Industrial PCs / Control Software

Why IPCs pack more punch

Modular, Smaller and More Energy-Efficient, Industrial Computers Sport Increased Processing Power

By Leslie Gordon

As the old saw goes, the only constant is change, and this certainly holds true in the ever-improving world of industrial personal computers (IPCs). Consider, for example, current-generation processors such as those based on Intel's Haswell architecture. "The processors are generating the latest buzz because they outperform and out-price their predecessors," says Eric Reichert, product marketing specialist for industrial PCs and HMIs at Phoenix Contact. "Along with visualization and next-generation SCADA, the technology helps fill industry's need for 64-bit compatibility and extended RAM."

In another take, Derrick Stacey, solutions engineer at B&R Industrial Automation, reports industrial computers are evolving in much the same way as consumer products. "Users are pushing for smaller footprints, higher speeds, increased modularity and reduced energy use. Today's IPCs are highly configurable, so one form factor works for all capability ranges and costs. Current designs have lowered the heat created by internal components because it negatively affects the unit's energy usage. The resulting improved efficiency lets IPCs run fanless and allows the removal of a moving part that would require maintenance during its lifecycle."

Rapid technology advances and demanding applications are also adding to the fray. "We're seeing a convergence between electronic operator interface (EOI) systems and industrial PCs," adds Matthew Hansen, product manager at Rockwell Automation. "To access ERP systems requires higher-performance technologies and higher-end graphics—in other words, more capability than traditional EOIs alone can provide. Industrial PCs add the necessary flexibility and performance. Also, software is racing to keep up with rapid hardware advancements. In the coming years, look for software that will better leverage more powerful CPUs, graphics and multi-touch displays, all of which are becoming the norm on current industrial computers."

Additionally, consider that current, multi-tasking, PC-based controllers leverage Intel's latest multi-core processors to support the building of smaller-footprint machines." says Reid Beilke, industrial PC product specialist at Beckhoff Automation.

"In fact, end users are increasingly adopting all-in-one automation devices that can bundle the work of several traditional hardware controllers into one unit using flexible PC-based control software such our TwinCAT 3. Historically, this meant one PC-based controller ran multi-purpose software to handle the work of the PLC, motion control, HMI and database management. Today though, PC-based controllers with multi-core technology can handle additional functions, including robot control, advanced measurement, condition monitoring and more."


CD1412 RU GE Intell

Analytics Appliance
Proficy Historian IPC is an appliance for collecting real-time production and process information that integrates the PACSystems RXi XP, the company's IPCs, and Proficy Historian 5.5. The IPC platform enables numerous data collection tags on a rugged form factor small enough to install with machine controls in harsh environments. Proficy Historian’s special compression algorithms reportedly let greater volumes of data be stored on the IPC’s harddrive as compared to other data historians. Proficy Historian IPC can handle 100-5,000 data collection points on one compact device.
GE Intelligent Platforms; 800/433-2682

CD1412 RU BR

Compact Panel PC
Panel PC 2100 uses Intel Atom technology, comes with single-, dual- or quad-core processors, and is fully scalable. The unit requires no fans or other rotating components, eliminating maintenance issues. Other standard features include two Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, as well as one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 interface. Fieldbus connections such as Ethernet Powerlink or CAN can be individually configured through the use of interface modules, and compact MLC-based CFast cards with 60 GB or more are available.
B&R, 770/772-0400

CD1412 RU PF

Workstations for Hazardous Environments
VisuNet IND SlimLine operator workstations have Zone 2 certification for use in hazardous environments, and also provide HMI visualization in Class I, Div. 2 hazardous locations. The units have a thin but rugged NEMA 4/4x IP 64 stainless or painted steel housings, and as full PCs, provide a remote monitor (RM) or kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) monitor solution. The RM technology requires no software installations, provides standard Ethernet networking connections to the server, and provides access to multiple servers from one workstation.
Pepperl+Fuchs; 330/486-0001

CD1412 RU Phoenix

IPC Packs More Power
Designline IPCs are now available with an Intel Core i7 processor in 15-, 18.5- and 21.5-in. screen sizes. The units are IP65 rated and have a fanless design. VESA-mounting hardware mounts these IPCs securely on machines. The IPC features multi-touch capability for intuitive gesture control. The unit measures just 60-mm deep, and an integrated button on the front allows brightness adjustment, an easy-to-access software keyboard and a right-click function.
Phoenix Contact; 800/322-3225

