Keep Your Operations Running Smoothly with Rugged Computers
Posted on August 18, 2020
We are all aware of the typical idiosyncrasies of home computers. They need to be protected from dust, temperature variations, humidity, not to mention physical impacts.
This fragility makes normal computers ill-suited for most commercial activities, whether it is serving as a simple billing station in a retail shop or coordinating a complex manufacturing process in a factory.
Even embedded computers, for the most part, are built to be small and use less energy, not function perfectly in extreme conditions.
Except for rugged PCs.
Rugged computers are a subset of embedded PCs that are designed with durability in mind. As the name suggests, these systems can take a lot of punishment without suffering any decrease in their performance, making them a perfect choice for most real-world scenarios.
The main use case of rugged computers is undoubtedly in industrial applications. This is because the typical industrial setup usually creates a harsh environment, which is difficult to function in for most computers.
Rugged PCs can be used as controllers for automated machinery, driving involved assembly lines with perfection. They can also facilitate diagnostic tools that allow engineers to get accurate information about the state of their machines, minimizing time lost to breakdowns.
These embedded computers are surprisingly versatile, slotting into any computing role in any part of the industrial process. The high processing power of these computers combined with their durable casing make them essential for any mechanized industrial activity.
Unlike a physical establishment, where air conditioning is a given, kiosks are often set up in the middle of a crowded marketplace. Only a rugged PC can survive the hot and dusty conditions of an outdoor location without any trouble.
Fanless systems are ideal for this situation as the sealed units require less electricity and do not allow any external particles to get into the internals. They can be used to power multiple interactive terminals at once, and even leverage AI models to offer advanced features.
Even better, embedded computers can power wireless presence devices, allowing you to implement a touch-free interface without a hitch; a necessity in these changing times.
The thing about servers is that they face variable conditions. When web traffic is low, standard cooling is enough to keep an embedded computer functioning properly. But when traffic spikes, all of a sudden extreme demand are placed on the hardware.
Rugged computers are built to handle this kind of pressure, making them the right choice for constructing server racks for important websites that see a lot of traffic.
The use of fanless systems can further drive down the cooling costs, apart from the gains in efficiency made due to the smaller energy footprint of these computers.
Unlike stores, restaurants deal with high temperatures and smoke. Any computers deployed in these conditions need to be able to deal with these conditions without going bust.
Rugged computers are obvious choices for these locations, as they are mostly immune to temperature variations and particulate matter. These PCs can be used for billing or operating advanced equipment (in high scale production facilities) without worrying about the heat getting to them.
Embedded PCs are also great for handling other complex tasks such as order queueing or worker management.
Vehicle Control Units (VCUs) are steadily becoming more popular. Integrated into the subsystems of electric vehicles, these computers make lifesaving technologies like Autonomous Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) possible.
In addition, embedded computers in commercial vehicles can also help in fleet management, by providing real-time updates on the vehicle’s status.
Now, while computers, in general, are not that tolerant of bumps and shocks, rugged embedded PCs can handle vibrations and jarring impacts without losing integrity. As the name suggests, these computers are durable enough to be roadworthy.
Gone are the days when you needed a carefully controlled environment to be able to use computers. With rugged embedded computers, any kind of business or industry can leverage the power of modern technology without incurring huge costs.
These computers require little to no maintenance and can keep going in the harshest conditions without complaint. And they do this without sacrificing on features or performance – whether it is controlling a million-dollar industrial machine or running the latest AI-based application, these rugged computers can do anything, anywhere.