Why we advise using a single box solution over multiple pieces of equipment

When it comes down to choosing what equipment you want out with you when you’re working, there are multiple factors that you have to consider such as how is it transported? How much space do you have? What environment will you be taking the kit in to? The list is often endless but unfortunately, it is an important exercise that has to be run through, whether you are packing to go away on holiday with the family or deploying overseas, the same thought process can be applied. Although, I’d like to think that a trip with the family is at least a little bit less stressful.

Do you go for a ‘single box solution’ and put everything you need into one case or do you go for individual products and equipment? Before you can truly answer that you need to know what the benefits of a single box solution are compared to individual equipment, so let’s take a dive into the two options and see if we can make the decision any clearer (and ideally, easier as well).


A single box solution incorporates all the required electronics and interfaces into one single unit. This process prevents there being more than one LRU (Line Replaceable Unit) and reduces the need for additional interface modules and cabling. In short, this means that you get a single, compact piece of equipment that lets you do everything you would typically need multiple pieces of equipment to achieve.

As an aside, here at GRiD, we go one step further than a standard single box solution and also provide the ability to integrate a customer’s own electronics and custom PCBs (Printed Circuit Board) into all of our products, if required.

But other than an obvious space-saving, what actual benefits does a single box solution actually provide?

Well depending on the environment that you are going to take the kit into some benefits will become more important than others but generally, the benefits are broad enough to have use in every environment.

  • Compatibility: By using a single box solution you vastly reduce the risk of equipment not being compatible with each other, or worse, not being able to interact with one another at all. The use of one box ensures that everything you could need is going to work with everything else because it is built-in and tested before you even receive the product, rather than having to work it out after the fact.
  • Maintenance: With only one box to worry about the requirements for maintenance are drastically reduced, you only need to keep one piece of kit running rather than having to deal with multiple maintenance schedules and repairs.
  • Improved EMC results: Electro Magnetic Compatibility or EMC for short is the term used to describe how well a device or system is able to function in an electromagnetic environment without introducing electromagnetic disturbances that interfere with the operation of other electrical products in the same environment. As single box solutions use fewer wires, cables and actual equipment itself, the amount of potential interference you can make is drastically reduced.
  • Lower Costs: With a single box solution you can often save money on both the equipment and the ensuing maintenance, meaning that not only are your one-off upfront costs reduced but you can also make savings on your recurring monthly/yearly costs for servicing, storage, transport and maintenance.
  • Obsolescence Risk: No matter what equipment you use there is always the risk of obsolescence, this goes beyond just the equipment itself. Every component within a device will have a date at which it will become obsolete and thus unable to be reordered and possibly supported. Thankfully, at GRiD, we own the design of all of our products so wherever possible, select industrial long-life components that have a robust support plan. This allows us to repeat build and support products for very long periods of time whereas our commercial competitors are limited by the fast-moving commercial marketplace where obsolescence is a huge problem and not suited to the military sector. With an all in one solution, you only have to worry about one piece of kit and the internals inside it, rather than tracking multiple boxes and their internals. Here at GRiD, we design and manufacture as much of the product in house as possible to reduce risk and actively track components to make sure that our customers are kept well in the loop as to when things might be going end of life. When required, we even offer the capability to purchase replacements which are kept in our bonded store for when they’re needed.
  • One Supplier: With a single supplier for everything you need, you get one point of contact to go to that can manage orders, warranties, supply chain issues and handle any questions you might have about the capabilities of the equipment.


We know what a single box solution is and the benefits they bring, but what about the alternative? Why would you want to go for multiple pieces of equipment over an all in one solution?

Well typically with single focus equipment, the specification and quality can be better than with all in one solutions, as they are often specialised pieces of equipment designed to do one thing and one thing only.

With single pieces of equipment you are also less reliant on one main supplier, so if you have issues with the product or the people you are dealing with are not very helpful, you only have to deal with them when you have issues related to that particular piece of your set up and not for every single query or request.

Other than the above, however, you will be able to replace everything you could want from multiple pieces of equipment with a single, well designed, all in one solution. That is why we advise people to take all in one solution over any other option because the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.


Here at GRiD, we provide all in one solutions for Rugged PCs, Laptops and Tablets. We do this as standard because we believe that the value you can achieve from an all in one solution vastly outweighs what you can achieve with multiple pieces of equipment.

We build our products to ensure that you get the same level of quality, if not better, than single focus equipment. They’re designed from the ground up with simplicity and compatibility in mind to make sure that no matter what equipment our customers currently use, adding in our kit will be as seamless as if it was there from the very beginning.

By using military class D38999 connectors specified on a per-project basis, we are able to connect to anything our customers already have in the field using common or unique interfaces with dedicated pin-out arrangements.

Interested in finding out more about what we offer or perhaps just want to get more information on all in one solutions? Feel free to give us a call on +44 (0)1628 810 230 or drop an email into grid-sales@griduk.com and one of our team will happily talk you through it.