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why need to go Industrial computer?


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what are the special features of Industrial Computer compared to normal desktop computer other than the below features!

1. It has rugged case

2. Rack mounting facility

3.More PCI/PCIExpress slots.

I want to use PCI6220, Agilent 34401A DMM, one USB interface with the computer.

for this i really need to Industrial computer? can't the normal one will do the work?

Aplication area is not complex. Acquiring the low frequency waveforms and analyze the data.

please let me know why you guys (ATE-Experts) always go to industrial computer?


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We tend to use industrial computers primarily for the rack-mounting capabilities. In systems without racks, we have been using standard tower PCs lately.

None of your hardware there necessitates a rack-mount, but it could provide a cleaner system in the end. For you, it's a matter of preference/budget.

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Because the customer wants one...

Usually the Dell desktop works fine. The question to ask is what type of environment will the PC be in? If the environment is oily or dusty and not temperature and humidity controlled an industrial PC might be a better choice. Just look at the specs of the PC. If it is designed for the environment you are good to go.

I usually don't like supplying PC's. I have found companies' IT departments have PC's they like and are comfortable with. IT departments can get nervous when you put a computer not blessed by them. Another issue is when there are computer problems people call you instead of IT...

Good Luck!

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Industrial computers are usually more ruggedized and less state of the art. This has several implications:

- They can operate in much less friendly environments. Normal desktop computers are not really designed to work in a dusty, oily, or high temperature environment at all.

- Not using the latest hardware chips also means that standard drivers are much more likely to work out of the box, without requiring regular updates to various drivers to remedy crashes and other nasties.

- If you have a 19" rack anyhow already, they integrate nicely into the setup whereas a standard desktop PC always will stand somwhere aside and use up space, standing in the way, or just laying ad hoc in the rack, possibly falling over or out of the rack.

- The extra costs are usually negligible in anything but the most low cost hardware setup in comparison to the rest of the hardware and especially software application.

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Apart from the aforementioned aspects. Another major reason is that Industrial PCs have a guaranteed availability and parts longevity with a definitive obsolescence time scale (usually 5-10 years from introduction). They also tend to come with things like RS485, serial com ports and oodles of usb ports as well as the large PCI /PCIE count..

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Regular computers are good to 30 deg-C. An industrial computer is typically good to 40 deg-C. That extra 10 deg-C may save you when the A/C konks out on a plant floor in BFE. The cards you put in may not have as high of a rating, though.

I can also get an industrial computer with redundant power supplies, RAID controller and hot-swap hard drives. This can be significant if it has to run 24x7x365.

A warning with industrial computer suppliers, though: Not all provide warranties for more than 30 days.

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As i'm using room temperature, low volume production environments incorporating 5S activities every day i beleive normal desktop will perform my job. I will design the Racks so that the normal computer can be placed properly.

Thanks for the feedbacks friends!

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  • 2 months later...


Could be this involves some more like

- type and number of interfaces, i. e. RS232

- type and number of slots, i. e. ISA

- better power supply, i. e. more output power to drive additional cards

- thermal management optimized for rack fitting

- stability and reliability

Hope this helps.


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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Considering cost factor, 

Industrial PC costs double of Normal PC -

Seems NI Industrial PC is triple of Normal PC  !



Based on my experience depends on application and environment situation one can go for Industrial PC if necessary. 

Otherwise no need of Industrial PC.  (It's my thought).


I unnecessarily gone for Industrial PC for couple of my projects, and i'm thinking normal assembled computer can do the work same. 

The only difference i find is that  you can place industrial PC horizontally (Rack mount) and assembled market PC will stand vertically inside your test cabinet. :) 

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