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Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Modular PC Concept

There are two typical ways that Industrial PCs are configured.  The first is an all-in-one PC that has an integrated computer and display.  The second approach is to use a separate industrial PC and display with cables running between the two systems.  Each approach has its merits and drawbacks.  The Panel PC solution is typically less expensive and just needs one power input.  The benefit of separating the two pieces is that the display half, if broken, can be replaced cost effectively.

But what if there was an approach that gave you the benefits of both approaches AND added
capabilities for easier serviceability and maintainability while installed in the field?

The Modular display from Computer Dynamics is just such a solution.

The Modular PC offers three display sizes: 15”, 19”, and 21.5” (initially) and two computer options: a higher powered Intel Haswell Core i5 4200U and a lower powered Intel Baytrail ATOM E3845.

Any of the display fronts can be attached to any of the computer backs.  There are no BIOS or DIP switch settings required to setup the different arrangements.  If a display is broken while in use, it can be easily swapped out with a replacement so that you are back up and running in minutes, not hours.

In addition to the flexibility with the design, we have added the ability for our customers to service and maintain equipment easily.  Hard drives, fuses, memory, and PC cards are all easy for a capable PC technician to get to.  Components that require factory servicing require the use of Torx screws, so there is a clear definition of how much work can be done on a system before it needs to be sent back to the factory for service.

The computers used in the the Modular systems are also not a restricted system with limited I/O.  The Haswell Core i5 unit offers the following ports:

The Bay Trail ATOM unit offers the following ports:

In subsequent blog entries, we will go into more detail on each of the computer platforms, how to easily upgrade and service the units, and how quickly a display can be changed if it were to be damaged.

Call us at (866) 599-6512 for more information.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

CIMTEC Automation provides Computer Dynamics Industrial Flat Panel systems with Cognex VisionView software

CIMTEC Automation provides Computer Dynamics Industrial Flat Panel systems with Cognex VisionView software.  VisionView is ideal for monitoring and controlling vision systems and industrial ID readers on the factory floor, and allows operator controls specific to the application. The VisionView application software offers the following features:
  • Automatic detection. VisionView will automatically detect any Cognex vision system on your network.
  • Mix and match Cognex In-Sight systems. VisionView allows you to view up to twelve In-Sight vision systems in a tiled view.
  • Graphical interface. VisionView displays full color images, with graphic overlays and operator controls.
  • Fast image updates. VisionView provides the most recent inspection images so you can view your process in real-time.
  • Access to CustomViews. The operator controls created in the spreadsheet automatically appear in VisionView.
  • EasyView display. Items selected from In-Sight EasyBuilder interface software will appear on the VisionView screen, with impressive ease of use.
  • Run-time ability to train fonts, without a PC.  No downtime is required during changeovers. Ideal for OCR/OCV applications.
Click here to download an updated information sheet!  Call Computer Dynamics at (704) 227-4600 to learn more.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Selecting a Panel PC

In a previous article, we discussed the various Panel PC options that Computer Dynamics provides.  Computer Dynamics offers so many options so that we can select the right design for your intended end use.  From relatively benign, low vibration applications to wash down, high temperature, and excessive shock and vibration, Computer Dynamics has an offering to meet your price and application needs. 

All of our Panel PCs come with the standard PC I/O you would expect on a modern computer system.  Most of our systems also include legacy ports including PS/2 and serial ports (configurable to RS232/422/485).  All of our Panel PCs run standard operating systems such as Microsoft Windows and the various distributions of Linux.  A few of the platforms also offer PCI slots so that you can add existing PC cards to the Panel PCs for any specialized interfaces required.  Most Panel PCs we offer include 8” to 22” diagonal and touchscreen is always an option.

PAC-RPP: Designed for Military Applications and featuring an Intel ATOM D2550 processor.
PAC-SSX: Stainless Steel enclosed to meet IP65 standards featuring an Intel ATOM D2550 processor.
PAC-PCAP: Enclosed Panel PC with Projected Capacitive Multi-Touch touchscreen and featuring an Intel ATOM D2550 processor.
PAC-WN-D2550: Highly configurable Panel PC with an Intel ATOM D2550 processor.
PAC-WN-N2800: Highly configurable, wide temperature Panel PC with an Intel N2800 processor.
PAC-WN-N2930: Highly configurable Panel PC with an Intel Quad Core N2930 processor.
PAC-OPR: Panel mount Core 2 Duo system for light industrial use
PAC-WN-C2D: Highly configurable Panel PC with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor.
PAC-WN-i5: Highly configurable Panel PC with an Intel Core i3/5/7 processor options.

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of our offerings is that we always offer an upgrade path so that as systems are phased out, you have a path forward to newer hardware that mounts in the same way that our previous products did.  Contact us to ask for drawings or datasheets on any of the platforms listed here.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Intel Haswell Processors Now Offered With Our Rugged Panel PCs

Computer Dynamics continues to offer leading edge processing technology to our Industrial Panel PC users.  This is most evident with Intel's 4th Generation Core i5 Processors (Haswell) being available on our 15.6", 19", and 21.5" Panel PC models.  Haswell Processors (i5-4200M) outperform the third generation Ivy Bridge Processors (i5-3230M) and are an excellent option for all Industrial Applications.


