is an Icron USB hub extender allowing the keyboard, glidepoint, and two USB ports to interface via Cat-5 cable with a server anywhere on the boat.
The challenging specification included footprint and size constraints and a weight limit of 18lbs. Chassis Plans delivered a system weighing only 12lbs much to the delight of the customer.
Wall Mount Paint Control / Display Haden asked Chassis Plans to design a controller for their Liquid Paint Application Control System. The wall mounted enclosure featured a passive backplane, single board computer and their control cards. The lid was designed to accept different overlays allowing multiple uses for the same enclosure.
DVR Security Appliance A manufacturer of Digital Video Recorders and related digital security products approached Chassis Plans to design and build their next generation security appliance. Difficult design constraints included a depth limit of 21", four high speed large hot swap raid drives, a vibration isolated fan system to prevent drive errors, high component density, and an obstructed rear panel which limited cooling flow. The customer had rigorous component temperature limits. Chassis Plans delivered two different system configurations to satisfy a changing specification. The customer had a short time-to-market window.
Custom Video Amplifier Enclosure An affiliate company of the Digital Video Recorder shown above required a custom enclosure for a multi channel video amplifier system. Chassis Plans worked closely with the board designer on the layout of the PCB to ensure good heat management, component selection to fit a 1U enclosure, and ease of assembly. The systems are being widely installed in casinos for camera management.
A large defense contractor specializing in tactical ground control shelters required a rugged diskless system for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle control. Time to delivery was critical.
Chassis Plans leveraged an existing COTS design to quickly and inexpensively meet the requirement. Starting with the D3Chassis , we shortened the chassis to 18" and designed a new front panel to maximize cooling flow. The chassis accommodates an EATX motherboard and a redundant 2U power supply. Three 90mm cooling fans and generous chassis openings assure the installed components are well cooled.
AMC Module Chassis Advanced Mezzanine Cards, or AMC modules, were originally developed to add I/O capability to CPCI and ATCA products. An AMC products developer approached Chassis Plans to design and manufacture the first rack mount system to enable the use of 10 AMC modules in a 2U enclosure. This is bleeding edge technology and Chassis Plans engineers worked closely with the AMC hardware manufacturer to provide a system to the customer in record time for display at SuperComm 2005. The system was designed with Nebs certification in mind.
Reverse Engineered Power Supply The customer had been purchasing a custom power supply enclosure from a local vendor for several years. They required several enhancements to the design and the vendor had no engineering documentation. Chassis Plans reverse engineered the enclosure to fit within their system. In addition to their required changes, Chassis Plans' engineers proposed several changes to lower their costs and simplify the system assembly.
Custom Paint and Logo Custom paint and logo to customer specification is our most common special. In this case, the customer wanted the entire chassis painted to a Pantone specification and their logo silk screened on the door. The base chassis is the C3CHASSIS . Multicolor logos and front panel silk screened accents can "spiff up" a chassis look and make it your product instead of some generic computer.
Ultra High Res 1600 x 1200 Keyboard LCD Display A military customer required an ultra high resolution LCD display / keyboard but had a height limit of 1U. In addition, there was limited depth available. Chassis Plans performed by modifying our standard CPCSD1-17 Clamshell Keyboard LCD to incorporate the Samsung LTM190 panel with a proprietary high performance LCD controller. There is no 1U keyboard LCD display with a larger monitor or higher resolution.
Innovative High Speed Switch Packaging major defense electronics manufacturer approached Chassis Plans to design and manufacture the enclosure for their sophisticated high speed switch. The system houses 3 hot swap modular cards, rear mounted CPU module, dual hot swap power supplies, 4 hot swap fans and an internal backplane tying all the electronics together. Several innovative design features were incorporated to enable the system to meet specification.
ASI Switch Platform A manufacturer of PCI silicon products for PCI Express interface needed a development platform for their customers. Chassis Plans provided a simple 1U enclosure to mount their PCB. Using a modified off the shelf 1U ATX power supply simplified their product and lowered their costs.
