Benefits of Rugged Panel PCs in the Food and Drink Industry

Food production facilities are subject to strict industry regulations to ensure a high standard of quality and to prevent any contamination of products. As part of these regulations the food and drink industry must ensure that all hardware is fit for purpose and built to withstand harsh elements such as high vibrations, extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, dust or water ingress.

It would certainly be more cost effective upfront to employ commercial touchscreen PCs. However, these PC’s are not purpose built for the conditions that they are likely to encounter in an industrial setting. This means that they will require regular repairs and maintenance work and will have a shorter shelf-life than a rugged panel PC. For this reason, industrial touchscreen PCs are often the better choice for factory environments.

What is a Rugged Panel PC?

Rugged Panel PC’s are purpose constructed computer consoles that are built to withstand much harsher conditions than the average computer. But what makes rugged panel PCs suited for a factory environment?

  • Ease of integration

Panel PCs can be used anywhere there is a suitable spot to mount them. This means that they can easily be used in a factory setting. Also, the touchscreen functionally removes the need for a mouse and keyboard which improve hygiene and user experience.

  • Hard-wearing

Some panels come equipped with a 4mm Polycarbonate Filter which protects the integrity of the touchscreen by preventing scratch damage and grease built up.

  • Waterproof

Most panel PCs are waterproof, which is vital in the food and drinks industry where they are likely to come into contact with liquids. It also makes them easy to clean.

  • Simple to use

Rugged panel PCs are easy and intuitive to use and require no specialist maintenance. With fanless cooling, customisable layouts and simple installation they will make a seamless entry into your factory floor and require minimal employee training to get up and running.

Keep Production Lines Running Smoothly

Distec has a solid reputation supplying industrial hardware to food production facilities and are experienced in delivering bespoke solutions to suit the technology needs of large-scale food production.

Distec has worked with a number of international food and drinks manufacturers and companies in their supply chains, including Systems Integration Trading Ltd (SI). SI has supplied enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to the food industry for over 25 years, specifically for organisations working in the logistically complex and high-speed perishables segment.

Distec supplied SI with hundreds of customised fully cased IP68/IP69K multi-touch client PCs. These are stainless steel panel PCs with hygienic casings suitable for the strict health and safety requirements of perishable foods environments. These PCs are able to collect a variety of information from throughout the food production line – including cold and wet conditions – and enable operators to quickly and easily complete a range of different operational processes. The touchscreens can resist high temperature and high-pressure water ingress and can support accessory devices such as barcode scanners and weighing scales, making them adaptable to any area of the factory floor. You can read more about the partnership here.

Why Distec?

Distec supplies several elegant and robust consoles encased in stainless steel from our range of partners including Wincomm and CKS Global. These are available in a range of sizes to suit the challenging environments presented by the food and drinks industry.  For companies adhering to a stricter budget, we also work with Nexcom to supply a range of low-cost panel PCs for industrial environments.

If you’re currently looking to instruct a new technology partner or would like any more information about the benefits of rugged panel PCs please contact us here.

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