Integrated Computer Redesign

Nov. 10, 2008
Machine Builders and System Integrators Select Industrial Display Computers

More than ever before, manufacturers are requiring reliable access to factory-wide information when specifying machine design. Machine builders and system integrators can help by selecting industrial display computers that are both rugged and integrated with the overall control system.

Rockwell Automation aims to provide exactly that with its Allen-Bradley Bulletin 6181F and Bulletin 6181P integrated display computers, which have been redesigned completely to provide manufacturers with the flexibility, reliability and enhanced customization they need to fit their specific industrial computing needs.

“The new 6181F and 6181P computers give manufacturers the reliable, high-performance platform they need to gain insight into their plant-floor operations,” says Kari Doyle, industrial computer product manager, Rockwell Automation.

The Bulletin 6181F and Bulletin 6181P standard models have a Celeron M 1.06 GHz processor and 512 MB of Double Data Rate 2 (DDR2) memory. The 6181F standard version offers a completely static computer with zero moving parts for robust applications.

“These updated versions are available in both standard and performance models that offer a selection of flexible, customizable options and updated features to help meet every manufacturer’s needs,” says Doyle. The Bulletin 6181F and Bulletin 6181P performance models feature a Core Duo 1.6 GHz processor and 1 GB of DDR2 memory and are available in stainless steel, making them ideal for pharmaceutical and food and beverage applications, which require high chemical resistance and stringent sanitation compliance. Aluminum bezel options designed with a lockable, front-accessible USB port are also available. “This design detail provides easier accessibility to computer applications and reduces the need for removing the system from its mount, as software upgrades and updates can be completed via a thumb drive,” says Doyle.

The performance models also are equipped with flush bezel design options that reduce the bezel lip. With less space between the bezel and the screen, Doyle says manufacturers will experience less buildup of debris for improved usability and cleaner manufacturing operations.

“The standard models of both versions are a cost-effective solution for OEM customers who require the latest technology, but not necessarily the full power of a Core Duo processor,” adds Doyle. “The performance models are ideal for manufacturers across a wide range of applications that require high power and high performance, from automotive to consumer packaged goods.”

The standard and performance designs can be expanded to 4 GB of memory and have ultra-low voltage processors to reduce internal heat. “Using components that are rated for higher temperatures allows us to incorporate a fanless design in these new computers,” says Doyle. “As a result, both models feature increased temperature specifications for higher reliability in harsh environments.”

With fewer cables and connectors inside the computer, the new models are ideal for use in high-shock and high-vibration environments, according to Doyle. “Cables and connectors can come loose during certain manufacturing processes,” she explains. “These computers have a reduced amount of internal wiring so they are better equipped to withstand rugged environments.”

The Bulletin 6181P model offers traditional 2.5-in. SATA rotating media storage in a slim form factor for data storage. Where high data-storage reliability is of utmost concern the Bulletin 6181F features a CompactFlash drive.  These models are designed for use with FactoryTalk Integrated Production and Performance Suite from Rockwell Software.

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