Digital transformation has been an essential factor for industrial applications to scale and rapidly grow. However, outdoor industrial applications are known for their harsh environment that can quickly cause damage to standard commercial computers. Intense weather conditions such as heavy rain, direct sunlight, hot temperature, dusty space, and humid air are rough environments that require robust weather-resistant computers to withstand prolonged outdoor use.
What Are Weather Resistant Computers?
Weather-resistant computers are industrial-grade fanless computers that have been tested and validated to withstand extreme environments while maintaining their reliability, durability, and longevity. Weather-resistant computers are configured with high specifications and robust technologies to handle complex applications without any problem. A key differentiator of a weather-resistant computer is the mechanical and thermal engineering that goes into the overall design. Unlike regular desktop computers, weather-resistant computers are designed with methods to ensure reliability under harsh environmental factors. Everything from the external enclosure to the internal components is taken into consideration when engineering a weather-resistant computer.
Where Can You Use Weather Resistant Computer?
Weather-resistant computers are great for applications that require computers in harsh outdoor conditions. Weather-resistant computers are industrial computers built to be dustproof, waterproof, anti-corrosive, shock & vibration resistant, wide temperature resistant, and much more. Therefore, weather-resistant computers can handle extreme deployments in outdoor industrial applications such as agriculture, mining, livestock, transportation, kiosk, and food automation.
Critical Features Of Weather Resistant Computer
1. Fanless Design
Weather-resistant computers utilize passive cooling designs to eliminate the need for fans to cool the critical electronics of a computer. Instead, these specialized computers implement a fanless design to ensure the computers continue to operate in a wide array of temperature variations.
Fanless designs dissipate heat from the computer's internal components using heatsinks, especially through its unique heat-dissipating chassis. The fanless design also utilizes highly conductive materials, including aluminum, copper, and heat pipes, to effectively control the computer's temperature.
2. Wide Temperature Range
Industrial weather-resistant computers are capable of operating in a wide temperature range. Outdoor weather conditions can quickly reach an extremely hot or cold temperature that can be fatal for standard commercial computers. Weather-resistant computer operating temperatures can range from extremely cold -40℃ up to scorching hot 70℃.
3. Waterproof and Dustproof
Fanless design and a lack of venting holes allow weather-resistant computers to be tightly sealed and protected from tiny dust particles and water exposures. These industrial computers are rated with an ingress protection rating (IP rating) to validate their capabilities in protecting the internal components from dust and water ingress. Weather-resistant computers' IP ratings range from IP65 to IP69K, the highest rating within the IP rating level for high-pressure water jets.
4. Shock and Vibration Resistant
The most rigid weatherproof computers are capable of withstanding tough shocks and constant vibrations amid deployments. For example, Premio's WCO series computers comply with the military standard MIL-STD-810G in shock and vibration resistance. The WCO series can withstand 50G shock and 5 Grms, 5-500 Hz vibration. These rugged computers are tested and validated in reliable lab facilities to ensure their durability and reliability amid extreme environment deployments.
5. Power Management
Power management is another essential feature of weather-resistant computers that provide reliable deployments in remote locations. The computer's power management core features are OVP (over-voltage protection), OCP (over current protection), and Wide Range Voltage Input. These core features protect industrial computers from detrimental power fluctuations in unstable settings. OVP protects the computer's internal component from a sudden surge in voltage input of more than 50V. Wide range voltage inputs enable the system to receive power inputs ranging from 9-50VDC to support various system configurations in a variety of power settings.
6. Industrial Grade Material
Rainy weather, extreme washdowns, and dirty mud are some elements that might cause corrosion to the computers. Weather-resistant computers enclosures are built from anti-corrosive materials such as SUS 316, SUS 304, and extruded aluminum with heavy-duty metal. SUS 316 and SUS 304 are types of stainless steel that provide both rigid structure and corrosion-resistant properties. Extruded aluminum with heavy-duty metal is a robust material that creates an incredible rugged enclosure for the computers. Furthermore, the internal components are made out of industrial-grade materials. The motherboards, I/Os, and power chokes are carefully selected to deliver the best performances under extreme weather conditions.
7. Rich I/O
Weather-resistant computers provide rich I/O options, including legacy technologies that still exist in various industrial applications. Moreover, weather-resistant computers support M12 locking connection ports that enable waterproof systems with high IP ratings (ranging from IP66 to IP69K). The rich M12 I/O configurations make the weather-resistant computers secure and reliable for outdoor industrial workloads with heavy water exposures.