CD1412 RU Rockwell

Integrated Display Computers
Allen-Bradley 6181 integrated display computers include standard, performance and advanced models that provide all-in-one industrial PC options for most information and visual-interface requirements. The rugged industrial computers combine multi-touch touchscreens, high-performing processors, field-replaceable components and remote-management capabilities.
Rockwell Automation; 414/328-2000

CD1412 RU Siemens

Turbo-Boosted Microbox
Simatic 427D Microbox IPC sports the third-generation Intel Core i7 (1.7 GHz) processor for high system performance. A turbo-boost feature delivers up to 2.4 GHz, while the unit's memory provides up to 8-GB of RAM. This fanless IPC operates in ambient temperatures up to 55 °C, has a rugged, chemical resistant housing, can withstand vibration and shock, and provides a retentive signaling buffer for WinCC.
Siemens Industry; 800/743-6367

CD1412 RU noax

Multi-function IPC
With a 21.5-in., high-definition display, C21 industrial PC provides slots for plug-in cards, ports for PCI, PCIe and mini-PCIe, and a secured USB port. The device comes with two Ethernet ports, built-in WLAN antennas, integrated Bluetooth, and mobile wireless capability. Programmable function keys are available to start frequently used functions or switch between applications.
Noax Technologies; 704/992 1606

CD1412 RU Advantech

Panel PC
PPC-6120 panel PC lets users install any fourth generation processor from Celeron to Intel i7. The PC is a 12.1-in., five-wire resistive touchscreen that connects directly to devices through an integrated isolated RS-422/485 port, which protects the port in the event of power spikes. The device has an input range of 12-30 V, and also includes a IP65 front bezel, four RS-232 and USB 3.0 ports, and dual Gigabit ports. Users can add a PCIex4 or PCI card.
Advantech Corp.; 800/205-7940

CD1412 RU Stealth

Mini IPC
LPC-681 mini PC measures 6.54 in. x 6.18 in. x 1.89 in. It has an Intel 4th Generation Haswell Core i7-4800MQ mobile processor. The PC also includes Intel HD Graphics 4600, providing for three-video ports with optional adapter cables for VGA and DVI connectivity. Other features include one Gigabit LAN, two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, one serial, two eSATA, and audio In/Out ports, as well as optional 802.11 b/g/n wireless networking.
Stealth Computer; 905/264-9000

CD1412 RU Beckhoff

Multi-Touch Meets Multi-Core
CP22xx Panel PC series are designed for cabinet installation, and use a multi-touch interface and high-performance multi-core processors including Intel Celeron, Core i3, i5 (all with 2 cores) or 3rd and 4th generation i7 (4 cores). A range of screen sizes from 12- to 24-in is available. CP22xx features a free mini-PCI slot for factory-installed cards, 2 GB DDR3-RAM (extendable to 16 GB), a hard disk, CFast card or SSD, an on-board dual Ethernet adapter with 10/100/1000 Base-T connection and an on-board Sata RAID-1 controller. The equipment also includes a serial RS232 interface and four USB 2.0 ports as well as up to four further optional Ethernet ports.
Beckhoff Automation; 877/894-6228

 CD1412 RU MPL

Embedded Computer
CEC is a highly integrated, compact and robust embedded computer system, based on the Intel Atom Processor E3800 Series with single-, dual-, and quad-core CPUs. The unit operates in a wide supply range of 8-36 V without a fan, heat pipes or case openings. The CEC has a low power consumption of 8-18 W, and it offers a configurable power management feature to provide sleep currents down to 100 µA, supporting wake-up sources such as an ignition signal, RS232 ring indicator, or wake-on LAN. The CEC operates in a temperature range of -40°C to 85°C, and withstands reverse polarity voltage, overvoltage, surge and burst voltages, as well as electromagnetic discharges.
MPL; 480/513-8979

