Rockville, MD (November 19, 2014) – SECO USA, a leading original design manufacturer of low-power embedded systems and custom device designs for has created circuitry and software incorporated into intrinsically safe (IS) products. This achievement marks a first for the company, who specializes in rugged mobile device solutions. An IS device is designed and certified to be incapable of producing heat or sparks sufficient to ignite in an explosive atmosphere. SECO USA utilized their specialized expertise to employ a variety of hardware and software techniques in designing the IS circuitry. The outcome was a successful handheld device design ready for industrial deployment, safe in explosive atmospheres.
Several different agencies develop standards for intrinsic safety and evaluate products for compliance with standards. In North America, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) provides the key standard. In the European Union, the ATEX directive is required. Certifying agencies have specific compliance and certification guidelines for products to meet and qualification tests to pass before they can be stamped and labeled as compliant. To achieve this certification and level of protection/functionality for an electronic device, there are multiple technical challenges to overcome. Key areas include: eliminating components or circuits that produce internal sparks, controlling component peak temperatures to ensure that they cannot be sources of ignition, and spacing components and printed circuit board (PCB) traces to prevent arcing under all operational conditions. Other hardware, software, and manufacturing techniques were implemented to produce the intrinsically safe circuitry. SECO USA’s product design process facilitated component selection, circuit design/layout, software architectures, and manufacturing methods that together enabled the device to pass difficult UL and ATEX certifications.
“Passing this kind of certification is extremely complicated and we’re proud to have accomplished this task,” stated Mark Price, SECO USA Chief Operating Officer. “For years we’ve gone through MIL-SPEC testing, but the intrinsically safe guidelines were an added challenge. This first time IS certification exemplified the distinct and refined level of skill present within our engineering staff, as well as the robustness of our processes. We look forward to creating more custom rugged and intrinsically safe devices in the future.”
SECO USA, Inc. is an original design manufacturer of single board computers and rugged handhelds for original equipment manufacturers. SECO USA’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. SECO USA 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. SECO USA offers commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) computing platforms, as well as modified COTS design services to customize electronic product solutions. SECO USA is an ITAR registered company. SECO USA products are designed and assembled in the USA. The company’s headquarters are located along the I-270 Technology Corridor in Rockville, Maryland.For more information, visit seco-usa.com.