Your big business project is only as strong as its weakest link and that’s why you shouldn’t skimp on things like the computer that might be running it. Depending on the nature of your business, if it’s not for home or office use, you might just need an industrial computer.
Industrial Computer or Standard PC?
Industrial computers are both similar and dissimilar to the standard PC that you might find in a home or office.
They are similar when it comes to motherboards and microprocessors, as well as in terms of storage drives, like the hard drives and CD-ROM drives. Beyond that point, they are about as dissimilar as an army truck is to an SUV.
Here are three key differences:
• Industrial computers are designed to operate in harsh environments like manufacturing plants, factories, or oil rigs. While most are single panel units with keypads and LCD displays, some do have separate monitors. Most can be mounted on racks or walls.
• Standard PCs are distributed through retail channels for use in mild environments like offices and homes where temperatures and air quality are relatively more controllable. As a result, the towers are freestanding, with detachable keyboards and monitors.
• Industrial computers are built-to-last: they are built with stainless steel or with rugged aluminum. They can withstand corrosion, as well as heat and cold. They are also able to protect a computer’s electronics from water.
• Standard PCs are built for shorter lives, and the chassis may be made of thin sheet metal or even plastic. Since standard PCs evolve at a rapid rate, it is not considered practical to create them out of resistant building materials.
• Industrial computers are built for stability, rather than for innovation. Manufacturers must often correlate computers with industry standards to make sure that they work properly and interact harmoniously with other electronics. It is not considered practical to keep up with minor technological upgrades. An industrial computer, for example, that is responsible for in-flight entertainment will not need an improved CPU or an increase in hard-drive memory capacity.
• Standard PCs are often redesigned with every new generation of technological advancement. They have to be versatile to deal with the newest upgrades in software that makes solving complex problems easier to do.
When Do You Need An Industrial Computer
If you want to buy an industrial computer, it is because you need it for its strength, stability, and resilience.
You will probably need one if you are in any of the following nine industries:
- Commercial Avionics, where it may be used for in-flight entertainment and communications.
- Telecommunications, where it may be used by Equipment Manufacturers (TEM ) or Network Equipment Providers (NEP)
- Energy, where it may be used for oil/gas, wind, solar, water, or electricity plants.
- Industrial Automation, where it may be used for manufacturing plants and factories.
- Gaming or Entertainment, where it may be used for Casino Slot Machines, Player Tracking & Accounting Systems, Electronic Multi Player Table Games,AWP, SWP, SwoP & FOBT Terminals, VLTs & Lottery Terminals, Arcade, Video & Mobile Gaming, and Home Entertainment
- Point of Sales,where it may be used for POS Terminals (Retail Cashiers & Scales), Banking & Financial Terminals, Kiosks & Self-Service Terminals, Information Terminals (POI), Ticket Terminals, Vending Terminals, Digital Signage & Advertising
- Medical, where it may be used for telehealth or medical imagery.
- Military, where it may be used for Next-Generation Combat Systems, Missile Systems, Autonomous Missile Systems, Tactical Battlefield Radar, Combat Management Systems, Battlefield Sensor Systems, Military GPS, UAVs, Communications, Command, Control and Intelligence (C4ISR)
- Transportation, where it may be used for on-board vehicle control, passenger information systems, passenger entertainment, communication systems , and railway management.
Since the turn of the century, the difference between the Industrial PCs and Standard PCs has been growing, with Industrial PCs becoming tougher and more stable and Standard PCs becoming more technologically-sophisticated to work with innovations in consumer applications. In the near future, industrial PCs may become increasingly more sophisticated as they work with more resource-intensive applications. Perhaps, they may even be at the forefront of the revolution in 3D printing manufacturing facilities.
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