What are the differences between industrial PCs and consumer PCs?
Industrial PCs are computers used in industrial equipment in various industries. These types of computers are very different in most ears from consumer PCs sold by most electronic retailers for home and office use. Today’s blog deeply looks at the differences between these two types of PCs. The major area where these two types of PCs differs are highlighted below;
The lifespan of computers is always cut short by vibrations, harsh temperatures, and shocks. Industrial PCs are made to serve 24/7 in hot and remote locations and can withstand heavy shocks or constant vibration. Unlike this, consumer PCs are designed to sit on a desk in an office and operate for 8 hours per day; that’s when used in a fairly benign environment. Though they can operate in such a harsh environment for a while, working beyond their specifications may shorten their life span and boost the risks of sudden failure.
OPERATING SYSTEM SUPPORT
Windows XP7, or even 8, may be needed for compatibility with your software application, but you’ll be required to look for a consumer PC that contains all of these fab operating systems; since Microsoft offers windows ten only on new PCs. However, all the operating systems stated above are available on industrial grade computers. A windows XP-based O/S is readily available until 2020, with an updated Windows version being made available later.
LONG-TERM AVAILABILITY OF PRODUCT
For industrial PCs, 7-15 years of availability is common, while consumer PCs come on with 12 months available. Long-term availability here helps reduce R and D and the maintenance cost. This is because the hardware would need just a single validation, and engineers will just need to be acquainted with ways of supporting a single platform.
EXPANSION SLOTS AND I/0 PORTS
PCL slots are very rare on consumer PCs nowadays but are evident on industrial PCs. RS232/422/485 ports are available on various industrial PCs, making the interfacing process with legacy equipment easy. With PCL slots, you can use the same expansion card you’ve used for decades. This eliminates the need for revalidation or redesign for your solution.
In addition, on industrial computers, modern interfaces are also evident with the latest generation PCL express slots, 4K display slots, M.2 expansion, and fast USB ports that has supports on IPCs, as well as legacy 1/10.
COST OF HARDWARE VS. THE TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP
When choosing hardware, comparing the total cost of using industrial PCs for five years program is a task worth understanding. However, the major things to put into consideration include the following:
- Maintenance: The consumer PC needs multiple different sets of spares. However, the individual PC needs only one. Higher-quality components used in industrial PCs largely decrease the chances of failure.
- Hardware validation/R and D: Just once for an industrial PC, but five times for a consumer computer (I.e., once per year)
- Software redesign: Occurs whenever a new operating system or hardware platform is released.
- Support: When a consumer PC is in use, service and support teams must learn multiple platforms, increasing the cost of training while showing the customer’s response. But, with an industrial PC, support engineers can learn only on a single platform. This directly makes them more responsive to the consumer.
- The initial cost of hardware: The cost of consumer PCs is generally less up front, but the cost attached to individual PC isn’t too much, and it’s worth every penny.