Ultra Light Short Depth Keyboard LCD Display
A defense customer required a light weight 1U LCD Display / Keyboard to fit in a Hartig travel case. The requirement was a weight less than 22 pounds and an installed depth less than 20 inches. Chassis Plans exceeded the design requirement by producing a keyboard weighing 19.6 lbs with an installed depth of 19 inches. There is no lighter or shorter keyboard on the market with these features.
Note: This display is in production and available for sale to other OEM's.
4U Battlefield Tactical Situation Server
A major supplier of battlefield qualified systems required a continued supply of the Appro 4408 chassis which Appro no longer offered. The specification from their military customer did not allow for another chassis to be substituted. Chassis Plans exactly reproduced the Appro 4408 chassis dimensionally and functionally. The chassis looks exactly the same. Turn around time on the project was a short 5 weeks.
Note: This chassis is in production and available for sale to other OEM's.
1U Custom Short EATX Chassis - Front I/O A large highly respected manufacturer of chip manufacturing equipment required a very custom rackmount system. A limiting factor was a depth limit of 16.63" and the I/O had to be accessible at the front. An Intel EATX Dual Xeon Server Board fits and provides 1 I/O slot. A hard drive and 1U power supply are included. Seven high flow 40x38mm fans cool the system. Chassis Plans provides totally integrated systems.
2U Custom Short EATX Chassis - Front I/O In conjunction with the 1U system shown above, the customer also required a 2U chassis of similar construction. A limiting factor was a depth limit of 16.63" and the I/O had to be accessible at the front. An Intel EATX Server Board fits and provides 2 I/O slots. A hard drive, slim CD and 2U power supply are included. Three high flow 80mm fans cool the system. Chassis Plans provides totally integrated systems.
4U Custom Aluminum Chassis A leading company in audio noise control for broadcast and film required a quantity of small, light 4U enclosures for mounting in a Hartig portable case. We modified our standard C3Chassis to exactly meet their requirements. Modifications included an aluminum construction instead of steel for lighter weight, low noise fans, modified rear panel including BNC connectors, modified drive bay area, customer specific paint and logo.
1U Custom SCSI Drive Chassis An aerospace company needed a 1U chassis to hold 2 removable SCSI drives or a mix of removable drives and tape drives. The chassis had to be 16 inches deep and 16.75 inches wide which precluded an off-the-shelf solution. Good cooling was required.
Ultra Rugged 1U 17" LCD/Keyboard
A defense contractor required a large quantity of "flight line proof" rackmount keyboard/LDCs. They liked the features of the CPS217 but had special ruggedization requirements. Chassis Plans was able to modify the standard
• Mag-Floride coated protective glass over the LCD
• Aluminum construction instead of steel
• Special Cherry keyboard w/ touch pad
• Shortened length for installation in a Hartig case
2U Chassis for ATX Form Factor PCB
This customer supplies high fidelity flight simulations systems to the military. Their existing supplier was not able to keep up with the orders. The existing chassis was simply a stock 2U with a custom rear panel. This led to several compromises in the cooling of this high power system. The customer also wanted a matching 2U chassis for a cohesive system look.
Chassis Plans redesigned the E1CHASSIS to remove the drives, incorporate a new rear panel, new chassis, fan bracket and door. In addition, Chassis Plans' engineers noticed an error in the customers PCB layout and provided a custom spacer to better support the rear panel connectors.
The first call for this project was logged May 22, 2003. The proposal drawing was approved May 28. Fifty five custom chassis were shipped to the customer June 13.
Click below for a PDF of the E1CHASSIS Customer Drawing next to the proposal drawing for the custom chassis.
5U Rugged System for Extreme Environment
In the winter they build ice roads. You can't drive to the oil wells in the summer because the tundra is too soft. This international oil services company needed a chassis that would survive continuous bouncing and banging in the back of the data logging truck as they drove on these ice roads. Hard to get parts in the middle of Winter in the far North oil country when your computer gets bounced to death.
