Elma Announces Revolutionary Second Generation AdvancedTCA Handle

Elma Electronic Inc., a global manufacturer of electronic packaging products, has announced an AdvancedTCA handle that solves the most persistent problems and complaints of ATCA handles in the market.

The new Elma second generation ATCA handle incorporates a slide-motion button to latch the handle shut and to activate an optional micro-switch. This function is similar to the latching button on Elma's highly successful IEEE handles. In the closed position the handle is flush against the panel to protect against inadvertent opening prior to activating the micro-switch. Moving the sliding button activates the micro-switch and unlatches the handle so that it pivots out by a few degrees and presents itself to the operator for removal. This allows the user to grab the handle easily and maximize leverage. The ergonomics of this intuitive two-step latching feature reduce the amount of force required to disengage the handle. Further, with a solid click shut, the user gets audible confirmation that latch is closed and that the PCB is fully inserted.

The Elma G2 ATCA handles are supplied as one-piece assemblies, greatly reducing the hidden assembly costs associated with first generation handles currently in the market. Other ATCA handles in the industry have several parts (handle, shoulder screw, washers, nuts, etc.), which the customer has to assemble together in a carefully orchestrated fashion. The integrated construction of the new Elma handle requires just one screw to hold the handle to the front panel and one screw to attach the customer's PCB to the handle-mounting tab. Even the alignment pin and front panel retaining screw are part of the handle mold, further reducing hidden assembly costs and creating a sturdier front panel assembly.

The body of the Elma handle is a tough and reliable zinc casting that when mounted to a front panel actually increases the strength of the entire panel assembly. All other ATCA handle solutions currently available leave the vulnerable panel ends weak and unprotected. The Elma handle dramatically increases the strength and rigidity of the panel ends and increases drop-test survivability and vibration resistance.

Another ubiquitous compliant in the marketplace is that most ATCA handles have an unreliable micro-switch activation mechanism (micro-switches tell the ATCA blade card to de-activate and that the blade is ready to be swapped). The new Elma handle offers the unique option of mounting the micro-switch directly to handle so that it can be activated by the motion of the latching slide, not by the pivoting motion of the handle. Mounting the micro-switch directly to the handle reduces the stack up of tolerances between the switch/panel/PCB and provides the most reliable switch activation possible. The Elma handle can also accommodate a micro-switch directly mounted on the solder side of the PCB or on the component side of the PCB.

The Elma second generation ATCA handle is the first fully tooled integrated handle solution on the market. Its elegant, integrated appearance will compliment both extruded and sheet metal front panels.

About Elma Electronic
Elma Electronic Inc. is a leading manufacturer and supplier of enclosures, backplanes, cabinets, cases, and "ready-to-run" packaging for CPCI, Rugged COTS, VME/64x, VXI, PC and custom bus structures.

Elma's component product line offers a wide selection of top quality switches knobs and LED arrays. The company has been a worldwide supplier of dependable, high performance products for over 35 years. Elma operates three facilities in the continental United States plus has locations in Switzerland, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Israel.

Elma Electronic Inc. is located at 44350 Grimmer Blvd., Fremont, CA94538 USA. Telephone (510) 656-3400 - Fax (510) 656-3783. www.elma.com

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