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Abaco Systems announced on 11 June it has begun manufacturing the first customer units for the GBX25 6U VME managed Ethernet switch, leveraging investment in state-of-the-art component placement systems recently installed at its Towcester, UK manufacturing facility.

The GBX25 enables users to free up slot space as well as valuable power and cooling resources in existing chassis by using a single switch to replace multiple switch cards while maintaining the range of communication protocols—including 100-FX—and cable types typically installed in legacy systems. It is available with up to 40 ports (combination front/rear) that support a variety of copper and fibre cable types. Its use of standard SMP modules for a variety of basebands, including 100-FX, 1000-SX/LX/T, and 10G-SR/LR, enables users to combine multiple communications capabilities on a single card, reducing slot occupancy compared with previous multi-card architectures.

The GBX25 is 100% pin-compatible with the GBX24 and RM921, but has been upgraded with Abaco’s OpenWare switch management software, created at Abaco’s Networking Innovation Center, and numerous customers have benefited significantly from access to the development team’s expertise to smooth transition or to develop application-specific functionality, providing more rapid deployment or a custom networking solution.

Abaco can provide users with access to the OpenWare development team for transition support and advanced function support for existing or new applications.

The first GBX25 units bound for customers are being manufactured on Abaco's new line of ASM SX surface-mount placement machines. The Towcester plant recently invested in four of these units that can place components from 0.0625 to 22,000 mm2 at a rate of up to 100,000 components per hour. The on-the-fly reconfiguration and multi-head versatility of the ASM SX gives flexibility, speed and precision that reduces cycle time and cost and improves first pass yield. New technologies allow for reduced soldering, further improving key performance metrics.

Steve Leeds, Programming Engineer at Towcester, commented “The complete suite of new features and tools enables us to produce new products with world-class performance and a significant increase in first-pass yield and commensurate drop in rework.”

Alex Baldock, VP of Operations for Abaco Systems in the UK, added “Our investment in equipment for the Towcester facility demonstrates Abaco’s commitment to making an important contribution to our customers’ success by delivering the best products and technologies on time and on budget. Innovative products like the GBX25 can only be brought to market through equally innovative manufacturing.”

The GBX25 6U VME enables users to conduct multiple communications on a single card. (Photo: Abaco Systems)

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