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Feature Subracks

Racking up the benefits of a one platform approach

The introduction of a ‘one subrack platform fits all’ approach is offering designers greater flexibility in design and construction. Martin Traut and David Martin from Pentair – Schroff look into the benefits

from just one subrack platform can be beneficial to designers. To help, Schroff offers a modular approach with its europacPRO platform that enables engineers to build subracks using a range of standardised components.


As well as meeting requirements such as cost, static and dynamic loading and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), these modular 19” units and the wide range of components mean greater flexibility in design and construction. The subrack, however, is also available in preconfig-

ured versions – from simple standard versions through to high-end special subracks.

Subrack types The low-cost Type L (light) is the simplest version of the europacPRO. Robust in design, this features 2mm thick side

‘Schroff offers a modular approach with its europacPRO platform that enables engineers to build subracks using a range of standardised components’

panels for shock and vibration resistance levels of up to 2g and can be used where EMC protection and high flexibility are not required. Type F (flexible) subracks can be easily retro- fitted with shielding if required, and special kits for CompactPCI applications (with or without rear I/O capabilities) are also available. Still a basic unit, this is fitted with depth-adjustable 19” brackets and can be equipped with a light- weight horizontal rail (single-point fixing) or a heavy-duty horizontal rail (two-point fixing). Depending on configuration, the shock and vibration resistance is between 3g and 4g. Type H (heavy), meanwhile, is available as shielded or unshielded versions and has tox-cold welded side panels

Type R (rugged) subrack – indestructible

and 19” brackets – positioned exactly where x-accelera- tion point is highest and where cracks could otherwise form. These are

ith operating environ- ments being so diverse, the

ability to select

Type L (light) subrack – minimum number of parts

suitable for use in situations with shock and vibration requirements of up to 5g. For high loading conditions, type R (rugged) can be used. This has thicker 3mm side panels, reinforced horizontal rails and 19” brackets (3.5mm instead of 2.5mm) and corner profiles. With shock resistance up to 25g, these subracks are suitable for mobile applications, defence and security systems, infrastructure (e.g. railroad systems), indus- trial (e.g. power stations) and other particularly harsh environments. Offering a usable installation space of 84 HP, these are also less than 449mm wide and so can be fitted

Type F (flexible) subrack – high flexibility into any 19” cabinet.

All fixings in the type R are fitted with stainless steel bolts treated with thread-locking compound to prevent the bolts working loose. The side panels are also tox-cold welded and the overlapping of the 19” bracket with the side panels is twice as long as in type H. To improve stiffness still further, horizontal rails with three-hole fixing

Type H (heavy) subrack – can be used for up to 5g

are used. All standard guide rails can also be used for applications in harsh environments and, if required, can be bolted to the horizontal rail. In addition, there are guides available to accept Card-Loks, Wedge-Loks or clamshells for more rigid PCB mounting.

Tox-cold welded side panel: H-type side panel with two-hole horizontal rail

Instead of the extruded aluminium front handles which are used for type H, special rugged front handles are fitted. To secure and further stiffen the cover plates, a locking mechanism is bolted to the horizontal rail and cover plate in multiple places. All components of type R subracks are downward compatible, thus allowing, for exam- ple, a horizontal rail with three-point fixing

to be fitted in a type F subrack.

The preconfigured subracks are available as complete packages from stock.

Pentair - Schroff UK Enter 263 T: 01442 240471

Enclosure & Panel Building Solutions WINTER/SPRING 2014 PCBs

in subrack with Card-Loks


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