Industrial PCs For Dusty Environments

Industrial Computers For Dusty Environments

While some industrial spaces restrict the amount of dust circulating throughout the facility, the matter of the fact is that most industrial facilities harbor dust and other pollutants. While workers can easily avoid this dust, their industrial computers may not be as lucky. Typical industrial computers require outside air be brought into the case in order to cool off the delicate central processing units (CPUs), normally via a fan based cooling system. Without proper cooling, CPUs can overheat, rendering  the entire industrial computer useless.

However, the very same system that preserves the integrity of the CPU can actually cause long term harm as well. Fan based cooling systems excel in environments where air is filtered on a regular basis, such as in offices or at home, but falter when used in dusty environments. CPUs are cooled when their fans pass cool air through what is known as a heat sink, which appears as a metal comb elongated so that it’s teeth are inches wide. Typically, heat transfers from the CPU to the teeth of the heat sink, where cool air circulated by the fan removes the heat from the heat sink to the outside of the case. 

In a dusty environment, the air brought in by the industrial computer’s fan slowly builds up along the channels between the heat sink’s teeth. Overtime, the heatsink’s channels begin to be impassable to fresh air, and the heatsink has no way of expelling heat. The heatsink continuously heats up, and eventually the excess heat begins damaging the CPU. 

Fanless Computers: Working Where Others Can’t

Fanless computers are an elegant solution to this conundrum, circulating no air throughout the body of the industrial computer. Without a fan, no dust builds up in the industrial computer and it remains functional even in the dustiest of environments. Fanless computers function in the same way traditional industrial computers operate, except that they feature a passive cooling system. 

This passive cooling system is just as, if not more, reliable than fan based cooling systems without opening up the industrial computer to the dusty environment it exists in. The industrial PC fanless solution solves one of the biggest problems for industrial computers, opening them up to a wider range of use.

Industrial PC Fanless Solution: Rugged Mini E3

The Rugged Mini E3 Is One Industrial PC Fanless Solution
The Rugged Mini E3 Is One Industrial PC Fanless Solution

Without a fan, the Rugged Mini E3 from Tangent makes full use of the industrial PC fanless solution. Capable of working environments where temperatures can reach up to a scorching 158°F, the Rugged Mini E3 is one fanless computer that proves fans are not necessary to maintain proper cooling. With up to 32 gigabytes of RAM and a 6th Intel processor, the Rugged Mini E3 fanless computer can easily handle any industrial program you throw at it.

Industrial PC Fanless Solution: Rugged Mini S

The Rugged Mini S Is One Industrial PC Fanless Solution
The Rugged Mini S Is One Industrial PC Fanless Solution

Proving that industrial computing power does not have to be limited to a desk, the Rugged Mini S from Tangent is built to be used on the go. As an in-vehicle computer, the Rugged Mini S is capable of utilizing a wide range of voltages starting as low as 9 VDC and up to 28 VDC. With this kind of versatility, the Rugged Mini S fanless computer is the perfect companion for nearly every worker in a vehicle. With built-in Wifi and Bluetooth, the Rugged Mini S is capable of being used anywhere in a facility, and especially while on the move.

Industrial PC Fanless Solution: Rugged Mini G

The Rugged Mini G Is One Industrial PC Fanless Solution
The Rugged Mini G Is One Industrial PC Fanless Solution

Whether it’s in a mill, foundry, or factory, the Rugged Mini G Fanless Computer from Tangent is ready to excel. With an operating temperature range of 14° to 131°F, the Rugged Mini G is capable of handling life in facilities with wide fluctuations in temperature with ease. This fanless computer comes with either Wall Mount, VESA 75/100, or DIN Rail mounting systems, making it a flexible addition to your industrial computer fleet.

Industrial PC Fanless Solutions: The Right Choice

While every facility has its own unique needs, there is not a single one that won’t benefit from the introduction of fanless computers. With fanless computers, your industrial computers can operate longer with less maintenance and perform in environments where their fan based peers simply cannot. 

 

industrial grade computer

Maintain Your Legacy Equipment Longer With Industrial Grade Computers

It’s a big world out there, full of not only people — but competition. Each and every day, technology is advancing in all fields, with industrial fields being no exception. While it may be nice to think that one can always stay at the forefront of industrial technology, doing so would be extremely cost-prohibitive. That’s one of the main reasons why legacy equipment is so common in the industrial sector: new equipment can cost a small fortune while your legacy equipment hums away without issue. While using legacy equipment is common practice, there are cost-effective ways of “upgrading” this equipment and gaining the upper hand over competition in the process.

industrial grade computer
Tangent S Series 19″

Optimize Readouts

Whether your legacy equipment is ten or twenty years old, industrial grade computers can serve as well overdue upgrade without breaking the bank. Older legacy equipment may not seem as though it can benefit from co-mingling with industrial grade computers, but this could not be further from the truth. Industrial grade computers, like the Tangent S Series can become a natural extension of legacy equipment. When hooked up to a video camera, the S Series industrial grade computer panel can serve as a remote access interface to perform readouts on equipment. If hooked up to sensors and other equipment, the S Series can be used to remotely control features of the legacy equipment from the comfort of an office. With sixteen gigabytes of RAM, the S Series can handle multiple video camera inputs at once, becoming a hub for viewing your legacy equipment.

