An Overview Of Industrial PCs In Industrial Automation
First of all, industrial computers are specially designed to withstand harsh industrial-floor environments (extremes of temperature, dust, humidity, vibration, and power surges). The manufacturing companies are focusing on consolidating the production capabilities to reduce costs by increasing production efficiency. The growing demand for energy-efficient manufacturing operations propelled the demand for adoption of industrial PC's.
The global industrial PC market is projected to witness a compound annual growth rate of 7.52% during the forecast period to reach a total market size of US$6.546 billion by 2023, increasing from US$4.236 billion in 2017.
Types of Industrial PCs:
Mini Rugged Industrial PC:
- Rugged mini PC line is designed with industrial and military grade components for reliable operation under harsh conditions.
- It is mostly used in manufacturing facilities, warehouse floors, forklift and other vehicle installations.
- It adds most versatile functionality via full-size and mini PCI Express slots, USB ports, mSATA and RS232 ports.
- The multiple PCI Express slots enable mini rugged PC to be configured for nearly any industrial automation functionality.
- There are only a few environments where rugged mini PC can be operated 24/7.
Virtually all rugged computers are having the same underlying design policy of providing a controlled environment for the installed electronics.
Rugged computers are engineered to operate in the face of multiple challenges including:
- Temperature and humidity
- Corrosion and abrasion
- Minimal size, weight, and power
- Durable life
- Acoustic noise reduction
- Low pressure/altitude
- Ingress Protection
- Electromagnetic interference
The development of the panel PC is usually a custom made, which is totally dependent on the type of the industry it is used.
Panel PC are equipped with a fanless cooling systems, sophisticated, silent and able to reduce both the dust and maintenance costs. The fanless system allows the Panel PC to dissipate the heat without using the fans, only by using copper, reducing the powder dispersion.
Touch Panel PC:
Touch panel PCs are becoming an increasingly common device in the latest industrial units.
As touch Panel PCs do not contain a fan, they can be moved easily. It also reduces the risk of regular cleanings and increases the reliability of the devices in the automation industry.
Embedded PC series provides a full line of varied fanless embedded computers of different sizes to consolidate applications in transportation, environmental and industrial facility monitoring, biometrics, industrial manufacturing, automation control and surveillance management, building automation, and other relevant areas. These are engineered for longevity, resilience, durable, highly scalable, and applicable for extreme environments.
Rack mounted PC:
The rack-mounted PC is the perfect flexible solution for a wide range of applications. They maximize productivity while offering industry-leading performance, energy efficiency and scalability. The architectural design of the rack-mounted PC accepts IBM PC-, XT-, AT-compatible, or PCI cards, and a variety of single-board computers.
Applications of Industrial PCs:
- Data collection.
- Industrial imaging and video surveillance and analytics, and other applications requires high-speed data for HD image capturing, facial recognition, real-time detection, and post analytics.
- Controller in machine monitor and automate quality control systems.
- Automatic inspection, measurement, verification, automated-traffic control and flaw detection.
Best Buying Guide for an Industrial PC (IPC)
- Check cooling fans, external to the chassis are usually provided with special filters to keep out dust and other similar contaminants.
- Check direct cooling of magnetic media (floppy disk, hard disk, CDROM), system components and power supply
- IP/NEMA Protection
- Power supply capabilities
- Humidity proof
- Shock and Vibration resistance
- Ensure, the industrial PC that you're going to buy can work up to 450 C and more
- Depending upon the model, an Industrial PC can be rack-mounted, or mounted on a swivel-arm support, providing flexible arrangement for any physical environment.
Key Market Players:
The major industrial automation companies operating the industrial PC market are:
- Advantech Co., Ltd
- Schneider Electric
- Siemens AG
- Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
- Beckhoff Automation GmbH & Co. KG
- MPL AG
The industrial PC markets are now having the advanced technology of single board computers with all the functions integrated into a single circuit board. The single circuit board is very light in weight and compact in size, making the Industrial PCs to provide their best services.