Industrial PCs offer different features than consumer PCs in terms of reliability, compatibility, form-factor, expansion options and long-term supply. IPC’s are designed to perform and last in dusty, high vibration and extreme temperatures environments. They are ideal for mobile applications. Industrial PCs contain more expansion slots for analog and digital I/O boards, specific machine interfaces, and expanded communications ports.
Many industrial automation applications require custom software or an off-the-shelf package such as Wonder Ware or LabView. Others require production monitoring and process control, as well as manufacturing execution system (MES) management. In these instances, IPC’s can replace or work with PLC’s.