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Monday, June 16, 2014

The Latest Testing Standards for Rugged Computers

The latest testing standards for rugged computers ensure that your computer is properly protected from the detrimental elements and harsh environment in which it will be operated. If you're considering the purchase of a durable computer, here are several ratings and testing standards or certifications for which you should look.


1.) IP Ratings
  • IP (Ingress Protection) ratings are frequently used to signify protection from:
    • Liquids (such as rain, fog, and humidity)
    • Solids (such as dust, sand, smoke, detritus, and other small particulate matter)
  • IP ratings are two digit numbers- the first number specifying protection from solids, the second number specifying protection from liquids
  • IP ratings are typically used in Europe, but have also gained wide acceptance in the US.
  • Details about IP ratings are discussed in the blog post, "What are IP Ratings?"
  • View CDI's IP rated products:
2.) NEMA
  • National Electrical Manufacturer Association standards are applied mainly to fixed enclosures and are seldom applied to mobile devices
  • NEMA ratings are used to verify protection of an electrical enclosure from external ice, corrosive materials, oil, dust, and water, etc.
  • NEMA ratings may seem similar to IP Ratings, however, NEMA testing standards reveal to the consumer the types of corrosive atmospheres against which the enclosure is protected
  • NEMA ratings are typically used in the US
  • NEMA standards include ratings for protection in a variety of environments, namely deep mines, steel mills, chemical processing plants, quarries, dairies and shipping docks
  • View CDI's NEMA rated products:

  • The MIL-STD 810 standard was established by the U.S. Department of Defense in 1962 (with the most recent update released in January 2008)
  • It is a set of testing procedures that cover a wide range of environmental conditions such as shock, vibration and temperature
  • This standard makes the computer more desirable to government agencies at the federal, state and local levels as well as for industrial customers that want some degree of protection against shock and vibration
  • In order to be certain that a computer is also protected from salt fog, rain, and humidity, it is recommended to verify that the computer also has an IP rating
  • View CDI's MIL-STD products:
2.) IEC60068-2-27
  • This is a method of test typically used to determine a computer's ability to withstand shocks of different severities
  • The test will reveal mechanical weaknesses as well as degradation to specific performances or accumulated damage or degradation caused by the shocks
3.) IEC60068-2-6
  • This is a method of test typically used to determine whether a computer still functions during or still works after being subjected to vibration of a harmonic pattern for a period of time
  • The vibrations mimic those that commonly occur in aircraft, vehicles, and ships generated by rotating, pulsating, or oscillating forces
All Computer Dynamics' products are verified to comply with the FCC Class B rules and regulations regarding unlicensed transmissions and/or spurious or unintentional emissions - radio frequencies that are not deliberately created or transmitted - such as harmonic emissions. Class B limits are more stringent therefore the Class B certification process is much more rigorous than Class A. (Title 47 CFR Part 15).

For more safety information about any of our industrial computers or industrial monitors, visit our site or contact us today.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Monitor Capabilities in Harsh Environments - CDI

Industrial monitors have come a long way in terms of technology and ruggedness. There are several improvements in technology that result in more rugged Panel PCs.  Here are a few advancements in technology that result in less downtime for Panel PC systems in harsh environments:

  • Several models are corrosion resistant provided by aluminum-alloy housing.
    • This allows for outdoor and indoor use. For outdoor use, we can include a sunlight readable LCD color display with resistive-touch technology. (Related: View our product the DisplayPAC-RPP).
      • Resistive-touch technology means the touchscreen will work for users wearing gloves.
      • It also means that the front surface of the screen is made of a Mylar layer that won’t shatter or chip like glass.
    • Note: If you have a "no glass exposed" policy, a resistive touchscreen computer may be the ideal solution for your industry.
  • Many industrial computers are tested IP65-compliant. (Related: View our product the DisplayPAC-PCAP).
    • This means no dust, regardless of the size of the particle, can penetrate the housing and there is limited penetration against ingress of sprayed water. Learn more about IP Ratings on our blog.
  • Solid State Drive (SSD) options in which SSD devices are used in place of rotating hard drives.  SSDs work just like standard hard drives, but have no moving parts.  These solutions provide excellent durability and longevity, helping to protect against vibration and shock that’s commonly unavoidable in a number of industrial, military and marine industries.

Learn more about how you can obtain rugged, long-lasting multi-touch and resistive touchscreen computers that will last in the harsh environment you work in by viewing our complete list of industrial computers that can withstand the harshest environments.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Computer Dynamics systems packaged with Cognex VisionView available from CIMTEC

CIMTEC Automation is now providing 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.

PAC-OPR Products + VisionView PC
PAC-OPR running
VisionView PC
The PAC-OPR products are industrial NEMA 12 panel-mount flat panel computers with 2 PCI slots.  This product is available in three different panel sizes: 15” 1024x768, 17” 1280x1024, and 19” 1280x1024.  In addition to the display choice, this system includes: a Resistive touchscreen, 1.83GHz (667 MHz FSB) T5600 C2D Processor with 2GB of DDR-2 RAM, Windows XP Pro installed (no CD media included). A 250GB (or greater) Hard Drive, 5-in-1 card reader, and DVD-ROM are also included as standard.  Monitor and control the vision application with the VisionView interface.

