We are all familiar with the computer at home but is your home computer drastically different from the computer used in the industrial world ?
Industrial v Commercial
There are key differences between an industrial and commercial grade computer and this is due to the various demands in each of the various environments
An environment can be classified as industrial due to (but not limited to) any of the following conditions:
- variations in temperatures
- variations in humidity
- shock/vibration exposure
- 24 x 7 operation
Cost Not Price
Despite the higher specifications of an industrial computer, the price is still high when comparing to a commercial grade. In order to lower the price, some companies plan to use commercial grade products till they break down and then just get a newer and cheaper one to replace them. This, however is a short-sighted planning in an industrial environment. Such companies are opting for a lower price (not lower cost of ownership). It is without a doubt that the initial price of a commercial grade computer will be lower but consider the additional costs such as:
- purchase price of new unit if the existing unit fails
- more maintenance costs and resources required to replace and install the faulty units
- downtime while the product is waiting to be replaced
- training resource required if the manufacturer has already ceased production of the existing model
- Complex mounting since commercial grades have no standard mounting available
Needless to say, an industrial product will provide significantly lower total cost of ownership.
Unlike the commercial applications where they are used an average of a few hours per day; industrial computers are characterized by long hours of operation. Commercial grade computers are also not designed to withstand long operating hours without overheating and potentially damaging its internal components. On the other hand, industrial grade computers have integrated cooling “fans” or device to help dissipate heat efficiently. In fact, the most common reason for failure in consumer grade computer is the low grade power supply and electronics. If you plan on acquiring commercial grade computers for your industry to be used more than 25 hours per week or even 24 x 7, you should definitely reconsider such a decision.
Industrial Computer for Industrial Environment
With longer run times, compatibility issues and demanding applications, it is imminent that an industrial grade computers are the best fit. Phoenix Contact selects products from the top manufacturers and designs its Industrial Computer to thrive in such environments.