In today’s modern world, we rely on electronics for most of our daily lives. Electronics find a place in almost every moment of our day, from cell phones to laptops to cars. Because of their comprehensive prevalence, electronics must meet a broad range of forms and functions.

However, electrical systems and devices are vulnerable to damage from many sources, both natural and artificial. Because of this, putting as much thought into constructing electronic protection as the electronics themselves is necessary. Natural particulates, moisture and temperatures can quickly compromise electronics utilized in outdoor environments. This is where electronic ruggedization adds value.

Ruggedized manufacturing is critical for various industries. They can be found anywhere circuit boards, electronics and electromechanical parts must operate in harsh, long-term environments. Ruggedization allows complex electronics to work reliably, even in challenging environments.

Situations with foreign elements like electromagnetic fields, vibrations or manufacturing particulates can cause degradation and poor function from exposure.

At RiverSide Integrated Solutions (RIS), we have the experience and equipment to protect electronics used in high-stress situations. Your assemblies can withstand the harshest conditions with our expertise and extensive ruggedized electronics capabilities. We can help you find the method that best applies to the operating environment of your device.

Watch this short video to learn more about our PCB potting and conformal coating techniques.

What Are Ruggedized Devices?

Ruggedized electronics are designed to prevail long-term, even when exposed to extreme conditions. They can withstand severe winds, dust, dirt, rain, snow, ice, extreme temperatures and vibrations. For outdoor applications, ruggedized electronics are the most reliable option to maintain a long-lasting function.

Many think a ruggedized device is a consumer device with a protective case. However, that is a big misconception. The truth is that ruggedized devices are their own electronics class. They are manufactured to handle the

An employee hand fills a mold that holds a PCBA in our specialized potting process.

toughest, harshest, most rugged work environments.

Ruggedized devices are engineered, manufactured and tested for increased durability, endurance and strength. These electronics are built for harsh working environments while maintaining an excellent operability standard. They must endure the drops, vibrations and exposure to elements common within the manufacturing, transportation, military and construction sectors.

Engineers for ruggedized mobility devices have considered far more hazards as part of the design process than consumer devices. They equipped these machines to function in the office and the field. Often, such devices travel between the two locations.

Ruggedized devices offer similar user experiences to consumer devices. They just have the added protection against the challenging environmental hazards of the job.

What Environments Require Ruggedized Devices?

Many factors can damage or destroy an electronic device. Ruggedization allows electronics to operate even in the harshest environments.

The term “environment” can refer to any outside force that effects an electronic. It may be actual environmental conditions, such as extreme high or low temperature, moisture, humidity and particulates. Or it could be operating conditions, such as mechanical shock, vibration, noise and even the potential for electrostatic discharge. Some environments also include oxidizing or explosive gases.

Ruggedized electronics’ designers typically make them to withstand one or more of these harsh conditions. It is important to note that the list of extreme operating conditions is extensive. In most cases, devices can only withstand some of these factors.

A lot goes into the design of electronics that must withstand severe conditions. Thus, you’ll need to consider specific environmental factors when designing a given ruggedized device. You’ll want to create the most compact and cost-effective electronic for your application.

Design considerations for ruggedization are much more thorough than just the outer covering for the device. It often includes the enclosure, board mounting style, components and protective coatings.

Coating machine for PCBs

RIS Ruggedized Solutions to Protect Your Electronics

At RIS, our ruggedized options help to protect the function and prevent contamination and corrosion of an electronic device. For any rugged situation, we can protect your electronic assemblies.

When you partner with RIS for your ruggedized electronics, you can protect your assemblies through the following ruggedization services.


We utilize both conformal coating and potting on assemblies. Conformal

coating applies a thin polymeric film to protect the components of a printed circuit board against harsh environments. Potting does the same but with a thicker material acting as a filled enclosure.

The material works to fit the contours of a board, protecting the components from external elements. We can fill complete electronic assemblies with epoxy, urethane and silicone compounds. This protects from shock, vibration, moisture and corrosion.

Low-Pressure Molding

Low-pressure molding offers effective sealing of electronic devices. This provides protection against moisture, dust, dirt and vibration.

This technology utilizes high-performance adhesives and can be an effective alternative to epoxy potting. Our low-pressure molding technology (MoldMan at 30 to 300 PSI) uses high-performance adhesives to encapsulate and protect components. Some of the materials used for this include polyolefin and polyimide.

They protect from particulates, moisture and vibrations.


RIS builds and assembles durable, customizable enclosed circuit boards for various industries. Our enclosed circuit boards, “electronic vaults,” are environment-sealed, heat sink capable and impermeable.

These specialty vaults shield assemblies against electromagnetic damage by blocking EMI activity with barriers of conductive and magnetic materials.

By isolating electrical devices with EMI shield enclosures, assemblies can operate in the long term. This includes industrial settings with high electromagnetic frequencies.

A tray full of enclosed subassemblies at RIS, manufactured with the greatest precision to ensure high quality.

About RiverSide Integrated Solutions

RIS is an advanced contract manufacturer providing robust solutions in circuit board assembly and product assembly. We employ more than 350 people and provide services to OEMs worldwide. We operate two state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities within the US.

With all of the choices in contract manufacturers out there, we know it can be challenging to find someone who understands your business model and has your best intentions in mind. RIS has always proven to be a win-win-focused relationship.

As your one-stop shop, we have the capabilities, capacity, quality assurance standards and resources to support all of your manufacturing needs. We understand that supply chain management is complex and very time-consuming, so we urge our customers to utilize us in the fullest capacity.

Our total-package solutions include:

Contact us today at (507) 523-3220 to see how we can help with your manufacturing project, or click contact us for a quote.

Ruggedized Solutions to Protect Your Electronics
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Ruggedized Solutions to Protect Your Electronics
Find ruggedized solutions to protect your electronics at RIS. From conformal coating and potting, to low-pressure molding and circuit board enclosure!
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RiverSide Integrated Solutions
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