Product development is a complex and time-consuming process. Getting it right, the first time limits the risks of costly redesigns and delays in revenue opportunities. Mechanical Engineering covers the entire process of architecture -> design -> development -> and production of complex products.
In the mechanical engineering step of the development process, all (physical) prerequisites are determined and documented. Factors such as thermal conditions, housing dimensions, and appearance are considered. Based on these prerequisites, AimValley’s mechanical engineering team starts with the actual physical design of the circuit board in collaboration with the layout (primary placement).
When this step is completed, it is up to our hardware engineers to start working on the board layout. Only when this layout is ready will the mechanical engineer continue with the integration of the mechanical components of the system.
Why Mechanical Engineering Matters
Mechanical engineering is one of the most important subdivisions of engineering and plays a vital role in AimValley’s electronic designs.
From simple board designs to NextGen high-speed designs up to 800G, it all starts with the ability of our mechanical engineers to convert your high-level product requirements into tried and tested products.
At AimValley we develop our mechanical designs in step with the demand for smarter products – we prioritize innovation & sustainability.
Mechanical Design Considerations
Whether we are involved in turnkey development of your NextGen product or assist in a design modification of your existing products, many factors drive the requirements for a mechanical design.
Here are some of the factors that our engineers take into account:
When designing for the mechanical housing of a product on system level, we consider not only how the chip, PCB and components (re)act in an enclosure, but also how this enclosure (re)acts within the overall system. Cooling and Airflow are both components of the thermal design and address items such as:
- Chassis airflow and direction, ensuring that the circuit board, mounted components, and Radio Frequency-shielding do not create airflow dead-spots.
- Ensuring that module cavities are of sufficient size and line-up with the overall system cooling design.
- Passive cooling, achieving sufficient cooling even when minamal/no airflow is generated.
- Heatsink design, where power is drawn away from components.
The ability to operate during certain levels of fire and not act as additional fire load. For example as required in NEBS3 applications.
The arrangement, velocity,and size of the moving parts in the system determine the successful operation of the end product.
Strength & Ruggedness
Sufficient mechanical strength and ruggedness are especially important where the intended location of the product indicates possible direct impact from vibrations, shock and/or earthquake. These aspects are considered for the entire product life-cycle, from operational use up to packaging and transportation.
Specific attention is given to environmental factors, such as the operating temperature range, moisture, humidity and exposure to direct sunlight.
The ability for removable modules to connect with existing connectors, including hot-swappable modules that provide redundancy and serviceability.
Mechanical housing designs act as a Faraday cage when electromagnetic emission shielding is required. Determining the extend of the effect is key to the design.
One of the most important aspects is the balance between thermal behavior and EMC-shielding. As components become smaller in size but dissipate more, this aspect of the mechanical design is becoming more complex.
Mechanical Engineering & Factory Introduction
Because of the nature of the work, our mechanical engineers have a close working relationship with our Factory Introduction team. Both are focused on the manufacturability of the end product in the factory. The interworking of both teams reinforces optimization. Both teams look at the labor intensity considered, the different types of components applied in the design, and the sheer number of components used.
Saving you both time and money!