DSL Industrial Computing

What is an Industrial PC?

industrial computersIndustrial PCs are computers that are designed for use in an industrial environment. They can be used in various industries, including manufacturing, transportation, and energy. They are typically more robust than ordinary PCs and able to function in environments in which most PCs would not. In this article we’ll take a more in depth look at what an industrial PC is and how they are used in different industries.

What Exactly are Industrial PCs?

At its simplest, an industrial PC (IPC) is a computer that has been designed for industrial use. That typically means that it can provide industrial automation in a wide range of temperatures, has enhanced durability, and often includes features specifically designed for industrial applications such as process control and data acquisition.


They are designed for easy integration into larger systems and to operate in harsh environments that ordinary computers would not be able to cope with.

Extreme conditions

Industrial computers are often used in manufacturing and industrial applications where they must be able to withstand extreme temperatures, shock and vibration, dust, electromagnetic interference and other harsh conditions. They typically have robust construction and special features that make them resistant to damage from shock and vibration and dust proof. Some industrial computers also have sealed enclosures that protect against liquids and contaminants. Others are able to withstand electromagnetic interference.

Powerful components

In addition, these types of computers usually have more powerful components than commercial PCs, providing high performance and making them better suited for demanding applications.

IPCs are available in a range of form factors, from small embedded computers to large-scale rack-mounted systems. And while they share many features with consumer-grade computers, IPCs are designed to meet the specific needs of industrial users.

Longer lifespans

An industrial computer typically has a longer lifespan than a commercial PC, and often comes with an extended warranty and support services.


In many cases, they also offer expanded I/O and communication capabilities to support the specific needs of industrial automation applications. While there are many different types of industrial PCs on the market, they all share one common goal: to provide reliable computing in demanding environments.

What Industries are Industrial Computers Used in?

IPCs are used in various industries including, amongst others, manufacturing, food and beverage processing, healthcare, automotive, aerospace, and defence. They’re designed to withstand harsh environments and meet the demanding needs of these industries.

Manufacturing industry

engineer using industrial computer in factoryIn today’s fast-paced world, manufacturers need to be able to rely on their equipment to keep up with demand. That’s why industrial PCs are becoming increasingly popular for use in the manufacturing process.

Here, they are used to control and monitor factory machinery and machine tools, keeping production lines moving smoothly. They can also be used to track inventory levels, ensuring that raw materials are always available when needed.

In addition, industrial computers can be used to run quality control tests on finished products, helping to ensure that only the best products reach consumers. Manufacturing plants frequently use an industrial computer to control and monitor production line machinery.

By streamlining production and quality control processes, an industrial computer can help to keep factories running smoothly and efficiently. This, together with allowing a higher degree of factory automation, means they play a vital role in the manufacturing process.

An industrial computer is designed to withstand tough conditions and heavy use, making it ideal for use in factories and other industrial settings regardless of environmental factors. In addition, an industrial computer typically has a longer lifespan than consumer PCs, so can be counted on to keep running smoothly for years to come.

Perhaps most importantly, an industrial PC can be custom-built to meet the specific needs of the manufacturing industry. From hardware and software customisation to enhanced security features, industrial computers are designed to help manufacturers boost efficiency and productivity.

With so many advantages, it’s no wonder that they are so essential in the manufacturing industry.

Food and beverage processing

Food and beverage processing involves a lot of machines and equipment and time is of the essence. Products need to be processed quickly and efficiently in order to meet consumer demand.

Industrial PCs are equipped with powerful processors and large amounts of memory, making them ideal for applications that require high-speed data processing. In addition, they can be easily integrated into existing production lines, allowing food and beverage processors to maximise their efficiency and productivity. As the demand for processed food and beverages continues to grow, industrial PCs will play an essential role in meeting this demand.

Industrial PCs are also designed to be tough and durable, able to withstand the harsh environment of a factory floor. They are additionally designed to be easy to clean, with sealed enclosures that protect against the dust and water ingress that would otherwise result in an environment like this. This also allows them to be cleaned to a high standard and kept hygienic without affecting the performance of the machinery.

Food and beverage processing facilities often use industrial PCs to track inventory and manage production schedules. They typically have robust connectivity options, allowing them to be easily integrated into existing production line systems. And because they are designed for 24/7 operation, they can keep production lines running around the clock.

By using an industrial PC, manufacturers can keep track of production in real-time and make changes as needed to ensure quality and safety. In addition, an industrial PC can be used to create a virtual model of the production process, which can help identify bottlenecks and optimise workflow. By using an industrial PC, food and beverage processors can gain a competitive edge by reducing costs and improving efficiency.