Chassis Plans created what has to be one of the most rugged chassis every built. Each of the drive trays is held by four thumb screws, two in front and two in back. Five SCSI drives are arrayed behind the air filter for good cooling. A card hold-down is tailored to the installed cards. Special zero backlash slides are used. All stainless steel hardware was installed for harsh high salinity environments. Color matching was provided as well as a standard silk screen with the company's logo. Strict depth and front panel requirements were met to comply with the customer's specification. Chassis Plans was able to create an enclosure that will accommodate their needs for years to come.
4U Rugged System for Extreme Environment After designing and producing a large quantity of the 5U chassis shown above, the customer required the same chassis features in a 4U enclosure. The resulting design is identical in all regards in a smaller package.
6U Rugged System for Navy Ship Installation
Spawar came to Chassis Plans to design a Mil Spec chassis that would be light, extremely rugged, adaptable, and able to satisfy the rigorous shock and vibration specification in 901D. The "Rock" was the result.
This is an aluminum and stainless enclosure providing redundant power, 4 5.25" external drives, 2 3.5" external drives, and 2 internal 3.5" drives. Both Intel and Sun motherboards can be accommodated. The chassis passed Mil Spec 901D (Barge Test). If you are not familiar with the Barge Test, go here for some entertaining video (Large File - 27Mb).
7U Chassis Designed to Customer Specification
The DOD required a robust 20-slot chassis for use in remote locations world-wide. Critical performance issues had to be met. The system had to be easy to install and maintain with minimal MTTR. A defined drive mix as well as depth issues precluded using an off-the-shelf solution.
Chassis Plans successfully met the design challenge offering an innovative solution with a swing-down and removable drive/power supply sub chassis. This approach greatly simplified initial integration and on-site service. The top section accommodates any 20-slot backplane offering 20 full slots with great cooling for the installed high power cards.
W03 Wallmount / Benchtop Chassis
Note - The
is now a standard Chassis Plans product. Chassis Plans was approached by an arcade game manufacturer to provide a ruggedized PC chassis able to fit existing game cabinets and to survive the abuse and transportation loads imposed on these cabinets. Microsoft and Intel were supporting the Arcade PC initiative to use simple PC components for arcade games instead of the historically used dedicated boards. The problem was office type computers were failing. See
for a graphic example of what this system can survive.
The resulting design was the first single-sided arcade chassis allowing access to all I/O and drives from the same side. The chassis can be supplied with shock mounts tailored to the specific application.
Variations of the original design have now been installed is such diverse applications as ATMs and kiosks, lumber mill saw control where constant vibrations and shocks were killing other systems, chip testing systems where cooling fan vibration is an issue, public transportation. This design is perfect for any application which requires an easy to service yet rugged shock and vibration resistant design. Shock mounting the entire system is the only way to assure component survivability. See our White Paper on Shock and Vibration.
Embedded Card Cage The customer, a large multinational printing press manufacturer, needed to replace an existing card cage with a newer model. The backplane had changed and his offshore supplier was not able to adapt in a timely manner. The customer also wanted to incorporate some additional features. Chassis Plans was able to create full documentation in 2 weeks and provide prototype system 2 weeks after that.
Embedded Election System
With the US not having a President for several weeks due to hanging chad, the Government has provided funds to modernize the voting process. The Government's goal is computerized voting for all elections. In conjunction with several partners, Chassis Plans developed a small, light weight system to control the LCD panel, touch screen, printer, and provide network and WIFI interface. This compact computer was 1/4 the weight and 1/3 the size of the competition
Included inside the 6"x4-3/4"x2.5" chassis is an 800MHz Via board, 2-1/2" hard drive, PCMCIA WIFI controller and flash drive. Total system weight is 1-1/2lbs.
1U Network Appliance This embedded 1U network appliance was developed to maintain the continuous flow of legitimate customer traffic during a Denial of Service attack as well as minimize the time network engineers spent on labor-intensive manual investigations. The customer was unable to find an off the shelf product that offered the required appearance and features. The design incorporated high airflow to cool the motherboard as well as a front panel LCD display for system status.
1U Network Security Appliance Network Perimeter Policing is the comprehensive real-time monitoring and interpretation of important system events throughout a customer's network, including unauthorized behavior, malicious hacks and denials of service (DoS), anomalies and trend analysis. The customer required a simple 1U chassis, no external drives, and a defined front panel connector scheme. Chassis Plans was able to quickly develop a chassis which exceeded all the customer expectations.
