A look at the big picture
Industrial computers, or IPCs for short, are as important to industrial automation as office computer are to business operations. However, office and industrial computers are very different devices. IPCs have to live up to far more rigorous standards for reliability and durability, and IPC components have to remain available for protracted periods as industrial equipment is designed for a much longer service life than office computers.
IPCs are typically used for process visualization, robotics, industrial automation, test benches and bays for industrial and safety equipment, and ongoing quality assurance. While office PCs operate in a forgiving environment, an industrial PC must be robust enough to stand up to harsher, more adverse conditions such as electromagnetic interference, and they have to be practically failsafe.
The IPCs we use come in various formats, which affords us a great deal of flexibility in terms of location. Typical configurations include:
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