Do You Need a Custom Panel PC for your Industrial Application?

Technological advancements have come a long way, especially in the Industrial Internet of Thing (IIoT). They have enhanced communication and connectivity, allowing people to connect with others across the globe, access information instantly, and stay connected. This “Industry 4.0” has further revolutionized various industries, increasing productivity, efficiency, and convenience in areas like transportation, agriculture, manufacturing and oil and gas.

Intelligent Concepts use HMI

If you have an intelligent product concept – whether it’s for the medical, energy, or self-service– you’ll likely need a custom HMI panel display.

HMI stands for Human-Machine Interface and refers to the technology that enables interaction between humans and machines or computer systems. It encompasses the visual, auditory, and tactile interfaces through which users can communicate with and control machines or systems. HMI technology includes elements such as touchscreens, graphical user interfaces (GUIs), voice recognition, and gesture control, providing intuitive and user-friendly interfaces for a wide range of applications, including industrial control systems, building automation, and machinery.

Examples of Industries Using HMI Panel PCs

Factory Automation : In a smart pharmaceutical manufacturing facility, HMIs are used to oversee the production of medications. Operators can access detailed information about the manufacturing process, including temperature, pressure, and ingredient levels. The HMI system may also provide alerts for deviations from the desired parameters, helping maintain product quality and compliance. Market research company, Visiongain, reports that automation in the Biopharma industry market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.75% by 2033.

HMI panels

Another example of factory automation is Food and Beverage Processing. In a smart food and beverage processing plant, HMIs are employed to manage the production of various consumables. The HMIs display vital information such as batch recipes, mixing ratios, and production rates. This data helps operators optimize production efficiency, minimize waste, and ensure consistent product quality throughout the manufacturing process.

Building Automation System (BAS) / Building Management System (BMS): A touch screen panel PC can be integrated into a BAS or BMS for several applications. It serves as a user interface for facility managers, allowing easy monitoring and control of various functions like HVAC, lighting, and security. Panel PCs offer real-time monitoring, centralized management, data visualization, and alarms, aiding in efficient building performance and quick issue resolution. Their flexibility and integration capabilities make them suitable for larger and complex buildings with extensive automation needs

When selecting a custom panel PC for an industrial application, there are several important factors to consider:

Performance and Reliability: Assess the processing power, memory, and storage capabilities of the panel PC to ensure it meets the performance requirements of your industrial application. Additionally, consider the reliability and durability of the components used, as industrial environments can be demanding. Look for certifications such as IP (Ingress Protection) ratings to ensure resistance to dust, moisture, and other environmental factors.

Connectivity and Expansion Options: Evaluate the available connectivity options such as Ethernet, USB, serial ports, and wireless connectivity (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth) to ensure compatibility with your existing infrastructure and devices. Additionally, consider expansion options like PCIe, mini-PCIe, m.2 slots to accommodate future hardware upgrades or specific expansion cards required for your application.

Display and Touchscreen Features: Assess the display size and quality, resolution, and brightness of the panel PC, particularly if your application requires clear visibility in varying lighting conditions. Additionally, consider the touchscreen technology used (resistive, capacitive, etc.) and its suitability for your industrial environment, including glove-friendly or water-resistant features if necessary. Click here to read more about screen brightness.

Customization and Long-Term Support of Product Lifecycle: Engage with a reliable manufacturer that offers customization options to tailor the panel PC to your specific requirements. Ensure they provide long-term support, including availability of replacement parts, firmware updates, and technical assistance, as it is crucial for maintaining the panel PC’s functionality and compatibility in the long run. For many industrial clients, EStone manages and guarantees their product life for 5 years or more.

Durability and Ruggedness: Industrial environments can be harsh, with exposure to dust, moisture, temperature fluctuations, and vibrations. It is important to choose a custom panel PC that is built to withstand these conditions. Look for features like an industrial-grade enclosure, IP rating for dust and water resistance, and drop, shock vibration and tumbling vibration resistance to ensure reliable operation in the intended environment. Estone implements state-of-the-art equipment to test products and ensure they meet their most common and expected stresses. Read here about military MIL-STD-810 testing standards and drop ratings.

Equipment Being Used to Test Drop, Shock, Vibration, and Tumbling Durability on Rugged UR-100

Mounting Options: To ensure safety for the user, HMIs should be easily accessible from secure positions, preventing operators from having to stand in potentially hazardous areas or near unsafe machinery. Incorporating multiple mounting options for HMIs and control panels when the machine’s specific location in the setting is uncertain is a prudent approach. For instance, employing support arms that offer swinging, swiveling, and adjustable features for keyboards, touchscreens, and controls ensures operators’ safety and comfort, allowing flexibility in their placement.

Estone: ODM Experts in Industrial Panel PCs and HMIs

Estone engineers are dedicated to designing products to meet the challenges of any industry. Whether it is a smart panel PC for IOT applications or medical tablet PCs for hospitals, Estone has you covered. We build rugged, intelligent products from the ground up and have over 25 years of experience. Contact us to learn more.