Rugged Mini C
Rugged Mini C

Network Sensors

Speaking of hubs, creating a sensor network around your facility can help mitigate rising problems before they have a chance to affect production. Many forms of legacy equipment produced in the last twenty years have input/output ports in the form of ethernet ports. With an industrial grade computer like the Rugged Mini C from Tangent, these ethernet ports can be hijacked to turn the equipment into a makeshift sensor network. The Rugged Mini C can be customized to have up to eight ethernet ports compared to most commercial grade computer’s singular port. This allows the Mini C to read information from multiple legacy equipment at once, and with the proper IT magic, spoof a program to act as a brain for the equipment.

industrial computer
Rugged Mini E3

Customization Options

There’s no one size fits all solution to updating your legacy equipment. Many forms of updating legacy equipment amount to jury-rigging a customized solution for every situation. That’s why having a large selection of customization options for your industrial grade computers is so important, as these choices allow you to create custom solutions that are the best for each problem. Take the Rugged Mini E3 for instance, which is an industrial-grade computer that can be customized to have up to thirty two gigabytes of RAM, allowing it to run a plethora of programs simultaneously. Or the R14 Industrial Grade Computer tablet, which can serve as a mobile industrial-grade computer for workers who are constantly on the move. For every situation, there’s an industrial-grade computer that can be customized to thrive in.

Industrial Computers for Desert Applications

Industrial PCs For Desert Use

There’s one environment that is seemingly designed to destroy computers from the inside out. Scorching heat that prevents CPUs from cooling down, kicked up sand that threatens to short circuit motherboards, and a cascading environment that can change in the blink of an eye. If you haven’t guessed it by now, I’m referring to the desert. Even though deserts constitute 33% of the entire world, our modern day computers struggle to operate for even a few hours in the conditions presented by them. This is unfortunate, as many industrial operations such as mining and oil extraction occur there. Luckily, Tangent’s Industrial PC Line features computers that can not only operate under the extreme conditions of the desert, but thrive in them.

Mini C3

Extreme Temperature Operation.

One of the main challenges of operating an industrial site in the desert is the wide range of temperatures one can expect. Freezing nights quickly turn into scorching days, and commercial computers simply cannot handle such variations on a daily basis. Industrial PCs like the Rugged Mini E3 from Tangent have extreme temperature operating ranges, being able to operate from -13°F to as hot as 158°F, easily meeting the demands of even the most perilous desert. 

Mini C1

Sand Proof Casing

Sand presents a unique problem in the industrial sector, as it can quickly wear down equipment or otherwise pollute it. Sand presents an even greater threat to computers, being able to destroy a computer’s delicate innards simply by touching them in the wrong location. Traditional computers have fan-based cooling systems that are prone to sucking up and storing dust on the inside of the case; in the desert these computers would instead suck up sand and destroy themselves. Tangent’s rugged industrial PCs like the Rugged Mini C1 have passive, fanless cooling systems that keep the PC cool without letting dust or sand in. This allows them to work in the harsh desert without worry that their components will be damaged.

Mini Tank

Extreme Shock And Vibration Resistance

Industrial equipment is loud, it’s heavy, and it vibrates. Industrial PCs from Tangent are built just for this sort of working environment, and can be placed anywhere on the job site regardless of the equipment surrounding it. The Rugged Mini Tank is the goto example of Tangent’s engineering here, living up to its name. The Rugged Mini Tank has Military Grade vibration resistance, being able to withstand the rigors of military use with ease. This allows it a special use on industrial job sites, being able to perform in any scenario.

Rugged Mini Li Industrial Computer

Adaptable To Your Needs

No two jobs are the same, and every situation needs a unique solution. Tangent’s industrial PC lineup features PCs like the Rugged Mini L1, with a sleek form factor that can fit in practically any space. This 2 pound industrial PC is lightweight enough to be placed anywhere on the job site, and sleek enough to fit into even the smallest of crevices. Our Mini Industrial PCs can turn any space, regardless of size, into a workstation.

