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Quarterly Bulletin
Mechanical development

Enclosure design


Mechanical development in an embedded project includes for example challenges like heat dissipation, EMC, shock/vibration and protection against humidity, dust and dirt according to the IP classification. It’s about enclosing and sufficiently protecting the computer board.


Hectronic offers mechanical development as one of the elements in development projects of complete embedded systems. Additionally mechanical development services such as pre-studies and reviews are available to support our customers buying COTS products.

The system shown above to the right was developed for Saab Aerosystems in Linköping, Sweden. One of the challenges in mechanical development was the strict requirements on EMC protection, internally as well as externally towards the surrounding environment. The system was developed according to the RTCA DO-254 aviation standard.
The two halves of the plastic enclosure are held together by snap-locks. The computer board is placed between the two halves with openings to match the onboard connectors.

Heat spreader with air guides

The customer of the system development project made the design of the exterior of the enclosure. The original requirement didn’t include a fan for heat dissipation. The design was compact and slim and the processor platform power consumption was around 30W. A heat simulation indicated that passive cooling using only heat sink weren’t going to keep system temperatures low enough.
The principal of heat dissipation in this case was to force the air from the inlets, past the hot spots on the board and to the outlets of the enclosure using a fan. The forced air stream may have a tendency to form a vortex inside the enclosure. To avoid a vortex keeping heat inside the enclosure the fan and heat sink were complemented with a plastic air guide.

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