4U Simulator Image Generator The customer had been purchasing another chassis which went end-of-life. The application is for complex operator simulators for the military, bus drivers, police drivers, etc. The chassis had to look good, provide limited access to the drives and controls, and adequately cool the image generator boards and motherboard.
Appro Reverse Engineer
Appro stopped selling their 4U 4402 and 4408 chassis leaving many customer scrambling for solutions. Chassis Plans provides identical chassis by reverse engineering the original Appro products. The result is customers previously purchasing the Appro 4402 and 4408 chassis now have a reliable source for continued production.
The FAAC Simulation Image Generator profiled above was a modified Appro 4402 chassis.
Please note these chassis are available for general purchase from Chassis Plans.
CPATX 4U Enclosure A relatively simple custom chassis. Standard 4U design with three horizontal 5-1/4" drives. The client wanted additional cooling for the hard drives in addition to their own look. The end product was powder coated over the entire exterior and had a complex logo silk screened to the door.
2U Rack Mount ATX/Backplane The customer needed a high performance motherboard with sufficient cooling for the dual processors. The three plug-in PCI cards were accommodated using a riser card which provided the proper PCI interrupt parsing. In addition, the chassis had no front accessible drives and dual SCSI hard drives in a mirror arrangement. Of course, custom paint and logo were provided.
Custom 417 Rackmount Enclosure The client required a minimal depth 4U chassis with good cooling, filtered air, and no locks. Having control over the manufacturing and having a domestic source were important. The resultant design was constructed of 16 gage CRS, was only 16.5" deep, and is fully revision controlled for consistency. The chassis is gold zinc while the front panel is painted. The lid is secured by only two screws for quick removal.
Custom 5U for Film Industry The customer manufactured a film editing head. The target market was film dailys where the day's filming was proofed. A highly custom retro look was required as well as a proprietary rear panel for the many required connectors and cables. The resulting design is very attractive, provides a small color LCD display, is well cooled and provides ample fixed and removable data storage. Many custom non-PC boards are mounted inside the enclosure.
3U Enclosure with custom look and feel The primary requirement was for a non-Taiwanese appearance. While the Taiwanese manufacture many fine chassis, it becomes hard to differentiate your product because they all look the same. This customer wanted a highly unique "Assembled in the USA" appearance. Chassis Plans was able to modify a standard product line to provide this customer with a chassis look not found elsewhere.
Highly Custom 4U for Telco Industry
This was a tough custom design. The initial requirement was to fit a chassis to a 21" telco rack, but have the design be able to also fit a 19" rack. The motherboard was a massive EATX dual Xeon server class board. Because this was a NEBS certified central office application, the system, including the massive processors, had to be ruggedly constructed to satisfy the seismic requirements of NEBS. Five external NIC connectors had to be available at the front panel.
The resulting design met all the customer requirements. It is NEBS compliant in all regards, fits both 19 and 21 inch racks, and is rugged enough to pass all seismic and transportation spectra when fully populated. Many application specific features were built into the chassis.
Reverse engineer the look but fix the problems
The customer was purchasing a chassis from a domestic supplier. The design was poor, the doors did not open completely, and the quality was poor. The customer was also having delivery problems. However, because of customer commitments, they could not switch to a different chassis.
Chassis Plans provided a chassis that looked the same but worked. The quality of the metal work was significantly better, the doors opened all the way, and the chassis had a much better look and finish. Not rocket science, but this simple chassis allowed the customer to keep several major customers.
Dual system nuclear plant simulator This custom 4U enclosure was created to house two separate computers with independent single board computers and custom backplanes. Chassis Plans worked closely with the customer's engineering staff and other partners to create an enclosure to withstand high RF frequencies. The resulting design meets CE for susceptibility in high RF environments. The independent backplane chassis can be swapped in case of failure for a very low MTTR. This is another design which is highly customer specific that can not be satisfied by any off the shelf solution.