Built to Last: A Starter Guide to Industrial Computers

Industrial Computers
There are 127 new devices connecting to the internet every second. That incredible statistic makes you wonder where these devices come from and how long they’ll last.

Industrial computers are taking the computing world by storm. That’s because they can be used in just about every industry from food production to medical manufacturing.

It’s not just manufacturing, industrial computers are found in the smallest devices, too.

Read on to learn how industrial computers are used, the types of industrial computers, and what to look for when you purchase one.

Industrial Computer Applications

Industrial computers are known for their ability to withstand just about any situation. They’re more rugged, can withstand heat, vibrations, and other types of shock.

That durability allows them to be used in difficult situations. You can’t leave a digital camera outside all night in the rain, but you can do that with a security camera.

Border patrols use industrial computers to process border crossings and make them more efficient. The oil and gas industry uses industrial computers on oil rigs and while drilling.

Manufacturing uses industrial computers to automate tasks and they won’t break because of high temperatures, dust, and vibrations.

These computers are also able to handle more connections from other devices. They’re built with a wider variety of ports compared to other computers.

Types of Industrial Computers

Have you ever been to a museum that had touch displays to enhance the visitor experience? Those touch displays are industrial computers.

You might think that this is just like getting a tablet, but there are some key differences to be aware of. For starters, industrial touch screens are built to be durable.

They have an IP rating to handle water and other spills. If someone spills coffee on a tablet, you’re going to be out of luck.

These machines have much more power than a regular desktop computer, too. These displays are great if you have a showroom or any type of situation that can add more information to give a better client experience.

Single Board Computer

These computers have everything on one computer board. These are used as kiosks, slot machines, and scanning machines.

What makes these computers unique is that they can come with no additional slots or with slots to connect to other devices.

They’re great computers if you need a lot of processing power in a small amount of space.

Embedded Computers

One of the most popular types of industrial computers are embedded computers. These are computers that are smaller and fit within a larger system. You’ll see these appear in a variety of ways, such as robotics and internet of things devices.

You’ll also see them around the manufacturing floor and even within street light controllers. The reason why companies turn to embedded computers is that they are fanless. They have other cooling methods that let them operate on a 24/7 basis.

Panel PCs

Adding the PC abbreviation can be a little deceiving to the name. Panel PCs are incredibly powerful devices that have a display attached to them.

These devices are often used in manufacturing, where workers can use a touch screen for operations or get information about manufacturing processes.

Tips to Purchase an Industrial Computer

Are you in charge of buying an industrial computer for your workplace? You have your work cut out for you. It can be a challenge to get the right industrial computer.

Start with your computing needs. What kind of application is the computer used for? Will you use it as part of a larger system? You might need it to operate constantly.

Understanding the application will help you determine which industrial computer is right for your needs.

Next, take a look at the systems in your environment. Ask yourself if the industrial computer needs to communicate with these systems. If they do, then you need to make sure the computer can integrate easily with what you have.

That could be the difference between getting a single-board computer with slots or without slots.

What else should you consider? If your business is in a heavily regulated industry, then you need to make sure the industrial computer meets all regulatory compliance standards.

How Much Do Industrial Computers Cost?

One of the most important considerations when buying an industrial computer is your budget. You should have an idea as to how much you can invest in your business.

Industrial computers aren’t as expensive as you think. You could end up spending as much on a regular consumer-grade PC on an industrial PC.

Industrial PCs come pre-configured or customized. A pre-configured machine is much less expensive, but it might not fully meet your needs.

You could end up spending right around $1,000 for a powerful computer. Some will cost less, and some will cost more. Of course, it depends on the type of industrial computer.

The Impact of Industrial Computers

Industrial computers bridge the gap between man and machine. They enable us to do so much more because of the way these computers get engineered.

They’re designed to withstand brutal environments, making them perfect for anything from manufacturing automation to security cameras.

When you’re in the market for an industrial computer, be sure to know what your needs are in advance. That ensures you get the right type of industrial computer that falls within your budget.

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