The co-creation of a rackmountable enclosure to be proud of

A company’s network security is more important than ever. With the growing adoption of network-based applications, such as cloud storage and remote monitoring, infiltrating these networks with malicious intent does more damage than can ever be imagined.

While network firewalls are around since the 1980s, technology on both sides of the connection evolves rapidly, and new ways to infiltrate private networks are discovered on a daily basis. As global data creation and data transportation also increases, the applied security hardware and software has to keep up with this trend, without sacrificing on response time, adaptability, and usability.

The Dutch company Deciso, a globally operating manufacturer of network security equipment and the founder of the OPNsense project, has more than a decade of experience in this field. They offer a range of high-end network security products and services for businesses, integrators and resellers.

Aware of the rising threads and growing demands in network security, Deciso’s engineers keep innovating and released a new family of firewalls with exceptional performances, fully tested and certified for the OPNsense environment: the DEC4200 family of rack security appliances.

The enclosure of this system is a co-creation between Deciso and the Smart Systems department of Batenburg Applied Technologies. Being involved in the development of previous generations of their rackmountable appliances, our engineers knew the challenges of housing custom hardware in a robust, yet compact and functional enclosure.

Smart Systems account manager Dennis Houtman: “This generation set the bar even higher for all involved parties, housing and cooling custom hardware in a compact and visually appealing 19 inch enclosure. And the final result is something to be proud of.”

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Batenburg Applied Technologies enclosure design and manufacturing for Deciso

Image: Final result of the co-creation between Deciso and Batenburg Applied Technologies.

The art of housing a high-end network security platform with attention to detail

External as well as internal, the design of the DEC4200 series distinguishes itself from related products in the market. The engineers of Deciso and Batenburg managed to cleverly add branding elements to the design of the unit, delivering a system where form and functionality are well-balanced. Colors, forms and patterns all represent the OPNsense and Deciso brand.

Key elements in the branding are the hexagon forms and patterns which are regularly used in the design of the housing. In multiple parts of the unit, these patterns not only serve a visual purpose, but are also used as a functional element.

For example, the handles of the housing are shaped as one half of a hexagon, and in the front and back of the unit the air intake and outlet is guided by a pattern of hexagons. Attention to details like these make a product like this stand out in a competing market, without compromising on industrial standards and system performances.

Batenburg Applied Technologies enclosure design and manufacturing for Deciso

Image: Hexagonal pattern used at the airflow inlet of the housing.

The advantage of working with a large family of innovative and local companies

At the heart of the DEC4200 security platform lies a state of the art embedded mainboard, designed and build with the same high quality as the housing. The electronics, slots and ports on the board are laid out in such a way that each component gets enough airflow despite the limited enclosure hight of just one rack unit, 43.8 millimetres to be exactly.

Cleverly designed airducts, placed at each fan, guide fresh air along the largest heat dissipating sections while regular airflow cools the other components. With just three low-dB fans, the entire unit is kept at ideal temperatures, even under load. Achieving this level of thermal management requires a continuous dialogue between the customer, enclosure manufacturer and PCB supplier, ideally starting early in the development phase.

The involvement of industrial electronics- and PCB manufacturer Batenburg Industriële Elektronica, also a member of the Batenburg family, made it a lot easier for all involved parties to realize and test a prototype within the set time period, quickly shifting gears to market-ready production. For product developing companies like Deciso, having multiple manufacturing partners under one roof brings significant benefits in terms of supply chain management, development and production time.

Image: Embedded mainboard, manufactured by Batenburg Industriële Elektronica in Neede.

Smart system enclosures as the shell for digital innovations and transitions

The final result of the Deciso DEC4200 series is a good representation of combined strengths in the Dutch manufacturing industry, where a growing number of businesses are looking for a way to create and apply digital innovations. Locally resourcing the required areas of expertise gives companies the opportunity to act fast when the foreseen applications or requirements change.

Batenburg Applied Technologies’ Smart Systems division is one of these examples. Always present at the centre of digital innovation, looking for new ways to merge innovative electronics with well build and tested enclosures, suited for their specific application and environment.

Jos Schellevis, CTO at Deciso: “Combining our efforts with multiple Batenburg companies made it possible to develop our latest generation of rack mountable network equipment in a short period of time. This is one of the key criteria’s for success stories in today’s rapidly changing and vital IT sector.”

In case of the Deciso project, it was a collaboration between multiple companies, each having their own disciplines and areas of expertise. We call this: innovation by co-creation. Jos Schellevis already had a solid idea of how the product should look like. The prototyping and finetuning of the enclosure were done at the guidance of Batenburg Applied Technologies, while the realization of the mainboard was outsourced to Batenburg Industriële Elektronica.

Batenburg Applied Technologies enclosure design and manufacturing for Deciso

Image: Airduct to improve airflow of the Deciso A30 enclosure.

Step in the next development phase of your Smart System with Batenburg

If this is not your companies’ scenario, it is also possible to share your ideas with our engineers and let them figure out all the steps needed to reach a market-ready product. With close internal ties to specialists in the fields of embedded modules, wireless communication, thermal management, and human-machine interfacing, the component selection, prototyping, testing, and assembly for your next Smart System are all supervised by one organization.

Smarter focus. Brighter tomorrow.

Deciso A30 Enclosure Desing by Batenbrug Applied Technologies

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Project video on YouTube