Industrial PCs part 4: Compact design

What's better than a powerful, durable and robust PC? Well, it's clear: A SMALLer, powerful, durable and robust PC! Why a compact design for industrial PCs is an advantage, you will learn in the fourth part of our blog series.

Industrial PCs: Compact and space-saving

As an industrial PC, things are not easy: they have to be robust, energy-efficient and yet powerful. But as if that was not enough, they should also be weather and temperature resistant. The whole thing then still has to be as compact as possible and therefore space-saving. What sounds like a jack of all trades device, is basically exactly that: The all-in-one device suitable for every IT purpose. Why an industrial PC (also called Embedded-PC) should be like this, can be easily explained: In the world of companies and their product solutions, it often happens that there is not much space left in their scopes of application. Examples include ATMs, interactive touch solutions, emergency vehicles such as ambulances, machines or the backside of displays. However, computers can not be renounced, as they are the heart of many product solutions. The top maxim of the hardware developers is therefore to make the powerful systems even smaller and more efficient. The further development of PC systems is intended to ensure new potential and possible applications.

Shhh! Incidentally, the smallest industrial PCs, or Mini-PCs, from spo-comm, also fit in one's pocket. There is generally no reason for them to fit in there, but it's cool anyway. Just imagine the following scenario in a bar: "Is this a Mini-PC in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"

Ultra-compact design combined with monstrous power: The KUMO series from spo-comm makes it possible

The Mini-PCs from the KUMO series are sly old dogs: they are capable of playing content on 4 monitors simultaneously with a resolution of 4K @ 60Hz. The KUMO IV (Currently "End Of Life", November 2019) even brought 8K @ 60Hz on the scale, which describes a resolution of fabulous 7680x4320 pixels. Even Virtual Reality content and complex computational processes commissioned by artificial intelligence (see use case "Advertima AG") aren't a challenge for a KUMO. Hard to believe that this extraordinary performance is housed in a compact housing of just 200 x 205 x 80 mm (i.e. KUMO IV).

Any questions? Or are you looking for a suitable industrial PC? Our consultants will gladly assist you in the selection!

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Curious about industrial PCs? Click here for all industrial PCs from spo-comm:

##Discover our industrial PCs

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13 Nov 2019 Array ( [id] => 471 [title] => Industrial PCs part 1: The metal housing [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => In our small but fine series about the stars in our product catalog, it's all about what makes industrial PCs to what they are. Because industrial PCs (also called "IPCs") must fulfill special requirements in order to be considered as such. In the first part of our 5 part blog series, we will focus on the cases. Here we go! [description] =>

The housing: The armor of our industrial PCs

A key point where hardware for "consumer" differs from hardware for professional use, is the housing. Unlike consumer PCs, which are mainly protected by plastic housings, industrial PCs are characterized by solid metal housings. This ensures that the PCs themselves remain efficient in harsh environmental conditions, such as on construction sites, in emergency vehicles or in large machines. When it comes to designing the housing, special attention is paid to the fact that the housings have to be as resistant as possible to dust and other fine particles. But even with moisture, the motherboard, CPU, RAM and hard drive must be protected by the case, just like by an armor. Especially with actively cooled PCs, i.e. computers in which fans are installed, this resistance of the lifetime plays into the cards. At least with industrial PCs with passive cooling, as fanless systems, the metal housing is a must. Why this is so, we would like to explain with an example, our RUGGED GTX 1050 Ti.

Industrial PC par excellence: The RUGGED GTX 1050 Ti

Our RUGGED GTX 1050 Ti serves as a good example for the combination of robust appearance and a passive cooling system. The question of why a fanless construction is based on a metal housing, is easily answered: metal does conduct heat, plastic does not. Circuit traces made of copper ensure that the resulting heat in the case of the computer is led to the outside. So-called cooling fins, which lie on the top of a housing, then release the heat into the environment. Especially with a graphically powerful IPC, such as the RUGGED GTX 1050 Ti, it can lead to a high heat development in the housing. A well thought-out and flawlessly functioning fanless cooling system is therefore considered as an essential element.

Already knew?
Industrial PCs with passive cooling system are considered particularly durable!

In summary: Metal cases are so great because…

  1. they give robustness to the industrial PC,
  2. make the systems resistant to dust and moisture (mostly counts for the passively cooled systems),
  3. they allow passive cooling of the PCs,
  4. they can more easily release generated heat inside the computer to the environment,
  5. they make the systems more durable.

