The manufacturing and industrial sectors are extremely diverse. They cover food processing, metal fabrication, and everything in between. The one thing every sector has in common is that the environments they operate in can wreak havoc on regular computers. Dust and other particles damage internal components. Extreme heat and cold, with varying humidity, can kill a computer quickly. Even something as simple as finding a place to install a tower can be difficult and create a safety hazard.
But what exactly sets an industrial grade computer apart from a standard commercial grade computer?
A rugged mini computer is exactly what it sounds like. It is a small form factor PC that is engineered for difficult conditions. Often times it can be mounted in a variety of ways - din rail, rack mount, VESA mount - to keep it out of the way on a crowded manufacturing floor. They also typically are equipped with a number of different ports to integrate into a wide variety of machinery.
But not all rugged computers are alike. Some are simply designed to be small and out of the way, while others use industrial grade components, fanless designs, and are IEC60068 certified for shock and vibration. Cybernet's iPC series are true industrial grade computers designed for reliability in the harshest environments.
Now that you know what a mini rugged computer is, what are some of the key features that you should be looking for? Here are a few must haves for any mini rugged.
Fanless Cooling - Cybernet employs fanless cooling technology in all of our box PCs by using low power consumption and high temperature rated components, fewer moving parts, and heat sinks.
Customizability - Despite the small form factor of a mini rugged computer, customizability is a must. It is vital to have multiple COM ports, LAN ports, USB and HDMI ports, as well as expansion slots in order to maximize the versatility of these units.
Variable Power Supply - Cybernet box PCs are designed to accept variable input voltages ranging from 6V to 36V DC. This allows these rugged mini pcs to be used in a vehicle or a forklift and powered by the external vehicle battery.
Connectivity - You can't always find reliable WiFI in the field or even in a large facility. Look for mini rugged computers that have the internal option for 3G/4G connectivity to ensure that your hardware is always connected when you need it to be.