 CD1412 RU CCS Dogged Performance 

Seppala-T panel PC for HMIs connects with installed PLCs and automation systems. Available in 10-, 12- and 15-in. touchscreen sizes and built on Intel’s Atom processor, it has solid-state drives and is fanless. The front panel is IP65-compliant and is designed to meet NEMA 4/4X standards. It’s preloaded with InduSoft’s Web Studio HMI software.
CCS; 800/277-3077

 CD1412 RU IED Intel Inside 

Model SPC-190T’s standard configuration is Intel i5-3360m CPU-based and integrated with a rugged, projected, capacitive, multi-touchscreen recessed into a 0.375-in. thick, 6061 aluminum bezel. Power input can be 120/240 Vac or 12/24 Vdc.
Industrial Electronic Devices; 908/806-2255

 CD1412 RU Mitsubishi PU for IQ 

WinCPU industrial PC mounts directly to the backplane of the company’s iQ-Series controller and is powered by a 1.66-GHz Atom processor with a solid-state drive. It includes two Ethernet channels, USB and standard CompactFlash card slot for external storage.
Mitsubishi Electric Automation; 847/478-2100;

 CD1412 RU DaisyData Get Enough Fiber 

The 4123CF industrial computer incorporates carbon fiber and aircraft-grade machine aluminum, NEMA 4X, Class I and II, Div. 2 enclosure with Com Express dual-core Atom processor, SSD drive, network and USB ports, Wi-Fi, 15-in. sunlight-readable display and multi-touch, projected capacitive touchscreen. Operating range is -40 to 65 ºC.
Daisy Data Displays; 717/932-9999

 CD1412 RU AdvantechAuto Stays Put 

The SPC-1840WP, 18.5-in., waterproof, widescreen, multi-touch, stationary panel PC for areas that require frequent power washing has all-around IP65 protection. It has an AMD 1.6-GHz processor with an independent, graphical processing unit that supports Windows 8 and DirectX11, and includes 1 x RS-232, 1 x USB 2.0 and 2 x GbE LAN.
Advantech Industrial Automation Group; 800/205/7940;

 CD1412 RU Kontron Pocket Power 

CP-Pocket control cabinet computer in 3U CompactPCI format has an Intel Celeron 807UE processor and expansion options via CompactPCI peripheral boards, which are accessible without removing the enclosure. A smart cache of 1 MB and up to 4 GB of DDR3 SDRAM memory with 1333 MHz provide high-data throughput. Peripherals connect via one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports and one serial port. Three Gigabit Ethernet ports enable horizontal and vertical integration in automation networks.
Kontron; 858/623-3006

 CD1412 RU Proface Go Diskless 

PS4000 diskless industrial PC has Windows XP Pro and Windows 7 Ultimate operating systems, Core Duo processors and PCI Express expansion. WinGP and GP-Pro EX HMI development software provide connectivity and the ability to create HMI screens and logic programming.
Pro-face; 800/289-9266

 CD1412 RU Acromag Hazard-Class IPC 

I/O Server industrial PC with UL certification for Class I, Div. 2 Group A, B, C, D hazardous locations with volatile substances has an Intel Atom or AMD Geode CPU and an integrated carrier card for up to four plug-in I/O modules. More than 20 I/O modules provide high-density A/D, D/A, discrete-level control, counter/timer and serial communication functions. CAN bus, Mil-Std-1553 and configurable FPGA modules offer advanced control capabilities.
Acromag; 248/295-0310

 CD1412 RU IC

Tablet PC
Guardian Series of 7-, 8- and 10-in. tablets include Mil-Spec IP65, Mil-Std 810F and Mil-Std 461E standards, daylight-viewable
options, and a range of communication options and expansion slots for specific requirements.
Industrial Computing; 781/890-3111

 CD1412 RU Axiomtek Fanless Embedded System

The eBOX670-883-FL embedded system features an LGA1150 socket for 4th generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3 and Celeron processors (Haswell) with Intel Q87 chipset; fanless operation design with full feature I/O; and two 2.5-in. SATA drive bay, 1 CFast slot and mSATA. The unit includes two internal PCI Express Mini Card slots and one SIM slot. It supports 2 HDMI, VGA and DisplayPort for triple independent display. Its operating temperature range is -40 to 55 °C
Axiomtek; 626/581-3232