 

There’s Small, and Then There’s Mini

Picture a small desktop computer in your mind. Even today, they are fair sized rectangular boxes that take up a considerable amount of space on the desk or underneath it. Now picture a mini PC… Is it just a tad smaller than the desktop? With Tangent’s line of industrial rugged mini PCs, you’d have to imagine quite a bit to approach the reality of their diminutive size and the fact that they are still full featured PCs.

rugged mini PC

Tangent’s Rugged Mini O PC is a fascinating little computer with a fully stainless steel and waterproof housing that is rated at an IP69K.  Because of its threaded sealed ports, external devices plugged into the ports will not introduce water or dust into the unit. The mini PC also has plugs for the ports when they are not being utilized to ensure protection from water and contaminants. A solid state drive and passive fanless cooling technology make the mini PC a perfect candidate for work areas that require extremely sanitary conditions, areas where dirt or high moisture is common, or any industrial environment where space or contamination is a concern. It’s a great PC for places like the Los Amigos Biological Station in the jungles of the Amazon in Peru, or even at an outdoor venue in Hilo, Hawaii where rain is a near daily occurrence.

RUGGED MINI

For those needing a computer in the most compact of spaces, the Rugged  Mini L2 PC is one of the slimmest of them all. This super mini PC weighs a paltry amount at just over five pounds, with a thickness of just 1.3 inches. It can easily be mounted underneath a desk, in a luxury car, on industrial vehicles, in AV closets for conferences rooms, and anywhere that has limited room but still requires a reliable and durable computer.  Even with it’s tiny size, the L2 mini PC still manages to provide 12 I/O ports including 3 display ports and 4 USB ports. The PC can accommodate wireless internet access, 16GB of memory, 2TB of storage and has shock and vibration resistance. It’s hard to believe all of these features fits in such a small computer.

Rugged Mini E3

So the Mini O is great for those needing a water tight system, and the L2 is a perfect fit in tight spaces, but what about extreme temperature environments like the cold of the frozen north or the heat of the desert?  The Rugged Mini E2 PC was constructed to easily withstand extreme temperatures from -40°F to 158°F. Protection for -40°F may seem like overkill, but just this year, those temperatures were recorded in the high north of Minnesota and Wisconsin, and that’s a normal winter temperature in very remote places like Grise Fjord, Nunavut, Canada. The temperature rating makes sense in a place like that, but what benefits would a mini PC have there? The housing in Grise Fjord is quite sparse and small; even the airport is considered more of a shelter than a terminal, so aviation and computer equipment all have to be as compact as possible. In our world and in business, there are a great variety of environments that require specialized equipment to survive and succeed.

fanless

Fanless Computers: Still Running Cool!

Fanless Computers: Still running cool!

 

Making a computer with a single fan is good engineering, making them fanless is an art. TANGENT offers fanless computers which are reliable and robust to meet your demanding requirements of ruggedness and performance.

What are major problems with the fans that require us to build fanless computers?

  • Noise: Fans produce noise during normal operation. As the installed system becomes older, the fan becomes nosier. In some applications, noise above a certain level is unacceptable.
  • Maintenance: Fans suck in dirt and clog the filters. This requires frequent cleaning of filters. In certain embedded systems, access to the computer for maintenance is not feasible. Problem of choking of filters exacerbates if the computer in installed in a dusty environment.
  • Failure: A fan is a moving part, with an electric motor. This can fail, resulting in overheating of the computer and eventual system shutdown or even total system failure.

Fanless computer eliminates these problems completely. The computer becomes quieter, becomes more robust and requires less maintenance.

Why are fans required in computers anyway? Well, computers need a lot of processing power that requires high-performance components, especially the CPU. These components generate a lot of heat. If this heat is not removed rapidly and continuously, the system will over-heat and will eventually fail. Fans provide an easy and cheap way to remove this generated heat by blowing air across the hot components and out of the computer casing, keeping the temperature inside the computer within the acceptable limits.

However, the limitations of fans in a dusty environment are significant and in certain application, noise is a major issue. To minimize noise generated by fans and reduce heat generation, various techniques such as; variable and low-speed fans with efficient CPU heat sinks, logic to slow down or shutdown the CPU when not in active use are incorporated. However, the best way to remove the fan-related problems is to remove the fan altogether, replacing it with an alternate heat removal system.

A computer with a good performance is simple to build, but a fanless computer requires a good design. Heat load is carefully calculated and the heat removal system is designed to match the heat load in worst case operating conditions. A system of heatpipes is used to remove the unwanted heat out of the system.

