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Old February 3rd, 2020, 01:48 PM   #1
electro89
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Best option for PC in industrial environment

Looking at installing 5 PCs around a plant to each run a session of Ignition. The environment will be dusty with some vibration, so fanless and SSDs will be used. I'm looking at Advantech and OnLogic (or Logic Supply) as options, but are these any more or less reliable than an office-grade Lenovo PC?

As a general question regarding all options, is OS corruption a common issue when dealing with full PCs? What's the best way to prepare for this or prevent it from happening? In the past I've only done this type of application with thin clients and rdp to a server, so this is somewhat new to me.

Any other issues I should be prepared for with this setup based on your experiences?

As for monitors, I was looking at Advantech's panel mount 19" non-touch monitors. They seem to be the best price I could find, but are they good quality? I've seen a lot of people recommend Hope Industrial. More expensive, but they seem to be a favourite.

Thanks in advance!
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Old February 3rd, 2020, 03:27 PM   #2
walkir
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As long as it is running on Windows Embedded/IoT then it should be fine. Just make sure that you can install Ignition on it...
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Old February 3rd, 2020, 04:30 PM   #3
AustralIan
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For Industrial PCs, I would always consider Beckhoff. They have been working on the minute details of reliable industrial PCs since the early 80s.

Beckhoff Automation has been doing Industrial PCs since the early 80's, whereas Advantech's founding is undoubtably in the Embedded world.

Make sure you either use a seperate UPS or get a controller with a built in supercap so that it can finish any writes and shutdown gracefully. Sure for a PLC application the 1sec UPS is enough to finish writing, maybe send out a last will and testament - but you might want a little bit longer for a SCADA system. Depends what he's doing. Worth looking into though, as the supercap is more reliable than a UPS.

There are other things you can do, like disallow write to the OS partition at all, and just have a separate storage device for the application. Have a repository somewhere on the network that you can hit a button and get up and running again. Should be rare if you use the right gear.

The main reason for corruption of OS images is not necessarily power cuts, but power dips or power spikes. UPS or capacitor helps, put the power supply component of the PC is important to. Say you have a home power supply, it might allow the system to run with a voltage just high enough that it runs, but also low enough that a bit juuuust doesn't quite get set when it's supposed to. I suspect 95% of the cases of raspberry OS corruptions one hears about are undervoltage related, either from using the 0.5A charger that came with your phone 5 years ago that was in the drawer, or for adding too many peripherals.

I would say yes, Industrial PCs are more reliable than a lenovo for sure.

Out of interest, are these just Ignition Clients, or Ignition Edge Gateways too?
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Old February 3rd, 2020, 04:44 PM   #4
harryting
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If you are using Iginition or other web based HMI, I would consider using thin-client instead of full PC.

If have you have to go with full PC, one of the best I used are the one from SEL. I got over a dozen for about a decade and none has failed yet.

https://selinc.com/products/?Computers.Computers
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Old February 3rd, 2020, 09:44 PM   #5
electro89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustralIan View Post
For Industrial PCs, I would always consider Beckhoff. They have been working on the minute details of reliable industrial PCs since the early 80s.

Beckhoff Automation has been doing Industrial PCs since the early 80's, whereas Advantech's founding is undoubtably in the Embedded world.

Make sure you either use a seperate UPS or get a controller with a built in supercap so that it can finish any writes and shutdown gracefully. Sure for a PLC application the 1sec UPS is enough to finish writing, maybe send out a last will and testament - but you might want a little bit longer for a SCADA system. Depends what he's doing. Worth looking into though, as the supercap is more reliable than a UPS.

There are other things you can do, like disallow write to the OS partition at all, and just have a separate storage device for the application. Have a repository somewhere on the network that you can hit a button and get up and running again. Should be rare if you use the right gear.

The main reason for corruption of OS images is not necessarily power cuts, but power dips or power spikes. UPS or capacitor helps, put the power supply component of the PC is important to. Say you have a home power supply, it might allow the system to run with a voltage just high enough that it runs, but also low enough that a bit juuuust doesn't quite get set when it's supposed to. I suspect 95% of the cases of raspberry OS corruptions one hears about are undervoltage related, either from using the 0.5A charger that came with your phone 5 years ago that was in the drawer, or for adding too many peripherals.

I would say yes, Industrial PCs are more reliable than a lenovo for sure.

Out of interest, are these just Ignition Clients, or Ignition Edge Gateways too?
I should have specified, these will all be communicating to an ignition server installed on a server grade machine, which will definitely have a UPS on the power supply. The server will be handling the comms and code. Not sure if this affects your response. I will definitely have a look into super caps tomorrow. Never knew something like that existed. I usually just purchase apc ups’s when I need voltage regulation. Could you recommend a brand?
And yes these are just ignition clients, not edge gateways
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Old February 3rd, 2020, 09:52 PM   #6
Peter Nachtwey
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We use Adventech in food environments where it is hot, steam and must survive a wash down.
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Old February 4th, 2020, 01:19 AM   #7
Phil Buchanan
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As harryting said thin clients would be best but if you are married to a full pc then I have used a lot of the on logic / logic supply and I have used Advantech with no issues.

I also recently used some of the new Siemens IPC units and was very impressed with them.

https://new.siemens.com/global/en/pr...c-box-ipc.html
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Old February 14th, 2020, 12:36 PM   #8
Jsu0234m
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We have started to use these Teguar machines below and they are working well for a poultry processing plant that gets washed down every night with hot high pressure water and chemicals.


Our price is around $2600/each. Probably overkill for what you need.


https://teguar.com/ts-4010-15-full-ip66-pc.html
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