Industrial Enclosures for any Application

October 4, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

When it comes to protecting your valuable equipment, a NEMA enclosure can be a great solution. Whether your equipment could be exposed to the elements, chemicals, human tampering or theft, using an enclosure can ensure your investment is protected and provide you with peace of mind. Different enclosures provide different benefits, and you must find the best fit for your application. Here, we’ll take a closer look at Industrial enclosures and all that they have to offer.

 

When it comes to location, industrial enclosures can be used for both indoor and outdoor applications. In any setting, industrial enclosures provide extra security against theft, tampering and damage. Standard enclosures are lockable and keyed locks can be added as an extra measure to keep valuable components safe. Weatherproof outdoor enclosures can provide superior protection from the elements for outdoor wireless access points and sensitive electric components. Plus, with the option of adding heating and cooling or power, these enclosures deliver dependable performance in any climate.

 

There are numerous features that make industrial enclosures ideal for protecting sensitive equipment, these include mounting plates that securely mount equipment inside an enclosure and a thermostat controlled cooling fan that keeps equipment cool in high temperature environments. Also, a mounting lid can prevent damage and theft of the equipment inside the enclosure, these lids can have hinges, removable lids or clear viewing windows for easier viewing while maintaining security. Power over Ethernet (PoE) interface is another great feature that delivers power to the enclosed equipment where power sources are limited, plus it provides additional surge protection for internal PoE compatible equipment.

 

Many applications can benefit from the use of an industrial enclosure, and while the details might vary, they all share a similar set of requirements that include being able to operate under exceedingly harsh conditions that include exposure to corrosive chemicals, extreme temperatures and more. Some of these applications include industrial automation, oil and gas, and transportation. Rugged, industrial enclosures are also ideal for security and automation applications such as access controls, fire alarms, video surveillance equipment and building automation.  Indoor and outdoor enclosures can be used in a variety of locations to protect equipment, including cell towers and rooftops, open-access basements, telecom closets, shopping centers and factories.

 

Overall, industrial enclosures are a great way to keep expensive equipment safe. In almost any application, and even in the harshest conditions, they provide a level of security that is unmatched. To take a look at L-com’s complete, comprehensive line of industrial enclosures, click here.

 

Case Study: Union Electrica

September 27, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

Union Electrica, a systems design and installation services company based in Uruguay and servicing all of Latin America, won a large contract with the city of Medellin, Columbia. They were tasked with the challenge of deploying a WiMAX network that connected more than 1,200 subscriber points, but they needed help. Fortunately, L-com had the perfect solution.

 

To successfully complete the WiMAX network rollout in Medellin, Union Electronica needed a system that would support the 3.5 GHz frequency with a focused directional wireless connection that could perform in all weather conditions. They also required low-loss cables and lightning and surge protectors to complete the installation.

 

L-com was able to fulfill all of Union Electrica’s network requirements with a 3.5 GHz antenna that was compact, minimized interference, supported vertical or horizontal polarization and featured a 25° beamwidth.

 

The L-com team also provided low-loss coaxial cable assemblies, surge protectors and COTS antennas and accessories, all of which were in-stock and available for immediate shipment to fulfill the accelerated installation schedule.

 

In the end, with the help of L-com, Union Electrica was able to successfully deliver a high-speed WiMAX network to the city of Medellin while meeting all budget and installation deadline requirements.

 

To read the entire case study click here.

 

Smart Homes - The Future is Here

September 20, 2018 at 10:00 AM

 

Long ago, the idea of a home having the technology to be interactive was only a possibility in a Hollywood production or sci-fi novel. But those days are gone, the future is here and smart homes have moved from the realm of fantasy to an endless world of possibility. With the development of the Internet of Things (IoT), the world in general is becoming smarter and safer, and that includes our homes. Here, we’ll take a look at the technology behind the innovation bringing technological magic to your home.

 

First, what is a smart home? A smart home is automated, much in the way your coffee pot or your air conditioner are automated to turn on at a certain time or temperature. But a smart home takes that one step further by connecting all of those automated devices in your home through a wireless network, they are then able to be monitoring and programmed from one device. It is that communication with the devices that makes it smart. The devices in a smart home all rely on connectors and sensors to transmit and relay signals. Most wireless home automation uses low-power equipment so that power supply is not an issue.

 

To connect all of these devices, a combination of long and short-range wireless communication protocols is used, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ANT and ZigBee. With this technology, along with smartphones and tablets, we are now able to connect a multitude of devices within the home, this includes TVs, heating and cooling systems, lighting, appliances, security systems and cameras, or anything else that can be connected to the network. Plus, the communication to these devices is not distance limited, meaning you can control or change your thermostat while you’re at work or traveling using WAN connectivity via a router. Many new homes are being constructed with this technology built-in, older homes can be retrofitted with smart technologies and there are devices from companies like Google and Amazon that will connect to many electronics within your home.

