Rack Cases

A 19-inch rack case is a standardised frame or enclosure for mounting multiple electronic equipment modules stored within a protective housing. Each module has a front panel that is 19 inches (482.6 mm) wide hence the name 19’ rack case. The 19 inch dimension includes the edges that protrude from each side of the equipment, allowing the module to be fastened to the rack frame with screws.

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1U Rack Case Close up – ProTechnic
Rack units were established as a standard by AT&T in 1922 to reduce the space required for repeater and termination equipment in a telephone company central office. Today, Rack units are split down into various categories, one being cases.

These cases are designed to emulate rack cabinets in large electronic centres with the benefit of manoeuvrability. Many measurements of these cases, like the width and depth, are standardised. The height is designated in terms of ‘U’ where 1 U is equal to 1.75 inches (44.45 mm) or one rack unit in which electronic modules are often measured.

By 1934, it was an established standard with holes tapped for 12-24 screws with alternating spacings of 1.25 inches (31.75 mm) and 0.5 inches (12.70 mm). The EIA standard was revised again in 1992 to comply with the 1988 public law 100-418, setting the standard U as 15.875 mm (0.625 in) + 15.875 mm (0.625 in) + 12.7 mm (0.500 in), making each “U” 44.45 millimetres (1.75 in).

The 19-inch rack format has remained constant while the technology mounted within it has changed considerably, and the set of fields to which racks are applied has dramatically expanded. As a result, this case is now widely used within telecommunication, computing, audio, video, entertainment and other industries.
The first 19-inch rack cases were used to protect ATA (Air Transport Association of America) equipment. These cases typically have plywood sides laminated with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), extruded aluminium edges, steel corners and handles, and latches. Larger cases typically had wheels for easy transport. While these are still sold, we would view this as an outdated design with our updated version of a flight case which the original 19″ rack cases based on the EXOCase, providing a foundation for our own 19″ rack case.

In 1965, a durable fibre reinforced plastic 19-inch rackmount case was patented by ECS Composites and became widely used in military and commercial applications for electronic deployment and operation. State-of-the-art rackmount cases are also constructed of thermo stamped composite, carbon fibre, and Kevlar for demanding military and commercial uses.

The rack case is very strong and highly configurable. This design enables us to build cases that are suited to a wide range of applications. The rack cases can be made in a wide range of configurations to suit any components that you require.

With our Digital UV print facilities and a full range of panel colours available we are sure that our rack cases stand alone in terms of strength, durability and design. Our rack cases are extensively used in a vast range of applications across any sector including Oil & Gas, Offshore, Medical / NHS, Aerospace, Education, Motorsport, MOD, Laser Measurements (LIDAR), Satellite Communications, Scientific Instrumentation, Audia Visual, Computer Systems and much much more…

These rack cases are manufactured in compliance with the Air Transport Association ATA-300 regulations and the Electronic Industries Association EIA-310-D standard.

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