Product Article: Middle Atlantic Products Quick Assembly Rack - The Skinny on Skeleton Racks

By Tim Troast, Middle Atlantic Products. Middle Atlantic Products is a market leader in designing, engineering and manufacturing racks and enclosures, and has served the AV industry for over 35 years. The company's approach to its enclosures is to provide integrators with solutions for reliable systems that are easy to install and maintain. With the unveiling of Essex by Middle Atlantic, the company is offering integrators everyday value from a brand they trust to host and protect AV systems. This broad range of everyday value solutions includes the most common racks, power distribution and accessories needed to install a great system. [caption id="attachment_6817" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Essex by Middle Atlantic is a collection that includes racks, power distribution and accessories.[/caption] The Quick Assembly Rack (QAR) is a new series within the Essex offering that is uniquely suited to residential applications with tight budgets. It was purpose-designed for the benefit of the AV integrator, both in terms of how simple and easy it is to tailor to each installation and how quick it is to assemble and then integrate. Why a Skeleton Rack? Integrators are faced with the challenge of choosing the right rack for the technology and space requirements of the job. Skeleton frame racks such as the QAR Series, are made up of a top and bottom and four sticks of rail that allow for assembly on the job site. [caption id="attachment_6816" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Skeleton racks are typically used as floorstanding enclosures installed in closets or other tight spaces with limited access.[/caption] Skeleton racks are typically used as floorstanding enclosures installed in closets or other tight spaces with limited access. They work well in situations with extreme space constraints for moving a rack in, like when navigating tight corners or in apartment buildings with no elevator access to higher floors. The QAR is packaged knock-down (ready for assembly), allowing easier shipment and convenient stocking or storing. [caption id="attachment_6814" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Skeleton racks are typically used as floorstanding enclosures installed in closets or other tight spaces with limited access.[/caption] Quick to Assemble The Quick Assembly Rack is a high-quality, budget-friendly rack that offers precisely what its name implies - assembly in five minutes or less. It is engineered with a patent-pending snap-together design in which rails snap easily into the base and top, using a system of bridge and shovel lances. Getting the rack assembled quickly lets integration work begin much faster and gives the AV contractor more time to spend on other projects during their work day. Because the integrator gets started with a basic frame, or skeleton of a rack, they have the ability to build the precise solution required for each project. This can include adding doors and side panels to protect the components that will be located within. [caption id="attachment_6815" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The QAR is available in 12 sizes, and can be customised.[/caption] One factor to take into consideration is thermal management of the rack. This is influenced by where the rack will be located and the equipment that is mounted inside. When the AV system is operational, it generates heat that has to be removed from the rack. Often, a rack will require the aid of fans to pull heated air away from equipment and out of the enclosure. The Essex offering includes fan kits that are designed to attach quickly and easily to the top of the Quick Assembly Rack, helping to keep system integration an efficient process. Conclusion At its very core, the Quick Assembly Rack from Middle Atlantic's Essex collection is an affordable, easy-to-build skeleton rack. It was developed to meet customer demands for the quality they have come to expect from Middle Atlantic, in a product intended for entry-level or cost-sensitive residential AV projects. As with the full Essex line, the company's intention is to raise expectations for quality and simplicity for value-priced racks, power and accessories. The wide range of convenient options available for infrastructure support products will continue to evolve as customers continue to demand solutions that are uniquely tailored to their environment, or as budgets continue to present a challenge. For manufacturers who provide products like these, it is imperative they continue to design solutions that serve all of the needs of their customers and not just hit a price point. Companies such as Middle Atlantic will continue to work hard to be a true partner to the AV integrator by making it easy to do business with them as well. They provide support how and when it is most needed, and work to make information as easy to source as possible. Tim Troast is Director of Product Development for Middle Atlantic Products, part of the Commercial AV division of Legrand, North America, and manufacturer of infrastructure support and protection products since 1979.

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