Case Study: Performance Motion Devices

December 6, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

Performance Motion Devices (PMD) is a global leader in the arena of motion control ICs, drives, cards and software. They specialize in supplying OEM customers with high-performance, cost-effective motion systems for medical devices, robotics, test instrumentation and industrial automation industries, to mention a few.

 

The company was in need of a new supplier for a 100-position SCSI cable used with one of their motion controller interface cards after their current supplier increased pricing. This type of cable is not only uncommon, it’s also difficult to build, but PMD needed the cables quickly and needed them to meet the company’s cost and technical requirements. Luckily, L-com was just the manufacturing partner for the job.

 

L-com’s engineering team got to work and was able to quickly and successfully design a custom 100-Position SCSI interface cable with a rugged, molded back-shell. They were even able to add a few design tweaks to make the cables’ appearance more appealing. Plus, the team at L-com was able to meet all of PMD’s design requirements in the time frame given and on budget. Overall, this project was a successful study in how L-com’s engineering and Product Management teams were capable of stepping up to meet the challenge to fulfill their customers’ needs.

 

To read the entire case study click here.

 

5 Tips for Building a Modern Data Center

November 8, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

The world of technology is always changing, and the same goes for data centers too. Data centers play a critical role in networking and have evolved to allow businesses better access to their data with improved usability while being easier to manage. Now, they must also adapt to be cost-effective, efficient and responsive with the technology they support. Accelerating business demands beg for more storage and resources, and new technologies require improved infrastructure. Gone are the days of bigger is better, what we need now are smarter, more efficient, easier to manage and scalable data centers. Here are 5 ways to usher in the modernization of the data center:

 

1.      Make Appliances Multi-Task

 

Instead of having dedicated resources for only one purpose, combining the computing and storage capabilities of devices into one makes data centers more economical and efficient.  This allows the data center to be designed with a single tier that can fulfill all of the server and storage needs of any application. Plus, it improves scalability without acquiring additional or specialized equipment.

 

2.      Flexibility is Key

 

Being nimble and flexible are important qualities to have in today’s world of technology, and that applies to data centers too. A modular data center design is more flexible, simpler and allows for easy additions/removals as needed, which allows for better management of resources. One approach that’s gaining traction is combining storage and computing tiers into a single appliance (as referenced in tip #1), the overall data center design is streamlined  into a single console which makes management easier than ever.

 

3.      Consumer Focus

 

In addition to multi-tasking and flexibility, data centers also have to be more resilient and reliable than before. Today’s data centers have to support traditional technology as well as newer virtual desktops infrastructures (VDI) and mobile devices. This has led to a more consumer-focused approach that allows employees to access desktops, applications and data from within the data center via any device, anywhere. This modern approach also allows IT admins to better manage a rage of consumer-based workload demands as well as VDI systems, storage data services and existing virtual applications.

 

4.      Cloud Fusion

 

To be able to keep essential business applications safe within a private data center, while also being able to access the public cloud for other things, hybrid clouds are the way to go. Hybrid cloud environments are able to offer the best of both worlds by fusing the public cloud benefits of on-demand resource-sharing with multiple users, with the security, service and performance of private clouds. It’s a win-win.

 

5.      Continuation of Service

 

Most data centers have a plan for disaster recovery, but what about an interruption of service or latency issue? Users are accustomed to being able to access their data quickly and whenever they need it, a connection slowdown, or complete shutdown, can lead to employees using unauthorized cloud-based services. Thus, in addition to a disaster recovery, admins should have a plan to provide service continuity as well. This means designing data centers to be easily available with high-bandwidth and low round-trip times. Distributing applications across multiple sites, geographic regions or data centers can also be helpful, plus it improves scalability and performance.

 

As with everything in the world of technology, there are always upgrades to be made, and data centers are not immune to the need for improvement. With a few tweaks and a slightly different perspective, data centers can modernize their operations to best support the needs of today’s users.

 

802.3bu - Power Over Data Lines (PoDL)

October 25, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

In the realm of IEEE standards, 802.3 has some pretty good tricks up its sleeve. There is 802.3bt which expanded the capabilities of Power over Ethernet (PoE), 802.3bv brought you Power over Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) and 802.3bz which delivers 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps speeds data over copper. Now, the IEEE has unveiled 802.3bu – a standard for Power over Data Lines (PoDL).

 

Initially, single-pair Ethernet was created to help meet a demand in the automotive industry for Ethernet connectivity in vehicles. 802.3bu defines the specifications and standards for delivering power over single twisted-pair to connect Data Terminal Equipment (DTE) with IEEE 803.2 interfaces. This standard also extends the wattage range to up to 60 Watts of power, which is more power over a single cable than the PoE standards 802.3af and 803.2bt. With this PoDL standard, the most recent physical layers of single twisted-pair Ethernet are supported, including 100BASE-T1 and 1000BASE-T1, while using unshielded twisted-pair cables. This results in a lower cost and lighter weight solution, which is always good news. It is targeted for use in automotive, industrial automation, air and rail transportation, and other applications that use 100BASE-T1, 1000BASE-T1 or any single-pair data or non-data entity protocol. The IEEE 802.3bu standard also opens itself up for the possibility of additional applications across a variety of industries in need of solutions to adapt to the Internet of Things (IoT) expansion.

 

The goal of the 802.3bu standard is to specify a power distribution technique for use over a single twisted-pair cable that will allow for operation if data is not present. This standard is designed to deliver power that supports multiple voltages and classes of power at each voltage level. Plus, it has the capability of fault protection and detection to identify device signatures and communicate directly with devices to ensure precise and safe power delivery. PoDL supports fast startup operation with predetermined voltage configurations and the option of operation with run-time voltage configuration. It ensures compatibility with the IEEE 802.3bp standard. However, it is not compatible with Ethernet applications that operate over 2 or 4-pairs of twisted-pair cable.

 

With the introduction of 802.3bu PoDL, not only is the wattage delivery increased and intuitive, the possibilities of power delivery are increased as well.

 

Hangin' Tough - Armored Cables

October 11, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

When your cables need serious protection and the ability to stand up to the toughest conditions, an armored jacket might be the perfect solution. Armored cables are cables with a metal or plastic covering that provides a layer of protection that is much stronger than any traditional type of cable jacket. This suit of armor makes the cables extra tough and durable, now let’s take a look at just how tough they are.

 

The rugged characteristics of armored cables make them ideal for outdoor, industrial and military applications where these features are of the upmost importance. This includes factory automation, manufacturing and chemical and petroleum processing networks.

 

One of the biggest advantages of armored cables is there crush resistance rating. L-com’s metal armored cables offer a crush resistance of up to 1,500 PSI

which makes them well suited for just about any military or industrial application. Additionally these cables feature stainless steel armor that stands up to corrosion often found in extreme environments.

 

Plastic armor, although not as rugged as metal armor, offers an extra level of crush and abrasion resistance

when compared to non-armored cable jackets. L-com’s plastic armored cables feature a crush resistance of up 800PSI.

 

Even with all that armor, these cables are still capable of high speed transmission rates. Plus, they are offered in multiple varieties to suit a wide range of applications, including armored Ethernet, armored USB, armored HDMI, armored D-sub and armored DVI cable assemblies.

 

No doubt, armored cables are tough enough to withstand the abuse that might be faced in harsh environments and rugged conditions, and if you don’t believe us, watch this.

 

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.

 

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