Industrial Computers – Pros and Cons


The industrial computer has been around since the early eighties when it was recognised that computing could be as advantageous for the factory floor as it was for offices. Industrial computers are mostly based around the same technology as standard desktop computers but are built to be more rugged and durable.

The industrial computer comes in several forms such as rack-mountable industrial computers that can slot in server racks, panel PC’s that integrate a PC and screen together to solid state industrial computers that contain few or no moving parts.

Industrial PC’s are designed fro the factory floor and all different types of industrial computer share a similar philosophy of providing a controlled environment for the installed electronics to survive the rigors of the plant floor.

There are many advantages of running industrial PCs on the factory floor, they are reliable and can withstand excessive water and dust. However, industrial PC’s do pay a price for this durability in that they are not very flexible.

Most industrial PC’s are built with reliability as a prerequisite, for this reason they need to use tried and tested components, while this makes them extremely reliable it does mean that often industrial computers lack the processing and memory capabilities of standard desktop PC’s.

Another disadvantage of industrial computers is that most are virtually impossible to upgrade. If additional processing or memory is required then a new industrial PC will have to be purchased. They can also prove problematic when they fail and need repairing, particularly solid state machines, the only option is to call a service engineer but if the machine is operationally critical then this could mean vital production time lost.

An alternative solution to the industrial is to use a standard desktop machine and protect it in a waterproof and dustproof computer enclosure. Industrial computer enclosures offer all the protection of a standard industrial PC but with the added bonus of flexibility. With an industrial PC enclosure you can:

*Choose what specification of PC to use in your industrial environment

*Upgrade the PC at will

*PC can be repaired by your standard IT support worker or the entire computer replaced within minutes

*Can be budgetary cost effective when compared to an industrial PC

*Computer enclosures can be reused with different machines

*Industrial computer enclosure will lengthen the life of you IT

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