Industrial environments demand robust IPC design
Offering a scalable, customer-configurable, and fully industrialised PC (IPC) platform poses a challenge – and assuring the same system runs for the longest possible time makes it an even bigger challenge. Overall PC design – from the housing to the motherboard – should be an in-house design. This ensures long-term availability, compatibility and protects the overall IPC from external obsolescence issues to the largest extent possible. Even with these precautions, the PC manufacturer must be aware that some essential third-party components, in time, might become obsolete. These single-source components like central processing unit (CPU) and chipsets should be chosen very carefully from long-term roadmap product lines to ensure a long product lifecycle. The benefit for the machine builder is that the identical system can be used for years, whether for the installation in many applications, or for replacement or retrofitting.
- Most industrial systems run with either a PLC- or PC-based control system, together with a Human Machine Interface (HMI).
- Much needs to be considered when selecting a future controls or visualisation system.
- An IPC offers numerous advantages in the industrial environment but care must be taken when selecting the most appropriate device.
IPC design principles for industrial environments
By B Mathias, Phoenix Contact
Electricity+Control, August 2012 (pgs 8 – 10)