What is an industrial PC?
From power plants in the utilities industry, to factory floors across all corners of the manufacturing sector, all industrial environments require hardware that is robust and resilient. After all, those environments might experience everything from extreme temperatures to regular high-pressure cleaning.
But their physical ruggedness is just one part of the picture. Industrial PCs also need to be far more powerful than the typical consumer device, because they need to handle an array of industrial-grade processes and vast amounts of rich data.
So, what do you need to consider when choosing an industrial PC?
This means thinking about the physical conditions your PC is going to need to withstand. Obvious considerations include liquids, particularly if your PC is going to undergo regular high-pressure washing, dust, extremes of temperature and whether the PC will be deployed in an explosive environment and therefore needs to be ATEX certified.
As with any PC purchase, you need to consider the particular demands that will be placed on your industrial PC, and how these map onto your memory and storage requirements. What software will be running on your industrial PC? For example, manufacturing organisations may need to run SCADA or MES (Manufacturing Execution System) software, and so on. It is important to purchase enough power for today, but also enough to stretch and scale as your business grows.
I/O expansion slots
This means considering what is actually going to be physically plugged into your industrial PC and ensuring that the device can support this.
Extended product lifecycles
When making any substantial technology purchase, it is important to consider the long-term lifecycle of the equipment in question. Ensure that your industrial PC provider partners with the leading global manufacturers so that you can access extended product lifecycles where possible. This reduces downtime and increases efficiency.
Where is your PC going to be located, and how will it be secured? Rackmounts, panel mounts, wall mounts, arm mounts or pedestals are all options, but not all PCs are compatible with all mounts.
Size and space
These, of course, are considerations whatever hardware you are purchasing, and are not exclusive to industrial PCs. However, industrial PCs can be a substantial investment, so you want to ensure that they are suitable for the space available not just today, but also as your business expands.
Touchscreens, keyboards and so on may not be top of your list when you first start looking at industrial PCs, but they play a crucial role in the usability and therefore efficiency of your devices, and ultimately your operations. Don’t neglect them.
Making your choice
Distec specialises in helping organisations across a wide range of industries to select and deploy precisely the right industrial PC for their needs. Furthermore, we have extensive experience in customising said PCs for the specifics of our clients’ environments and operations, and in providing ongoing technical support long after the existing deployment.
For in-depth advice on choosing the right industrial PC for your organisation, get in touch with us today.
To view our Industrial PC range click here >