Guide how to Choose the Right Industrial PCs

Industrial panel PCs are incorporated with touch screens for an easier interaction with the user and are built-in with an LCD, motherboard, and other electronic components. Manufacturers and non-manufacturers uses PC panels that is used in original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), HMI, process and discrete manufacturing, smart buildings, automation systems integration, machine automation. To record and control the industrial processes, and assist the optimization of the production process through appropriate data analysis manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries uses industrial panel PCs. The industrial panel PCs market is largely fragmented due to the several small and medium-sized manufacturers.

Things to consider before buying your PC Panel

PC panels has both the traditional desktop computing and convenient touch screen control and in todays PC panels has a wide array of processing, connectivity, and mounting options making them suitable for any number of human-machine interface (HMI), automation or industrial control applications. Choosing the right systems for your particular project, and the environment in which its installed is a bit challenging.

A) Actively Cooled or Fanless?

The first think to consider when it comes to the environmental factors is the level of debris, dirt, and other particulates that might find its way into the system when used. Removing the most common point of failure for the most computers is the benefit of using a fanless PC panel and if the PC panel will be installed in a location where environmental conditions are less of a factor. While it is the ideal solution where environmental factors are a concern, these also prevent airborne particulate and debris from building up on internal components in addition to their lack of failure-prone fans. Moisture, debris, dust, and chemicals can all cause performance degradation and often lead to expensive maintenance downtime.

B) Capacitive or Resistive?

Capacitive and resistive are the two touch screen varieties of the industrial panel PCs. The difference between the two touch screen varieties is on how input is detected. The disturbance in electrostatic fields caused by interaction with the screen where being utilized by the capacitive touch screens in which the screen sense where the contact is made on the touch surface, while the resistive screens will depend on the finger or stylus that will alter the electrical resistance within the screen and indicate the contact point. A light pressure contact sensing is of value in the applications that uses detailed touch accuracy, which makes the capacitive touch screen to be often preferred. While industrial environments where operators that put or use gloves which restrain the effectiveness of capacitive screen is where the resistive screens are being used.

C) Where will the PC panel be mounted?

Deciding on whether or not your PC panel will be fixed within another enclosure or machine, if it will be attached to a stand or be mounted to a wall should be consider before purchasing any industrial panel PCs, but not once the system has already arrive and is already ready for installation. Choosing if the PC will be embedded in a kiosk, in a larger device, or any kind of enclosure is the main concern when choosing for the correct size. Checking the PC panels dimension such as its depth in order to avoid delays in the installation. Considering the mounting option of your device, tooling or machinery that requires a PC panel. The panel mounting allows the touch surface to mount flush while the front surface will be on the enclosure which is unlike when the panel is mounted to the wall of stand. Mounting are more popular in the food production or particulate-rich environments in where a frequent cleaning is needed. Mounting prevents debris from collecting on the PC and allows the system to be wiped clean or sprayed down easily as long as it is properly rated for protection against liquids.

D) Is the IP rating important?

The IP rating of a PC panel will depend on the environment in which you plan to use. IP (Ingress Protection) is a standard designation that can show how effective the enclosure is at sealing out ingress from both liquids and solids. Industrial panel PCs ahs IP65 or IP67 protection in which the first digit indicates the enclosures ability to keep out solids that ranges from the operators fingers to particles like debris and dust with the highest ingress rating at 6 that show’s that the system is protected even against dust particles. While the second digit indicates the effectiveness of the enclosure in sealing the liquids which has 8 as the highest rating that implies the entire case is waterproof and submersible with a depths greater than 1 meter. With IP65 rating the entire system will resist ingress and includes the sides and back unit. A higher IP rating will only be necessary if the system is installed as a standalone device and the whole system will be exposed to the elements.

E) What Size Panel PC Do You Need?

The PC panel has a variety of sizes to meet virtually in any situation is one of its advantage. Depending on your application the right size might be limited by several factors. One of the things to consider is if the PC panel will be mounted on an articulating arm, on a stand, or otherwise which makes the weight of the system to become a factor. Other than this the resolutions of the display images should also be consider and lastly consider the application if it needs the standard (4:3) or a widescreen (16:9) aspect ratio screen.

F) Do You Need a High Brightness Panel PC?

The touch screens and industrial monitors are not designed to emit light that could compete with the sun which can be pretty frustrating when the sun shines directly on the device screen. The standard screen that emits light that can subject to the high glare can cause additional viewing restriction that’s where high brightness (sunlight readable) screens comes into the picture. The high brightness screens provide a higher light output, sometimes double the nits of standard displays and also features a special filters that reduces the glare. When looking into purchasing a PC panel for outdoor use or installation in an area where it is subjected to a direct sunlight the uses of high brightness or sunlight-readable screen becomes crucial.

G) Do You Need a Solid State Panel PC?

Fanless won’t ensure the reliability when it comes to a rugged PC systems that will handle harsh condition or mobile installations. Use the solid-state storage systems can go one step further than using the spinning hard drive. With a multiple terabytes and the price is much more lower when the technology first hit the market the solid-state storage has come a long in just a few year. Creating a truly solid-state device for the ultimate in reliability, mainly in the impact of prone installations or vibrations which makes the SD or Solid State Drive an important component.

Article inspired from Plant Automation Technology

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