Building an industrial computer system is a complex task that should be preceded by taking into consideration of all the factors that can influence the performance, the reliability and, last but not least, the costs of owning the system. There are probably as many different sets of decisive factors as there are companies, so what we are proposing here is a general outline of a few of the most frequently used viewpoints.
Do you need to build a system for a production plant that uses high-precision manufacturing processes? Do you need your computers to be able to run industry-specific interfaces? These are all questions that will determine your choice of industrial computer hardware.
Industrial Computer Performance and Processing Needs
When it comes to performance, one of the most important specifications and usually the first that experts check is the performance of the processor (CPU). The processing power that your system requires depends on the type of industrial project that the computers will be used for and it will determine not only your choice of processor, but also the selection of other components such as the mother board.
The location where you will use the workstations in your industrial system is also a very important factor to be considered when building a system. Dust and other particles floating in the air in the space the computers are placed in can – and will – harm conventional computers, so in industrial environments your computers need to use special cooling and ventilation components to be able to face these special challenges.
Vibrations and shocks are also frequent in industrial environments and your computer system must be designed with these factors in mind as well. If your computers will be placed in an environment prone to shocks, make sure you use only special computer hardware that has been designed to endure such harsh conditions.
Another factor that you need to pay attention to when building your system is the temperature range in the space your computers will be required to function in. Extremely high temperatures can cause overheating, while extreme lows promote the accumulation of moisture, both very harmful for computers, so again, make sure you use special, dedicated hardware in your system to make it resistant to extreme climate conditions.
Power Needs and Features
Is your power supply stable and reliable at all times? Would you feel safer and more relaxed knowing that you have a back-up in case of power fluctuations, blackouts and surges? If your answer is no to the first question and yes to the second, you may want to consider having suitable uninterrupted power supplies added to the system at least at key nodes.
Industrial computer systems are best built by professionals, but company owners and managers can answer the questions asked by these professionals only if they know exactly what they want and they are familiar with the challenges posed by their environments. Before you hire anyone to build a system for your industrial facility, assess the facility based on the above aspects – you will see that the collaboration with your IT specialist will become much more efficient that way.