Any questions? Or maybe looking for a suitable industrial PC? Our consultants will gladly assist you!

##Contact us

Curious about industrial PCs? Click here to check out all our industrial PCs:

##Discover our industrial PCs

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know-how
Industrial PCs part 1: The metal housing
In our small but fine series about the stars in our product catalog, it's all about what makes industrial PCs to what they are. Because industrial PCs (also called "IPCs") must fulfill special requirements in order to be considered as such. In the first part of our 5 part blog series, we will focus on the cases. Here we go!
19 Nov 2019 Array ( [id] => 473 [title] => Industrial PCs part 2: Energy efficiency [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => Did part 1 of our current knowledge series about the industrial PC convince you? Then let's move on to the next article! The second part of our blog series about the robust computing systems is about the energy-efficient design of the systems. Why that is so important you ask? We clarify. [description] =>

Energy-efficient industrial PCs are not only pleasant for ones purse

In part 1 of our blog series we talked about why metal housings are inevitable for industrial computers. We have learned that a robust shell is important for both ruggedness and heat build-in, combined with the waste heat of IPCs. The latter is a good reason and another important factor for the following property of industrial PCs: energy efficiency.
Therefore the reasons why IPCs should not consume vast amounts of energy are the following:

  1. Industrial PCs often run 24 hours a day, 360 days a year. The continuous operation of the computer is an essential distinguishing feature to the PC systems from the consumer league. If a computer uses less power, this will cost the operator less money. By the way, the industrial PC will also be more durable.

  2.  If a system is installed in a closed installation (such as cash dispensers, vehicles, or metering stations), it must be ensured that increased temperature development is due to waste heat released by the small computers that does not endanger the installation. But how can it be ensured that the systems only produces a minimum of heat? The key to low heat generation is the selection of so-called "low-power" hardware, that means PC components with low energy consumption. Using a processor (also: CPU) or a RAM bar with only a minimum of energy, in turn, less energy in the form of heat is released to the environment. Energy-efficient computers (in English: Low-Power Consumption) might at first sight only sound like a "nice to have". At second glance, this feature makes solid Mini-PCs to what they are.

Would you like to have an example? We have prepared something by chance:

Environmentally conscious and powerful: The BOX N4100

The passively cooled BOX N4100 is an ultra-compact industrial PC (also referred to as "Embedded-PC") with a volume of just 0.22 liters. Thanks to its dimensions of 115 x 76 x 25 millimeters, the IPC requires little space and fits into any small installation. But despite its tiny size, the Mini-PC is in no way inferior to its larger counterparts in terms of performance. Playing two times 3840 x 2160 pixels - say 4K - at a frequency of 60 Hertz is no problem for the small power package and makes it particularly interesting for digital signage applications. You may now think, "This is madness! It will certainly consume a lot of electricity". You could think so. In fact, the little power package consumes a maximum of 19 watts under full load. For comparison: Our KUMO IV already consumes 45 watts in the so-called "idle mode" (ie: sleep mode). In contrast, the BOX N4100 achieves maximum values ​​of 3 watts in idle mode. Overall this is an impressive cost-benefit ratio.

Any questions? Or are you looking for a suitable industrial PC? Our consultants will gladly assist you!

##Contact us!

Curious about industrial PCs? Click here for all industrial PCs from spo-comm:

##Explore our industrial PCs

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know-how
Industrial PCs part 2: Energy efficiency
Did part 1 of our current knowledge series about the industrial PC convince you? Then let's move on to the next article! The second part of our blog series about the robust computing systems is about the energy-efficient design of the systems. Why that is so important you ask? We clarify.
25 Nov 2019 Array ( [id] => 475 [title] => Industrial PCs part 3: The standard and extended range of temperature [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => We now know, thanks to part 1 and part 2, why metal housings and energy efficiency are so important for industrial PCs. The third part of our series is about the use of Mini-PCs in the so-called extended temperature range. Get your winter jackets and sunscreen ready, it is going to be freezingly hot! [description] =>

Standard temperature range versus extended temperature range

Industrial PCs are technically designed to remain operational and powerful at lower or even higher temperatures. In general, a distinction is made between two temperature ranges according to which the IPCs can be classified: on the one hand the standard temperature range and on the other hand the extended temperature range.

