For Any Environment on the Planet
Industrial Computing Built for Harsh Environments
Industrial Computers at Acura Embedded Systems feature the latest Industrial grade Computing has to offer. Acura’s Industrial Computers help reduce downtime and prevent failures, engineered for use the most challenging environments. With a fully fanless and heaterless systems, vibration, freezing water or desert storms, the lack of moving parts and vents reduce breakdowns in the field. Cooled with special finned ventilation, the chassis of all our systems are designed to maximize airflow while also preventing damage or failure that plague non industrial systems.
Industrial Grade Computers are heady duty, high end computer systems for use in extreme environments. Anywhere from Desert to Tundra or the middle of the Sea, industrial computers can go where consumer grade laptops and tower computers just cant. Used by military, emergency personnel, on oil rigs or in mines, industrial computers provide power and resilience to any field.
Industrial Computers are complete computer .systems housed in a single mechanical structure. The housing can be cabinet, or rack or bench mounted . These systems can be installed almost anywhere within factories, vehicles, or control panels, and do not require the upkeep and monitoring that regular desktop or laptop systems do. With Built in UPS (back up battery systems) and hard drive redundancy (multiple hard drives writing the same information) prevent slowdowns from system or power failures.
It's a computer with all the features of an Industrial PC housed in a much smaller mechanical structure if you compare it to a workstation. This often translates to less expansion slots (or no slots at all). But its lower weight & small footprint makes it an ideal solution for panel or wall mounting, and swivel-arm applications too. Also, external devices often perform signal conditioning and data acquisition.
An Industrial Computer can support all typical applications or industrial market segments; this includes:
- General automation and factory applications
- Data acquisition for Gauging, Automatic machine tool control applications and statistical Process Control
- Stand-alone or networked controller for optimum data collection
- Handling equipment, motion control
- Manufacturing and cell controllers
Industrial PCs are specifically designed to withstand harsh shop-floor environments, i.e., extremes of dust, vibration, temperature, humidity, & power surges. Whereas Commercial PCs are not intended for these purposes.
Before choosing a ‘PC’ for your application, consider the following factors:
- Temperature: If appropriately utilized, Industrial Computers can be rated to work up to 45°C, while commercial PCs should preferably stay below the 35°C temperature range.
- Shock or Vibration: In Industrial Computers, Disk Drives can be mounted on shock absorbers, providing mechanical isolation and cushioning.
- Dust: Cooling Fans (when external to the chassis) are usually supplied with special filters to keep out dust and other contaminants. Moreover, with systems which comes with a positive air pressure flow within the chassis, you can also obtain:
- Consistently clean airflow inside the chassis
- Direct cooling of magnetic media (hard disk, CDROM), power supply, and other system components.
- Humidity: Machine tool environments (machining centers, grinding machines, transfer lines, etc.) are often affected by liquid contaminants or coolants. Also, more often than not, the plant itself may reach high relative humidity values, in which a commercial PC cannot possibly survive.
- Power supply: Spikes, Surges, and noise on AC power sources are widespread on the factory floor. Thus, computers must always be supplied with clean, stabilized DC voltages under any condition.
- EMI: Shielding, Proper Grounding, and electrical design assure proper isolation and compliance with internationally recognized electrical standards.
- IP/NEMA protection
Theoretically, it is possible, practically, there might be some complications. To use a commercial PC or even a generic “industrialized PC” for standard gauging applications, you should keep the issues in mind:
- Mechanical adaptation Industrial PCs and DAQ cards do not adequately take into account the physical connections of sensors, transducers, PLC/CNC I/O signals to the ‘outside world.’
- Fitness for usage on the shop floor
- Environmental protection rating (IP / NEMA)
- Heat dissipation
- Electrical Surges, etc.
Office computers, regardless of CE, FCC, UL/CSA, etc. markings may still be unsuitable for metrological applications. Special attention must be paid to subtle electrical engineering problems like shielding, component choice, grounding, etc. to make sure that you always measure ‘microns’ instead of noise.
You should know that Industrial CPU cards are specifically designed to survive harsh shop-floor environments, whereas Commercial PCs or the 'standard' system components could get easily damaged by the extremes of temperature, vibration, & electrical noise Commercial motherboards are generally not designed for such situations.
In your typical commercial PCs or off-the-shelf computers, Motherboards generally come cheap, but you don't get the following:
- Electronic components (typical industrial PCs or off-the-shelf computers use regular electrolytic capacitors can cause the heat inside the chassis will cause the electrolyte to dry up over time. This, in turn, can cause shorts, erratic system behavior and similar problems)
- Mechanical components (typical commercial PCs or off-the-shelf computers use connectors with a short insertion life or improperly coated pins, therefore subject to poor electrical continuity over time).
