Exploring the Impact Enclosures Can Have on Designs

As designers and engineers try to gain an edge in increasingly competitive markets, they’re starting to look beyond semiconductors and printed boards. A growing number of design teams are looking at enclosures, which can have an impact on reliability.

IPC is providing some help for designers in the newly released IPC-2221B, Generic Standard on Printed Board Design. For the first time, this basic design document includes a section on board housings. It’s one of many new sections in one of IPC’s most popular design standard.

“The type of box that’s used, whether it’s ventilated or not, can make a huge impact on the design side,” said John Perry, IPC technical project manager. “If there’s no ventilation, you don’t want to put high power devices that run hot near each other. They have to be spread out to maximize thermal radiation. Often, they should go near the edges so heat can be carried out through the chassis, thus thermal conductivity paths are minimized.”

This information for designers is being augmented by IPC’s new focus on enclosures, and is being addressed by a number of specifications generally called the box build documents. The first of these, IPC-HDBK-630, Guidelines for Design, Manufacture, Inspection, and Testing of Electronic Enclosures, is nearing completion.

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