It’s gratifying to work with software companies that have a vision for their hardware and who challenge us to bring their vision to life. Case in point, the revolutionary branding for Concurrent Computer Corporation’s 1U, 2U and 4U appliances.
Concurrent had very specific branding objectives in mind for their multi-platform suite. They brought this plan to MBX in the form of an industrial design for us to replicate. One objective was a sophisticated centered t-handle faceplate that magnetically attached to the chassis. Another requirement was to change the color of the drive trays to align with their brand, ditching the standard-issue burgundy for a bright, bold green.
Intersection of Form and Function
Magnetic faceplates pose a unique challenge, and as innovative as the design was, without CAD drawings there was no guarantee this highly-customized design would be functional. Priority number one was for our branding specialists to engineer Concurrent’s faceplates to ensure design integrity — which we accomplished.
With the first piece of the puzzle in place, the next step was to determine the best method to produce the t-handle for the faceplate. The decision was extrusion — but it’s a technique with a long lead time. Concurrent had somewhat of a tight timeline, so to mitigate the wait we proactively developed the t-handle while the rest of the project was still in planning.
Then came the challenge of affixing the magnetic faceplate to the chassis. Locator pins were necessary to guide the faceplate into place as well as to prevent the faceplate from falling off if it got bumped. The magnets and the locater pins took some adjusting to get to the proper strength. At first, the magnets held onto the faceplate so tight that the pins were pinched in their holes, preventing the faceplate from being removed. This was resolved by turning the pin holes into a cone shape that could accommodate some flexibility, and also by slightly recessing the magnet which effectively reduced its strength.
The finishing touches for the faceplate design were a stealth white powder coating with a product logo silkscreened in gray, an overall look that captures center stage in the data center.
Engineering a faceplate totally unique in look and operation is a testament to the fact that there are few branding challenges MBX can’t overcome. We happily work with customers on both ends of the spectrum, from simple vinyl overlays to fully-custom designs, to turn vision into reality. Whether you already have a concept for how you’d like your branding to work or need to tap our designers for creative inspiration, MBX can carry you through the entire branding process.