Innovative Engineering Solution Videos

Converting NIS Routers from AC to DC (The Problem - Part 1 of 3)

Hi, I’m Steven Powers, President of Curtis Industries. I’m here to introduce the first in a series of 3 videos on engineered solutions for terminal block applications. This first video will show the design challenge our custom engineering team faced when a global 100 company needed to convert its Network Integrated Services (NIS) routers from AC input to a DC power interface. The second video will present the solution, and the third video will show you how that solution was implemented.

Curtis Industries makes Terminal Blocks, EMI/RFI filters, and related electrical components for a variety of industries. Filter Networks, a division of Curtis Industries provides similar products and services for the US Military.

One particular customer posed a major challenge to us recently. They needed to convert the AC power input module used on their NIS routers to a DC power interface. In addition, the new interface could not be any larger than the AC power module. Further, the project had to meet strict international safety and environmental compliance standards. The customer solicited bids from 12 different companies, 11 of them said no to the project. They either would not, or could not even bid on it. Curtis embraced the challenge.

The DC power interface module required a 3-terminal, 40 amp DC power input connection with a signal-level power switch and a LED indicator. That part was easy. The hard part was fitting all this into the same 36mm x 58mm footprint of the power entry module used on the AC version. Technical and environmental requirements were a challenge.

The terminals had to accept standard 8 gage wires with lugs and had to be finger safe. In addition the design had to meet UL, CSA, IEC and CCC safety requirements. An environmental or green compliance required multiple certifications at all levels on the supply chain. But more on that during our 2nd video in this series. It’s no wonder no one else wanted to bid on the project. But this is the kind of task that Curtis Industries thrives on. We love a challenge.

Whether developing a new power input to fit in a tiny space or customizing an EMI filter for extreme insertion laws, Curtis engineers examine the problem, offer innovative solutions, create prototypes, test it to meet all technical requirements, and then we manufacture your products exactly to your specifications. Now, join us for the second video in our series to learn how we solved this seemingly unsolvable problem.

Converting NIS Routers from AC to DC (The Solution - Part 2 of 3)

Hi, I’m Steven Powers, President of Curtis Industries. This video is the second in a series of 3 videos on an engineered solution that we developed for a unique terminal block.

The first video presented the design challenge our engineering team faced when a global 100 company needed to supplement its offering of NIS routers with DC powered versions. This second video will show you how the Curtis engineers developed a workable solution and all the hoops they had to jump through along the way. The third video in this series will show you how that solution was implemented.

Curtis Industries makes Terminal Blocks, EMI/RFI Filters and related electrical components for a variety of industries. Filter Networks, a division of Curtis Industries provides similar products and services for the US Military. When the global 100 company wanted to adapt their AC power entry module to a DC powered interface, they quickly learned that there were no standard off-the-shelf products that met their requirements. There weren’t even any products that could be modified.

Compliance with green procurement requirements made it even more difficult to find an existing source. So, the Curtis team went to work. The goal was to meet or exceed the customer’s stringent requirements. During the design process numerous revisions were made to the specifications. In fact, over 30 design variations were submitted to the customer for consideration and evaluation. Once the team developed a viable solution, prototypes were put through a variety of tests.

One of the most crucial was the thermal analysis. By proper selection of the conductor materials, plating, terminals, and hardware, Curtis was able to maximize the electrical efficiencies and thereby minimize the thermal output. Oh, and all the parts had to meet green procurement requirements too. We used plasma testing to verify material content. We got certifications from all the plastics materials suppliers, we researched and certified that all materials met green compliance standards, and in the case of the tin plating’s certified that the raw materials originated in non-conflict regions of the world.

