Pittsburgh, March 3, 2015 — Products to be used in rugged environments ranging from industrial to outdoor to medical have one clear thing in common – the need for toughness and durability. This is the “real-world” situation InHand Electronics faced when developing its own Hydra-F6™ tablet and the display unit for the Praemittias Systems’ Wolfhound Cooperative Radio Direction Finding System® (Wolfhound).
“For our rugged tablet and radio system we required a commercially available material that was durable, moldable, resistant to chemicals and withstood impact testing,” explained Tien Chuang, senior mechanical engineer, InHand Electronics, Inc. “We found what we were looking for in Makrolon® 9415 polycarbonate from Bayer MaterialScience.”
Makrolon® 9415 polycarbonate is an easy-release, high-viscosity and flame-retardant grade. It is 10 percent glass-fiber reinforced and meets UL 94 V-0 rating at 1.5 mm and 5VA rating at 3.0 mm. This material was originally used by InHand Electronics in 2011 for its earlier-generation T3 model and provides superior performance in multiple industries due to its light weight, durability and good thermal properties.
“We worked with InHand for about a year to identify the right material for the job,” said Anthony Leo, field market development, Polycarbonates – Northeast, Bayer MaterialScience LLC. “Bayer provided InHand with information regarding material properties and assisted with color matching and standards compliance.”
Standards compliance was an important consideration when developing the Hydra-F6™ tablet. The device offers the versatility and portability of a consumer tablet with the durability and long production life of a MIL-SPEC mobile device. With a size of 8.42 inches by 5.92 inches by 0.98 inches and weighing 1.5 pounds, the tablet meets challenging MIL-STD-810G, MIL-STD-461F and IP67 environmental requirements. The housing, molded from Makrolon® 9415 polycarbonate, borders the 7-inch WSVGA sunlight-readable display with touchscreen, brightness control and automatic display rotation. It is available as a commercial, off-the-shelf tablet, or it can be semi or fully customized for application-specific needs.
InHand created a handheld display head for the Wolfhound device. The display head provides a touch-screen LCD in a durable, lightweight package tethered to the main Wolfhound unit, enabling users to easily interact with the system while in environmentally harsh (e.g. wet, hot, cold, humid and/or dirty) conditions. Incorporating an integral GPS for geolocation, the system detects signals of interest and visualizes the information on the handheld display.
The Wolfhound display head required a lightweight material (for portability) that was also tough and satisfied MIL-SPECs. To help achieve this, the display head relies on the superior properties of Makrolon® 9415 polycarbonate.
“These applications benefit from the customization options and outstanding toughness of the polycarbonate, as well as its processability,” said Kevin Dunay, market segment manager, Electrical, IT & Appliance, Polycarbonates – North America, Bayer MaterialScience LLC. “With the injection molding process, InHand had various options for the geometry of the final product design. This design freedom was another important consideration for selecting Makrolon® plastic.”
About Bayer MaterialScience LLC:
With 2014 sales of EUR 11.7 billion, Bayer MaterialScience is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and sports and leisure industries. Bayer MaterialScience has 30 production sites around the globe and employed approximately 14,200 people at the end of 2014. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company. Sustainability is central to the company‘s business and is based around the key areas of innovation, product stewardship, social responsibility and respect for the environment.
About InHand Electronics, Inc.:
InHand Electronics, Inc. is an original design manufacturer of single board computers and rugged handhelds for original equipment manufacturers. InHand’s products are used in a variety of markets including: military, healthcare, industrial, entertainment, and instrumentation. Products feature industry-leading technologies such as: Freescale, Intel, Texas Instruments, and Marvell processors and Android, Linux, Ubuntu, and Microsoft operating systems. InHand offers engineering design services (system, hardware, software, and packaging) along with support services (product manufacturing, program management, manufacturing test development, and supply chain) to assure on-time and on-quality product delivery. InHand offers commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) computing platforms, as well as modified COTS design services to customize electronic product solutions. InHand is an ITAR registered company. InHand products are designed and assembled in the USA. The company’s headquarters are located along the I-270 Technology Corridor in Rockville, Maryland.
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