by Nathan Lake
Chenbro has been developing innovative enclosures for about 30 years. In 1986, Chenbro was the first to create a tower PC, and in 1993, it was the first to manufacture a case with a removable motherboard tray.
Research and development is the driving force behind Chenbro, and its clients include system integrators, OEM partners, and channel partners. Chenbro is a Taiwan and Taipei and subsidiaries in the United States, the Netherlands, UK, and Beijing. Chenbro has more than 1,400 employees, including 110 engineers that function as the company’s elite research and development team.
The devoted research and development team works hard to make ingenuity its top priority to provide you with technological breakthroughs. Just a few of the other highlights in Chenbro’s history include the first server case in 1988 and the first desktop/tower convertible case in 1995. All the while, Chenbro has been advancing its facilities to increase their flexibility, availability, and scalability. For example, in 1986, Chenbro established its first assembly line in Chung ho, and now there are several assembly lines throughout the various Chenbro facilities.
The Chenbro culture is equal parts service, research and development, and flexibility. Core competence with mass production combines the partnerships with today’s top industrial partners, including Intel, AMD, Asus, Tyan, Delta, FSP, and Sanyo, with co-design and product development to create partnerships that ensure a top-notch chassis.
The company’s flexibility is found within the modularization and seamless assembly goals. For instance, Chenbro development and design teams come up with definition and specs of a product, where it’s sent to product design for prototyping, testing, and manufacturing. And with design facilities that feature rapid prototyping, an EMI lab, a thermal lab, and a reliability lab, you can be assured that tooling and manufacturing will leave no stone unturned.
The end result is that Chenbro blends mechanical and electronic aspects into a single, modular product that’s designed to withstand shock, avoid heat problems, and run quiet.
The product development process at Chenbro goes all the way from product drawing to spec phase-in.
The product drawing stage encompasses a drawing review, prototyping, sample evaluation, and drawing freezing. Once a design is accepted, Chenbro moves on to tooling implementation and validation to ultimately create an approved sample. Chenbro’s design facilities include a rapid prototyping system that can quickly create limited production runs for form, fit, and function testing, which will enhance the efficiency and accuracy of the final design.
Chenbro has a thermal lab where it can perform a ventilation performance test and help ensure the stability of the whole system. All of the thermal test methods are duplicated from Intel. There’s an EMI lab that’s completely sealed to frequency test products from 1.5 to 5 GHz so the unit will comply with UL, CE, and FCC standards. Chenbro even runs drop and impact tests on products to make sure they can withstand accidents and remain sturdy during shipping. The high quality of workmanship ensures that the resulting product will not easily break down under normal wear and tear.
Chenbro has manufacturing factories in three locations: Kun Shan, Tang Xia, and Tao Yuan. The three factories feature special production lines for each of Chenbro’s product lines. For example, the Tang Xia factory includes facilities for stamping and injection, sheet metal and plastic painting or printing, and prototyping and soft tooling. The factories give Chenbro the ability to churn out thousands of products a month. Chenbro’s quality management system has been ISO 9001-certified , and the company’s safety management environment has been certified to the ISO 14001 standard.
Chenbro’s factories hold the precut raw materials for the products, and all the work is performed under the watchful eyes of Chenbro employees. For instance, the metal goes into a stamping production line where it’s inspected and checked for quality assurance. From there, the metal runs through a state-of-the-art laser cutter and numerical-controlled machine tool. Then, it’s bent to the fine and complex shape necessary for the enclosure. The metal pieces are fixed together by workers that hand rivet, spot weld, and projection weld the product. Workers then paint the cases, and they are baked to dry and harden the finish, which is then tested for quality. The plastics go through a similar process, and the combined pieces are put together in the final assembly process with a quality assurance check at each section of the assembly line.
Chenbro’s Custom Solution team can work with you to create a tailor-made enclosure to suit your needs, such as for the security, network, kiosk, healthcare, data centers, or military industries. Chenbro’s team offers design capabilities with both mechanical and electrical integration for the optimal chassis. The team provides service from concept to solution, and Chenbro will test all electronic and mechanical parts before the shipment. The design team will create the product in Pro-E 4.0, and you should have a mechanical drawing design within three to seven days. From there, Chenbro will provide a price evaluation and can move onto sample production, which should take between seven and 14 days. After a sample production is finished, you can evaluate the sample and Chenbro can finalize the configuration for mass production. The last step may take anywhere from 14 to 21 days.
That quick turnaround time means you won’t be waiting around for months to receive your custom-built cases. Chenbro focuses on NCT business, but it also works with ODMs and OEMs. Chenbro has experience working with clients to design solutions for networking, military, supercomputing, video streaming, and telecommunications applications, among others. The Custom Solution group has its own project management and engineer resources, so you can be sure that your custom work receives the full extent of CHenbro’s expertise.
Chenbro makes chassis for PCs, servers/workstations, rackmount systems, storage family kits, and card kits. Rackmount chassis are available in 1U, 2U, 3U, 4U, 5U, and 9U options. True to Chenbro’s technological innovation history, you’ll find a variety of handy features that make it easier to maintain and access servers. For example, many products feature a modular HDD cage that simplifies fabrication and makes for more economic inventory management. Some models also feature a front- and rear-accessible design for flexible HDD capacity expansion. You’ll find front LED displays with power, reset, and mute switches on the handle of many rackmount chassis.
One of the newest innovations from Chenbro is the RM31508, which is the first concept implementation of a modular server, featuring a modular HDD cage, hot swap fan modules, and modular Mini-SAS B/P. The modular components is the 3U chassis make for easy motherboard installation and quick maintenance, while giving you online service capabilities. USB and VGA ports are included for feld monitoring and control, and there are two slots for 3.5-inch internal hard drives to let you create a mirror RAID. CHenbro plans to release a variety of modular servers during the next year that will give you even greater control over server configuration and provide logistical cost savings.
Chenbro has also recently released chassis options for surveillance, broadcast storage, and industrial situations. There’s a storage family of products that includes 2.5-inch drive solutions, 3.5-inch drive solutions, and 5.25-inch bay converters, as well as SAS expander cards and backplanes. A typical SAS expander card fits into a standard rear window chassis. You can even set up a SAS expander to a JBOD cascade by combining a JBOD server with an expander board and UEK (universal expander kit).