Computers have long stood as one of the most reliable and common gadgets used in homes, offices, factories, and other organisations. As one of the first few gadgets that revolutionised the electronics industry, they have opened up a ton of opportunities to perform digital activities. Though smartphones and tablets are just as prevalent today, computers continue to be relevant to users since they are more suitable for specific functions and tasks.
When you think of a computer, you are likely familiar with the commercial PC that you may have at home or see in stores. However, there are also industrial PCs, which are more specialised and typically used in the manufacturing industry. Though suitable for larger-scale operations, industrial computers are not the same size as small computers or microcomputers that can deliver the same power needed for computing environments.
That said, industrial computers look and function differently from regular computers since they are designed for other purposes. Though both devices are used to store and process information, the two still differ in the way they are built. Here are some of their key differences, which may explain why industrial computers tend to cost more than commercial computers.
Durability and Stability
Industrial PCs must have added durability as they are often subjected to harsher conditions or environments within manufacturing facilities. For one, heat is often a common culprit in causing internal damage for regular computers, making it essential to keep them at an optimum temperature of about 30 to 40 degrees Celsius. Industrial computers, however, can operate under higher temperatures.
Similarly, industrial computers can withstand continuous shock and vibration, which would typically damage a regular computer. Most industrial-grade small computers are now commonly fanless to help in this aspect and operate more silently. The way it works is the fan less PC usually comes with an aluminium case that acts as a heat sink, allowing for the dispersal of heat despite having no built-in fans.
Industrial computers are typically easier to expand since upgrades and spare parts are often made available to help support technological advancements. Since they operate at a larger-scale, it is natural that these devices are designed to support applications up until 10 years or so through long-term availability of parts. By this time, commercial computer parts may no longer be available in the market since new models have already been released.
Ingress Protection (IP) Ratings
Industrial PCs come with IP protection, which means their systems comply with a standard that ensures their electrical parts are protected from factors like water, dust, debris, and the like. Since manufacturing environments tend to come with more rugged conditions, industrial computers must be designed to operate even when exposed to such elements. Most models are dust-proof and water-resistant since these two factors are the most common causes of failure in the work environment. On the contrary, commercial computers do not come with such features since they are not typically exposed to vulnerable conditions.
Both industrial and commercial computers are expected to have high performance, but the former must have maximum reliability to support complex applications and processes. Industrial conditions are much harsher than regular conditions, so operation productivity and efficiency are easily compromised. As such, industrial PCs are designed with more advanced technologies to help them perform well, even under such conditions. Choosing a reliable PC will be essential for smooth and continuous operation with little to no downtime.
This article is written by David Smith, a copywriter and content strategist. He helps businesses stop playing around with content marketing and start seeing the tangible ROI quickly. He loves reading books and car racing.