CompactPCI ‘Cool Box’ subrack has active ventilation


Embedded Control

Cool Box from SMA Computers has 4U height that allows for airflow routing and provides space for CD/DVD drives. A ruggedized hard-disk drive with vibration absorber also can be installed in that space for other applications.

Rising performance demands on industrial-grade computer systems involve ever-increasing clock frequencies for the associated processors. In turn, higher clock frequency means more power dissipation and heat to be removed from the system to ensure proper operation. With this in mind, SMA Computers offers a standard, ventilated CompactPCI subrack—called Cool Box—to meet new dependability levels for various applications.


SMA Computers cautions users to look closely at “fanless systems” specs. This technology promises to increase system MTBF (mean time between failure) by eliminating the fan, but increased operating temperatures in the electronics modules may offset the effect, if the system is not properly designed, according to SMA. Heat greatly affects the service life of electronic components; for example, an ambient temperature rise of 10 °C doubles failure rate of components. “An engineer should make every effort to adequately design the ventilation of the industrial computer system. This applies particularly to systems for use in extended temperature ranges or where computing power from the CPU might climb to 100%,” says SMA.


This is where Cool Box can enter the picture. Its standard version includes a small 4U/36 HP CompactPCI subrack, providing space for a 3U, 8 HP CPU, and five I/O modules, which can handle numerous standard applications. Several low-cost 8 HP plug-in power supplies (ac or dc) are available as well. Cool Box includes a rear fan with filter. Since industrial computer modules are ventilated from the bottom up by a cooling air stream via an internal air deflector, Cool Box can be installed without clearance underneath it. Cool Box is priced from $1,800 each.

Frank J. Bartos, Control Engineering,

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Additive manufacturing benefits; HMI and sensor tips; System integrator advice; Innovations from the industry
Robotic safety, collaboration, standards; DCS migration tips; IT/OT convergence; 2017 Control Engineering Salary and Career Survey
Integrated mobility; Artificial intelligence; Predictive motion control; Sensors and control system inputs; Asset Management; Cybersecurity
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This article collection contains several articles on how automation and controls are helping human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software advance.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me