Commercial PC’s vs Industrial PC’s
Industrial PC’s have become a central component on the manufacturing floor, why risk costly downtime with a PC that is not industrial grade?
Industrial PC’s perform diverse tasks from enabling you to run powerful automation software, to controlling complex processes and applications, including logistics systems, data acquisition, image processing and networking, all with speed, efficiency and reliability.
An industrial PC is similar to a commercial PC in terms of receiving, storing and processing information to perform a sequence of operations, based on the instruction of a program or software. The hardware components are also similar: motherboard, CPU, RAM, expansion slots, storage media etc.
However, Industrial PC’s differ from consumer PC’s in terms of ruggedness, reliability, performance, compatibility, expandability and long-term availability.
Mechanical Stability & Ruggedness
Industrial PC’s are designed to excel in harsh, aggressive and dirty environments. Operating in tough conditions, industrial PC’s can withstand many factors:
- Shock and Vibration: High levels of vibration can wreak havoc with commercial PC’s. Industrial PC’s can maintain performance while being subjected to continuous vibration. Beckhoff industrial PC’s can tolerate high shock 5G and high vibrations 0.5G ~5m/s.
- High Temperatures: Excessive heat can affect performance and hardware lifespan. Commercial PC’s are recommended to operate in a temperature range of around 30-35°, whereas an industrial PC can operate in temperatures of around 55°C.
- Dirt and Humidity: Cooling fans are essential to regulating the heat of a PC and keeping dust and dirt out. Cooling fans in industrial PC’s have special filters and undergo rigorous testing to ensure clean air flow and direct internal cooling. A commercial PC isn't intended to operate in these conditions.
- IP Rating: Industrial PC’s offer IP protection, whereas commercial PC’s don’t. Beckhoff industrial PC’s offer protection against contaminants to IP65 as standard on all displays, for dust and water resistance. Aluminium and Stainless Steel options are also available.
- Electromagnetic Interference: EMI is common in industrial industries with large machines and motors. EMI causes communication failures between equipment, and voltage spikes that degrade components over time. Industrial PC design ensures robust isolation and stabilised voltages.
Performance & Reliability
Industrial PC’s enable you to run powerful automation software, control complex applications and electrical systems with maximum reliability and high performance. Operational efficiency can be substantially improved by choosing technologies and that equipment that have been developed to perform in harsh environments.
Typical industrial conditions affect equipment reliability, and ultimately the efficiency and productivity of operations. Sustained and reliable operation is important to avoid costly down-time. The rugged construction of Industrial PC’s, plus provisions for mounting into the required environment and high grade power supply, support uninterrupted operations.
Expandability & Long-Term Availability
The ease and cost of repair or replacement over the life of the PC is another consideration. Industrial PC’s are more expandable than commercial PC’s to support the ever-changing nature of innovation, and to continue supporting legacy applications that can run for 5 or 10 years, long after commercial components are no longer available. Upgrades and the availability of spare parts is a minimal issue with long-standing, reputable industrial suppliers.
Cost of Ownership
Cost considerations go beyond the initial investment. Although an industrial PC requires a greater investment upfront, overtime the total cost of ownership is much lower when compared to the cost of regularly repairing or replacing commercial PC’s that aren't suitable and can’t endure the rigorous demands of industrial use.
High-End Design & High-End Performance
We’ve worked with Beckhoff to create a selection of bundled PC packages, making it easy for you to choose an industrial PC solution.
The Multi-Touch Panel PC’s are designed for installation in the front of a control cabinet (CP22xx) or on a mounting arm system (CP32xx). The Control Cabinet PC’s are designed for space-saving control cabinet installations. Aluminium and Stainless Steel display options are also included.