- Poor grounding, shielding, isolation. Poorly designed motherboards in typical commercial PCs or off-the-shelf computers do not provide an ideal multi-layer design for effective signal routing, ground and power plane separation for EMI/RFI compliance.
The standard panel PCs and industrial PCs by Acura can be mounted in an existing cabinet with the provided mounting clips. Simply screw the clips into the side holes on the back of bezel, but don't tighten it all the way. Also, slide the panel metal between the bezel and clip to tighten it correctly. The display will stay in place because of the pressure.
Panel PCs Built For You
Supplying the Rugged PC You Need
Acura Embedded Systems specializes in the development and customization of industrial grade panel PCs and mobile tablets. Each device by Acura offers multiple configurations and hardware options to create specialized computers. We are committed to ensuring that every single Rugged PC we provide exceeds the standards of quality on the market.
A Rugged PC or computer is specifically designed and built to function in tough environments. Examples of tough or harsh environments include extreme temperatures, excessive dust and water, as well as shock and vibration.
By “Ruggedizing” a computer, it can survive in even the most extreme climate conditions on earth. Acura has developed for several years by consistently building an extensive line of Rugged PCs or computers for maximum performance and reliability.
Rugged PCs have features like aluminum alloy casings, waterproof and back lit screens, shock resistant solid-state drives, and hardened sunlight readable displays. Some Rugged PCs can even withstand a 6-foot drop on to concrete or submersion in water. They usually hold rating of IP65 or greater and can be certified for Class 1 Division 2 and higher for oil and gas and MTL-STD (Military Standard) for multiple fields.
One of the biggest challenges with using a computer in the field is the environment. The environmental differences can differ drastically from job to job, if your company undertakes International Missions in the winter in Alaska, or the summer in Kandahar, or anywhere in between, a Rugged PC is the only situation. Plus, sites are consistently remote and reachable only via off-road vehicles, which encounter a large amount of shock and vibration navigating the harsh terrain.
Between extreme temperatures (both hot and cold), dust, electromagnetic interference (EMI), and shock & vibration, it is very easy to have equipment failure with any standard Industrial Computer Systems.
Non-rugged or Industrial Computers such as your day to day desktops and laptops do not have measures inherent to their designs to protect the electronics. This makes the failure rates of these computers in the field very high. So, the only way to ensure that your computer will be able to excel in harsh environments for mission-critical applications is to ruggedize it.
You can expect a 20% loss (approximately) of capacity after 200 full cycles. This is almost equal to about a year’s worth of being used every business day. Plus, it is common across Li-ION batteries in today’s computers, laptops, and tablets. The battery should undoubtedly last several years, but expect it to get weaker over time. Moreover, keeping the battery cool during the summer months can significantly increase the lifecycle of any battery.
Acura’s Rugged Computers are designed to meet and exceed the following specifications:+
- IP67: Dust and Water Ingress Protection
- MIL-STD-167: Mechanical Vibration of Shipboard Equipment
- MIL-STD-461 E/F: Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)
- MIL-STD-704F: Standardized Power Interface between a Military Aircraft and all its Equipment
- MIL-STD- 810G: Shock and Vibration
- MIL-S-901D Grade A: Shock Testing for Shipboard Equipment or the Navy Barge Test
- MIL-STD-1553 or ARINC-429: The Military & Commercial Serial Bus Standard
- DO-160G: Avionics Hardware Environmental Testing
- Class 1 Division 2: Hazardous Location
We highly recommend using a non-abrasive cleaning substance like 409, or Glass plus, etc. with a soft cloth (preferable plain and light-weight) to clean the unit. Try not spray the cleaner directly on to the device; spray on the fabric, and do not submerge the device or any of the accessories.
Numerous studies have shown that Rugged PCs or Rugged Computers cost less to own, even though their initial price is higher. Not to mention, the essential factors associated with Rugged PCs, i.e., fewer repairs and less equipment failure, they add to the value of a Rugged PC.
Moreover, rugged devices are essential in today's mobile computing environment. Construction, Healthcare, Public safety, field service, natural resource-related, military, public and private utilities, fieldwork and exploration, building and home inspection, aviation, marine, distribution and warehousing, transportation the list goes on. These are some of the industries or fields of endeavor that can take advantage of computer automation, and the availability of rugged and ruggedized computers subsequently result in productivity gains for you or your clients.
Acura has years of record of excellence and is the market leader in rugged computing. All Acura products are optimized for continuous operation under extreme environmental conditions, and all Acura products are designed, manufactured, and heavily tested.
We pride ourselves on our customer service, too, and are committed to 100% on-time delivery with zero errors on every unit we ship. Acura Embedded Systems has the resources & expertise to accommodate the most demanding requirements. Lastly, our attention to detail is evident throughout the design and manufacturing process.