Industrial PCs, also known as personal computers, are designed for rugged industrial and commercial environments such as factory floors and similar situations. These computers are available in a range of configurations. They are ideal computers for industrial environments because, unlike domestic personal computers, they are designed to withstand things such as extreme dust, heat and humidity conditions, shocks, vibrations and RF and EMI zones.
The various types of industrial PCs include desktops, portable laptops and panel and rack mounts. Combinations can be done within a single source solution or integrated with other products. While desktops are created for desktop functions, laptops are compact foldable units, which have integrated monitors and keyboards. Panel mount computers are equipped with flanges for mounting, while rack mount computers are fitted into a rack. Often times in factory and commercial settings the computers will be mounted for the reason of saving valuable space.
Industrial PCs that cater to the pharmaceutical, chemical, food, petroleum and other industries that work with highly sensitive material are equipped with aluminum or steel casings for extra protection. Industrial PCs can also be bought in specialized, smaller, and bigger sizes and some models have touch screens for maximum convenience.
Industrial PCs can basically run all of the same programs and functions as a home and office computer can, however, the main difference is that they are specifically built to handle the potential hazards of an industrial type environment. Because these computers are made to be used in industrial and commercial environments they often cost two to three times more than domestic computers.
It is possible to convert a home or office computer into an industrial type PC by adding on such necessary devices like extra cooling fans and protective enclosures. However, these items will cost you some more money and in the long run it may not be any less expensive than buying a properly built industrial PC.
The PC application, the power source, the processor type, the memory, the display and storage requirements and your environmental conditions are all important factors that must be taken into consideration while purchasing an industrial PC.