Types of Weather Resistant Computer
There are various types of weather-resistant computers based on their form factors and specifications. However, the two main types of weather-resistant computers are waterproof edge computers and waterproof touchscreen computers which, are provided by Premio. Here are some of Premio's weather-resistant computers and their important features:
Waterproof Edge Computer – WCO Series
The WCO series waterproof edge computers are weather-resistant computers designed to provide seamless integration, toughness, longevity, and reliability amid outdoor deployments. These waterproof edge computers are IP65 and IP67 rated for dust and water ingress protection. The first digit of 6 means that the system provides complete protection against tiny dust particles, and the second digit indicates the level of protection against water ingress.
For the IP65 computer, the system provides protection against low-pressure water jets for a short duration of time. For the IP67 computer, the internal system is protected against total water immersion for up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
Additionally, the IP65 WCO waterproof edge computer has an easy installation feature to quickly upgrade your HDD or RAM for convenient operation and maintenance.
- IP65/67 Waterproof
- 7th Gen Intel Core i5; 15W TDP
- Up To 3.5 GHz Boost Frequency
- Intel HD Graphics 620 With 4k Support
- -40℃ To 70℃ Extended Operating Temperature
- Robust M12 Connection
- 2x Lan (M12)
Waterproof Touchscreen Computers
1. IP69K Panel PC – SIO Series
The SIO series are IP66/IP69K washdown touchscreen computers built from ultra-durable stainless steel. Thanks to their IP69K and SUS 316, the SIO touchscreen computer is fully protected against close-range, high-pressure, high-temperature water jets and chemical washdowns. SUS 316 stainless steel is corrosion-resistant, especially against chloride.
Why resistance against chloride matter? Chloride is one of the leading causes of corrosion. Many cleaning solutions consist of chloride substances—the SIO series are made from SUS 316 stainless steel and adds corrosion resistance and high-temperature strength for regular hygenic washdowns.
- Anti-Corrosive With SUS-316 With Molybdenum
- High IP Rating IP66-IP69K
- Direct AC Power
- M12 I/O
- Enable/Disable Safety Button
2. IP66 Rugged Panel PC – WIO Series
The IP66 WIO series is an FHD touchscreen monitor that is great for wet and dirty outdoor environments. This all-in-one rugged panel PC is deployable for extreme applications such as surface and underground mining, heavy industrial HMI, industrial manufacturing, smart city, and intelligent agriculture. The WIO series has robust SUS 304 stainless steel housing with 7H surface glass hardness for the toughest deployments. You can configure the WIO series touchscreen display to apply capacitive or resistive touch technology. The capacitive touch can support up to 10 multi-touch points, and the resistive touch supports ultra-sensitive touch for the workers with thick gloves.
- Anti-Corrosive 304 Stainless-Steel
- High IP Rating IP66
- M12 I/O
- 7H Moh Hardness Scale
- Build-in Speaker
- Capacitive/Resistive Touch
3. IP65 Modular Panel PC and Monitor – VIO Series
The modular VIO series is the most flexible, scalable, and versatile touchscreen monitor among these weather-resistant panel PCs. The VIO series exclusive features are their patented modular MDM design with IP65 protection. MDM stands for Multi-Mode Design Module, enabling the computers to be panel PC or a rugged external monitor. The display panel and the computer are easily detachable, resulting in quick maintenance that shortens downtime incidents. With a modular design, companies can alleviate the cost of downtime and unwanted maintenance. Manufacturers can prepare some spare modules beforehand (display module or PC module). Hence when there is a downtime, workers can quickly swap one of the modules that experience failure.
Moreover, the modular design offers a lower cost to upgrade. Instead of changing the whole panel PC, manufacturers can upgrade the computer module or the display module only. Modularity provides users a broad range of configurations that meet specific requirements.
- High IP Rating IP65
- Modular Display and PC Module
- 7H Moh Hardness Scale
- Build-in Speaker
- Optical Bonding
- High Brightness 1000 nits
Where Can You Get Your Weather Resistant Computer?
All things considered, choosing suitable rugged computers for your industrial applications can be pretty complicated. Here at Premio, we have a team of engineering experts to help you choose the best weather-resistant computer for your complex and highly specialized industrial applications. With over 30 years of experience designing and manufacturing rugged computing solutions for enterprise deployments, our solutions ensure mission-critical reliability for your computing needs. If you are looking for weather-resistant computers for your industrial applications, contact us now.