Industrial computers (IPC) are components of automation technology. There are significant differences between office computers and industrial computers in terms of reliability, increased demands on stresses and the long-term availability of IPC components, since industrial equipment is designed for a much longer service life than personal computers.
On the first point, reliability, it should be noted that the reliability of industrial computers is of a different order of importance than that of office PCs. The improved reliability can be achieved by higher quality and lower tolerance devices and components. As far as thermal stresses, resistance to aggressive gases, splash water and mechanical stresses are concerned, these can be ensured by appropriate components, housing and connector tightness and tighter manufacturing tolerances.
Another aspect is the life cycle of industrial computers. Since this should be high, it is important that the ability to supply components, central processing units and modules is guaranteed for many years. Industrial boards should therefore be subject to product lifecycle management( PLM).
In terms of concept, industrial computers are installed in chassis or subracks, as single- board computers or in modular design with an industrial bus such as CompactPCI or the VME bus in the backplane. Modular technology relies on function boards and carrier boards onto which computer modules, processor modules, I/O modules or other modules can be plugged. In addition to 19" devices, industrial computers are also offered as compact box and wallmount computers.
Industrial computers use Linux, RTOS, VxWorks, Windows CE, Windows XP embedded and others as operating systems. As programming languages industrial computers mainly use assembler and the programming language C.