 

Why would someone want a smart home? For one, it can make life a lot easier. Being able to control the devices within your home from your smartphone is super convenient. There is also an additional level of safety added when you’re able to monitor your home through a connected security network. Video cameras can provide surveillance in and around the home, with smart locks you can allow repairmen into your home and you are able to monitor when children get home from school. For people with disabilities or limited movement, smart homes that allow them to manage the home environment from a single, mobile device can make life much easier. In addition to safety, smart homes can be very energy efficient, which is good for the environment. Being able to control the thermostat remotely and turn lights and appliances on or off can be a great way to save energy.

 

With the growth of the IoT and more things becoming connected, it is no wonder that this would apply to our homes as well. Not only do smart homes provide convenience, they can also be good for the environment and give assistance to the disabled. Lucky for us, we no longer have to wait for the home of the future, the future is now. 

 

Cabling in Medical Devices

September 13, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

When we think of cabling, we usually think of data and communications and networking, but there are all types of industries and applications that use cabling. The medical field is one of those industries that is increasingly using technology in medical devices, and wiring and cabling have been a large component in the growth of those technological advancements.

 

There are many medical devices that are dependent on interconnect components such as cabling, but unlike cabling used for a communications network, the requirements for medical device cables are somewhat unique. Medical devices cables must be extremely flexible and withstand repeated flexing. They also have to meet stringent regulated safety guidelines that vary depending on what type of device the cable will be used in and how/if it will come in contact with the patient. In addition to constant flexing and safety requirements, these cables also must be able to withstand constant sterilization processes, which include autoclave, gamma and exposure to chemicals and solvents.  

 

Another challenge of medical device cabling is keeping up with devices as they get smaller. For example, MRI machines now fit into a single room, ultrasound machines are now portable on mobile carts and consumer medical devices are handheld. The miniaturization of medical devices has many benefits including increased mobility and diagnostic capabilities, lower power requirements and less distance from the patient. Plus, the miniaturization of cables in these devices results in less cabling weight which makes maneuvering the cables around the patient easier. It also allows for greater flexibility since cabling with a smaller diameter can be tightly bent and still retain the recommended minimum bend radius.

 

Some of the most important cable factors to consider when it comes to cabling in medical devices are reliability, cable jacket, mating design and connector type. When it comes to people’s health, the reliability of a cable can be the difference between life and death. If cables are working properly or the connections aren’t reliable, devices can malfunction and that can cause great harm. With that in mind, cable connectors have to be properly mated, which can be made easier with the use of color-coding or keyed connectors. Plus, cables with alternative contact designs, such as hyperboloid, are good solutions to avoid issues with contact design, and plug-and-play connectors simplify the task of connecting different pieces of equipment. Lastly, selecting the proper cable jacket, whether it needs to be flexible, insulated or able to withstand a corrosive environment is critical to the overall operation of any cable.

 

The medical industry can be a demanding environment for cabling, and there are many requirements to consider, but as this is an industry with technology that is constantly advancing, and so will the need for cables. 

 

411 on Near-Field Communications (NFC)

September 6, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

In this wild world of wireless technology, more and more short range communications standards are being introduced to support all of those wireless devices. As the name suggests, short range communication standards transmit over shorter distances than long range technologies, but they are still quite capable and are ideal for specialized applications. One standard in this short range category is near-field communications (NFC), used for communication between devices and secure payment applications like Apple Pay. In this post we’ll explore all you need to know about NFC and how it might replace your wallet.

 

NFC It is an ultra-short-range technology created for contactless communication between devices. It can be used with phones, tablets and laptops to share data with other NFC-enabled devices. It allows two-way communication without the use of Wi-Fi, 3G, LTE or any other wireless connection. Developed from radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, NFC is similar in that it uses radio waves, but is limited to approximately 4 inches of communication distance, which is largely viewed as a security benefit and is helping to boost the popularity of NFC. One of the most popular uses is for secure payment applications, like Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay, which transmit mobile payments that are dynamically encrypted.

 

NFC operates on the 13.56 MHz ISM frequency and unlike other short range communications like Bluetooth, NFC doesn’t require any device discovery or pairing to begin transferring data. With NFC, a connection is immediately established when another NFC-enabled device is within the 4-inch operating range. Once a contactless transaction is initiated, the NFC reader and device pass encrypted information back and forth to complete the process in mere seconds – making it not only easy, but much faster than conventional payment and data transfer options.

 

In addition to secure payment applications, there are other uses for the technology too. NFC can be used to transfer lots of other data between NFC-equipped devices. This includes sending a phone number, picture or document, sharing directions, launching an app on someone else’s phone and connecting with NFC tags (small, physical tags that contain NFC chips).

 

With the ease of use and convenience of NFC, soon we might need cash, cards or a wallet much less than we do now, if at all. Even more convenient is the fact that NFC is already installed in many smart phones. For a complete list of NFC-equipped devices, check out this list from NFC world.

  

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