April 18, 2014

Industrial PC vs A Commercial PC: What’s The Difference?

What is a Commercial PC?

The computer for home use is the most typical Commercial PC example. It’s environment is controlled, and the usage is most likely by a few select individuals. They can be networked, or used on a stand-alone basis. Little or no shock or vibration is expected at the work station; it is able to withstand little or no power surges and so it’s imperative the machine has some sort of surge protection. They are most commonly seen in the desktop configuration, or perhaps as a laptop. Many times they are not built for longevity, have limited expandability, and reside in a “tower” or in some other contained unit like a laptop.

What is an Industrial PC?

Industrial usage of a PC is much more robust because the PC (or many, depending on the industry) reside in a much more harsh environment. It could be a “shop floor”, which could also include a mobile use such as in a helicopter, out in the field in a tractor, and in any space that might have some of the following factors:

Temperature: If they are deployed appropriately, many industrial computers can be rated to operate at 109 F (43 C) or higher.

Dust: Contaminants can also be a factor, and so external cooling fans can be attached to the chassis and have special filters.

Industrial Computers also should have: an uninterrupted power supply; they can be relied on to work in humid conditions; expandability to last for extended periods of time; easy access to the unit for needed service (reduced downtime); depending on the desired use, the industrial computer can be on a swivel arm, rack mounted, or in a panel.

In summation, it is unlikely you would be able to use a personal computer in any industrial environment. They just wouldn’t be able to withstand the “abuse”.

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