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Developing Thinner Pots for Military Flight Decks

May 09, 2012

What do you do when Avionics panels go on a diet?

With avionics panels reducing in size, it’s no surprise that all the parts inside need to slim down as well. Because standard panel potentiometers have a depth of approximately 0.6 inches, many avionics companies need custom pots to complete their panel designs. This was exactly the case for a major military avionics display manufacturer who came to us just a few months ago.

The Betatronix team was tasked with creating a custom potentiometer with a 50% reduction in total depth – from 0.6 to 0.3 inches – within a 12-week period.

To tackle this challenge, we had to take a step back and rethink the traditional wire wound or molded conductive plastic element, which in itself measures up to 0.25 inches. We went with a ceramic element design, which is significantly smaller, but ideal for the application.

We used sophisticated curing and kiln firing processes to achieve precise resistance and surface finishes. Then our design team utilized SolidWorks software tools to create 3D models, allowing us to incorporate the very specific military environmental standards and wire restraint requirements for this project.

Because of our use of Solid Works, and the streamlined processes we’ve created among our engineering, manufacturing, and program management teams, we were able to deliver a superior finished product in 8 weeks instead of the requested 12 – beating the requirement by 33%.

To talk about what Betatronix can do for your next project, contact one of our representatives.