Unlike ordinary desktop computers, industrial embedded computers are designed specifically to be utilized in harsh environments. This means they must operate across a broad temperature range, withstand high levels of vibration and shock. To achieve this, the components are soldered directly onto the pc board and not sitting on the sockets. They are known as industrial single board computers (SBCs).
An industrial SBC can be used in the most sophisticated of smart factories and can help you save a lot of cash.
In a Single board computer, the core components of a desktop (microprocessing memory, input/output are contained in a single board. A self-service and low-cost alternative to industrial gateways, industrial SBC lets IT and control engineering crews create customized solutions.
However, these pocket-sized PCs have their shortcomings, and they are not fit for all shop floors. This guide will help you know if an industrial SBC is the right fit for your industry environment, connectivity needs, and instrumental variables.
The case of Industrial SBCs: Agility
SBC might not have the processing power of multi-board PCs, but what they lack in capacity, they might make up for in agility. They are agile and small to integrate into gadgets and factory processes. They are also cheap.
The most exciting thing is that they are self-service, rooted in the tinkerer folklore of DIY. Without relying on external support, the in-house IT and engineering resources will likely handle the setup, deployment, programming, and ongoing support for your industrial SBC.
Industrial SBC on the Factory Floor
While you like the industrial SBC, you should know that they are not designed for every factory. You need to know if an SBC is right for you and, if so, how to select one.
Your preference whether to invest in an SBC will depend on if you are dealing in a longer range network or local Ethernet, in a tame or harsh environment, in an exposed enclosure, and other factors. Note that the machine data you are collecting must be accessible through industrial protocols such as OPC, Modbus.
Determine if the board will be part of the critical factory process. Are you creating a smart factory application to monitor the temperature and other working conditions inside the factory? If the procedure is important, the engineers will recommend sticking with the industrial gateway that will be strong.
Determine If the Board Will Be Exposed to Adverse Conditions
Maybe you can leave it in your control room and then pull the instrumented data from the shop floor via the local government. That will define the enclosed and needed credentials. If the board is exposed to electromagnetic interference or temperatures surpassing the recommended gadget limits, you’ll need to go with the industrial gateway.
DIY has a place in your factory. The industrial SBC makes a strong case for the integration of self-service technology on the factory floor. However, they must be implemented considerately in service of the right variables and problems. Note that incorporation of DIY into tried and tested industrial-grade technology is what makes the system powerful.