Rugged and tough are adjectives that are tacked onto the end of electronic devices with no real thought. But in the manufacturing and industrial world, rugged isn't just a marketing term, it is a necessity. True rugged computers are built with military grade components that are IEC60068 certified to be shock and vibration proof. They can handle extreme temperature variances ranging from 13° below zero to 158°F.
Their ability to pack extreme computing power into a mini form factor is especially important for industrial use. VESA, din rail and rack mounting options mean these units can be mounted virtually anywhere and handle just about any job.
Now that you know what a mini-rugged computer is, what are some of the key features that you should be looking for? Here are a few must haves for any mini-rugged.
Fanless Cooling - Manufacturing floors and industrial settings are harsh environments. Dust, metal fragments and even bio-waste can all find their way inside a computer's housing and do irreparable damage to internal components. Cybernet employs fanless cooling technology in all of our box PCs by using low power consumption components, fewer moving parts and heat sinks. This leads to virtually maintenance free hardware and a longer product lifespan, leading to greater ROI over time.
Customizability - Despite the small form factor of a mini-rugged computer, customizability is a must. It is vital to have multiple COM ports, LAN ports, USB and HDMI ports, as well as expansion slots in order to maximize the versatility of these units. Cybernet's box PCs also have variable DC power, meaning that they can use their own power supply to power the unit, or can use the power supply from a device they are embedded into, like a forklift or vehicle, to power the unit.
Connectivity - One of the great advantages of a mini-rugged PC is the fact that it can be mounted virtually anywhere. One of the drawbacks is that not everywhere has reliable access to WiFi. A box PC might be mounted on a service vehicle, or in an enclosure to run outdoor digital signage. These are just two example of places WiFi might not be available, but where connectivity is vitally important. Look for mini-rugged computers that have available 3G/4G LTE connectivity to ensure that your hardware is always connected when you need it to be.
They are good looking units, and are doing just what we purchased them for with no complaints.
-A.S., Lead Support Analyst
DRS Technologies, Inc.
The Cybernet solution enabled us to do rapid deployment and reduce the PC footprint in the gauging area of our shop floor, while saving money in the process.
-S.H., System Administrator
Transform Automotive, LLC.
The objective was to allow the server to just do the data archiving while the PC does the rest, and the PC most definitely met that goal.
-A.Z., Senior Field Manager
National Oilwell Varco