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All Rugged Computers Rugged Rack Mount Servers General Industries Technology
What is a rugged computer?

A rugged computer is a computer specifically designed and built to function in harsh environments. Examples of harsh environmental conditions include extreme temperatures (both hot and cold), strong shock and vibration, dust and water, and noise (EMI/EMC). Rugged computers are essential for any mission-critical application under these conditions. “Ruggedizing” a computer ensures that it will be able to not only survive but thrive. Systel’s proprietary 10 Point Survivor Technology has been developed and fine-tuned for over 25 years to consistently engineer and build our extensive line of rugged computers for maximum performance and reliability.

What are the important considerations when determining which rugged rack mount server is best suited for my requirements?

Rack mount servers and workstations are computers designed to be installed in an equipment rack which generally consists of multiple servers stacked on top of each other. Critical considerations include height, depth, and configuration.

Height is indicated in factors of “u” with 1U, 2U, 3U, and 4U being the most common heights where “U” = 1.75 inches and the number in front is the multiplier. Thus, 1U rack mounts are 1.75 inches in height, 2U are 3.5 inches, 3U are 5.25 inches, and 4U are 7 inches tall.

The depth of the rack plays a large factor in qualifying which chassis will work per situation. Systel excels at designing short depth systems for our “Space Saver Series” that deliver maximum performance in situations where space is at a premium. We offer small footprint servers starting at 13” depth for space constrained environments.

Each application we encounter requires a unique configuration. We work in partnership with the customer in order to provide the right configuration that exactly meets their requirements and specifications.

Finding the right combination of height, depth, and configuration can often result in extreme design challenges. Situations where chassis height and depth are severely limited but configurations need to be robust (multiple graphics cards, large amounts of storage, multiple CPUs, etc.) can strain the limits of physics. Our sales and engineering teams pride themselves on make the impossible possible through our expertise, experience, and technology partnerships with companies such as Intel, NVIDIA, and SuperMicro.

What industries/markets does Systel serve?

Systel serves a wide variety of industries including Defense, Oil and Gas, and Process Automation, with our rugged systems deployed worldwide. Systel also provides rugged solutions for other markets such as Law Enforcement, Medical, Robotics, and Transportation.


Why do I need a rugged computer vs. an industrial computer?

One of the biggest challenges with putting a computer in the field is the environment. Missions can take place in winter in Alaska, summer in Kandahar, or anywhere in between. The environmental differences can be drastic from job to job. Sites are consistently remote and reachable only via off-road vehicles which encounter a large amount of shock and vibration navigating the tough terrain. Between extreme temperatures (both hot and cold), shock and vibration, dust, and electro-magnetic interference (EMI), it is very easy to have equipment failure with standard computer systems.

Non-rugged or industrial computers such as desktops and laptops do not have measures inherent to their designs to protect the electronics, and thus the failure rates of these computers in the field are typically very high. The only way to ensure that a computer will be able to excel in harsh environments for mission-critical applications is to ruggedize it. When an hour of downtime can cost a company hundreds of thousands of dollars or put lives at risk in battle situations, the benefits of rugged computers vs. industrial computers far outweigh any difference in price. The additional upfront cost you incur with a rugged solution is exponentially recouped throughout the life of the system.

Where do you build your computers?

All Systel rugged computers are designed, manufactured, and tested in the USA at our headquarters located in Sugar Land, Texas.

Why should I choose Systel for my rugged computer needs?
Systel has a 25-year track record of excellence and is the market leader in rugged computing. Systel is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company with systems deployed worldwide for mission-critical applications in a wider variety of industries. All Systel products are optimized for continuous operation under extreme environmental conditions and all Systel products are designed, manufactured, and tested in the USA.

We pride ourselves on our customer service and are committed to 100% on-time delivery with zero errors on every unit we ship. Some of Systel’s key services and support include:
• Minimal NRE Charges
• Minimal MOQ Request
• Master Scheduling
• Configuration and EOL Management at no Additional Cost
• Custom Image Load
• Noise (db) / CFD / Airflow Analysis
Shock / Vibration / Thermal Testing
Our Engineering team is comprised of industry veterans with extensive mechanical and electrical design experience. We offer industry-leading thermal technology to cool our systems and perform extensive CFD analysis on each unit. We can provide the following data upon customer request:
• MTBF
• Dimensional Drawings
• Power Consumption
• Test Data
• Heat/Airflow Analysis
Whether it is a clean sheet design or a redesign of an existing COTS product, Systel Inc. has the expertise and resources to accommodate the most demanding requirements. From the routing of the cables to our unique hold-down mechanism for boards, memory, and processors our attention to detail is evident throughout the design and manufacturing process. We provide dock-to-stock solutions and we routinely integrate, test, and burn-in customer specified add-in boards and software. Systel is a local Certified Minority Business Enterprise company and has emerged as the leader in system design and integration of rugged COTS and custom computers and displays.

What testing do your products go through?

Systel’s rugged computers are designed to meet or exceed the following specifications:

MIL-STD- 810G: Shock and Vibration
MIL-S-901D Grade A: Shock Testing for Shipboard Equipment (Navy Barge Test)
MIL-STD-461 E/F: Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)
MIL-STD-167: Mechanical Vibration of Shipboard Equipment
MIL-STD-704F: Standardized Power Interface between Military Aircraft and Equipment
MIL-STD-1553/ARINC-429: Military and Commercial Serial Bus Standard
DO-160G: Avionics Hardware Environmental Testing
IP67: Dust and Water Ingress Protection
Class 1 Division 2: Hazardous Location
Systel offers extensive testing capabilities in-house. All Systel computers go through a 24-hour computer controlled burn-in period at 50°C with full diagnostics to identify and eliminate infant mortality. For certain applications the burn-in process is extended to 48-72 hours. We also offer extended temperature testing (both hot and cold) if required. Our shock and vibration table is equipped to handle the most stringent and demanding profiles for all three axes.

We work with trusted partners for more extensive testing including DO-160, EMI, MIL-S-901D “Barge Test”, and Halt testing.

I don’t see a particular computer configuration on your website. Can you still help me?
Systel has been designing and manufacturing custom and COTS rugged computers for over 25 years.  Our Sales, Engineering, and Manufacturing teams excel at designing and building CUSTOM solutions for specific requirements and applications.  We work closely with each customer throughout the sales and product life cycles to guarantee the optimal end result.
Does Systel sell to international customers?
Systel’s rugged computer systems are deployed worldwide. While our primary business is conducted in the USA, we have extensive experience in numerous international markets including Canada, Mexico, South America, the EU, the Middle East, and Australia.
Can Systel provide a demo system for evaluation and testing?
We are happy to provide demo units upon request on a case by case basis. For more information or to request a demo, please contact a Systel Sales team member directly at 1-888-645-8400 or email sales@systelusa.com.