Heatpipes are made of copper or copper alloy, capable of transferring a large amount of heat. Inside the heatpipe there is liquid under low pressure that boils into vapor when it absorbs heat. This vapor then condenses back into liquid at the cooler surfaces of the heatpipe and releases the heat. Heat is taken from the CPU by one end of the heatpipe, and transferred to the other end of the heatpipe in contact with a larger heat sink, which is the Aluminum casing of the computer system. This casing comes in contact with the ambient air and thus dissipates the heat in the air, thereby cooling the system.

TANGENT’s Fanless Rugged Mini PC line is designed with industrial and military grade components and specifications for reliable operation under a demanding environment which require reliable and noiseless operation.

Model Rugged S is specially designed for use in industrial and medical applications. It can be used in mobile medical carts, anesthesia module and display systems. It provides optional ISO ports to meet the needs of Critical Care environments.

Model Rugged S meets rugged design specifications and medical UL60601-1 certification. It comes with built-in watchdog timer for automatic re-start on a non-fatal system fault, optional 4k V Isolation card for patient protection, and an optional TPM for added security.

ruggeds MINI RUGGED S

TANGENTS’s newest model Rugged G is also a fanless computer, designed to handle 12, 19, or 24V DC system power input, a wide range of operating temperatures, and can be installed in a variety of industrial environments.

rUGGED-g-MINI-PC Rugged G

Rugged G’s fanless design is ideal for dusty factory floors and offers a lot of installations options for wall or DIN rail mounting. 4 COM ports, 6 USB ports, and a Digital I/O port, provide maximum connectivity from this rugged industrial Mini PC. Rugged G can operate in extreme operating temperature range of 14° to 131°F (-10° to – 55°C).

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RUGGED MINI PCs: A BUYER’S GUIDE

SELECTING THE RIGHT TANGENT RUGGED MINI PC: A BUYER’S GUIDE

Selecting the right Rugged Mini PC is an important task, but it should not be a daunting one.

With our wide variety of expertly crafted Tangent Rugged Mini PCs, choosing the right model to suit your needs could not be easier. We have carefully designed our website so that key product specifications are easy to identify (to view our Rugged Mini PC product line visit: https://www.tangent.com/industrial-computer/rugged-mini-pc/ or press HERE).

Tangent offers Industrial, Commercial and Rugged PCs. So let’s first make sure you have come to the right buyer’s guide by defining the Rugged Mini PC line.

Rugged Mini PCs are built strong to withstand harsh conditions and rough handling. A Rugged Mini PC is substantially less susceptible to damage than non-rugged devices. Tangent rugged devices meet military standard specifications for dust, shock, vibration, rain, humidity, solar radiation, altitude, and temperature extremes.

RUGGED MINI PC BUYER’S CRITERIA:

OPERATING TEMPERATURES: One highly desirable feature of Rugged Mini PCs is their ability to withstand extreme temperatures. Tangent Rugged Mini PCs are functional in temperatures spanning from -40° to 158°F (-40° to 70° C). Identify the temperature conditions pertaining to your needs to find the appropriate model.

SIZE: As the name implies, all our Rugged Mini PCs are compact and small. Nevertheless, depending on the application, size can absolutely be the single most determining criteria in your selection process. For your smallest computer needs, turn to the Qbit 2 with the following dimension and weight specifications: 4.57″ W x 4.33″ D x 1.93″ 1.53 lbs.

ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS: Waterproof anyone? For a waterproof Rugged Mini PC, the Rugged O meets your needs. With its fully waterproof stainless steel enclosure and wide temperature operation range, it’s the go-to model for waterproof functionality.

MOBILE APPLICATIONS: Tangent offers two In-Vehicle Mini Rugged PCs: the FX and Mini Tank. Both Rugged Mini PCs are designed specifically for use in the most demanding mobile applications.

INDUSTRY SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS: Tangent’s Rugged Mini S meets healthcare industry standards with its 60601-1 Medical Certification.

TECHNICAL COMPONENTS: Tangent Mini Rugged PCs all come with powerful state-of-the-art Intel Processors and any one of our models ensures performance reliability that is unsurpassed. Nevertheless, variable technical features can help select the best model for your needs. RS232 OR USB PORTS: Our Rugged Mini C, for example, has up to five RS232 and up to eight USB Ports. VOLTAGE INPUT: Our Rugged E1 has a voltage input capacity of 48V DC, while our Rugged Mini VA is designed with an input of 25V DC. Gbit LANs: The Rugged Mini i has one Gbit LAN while the Rugged Mini C can be configured with up to six Gbit LANs.

For more information about our products or for further assistance in selecting the right computer, please contact: 650-342-9388.

At Tangent, we are committed to providing you with the highest quality products and unparalleled service and support.