Industrial Panel PC is designed to meet the demanding requirements of a typical Industry 4.0 application including exposure to moisture and dust, extreme temperatures, and high shock and vibration. The best Panel PC offers a wide array of connectivity, processing and mounting options and are well suited to any number of human machine interface (HMI), automation or industrial control applications. But the proliferation of Panel PCs means that choosing the best system for your particular project, as well as for the environment in which it will be installed, can be challenging. We’ll walk you through a 7 step process to select the best industrial panel PC solution to meet your requirements.
1) Do you need a Fanless Solution?
Fanless PCs that do not have vents or other openings are a great choice if they are being installed in an area subject to dust and debris. A fanless and ventless solution will keep any airborne particulate out of the internal casing which can lead to performance degradation and often lead to expensive maintenance downtime. Even if the Panel PC is going to be installed in a location where environmental conditions are less of a factor, a fanless Panel PC still maintains the benefit of removing the most common point of failure for most computers – the fan. The end result is a solution with a longer lifecycle which can save you money over the long run. Check out this article to learn more about fanless computing.
2) Capacitive or Resistive Touchscreen?
Industrial Panel PCs come in two distinct touchscreen varieties, capacitive and resistive. The primary difference between the two involves how input is detected. Capacitive touchscreens use the human body’s electrical field to process input, similar to many of today’s smartphones.
Capacitive touchscreens are frequently used for installations that require highly accurate touch sensing or multi-touch capabilities such as pinch to zoom so they are frequently used for kiosks and interactive digital signage.
Resistive screens rely on physical pressure to transmit touch data. Since resistive touchscreens can be used while wearing gloves, they are a great choice for factory automation and healthcare applications. They are also used when a more tactile interface is preferred. Industrial touch panel Pc is really a good choice.
3) Where will you Install your Industrial Panel PC?
As the saying goes, “Location, Location, Location” and this absolutely applies to selecting the right PC for the job. Making the decision about whether or not your Panel PC will be embedded within another enclosure or machine, affixed to a stand, or be mounted to a wall should be considered well before purchase. This should not be determined once the system has arrived and is ready for installation.
4) Is IP Rating Important?
The IP rating of your chosen Panel PC can be a very important consideration depending on the environment in which you plan to use it. IP, which stands for Ingress Protection, is a standard designation which indicates how effective an enclosure is at sealing out ingress from both solids and liquids.
The first digit in an IP rating represents an enclosure’s ability to keep out solids. The rating is based on size ranging from the operator’s fingers to particles like dust and debris. The highest solids ingress rating is 6, indicating protection even against dust particles.
5) What Size Touchscreen Do You Need?
Panel PCs come in a variety of sizes to meet virtually any situational need. Obviously, depending on your application, you may be limited by a number of factors when you choose touchscreen size. It is important to consider whether it will be mounted, on a stand, on an articulating arm, or otherwise. If so, the weight of the system may also be a factor. You’ll also want to think about the resolution of the display. Furthermore, you need to consider how clear and large you’ll need the images on it to appear. On that same note, consider whether your application will require a standard (4:3) or widescreen (16:9) aspect ratio screen.