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Über dieses Buch

This text explains the process of the design of product electronic enclosures. These products typically contain a printed circuit board. The text takes the reader from the original idea for a product, through the shipment in quantity to a customer. For the product enclosure designer, this proceeds through design layout, material selection, prototype building, testing, and ongoing design improvement.

The book presents a substantive and lucid treatment of the structural, thermal, user-interface, assembly, quality control, and cost considerations of the product enclosure. Of special note is a discussion on the regulatory issues involved with the design of a product. A main thrust of the text is on the "commercialization" aspects of electronic products, that is, when an enclosure is needed for the product to meet environmental and certification requirements globally. The book targets the broadest audience tasked to design/manufacture an enclosure, from mechanical/industrial engineers to designers and technicians. While the intent of the text is not to provide a complete understanding of relevant physical phenomena addressed (strength of materials, shock and vibration, heat transfer), the book provides a ready reference on how and where these key properties may be considered in the design of most electronic enclosures.

Elucidates successful enclosure design for electronic products, defining the design team and the definition of success

Explains the processes for building enclosures, including printed circuit board layout (mechanical considerations) and optimal object placement, structural considerations, material selection, and user interface design

Includes treatment of serviceability, product environments, standards and testing, cooling techniques as well as guidelines for Electromagnetic Compliance (EMC) standards and testing required to pass FCC/CE

Reinforces design concepts presented with relevant solved problems



Chapter 1. Successful Design

This chapter gives you an introduction to designing enclosures for electronic products and defines a “successful design”.
We’ll discuss the designer’s role in the setting of product requirements, where the designer fits into the overall product development picture, the importance of communication, and the initial factors to consider when beginning a design.
Tony Serksnis

Chapter 2. Building the Design

Our designs will all start with just an idea for a product. Those ideas will need to be proven, so, we’ll move on building prototypes, and if those prototypes seem to work via testing to some written specification, we’ll document our designs via drawings. We’ll need this documentation to be able to build more products in a repeatable manner.
Tony Serksnis

Chapter 3. Structural Considerations

In the previous chapters, we defined what a successful design is and then moved on to determining the placement of the objects that will be in the design. We’ll now take up the structural considerations of the design. Why consider the structural considerations at this juncture, and why not the thermal aspects, or the user interfaces? It’s probably only because I have a mechanical engineering background so I “naturally” first see how the design must be “structurally sound.” I feel we must build upon a “solid foundation,” so that the rest of the design can build upon that. The electronic enclosure (itself) is, of course, a structure that must be strong enough to work in the various environments that the customer (user) will be using the product in. So, let’s begin with a discussion of the main considerations of providing this “solid foundation.” This chapter will focus on:
  • Using strength of material concepts to propose structural solutions
  • Defining a generic process for considering the structural design of our electronic enclosure
  • Look at some examples that specifically illustrate the general concepts
Tony Serksnis

Chapter 4. Materials and Processes

Now that we have the structural foundation for the design, we’ll actually start this chapter with a “return to basics.” We’ve already touched upon the need to define and then conform to the product specification, but now we’ll return to cost considerations of the design. With that reestablishment of this design “touchstone,” we’ll continue on with more “building blocks” that will be available to the designer to determine the best materials and processes for their enclosure parts. The choice of material and process for the individual parts that make up the assembly will get the designer also thinking about the assembly and servicing of the product (which is taken up Chap. 6).
Tony Serksnis

Chapter 5. User Interface

This chapter will add to our toolbox for electronic enclosure design. We’ll start with a description of the input and output devices available to the designer to help the user to process data. A section on sensors that the user will use to “sense” this data will follow. We’ll explore the five natural senses which will also include some “uncommon” senses. We’ll add to the mix a discussion on the ever-present power sources that our designs must include. The discussion on how users will view and use our electronic enclosure will end with sections on the value of ergonomics, industrial design, and color, which will make our product both more useful and more enjoyable.
Tony Serksnis

Chapter 6. Assembly and Service

We want to make the product as easy to assemble as possible. But, unless we think about that at the earliest stages of design, it will not happen – this takes planning! This chapter will span the region of product design that begins with the ability of a product to be “manufacturable” and ends with the ability of a product to be “serviceable.” This is a bit incongruous in that “design” cannot (should not) be separated from its ability to be both assembled and serviced. The chapter will start by defining the various assemblies that the designer will be concerned with and the key assembly concerns. We’ll provide some assembly guidelines. The issues of the needs for assembly tooling and assembly testing will be discussed. We’ll end with a section on service considerations. An appendix is included that gives a bit more detail on how various hole sizes are determined to help in the assembly process.
Tony Serksnis

Chapter 7. Product Environments

The products the EPE Designer will design must survive the environments that the products will placed in. That environment could be fairly benign, such as a home or office, or it could be rather hostile, such as needing to function in an off-road vehicle or survive underwater.
Tony Serksnis

Chapter 8. Cooling Techniques

This chapter could have been titled “heat dissipation,” “heat transfer,” or several other candidates. The EPE Designer will be faced with dissipating heat so that the components of the equipment:
  • Keep within their temperature operating limits
  • Run as coolly as possible to increase the reliability
  • Do not burn or cause undue irritation to the equipment users
Tony Serksnis

Chapter 9. EMC

After starting with some definitions, we will focus on this major consideration of the overall enclosure design. The design of all electronic enclosures will need to consider two things:
Is the electronic product being designed going to operate properly while being affected (“bombarded”) by self-generated electromagnetic waves?
Is the electronic product generating electromagnetic waves that will negatively affect other products?
Tony Serksnis

Chapter 10. Safety by Design

I decided to title this chapter, “Safety by Design” instead of just “Safety.” I’m hoping this emphasizes the idea that safety must be designed into the product enclosure and, indeed, the entire product. Everyone who comes in contact with the enclosure, from assembler to tester, to customer, and to the service technician, must get the benefit of reasonable safety. A warning must be clear and emphatic.
Tony Serksnis

Chapter 11. Shipping and Packaging

This chapter will concern itself with the design of the packaging that the product, as designed in previous chapters, will ship to the customer in. I’m adding this chapter as it seems to be a part of the total design process for the product, and in many cases comes under the purview of the EPE Designer, although an entire (separate) department may fulfill this effort in larger firms. In any case, the EPE Designer needs to be generally aware that their product must be shipped to the customer so that the highest customer satisfaction is attained, and this starts with the original un-packaging of the product (aka “the out-of-the-box experience”).
Tony Serksnis

Chapter 12. Documentation

This chapter will review the essential need for documentation and the various types of documentation.
Tony Serksnis

Chapter 13. Continuous Improvement

We will finish the text with thoughts toward the need to remember both the things that worked well and the things that didn’t work so well. This should occur both in the design itself and in the design process. In fact, we will not only remember them, we’ll write down those memories. Every endeavor worth doing, and the EPE Designer certainly works on those endeavors, is worth analyzing on how to improve. The thought here is that, before tackling that next project, we’ll “fold in” what we learned on this latest project. The entire project team should analyze in a formal manner the steps needed to make the next project better.
Tony Serksnis
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