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What Is An Industrial Embedded Computer & Do You Need One?

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What Is An Industrial Embedded Computer & Do You Need One?

Being relatively new to our lives, the language used for computer matters literally sprang up overnight and some of it sounds simple but other parts can be esoteric jargon or a somewhat confusing use of older words to describe brand new concepts. Embedded is such a word.

Dictionary Meanings For The Verb “Embed”

  • Traditionally this meant: – to fix something firmly and deeply in the surrounding mass; it was also used to convey the meaning of implanting (an idea) in another’s mind.
  • Newer meanings included the attachment of a journalist to a military unit during a conflict and, in computing to incorporate additional data within the body of a file or document.
  • And, then came phrases like “Industrial Embedded Computer” in which the words “industrial” and “computer” are straightforward but what will be firmly fixed (and where) is somewhat in doubt.

Does this last meaning refer to the miniature central processing units (CPU’s) that are embedded into the likes of washing machines or automobiles for control of functions? Or, are we talking about a full computer (complete with a monitor screen) that has been incorporated into an industrial machine as its control center? Either meaning is correct; the difference depending upon whether or not an operator needs to see what the computer is doing (or, what he is programming it to do).

Monitor-less Embedded Computing

Today, this sort of embedded computing is usually based on microcontrollers which are dedicated to automatically perform specific pre-set tasks as and when required. They can be found in small devices such as media players and digital watches but are also embedded into larger systems such as traffic lights; oil well control systems and even avionics.

Embedded Computer With Monitor

A hospital’s MRI machine would be difficult to use if the technician could not see the results in real time so the computer that controls the machine needs to have a monitor. Likewise, a computer controlled high volume printing press needs to have visible output so that the operators will know precisely what is happening as it happens.

Possibly, this type of Industrial Embedded Computer could be said to be attached to rather than buried within an industrial machine but one thing is extremely necessary. All of the installed electronic components must be capable of surviving the conditions around or within the machine they are affixed to. These may be dirty, dusty or even wet conditions –possibly at extremes of either high or low temperature.

This might entail upgraded specs for some of the components but it will nearly always require a more robust housing than that used for general purpose office or home machines. For such an Industrial Embedded Computer, the monitor and the CPU etc will often be within one sealed enclosure (usually using an LCD screen).

The online firm of PanelPCpro.com carries many different types of Industrial Embedded Computer to suit just about any application in any industry. Check them out at http://www.panelpcpro.com/.

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