Intel 4th Generation Core i5
Haswell QM87 chipset
Up to 16GB DDR3L 1333/1600 MHz of RAM,
2 x RS232, 1 x RS232/422/485, 4x USB 3.0,
2 x PS/2, 2 x RJ45-10/100/1000Mbps,
1 x VGA (female), 1 x DVI (optional)
Windows 7 or 8.1 Embedded
Support Intel V-Pro security functions:
o Intel Active Management Technology (iAMT 9.5)
o Intel Trusted Execution Technology
o Industry-standard Trusted Platform Module 1.2

Passmark Software 2008-2014              

Monday, July 28, 2014

Have it your way, NOW!

Computer Dynamics has been in business for over 30 years and was founded on the principal of providing technology exactly the way our customers want it.  In 1981, this meant custom digital I/O on Z80-based CPUs cards.  Today, this means anything from configuring a system from a wide range of existing choices to building an entire flat panel system including customized single board computers running the latest Intel hardware packaged into specially designed metal work and tested to meet necessary standards.

Customized solutions sometimes bring a negative connotation.  In many cases, customized solutions mean exorbitant development costs, long lead times for development, and proprietary solutions that become painful down the road.  At Computer Dynamics, we understand those concerns and will work with you to minimize the pain caused by each.

With regard to development costs, Computer Dynamics looks at each custom opportunity individually to arrive at the most cost effective way to handle the custom.  Custom work is typically paid for with a Non-recurring Engineering (NRE) Fee that is calculated based on the amount of work required and the total quantity of units needed.  We look to be a long term provider and instead of requiring a large up-front NRE, we would rather like to see your products become successful so you need more product from us. 

Our development times are typically quoted in weeks as opposed to months.  We are able to offer fast lead times because we have such a wide variety of standard products from which to choose to base our initial designs.  No matter what you need, we can usually find something close to a previous design we have done.  In cases where a complete design must be done to accomplish what you need, we are usually still able to provide you with a fast time to prototype and to production due to the amount of design experience we have.

Finally, all of our designs are based on generally available processors and run operating systems like Linux and Microsoft Windows.  There are no unique platforms that lock you in to our designs and products.  Obviously, we hope you like doing business with us and we think you will want to continue to use our products; but, if you want to make a change down the road, you will not have a major issue trying to switch to another vendor’s products.  We hope this makes your decision to use our products an easy one.

Given the long history of Computer Dynamics with designing and providing Industrial PCs along with the Industrial Control knowledge of Cimtec Automation, we are in a unique position to be a long term provider for both your most basic and your most challenging project requirements.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Durable Computer Platform Solution From CDI

A rail company needed a cost effective, durable computer solution that could be mounted and used in their rail cars. We were tasked with creating this custom system and delivered results on time and on budget. Click to read the challenges, our solution and results here.

Out With The Old and In With The New

That old Panel PC is staring you in the face.  It’s dim, covered in scratches, and one of these days it will not even turn on anymore.  You called the OEM for service, but they don’t repair that model any more.  They will be happy to sell you a new one, but the cost of replacement is too high.  Not to mention, it will also require a different cutout size in your panel.  So, there it sits, laughing at you.  Cimtec Automation is in a unique position to help you with this in three different ways: new product, repair of your current product, or a drop-in replacement for your current product.

Computer Dynamics, A Division of Cimtec Automation, provides a wide range of flat panel displays, Panel PCs, and industrial computers.  With panel sizes ranging from 5” up to 42” diagonal, various options for touchscreens, and configurations that include a rugged computer or not, we have many solutions available from our extensive line of products.  One of our Application Engineers is a phone call away and can quickly assess your needs and configure the best solution possible.  Several configurations are available from stock and everything else can be built to order in less than six weeks.  Go to www.cdynamics.com to start and please contact us if you need assistance.

The Qualitrol division of Cimtec can repair many different Panel PC products at our facility in Charlotte, NC.  Our technicians have many years of experience repairing board level and system level issues in systems provided by a wide range of manufacturers.  Repairs can be completed in a matter of days meaning you are back up and running with little loss of downtime.  Qualitrol provides fast turnaround on world class repair services for virtually any Industrial Monitor, HMI, LCD Flat Panel Displays or Panel PC. Our IPC-7711/7721 trained technicians have extensive experience in the repair and replacement of PCBs, flat panel displays, power supplies, and touchscreens. All evaluations are done up-front and at no-charge – we only proceed with the repair when you have authorized us to do so.  Go to http://www.qualitrol.com/html/industrial_computer_repair_services.html to learn more.

One of the unique services that Computer Dynamics, A Cimtec Automation Company, can offer is the ability to perform an over the phone or on-site assessment of your Panel PC needs.  If we cannot provide a drop-in solution from our broad range of standard product, we can design and provide mounting plates to allow one of our new systems to fit into your existing application.  We have experts in the field of industrial computers that can determine the best way to replace an old Panel PC with a new one with little to no operational difference from the existing solution.  We carry the widest range of flat panel sizes and touchscreen technologies to provide a close match to any fielded solution.  We also offer a wide range of system solutions from the latest high-performance processors to low-power processors.  Additionally, we can provide systems that contain both ISA and PCI slots.  Call one of our Application Engineers at (866)-599-6512 to get started.

By offering you strategies for new product, repair of existing product, and drop-in replacement product, we can help you make the best choice for the controls on your older equipment.   All of our production and repair services are based in our home office in Charlotte, NC.  We are in a unique position to help you with older Panel PC equipment – we are on your side and we’ll help you wipe that sneer off of your old equipment’s face.