There are many reasons why industrial PCs are used in food and beverage processing, but ultimately it comes down to their reliability, durability and connectivity. With an industrial PC, food and beverage processors can be confident that it will keep running even in the most challenging conditions.

Healthcare environment

Industrial PCs are designed for use in demanding environments and are well-suited for a variety of applications in the healthcare industry. They are often used in medical devices, patient monitors and other equipment where reliability and safety are paramount.

There are many reasons why industrial PCs are used in the healthcare industry. First and foremost, they are incredibly reliable and rugged. They can withstand the conditions in harsh environments and are designed to run 24/7. This is important in an industry where uptime is critical.

An industrial PC can withstand shocks and vibrations, and is available with features like antimicrobial housings that help to reduce the spread of infection. Additionally, it is typically more affordable than commercial-grade PCs, making it a cost-effective solution for healthcare applications. It can be used for everything from patient records management to medical equipment maintenance.

Additionally, an industrial PC offers a wide range of features and options that makes it well-suited for use in healthcare settings. It can be equipped with medical-grade displays, touch screens and other specialised peripherals. It can also offer extensive data storage and security features, which are important in an industry where sensitive patient information is regularly handled. In short, industrial PCs offer a unique combination of features that make them ideal for use in the healthcare setting.

Medical professionals increasingly rely on computers to do their jobs. In the early days of computing, these devices were so large they filled entire rooms. But over time, they’ve become smaller and more powerful, to the point where they can now be found in almost every hospital and doctor’s office. While desktop PCs are still used for some tasks, many healthcare applications require the portability and ruggedness of an industrial PC.

One of the most important uses for an industrial PC is in medical imaging. X-rays, MRIs and CT scans all produce large amounts of data that need to be stored and processed. An industrial PC is  well-suited for this task, as it can easily handle the large files involved. Additionally, mobile carts equipped with an industrial PC make it easy for radiologists to review images right at the bedside. This can be a critical time-saver in emergency situations.

Another common use for an industrial PC is in electronic medical records (EMRs). These systems allow doctors and nurses to track a patient’s medical history, medications, allergies and more. Having this information readily available can help to improve the quality of care a patient receives. Additionally, EMRs make it easy to share information with other members of a patient’s care team. This can be essential when coordinating complex treatment plans.

As you can see, industrial PCs play a vital role in the healthcare industry. They help medical professionals to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively, which ultimately leads to better patient care.

Automotive industry

rugged industrial PCs and laptopsIndustrial PCs are well suited to use in the automotive industry. They are typically more durable than consumer-grade PCs, with features such as dust-resistant enclosures and enhanced thermal management.

In addition, an industrial PC often has higher-performing hardware, which is important for applications that require high computing power, such as automotive design and simulation. It also tends to be more modular and scalable, making it easier to integrate the operating system into larger automotive production systems.

Finally, many industrial PC manufacturers offer specialised software packages that are tailored for use in the automotive industry, such as vehicle diagnostics and fleet management tools. These are just some of the many good reasons why industrial PCs are widely used in the automotive industry for quality control and assembly line operations.

Aerospace industry

When it comes to operating in extreme environments, an industrial PC is purpose-built to withstand the rigours of dust, temperature swings, and vibration. That’s why they’re often used in the aerospace industry, where they play a critical role in mission-critical applications.

One example is aircraft flight data recorders, which rely on industrial PCs to store large amounts of data in a secure and rugged environment.

In addition, industrial computers are often used for aircraft engine control and navigation systems. These mission-critical applications require reliable computing power and up-to-the-minute accuracy, making industrial PCs an essential part of the aerospace industry.

Industrial PCs are used for a variety of tasks, including flight control, aircraft maintenance, and communication.

  • Flight control systems use industrial computers to process data and provide information to pilots.
  • Aircraft maintenance systems use industrial computers to track maintenance schedules and history.
  • Communication systems use industrial computers to manage communications between aircraft and ground crews.

Industrial computers offer a number of advantages for these applications, including reliability, processing power and flexibility. As a result, they have become an essential part of the aerospace industry.

Defence sector

In the defence sector, these types of PC are used for a variety of applications, including command and control, logistics management and sensor data processing. Industrial PCs offer a number of advantages for defence applications, including their ability to operate in extreme conditions, their high level of ruggedisation, and their flexible configurations.

In addition, an industrial computer can be used to connect disparate systems and process large amounts of data in real-time. As the defence sector becomes increasingly reliant on technology, industrial PCs will play an essential role in enabling military organisations to achieve their objectives.

As you can see, in each of these various industries, an industrial computer can provide the industrial automation, reliability, durability and performance that is essential for success. Whatever your industry, for advice on the best use of industrial computers within your company, speak to DSL’s technical engineers for no obligation advice. We’ll be happy to help.

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