What happens when your tech lab runs out of real estate? Go vertical!
When one of the world’s largest computer makers recently ran out of space, they called FORMASPACE for a space saving solution. We designed compact lab benches combined with highly customized testing racks to pack a lot in to a small footprint.
Imagine the amount of space one might need to test tens of millions of dollars of server technology. When you have that many engineers managing a multitude of tests, you can see how a large tech company could become cramped. Naturally, one might think a building expansion is the answer. Fortunately, this client called Formaspace before acting on an $85 million expansion plan. Doing so saved our client over $84 million in construction costs alone, at a furniture cost of less than $1 million.
Custom Engineered Server Test Benches
During our initial site survey, we noticed every engineer had at least two benches. One bench was devoted to lengthy tests of new servers while the other bench was being set up for the next test. The engineers had to split duties between current tests and new test set up, which created a lot of wasted movement between various stations. On top of that, there is significant risk in moving expensive, heavy, and delicate test servers. We decided to design a bench where all tasks could be completed within one station increasing efficiency and safety. Consolidation also reduced the catastrophic risk associated with moving prototype servers that cost more than most houses.
Each rack was designed specifically for our client’s unique needs. Our team of engineers designed 500 pound slides for convenient access to heavy servers. Included in the slide design were lock in, lock out tabs for added safety. We attached removable seismic rails to protect delicate servers from sliding once in place as well as provide a convenient place for wire ties and cable management. Our client received key slot brackets to support power distribution units, 5/u server racks for permanent switches, and lowered spreaders to make entire racks movable on pallet jacks. We also designed a custom 24/7/365 ESD monitoring solution to protect our client’s $1 million+ servers from any potential electrical shocks. The monitoring solution itself resulted in a short project payback for our client.
In our design, the equipment being tested is placed on the top shelf, where the 500 pound slides can move both up and down and forwards and backwards. Up to 500 pounds of equipment can be loaded on each shelf. Then the engineer can prepare products for the next test on the worksurface while simultaneously monitoring the test taking place above him.