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Schroff, an electronics packaging specialist, has developed a retention device for securely fastening AdvancedMC modules into a MicroTCA subrack.

This is intended to enable such systems to withstand the extreme shock and vibration conditions laid down in the recently issued MicroTCA.1 specification.

The MicroTCA open computing architecture was originally conceived by the PICMG consortium for use in telecommunications applications.

To make it viable for other sectors, such as defence, transportation and industrial automation, PICMG is now in the process of drawing up three ‘Rugged MicroTCA’ sub-specifications.

The first of these, MicroTCA.1 (Air Cooled Rugged MicroTCA), was adopted in spring 2009 and increases the shock and vibration performance requirements for MicroTCA systems from IEC 61587-1 level DL1 to level DL3.

In practice, this means that systems must now be able to withstand peak acceleration rates of 25G in shock testing and 3G in vibration testing – figures that are several times higher than those in the original MicroTCA.0 specification.

Schroff has achieved the required performance by extending the AdvancedMC module faceplate to provide flanges at the top and bottom and by using the new retention device to fasten the module to the MicroTCA subrack.

The retention device is essentially a screw locking mechanism that has been designed to be tightened without transferring any force to the connector on the MicroTCA backplane.

This solution, for which the company has a patent pending, is detailed in the appendix to the MicroTCA.1 specification.

All that is required to convert an existing AdvancedMC module for use in a MicroTCA.1 system is a new front panel incorporating an upper and lower flange and the special retention devices.

For over four decades Schroff has been a world leader in the development and manufacture of electronics packaging components and systems.

The company offers a comprehensive range of enclosure solutions, including cabinets, subracks, cases, backplanes and power supplies, as well as complete systems for standard bus architectures such as VME, cPCI, AdvancedTCA and MicroTCA.

These products are based on the know-how of specialists in the integration of mechanical, electronic and thermal management systems, together with many years’ experience of the most diverse applications in all kinds of environments. Schroff technical personnel are also heavily involved in the development of international standards for electronics packaging systems, with representatives on numerous working groups of institutions such as the IEC, CENELEC, IEEE, BSI, VDE and DIN.

To complement its wide range of products, the company has established a co-ordinated service strategy designed to ensure that customers enjoy comprehensive support throughout the life of the product.Grouped together under the banner ‘ServicePLUS’, Schroff’s product support services are now arranged in eight modules comprising configuration, assembly, modification, solution, express, support, academy and lifecycle.

The Schroff website, provides full technical information on all of the company’s products, including detailed descriptions, technical data, user manuals, test reports and downloadable CAD drawings

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