The standard temperature range

If the hardware of an industrial computer is designed for an ambient temperature of 0° to +50° Celsius, then we speak of the so called standard temperature range. Any computer that wants to be called an industrial PC must at least be up to this requirement.

By the way, did you know? We from spo-comm sometimes call our IPCs, due to their space-saving sizes, "Mini-PCs". However, all our systems in our product range meet the requirements of an industrial PC.

The extended temperature range

We talk about an extended temperature range, as soon as an industrial PC does not fail even at ambient temperatures of -20° C to +70° Celsius. You wonder where an industrial computer, that can handle both low and high ambient temperatures, could be used? Two application examples:

With regard to lower temperatures, the Alps could be mentioned as a possible place of deployment. Such as the scientists of the research team of PMOD/WRC, who specialize in climate modeling and use our RUGGED HM87 for cloud research. In the Alps minus degrees are reached quickly and snow should not be a rarity (as we heard). Nonetheless, the RUGGED HM87 has been reliably performing its work for several years, thanks to its outdoor suitability.

And what about high plus degrees of up to +70° Celsius? Here, as well, we have an exemplary use case from the RUGGED family. Our RUGGED HM87 took off into the desert a few years ago, according to the gusto of Indiana Jones. There he is lending ATMs his power. Who thinks that finest sand dust could cost the RUGGED his life, is wrong. Thanks to the passive cooling system of the RUGGED family, the enclosures of the systems are completely closed and therefore resistant against dust and sand.

Any questions? Or are you looking for a suitable industrial PC? Our consultants will gladly assist you in the selection!

##Contact us

Curious about industrial PCs? Click here for all industrial PCs from spo-comm:

##Discover our industrial PCs

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know-how
Industrial PCs part 3: The standard and extended range of temperature
We now know, thanks to part 1 and part 2, why metal housings and energy efficiency are so important for industrial PCs. The third part of our series is about the use of Mini-PCs in the so-called extended temperature range. Get your winter jackets and sunscreen ready, it is going to be freezingly hot!
11 Dec 2019 Array ( [id] => 481 [title] => Industrial PCs part 5: Long-term availability [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => Ever wondered what would happen if a large project can not be supplied with the required PC systems, already after a short time? Exactly: it would not be that great. In the last part of our blog series about industrial PCs we reveal, why long-term availability is the icing on the cake. [description] =>

Long-term availability of industrial PCs

Once you settled for on an industrial PC, it probably means everything fits: the PC's performance, its price, various software compatibilities, the dimensions and the cooling system. But what if, even years after the first purchase, there is still a need for the same industrial PC, perhaps because, let’s say, the project is to be expanded further, or because a replacement system is needed? For this reason, the hardware manufacturer ensures long-term availability. For instance, to avoid costly and time-consuming recertification procedures, Intel guarantees long-term availability of its embedded CPUs up to a maximum of 15 years.

Identical successors: Industrial PCs from msi IPC and spo-comm

Let's assume the following scenario: You are using a specific Mini-PC. But after countless years of reliable use, it is time to go with the state of the art and rely on the latest technology. So what you would like to do is to buy a new Mini-PC. But in your product solution there is only a certain amount of space provided. So the new computer may, regarding its size, not be greater than the previous system. Best case would be to have a successor model that is identical to its predecessor, right? Sounds like a dream to you? It is not. Because msi IPC shows with a storybook-like product development how to establish identical successors in the market.

A prime example of identical successor models are the industrial PCs from the WINDBOX series. Due to the very flat design of the passively cooled Embedded-PCs, the systems fit easily into their environment. Thanks to the close cooperation and continuous development of Mini-PCs between msi IPC and spo-comm, it has been ensured, since 2008, that this will still be the case for future scenarios. The industrial PCs from the WINDBOX family can easily be replaced by newer models, without having to worry about the fact that the available space would not be enough. New models of the WINDBOX series always have exactly the same dimensions as their predecessors, while the interior / hardware and connections are brought up to date.

Any questions? Or are you looking for a suitable industrial PC? Our consultants will gladly assist you in the selection!

##Contact us!

 

Curious about industrial PCs? Click here for all industrial PCs from spo-comm:

##Discover our industrial PCs

 

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know-how
Industrial PCs part 5: Long-term availability
Ever wondered what would happen if a large project can not be supplied with the required PC systems, already after a short time? Exactly: it would not be that great. In the last part of our blog series about industrial PCs we reveal, why long-term availability is the icing on the cake.