Any time the team ran into a snag, and there were many, they kicked it up another notch and found the workable solution. Most importantly, the DC power interface module terminals, power switch and LED indicator all had to fit in the same space as the AC power entry module, just 36x58mm, about the size of a 9 volt battery. Well, they did it. Curtis engineers designed a 3-pole wire entry module with a rocker switch, LED power indicator, and a finger safe cover that exceeded all NEBs telecommunications equipment requirements. And here’s the best part. The whole thing was designed so that it mounted into a punched sheet metal opening with two tamper-proof hidden screws. It looks pretty ordinary doesn’t it. And that’s the point. It’s supposed to look like the same AC power module it replaced. Well, it may look ordinary but it functions extraordinarily well.

Now, join us for the third video in our series to learn how we built this custom terminal block.

Converting NIS Routers from AC to DC (The Implementation - Part 3 of 3)

 

Hi, I’m Steven Powers, President of Curtis Industries. I’m here to introduce this, the last in a series of 3 videos on an engineered solution for an unusual terminal block. The first video showed the design challenge our custom engineering team faced when a global 100 company needed to offer a DC powered version of their AC powered NIS services routers. The second video demonstrated how the Curtis engineers developed a workable solution and all the difficulties they experienced along the way. The third video in the series will show you how that solution was implemented.

Curtis Industries makes Terminal Blocks, EMI/RFI Filters and related electrical components for a variety of industries. Filter Networks, a division of Curtis Industries provides similar products and services for the US Military. When a global 100 company wanted to adapt their AC power entry module to a DC powered interface, Curtis Industries was the only company in the world that was willing and able to take on the task.

Not only did the new power supply interface have to fit in a small space, it had to meet customer environmental compliance standards far more rigorous than the widely adopted international certifications for green manufacturing.

The process stretched over several weeks as new designs were submitted and modified, prototypes made and modified, materials sourced and certifications obtained. The result was the perfect blend of ingenuity and innovation.

The DC power interface meets all requirements for green compliance and meets all UL, CSA, and European safety standards and it fits in the tiny space where the AC powered interface used to be. Then it was on to production. The tooling came from China, and raw materials were certified to originate in non-conflict regions of the world. Other parts came from a variety of countries around the world. Each had to be certified for green compliance. It all came together in our plan in Nogales, Mexico. To meet the customer’s cosmetic requirement, we even purchased a special machine used to print raised white letters on the plastic parts.

Curtis’ rigid quality control standards assure a flawless product every time. Each cell station inspects the product before it moves to the next station, and there is another inspector at the final assembly, all documented according to ISO standards and certified according to the CSA requirements. The result? A happy customer, that’s our number one goal, satisfied customers. No, more than that. Elated customers. This global 100 company came to us with a problem no other company could or would attempt to solve, and Curtis solved it. Our engineering team created an innovative solution that allowed our customer to expand their offering of NIS routers with a DC powered version that meets all international safety requirements while preserving our planet.

If you need an innovative solution, call us or visit our website at curtisind.com. I’m Steven Powers for Curtis Industries, thank you for joining me.

Curtis Industries Trade Show

Trade Show Video Summary

The annual IEEE EMC symposium was located in Long Beach, CA, where Curtis Industries CEO Steven Powers met with Espresso TV to discuss some of Curtis’ latest developments and ongoing projects. Curtis Industries had an assortment of custom electrical components on display, including a custom DC connection with a LED indicator. The custom DC connector was produced for a large telecom manufacturer.

Espresso TV was impressed with the small size of our 32 amp. Curtis Industries specializes in high-amp capabilities in small packages. We pride ourselves on custom manufactured products. Many of the pieces on display are unique and unlike anything you will find from other manufacturers.

In addition to producing only the highest-quality products, Curtis Industries also has a fast turnaround time. Typically, after receiving information and specifications from a client, our team of experienced engineers will have a preliminary design ready within 1-2 weeks. After approval, a prototype is delivered in approximately 4-6 weeks. As short lead times become more critical, Curtis has consistently exceeded customer expectations, producing high-quality products within set timeframes. Commitment to customer satisfaction is what sets Curtis Industries apart from the competition.