There’s a continuing push in the field of technology for smaller and more specialized computing. The personal computer has remained a constant platform for a few decades and will be around for some time to come, but users have started to understand that for particular use cases a more specialized type of machine should be considered. The universality of the PC platform can mean scalability in the system that can spec up or pare down, depending on the needs of the client. Ultimately, usability and need drive the industry, especially within the industrial field.
When it comes to these markets, embedded systems should push for ease of use and all-in-one capabilities. These kinds of computers are built to serve the specific purposes beyond the usual implementations and fit the challenging environments that need them. Luckily, the panel PC standard offers a versatile platform to be utilized effectively throughout the industrial field and integrated into an array of industrial equipment.
What Separates a Panel PC from An Embedded System?
A panel PC has a number of features and characteristics that differentiate it from the average embedded pc with a touch screen. Understandably, these variances help the panel PC to operate within the industrial field with fewer problems. The different facets can be:
- The package deal: All of the components are present within the machine in a compact package. This can create a common specification baseline for designers to work from to create their software; plus, it reduces the overall space needs and wiring of the machine.
- Protective Bezel: A panel PC can be used in a variety of places, some of which involve a lot of dust, sand and other materials that can damage the internals of a machine. This is because they can be integrated into a surface, with a protective bezel.
- Certifications: If you purchase a pre-built panel PC, it will have all of the necessary certifications applied to it (FCC, CE, etc.) However, with putting a system together on your own from and embedded pc, a TFT display, touch overlay, etc., each individual piece may be certified, however the finished product won’t be.
Use Case of a Panel PC
When it comes to use cases for a panel PC, there are plenty of choices across multiple fields, including:
- Medical field: Imaging systems and bedside computers utilize panel PCs for their ease of functionality and space-saving dimensions.
- Industrial Automation: These panel PCs are often connected to machines that are involved with automated processes which necessitate an easy user interface, and a protective surface.
- In-Vehicle: Ease of use is essential for in-vehicle PCs. Additionally, you need something that can handle vibrations, and very often, a machine that has a CAN bus. There are many Panel PCs that suit this requirement.
Brian Luckman is the President of New Era Electronics. He has worked in the industrial OEM market for over 25 years, serving a variety of different industries, gaining a strong reputation for his expertise and a thorough understanding of how to properly service OEM customers. In 2000 he began New Era Electronics and the company continues to grow. He’s a husband and father and enjoys exploring the outdoors.
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