Design Challenges for Naval Equipment Enclosures

Military Embedded Systems Magazine

Published in Military Embedded Systems
Written by Fred Sainclivier

New and efficient approaches to cabinet and console design, fabrication, integration, and qualification are enabling prime defense contractors to quickly equip the U.S. Navy with better electronics technology and enclosures while increasing return on investment. As the Navy adds new mission capabilities and refreshes existing ones, the protective cabinets and consoles that house these critical systems are increasingly leveraging innovative design, production, qualification, and integration solutions to deliver more functionality while making them easier to deploy and maintain.

The cabinets and consoles that house shipboard mission electronics, processing, storage, connectivity, and human/machine interfaces (displays and workstations) must be able to protect mission systems from damp heat, saline atmosphere, shock, vibration, and electromagnetic interference (EMI) while maintaining secure and efficient cooling for long-term reliability. Although these enclosures are critical for mission success, their design and manufacture can place unwanted demands on the already limited resources of the companies who could supply both the enclosures and electronic payload.

The result: Design and production of shipboard enclosures is transitioning from the prime contractors over to dedicated enclosure producers that can seamlessly augment the primes’ contractor capabilities with the expertise required to produce quality built-for-purpose enclosures. By taking on the prime contractors’ burden of designing, manufacturing, qualifying, and integrating shipboard electronics enclosures, these vendors create an efficient, low-risk alternative source that enables the prime contractor to instead focus on their primary sources of value creation.

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