Part Number

VAMP-WN Products + VisionView VGA
VAMP-WN running
VisionView VGA
The VAMP-WN is a highly configurable industrial flat panel display with a wide variety of packaging options.  The stocked configurations are 15” 1024x768, 17” 1280x1024, and 19” 1280x1024 panels with a NEMA4 panel-mount front bezel and resistive touchscreen.  Monitor and control the vision application with the VisionView interface via VGA and serial connections. This provides the flexibility to connect smaller- or larger-size monitors for “control room” viewing of images, results, CustomViews, and EasyViews.

Part Number

PAC-SSX + VisionView PC
PAC-SSX running
VisionView PC
The PAC-SSX is an industrial flat panel computer in a rugged, fully-sealed IP65 stainless steel chassis.  This system includes:  a 15" 1024x768 TFT, resistive touchscreen, fanless 1.86GHz ATOM D2550 Processor with 2GB of DDR RAM, 32G solid state flash drive, and Windows XP Pro installed.  There are no moving parts in this system which results in a very robust, long lasting product! Monitor and control the vision application with the VisionView interface.

Part Number

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Computer Dynamics Releases New Product - DisplayPAC-N2800-IP65-XT

Computer Dynamics is known for providing systems designed to operate in industrial, military, transportation, and other markets requiring robust, long-life product.  We base our solutions on processors and chipsets that have long availability in the marketplace giving our customers the latest in technology with a roadmap for 5 to 7 years of availability.  Computer Dynamics is proud to announce the addition of the DisplayPac-N2800-IP65-XT to our industrial product line.  The physical design of the DisplayPac series are all identical allowing customers to use either a higher end processor solution or a lower end, lower cost solution all in the same footprint.  The DisplayPac-N2800-IP65-XT products are based on the Dual Core ATOM N2800 processor (1.86GHz) and include an IP65 front bezel along with the ability to operate in a wide temperature range of -20° to 60° C (-4° to 140° F).

The DisplayPac-N2800-IP65-XT products can be configured with screen sizes from 10.4” to 19” and a resistive touchscreen is also available as an option.  In order to achieve the wide temperature range, we use Solid State Drives which are available in a wide variety of capacities (32GB is the standard size). 

For more information on this and our other products, please visit us at www.cdynamics.com or contact us.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Computer Dynamics Releases New Product - DisplayPAC-PCAP15 Release

The new DisplayPAC-PCAP15 uses our well proven Dual Core ATOM motherboard along with a projected capacitive touchscreen mounted inside a sleek looking IP65 stand-alone enclosure.  We are really excited about the use of Projected Capacitive touch technology in the industrial space.  This technology gives our customers multi-touch support in a great looking package that will provide a modern look and feel for any industrial machine.  Because it is completely sealed to an IP65 standard, this unit can be mounted on a swing arm and is able to stand up to the abuse that computer systems are exposed to in industrial environments.  The fact that the enclosure is stainless steel is also an attractive feature to customers in the Food and Beverage as well as Pharmaceutical industries.

The PCAP15 has a nearly flat front face to the display and bezel which means that there is really no place for particulates to gather.  All data and power connections are sealed with this unit. Also, cables with standard connections on the other end come standard, as does an external power supply.  This means the PCAP15 can be sprayed down and easily cleaned.  We find the Intel ATOM dual-core processors provide an excellent performance to power usage ratio making them ideal for most industrial applications.  Additionally, the performance and reliability of solid state drives means that we offer a 32GB SSD as standard.  The best part is that the standard configuration has no moving parts – no fans or rotating hard drives.  Of course, Computer Dynamics can configure the system to order and include a hard drive if a lot of storage space is needed.

To find out more information on this and other flat panel products, please visit us at www.cdynamics.com or contact us.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

What Are IP Ratings? Defining Ingress Protection Ratings for Industrial PCs

In the ruggedized computer industry, Ingress Protection ratings are the standards used to classify degrees of protection for both the user (from potentially harmful elements within the computer’s structure) and the computer itself from external solids and liquids such as dust and moisture. Ingress Protection ratings, or IP ratings, are normally verified by laboratories that certify equipment, such as UL or CENELEC.

IP ratings appear as two-digit numbers with each number ranging from 0 to 8. The higher the number, the better the protection. The first number signifies protection from solids. The second number signifies protection from liquids. When choosing a ruggedized computer for use in industrial environments, the product should have an IP rating of at least 65 for the best possible protection from dust and moisture.

In the IP Ratings Table provided below, the number 6 in the solids column shows that the computer is totally protected from dust regardless of the particle size. The number 5 in the liquids column shows that the computer is protected from jets of water striking it at 12.5 liters per minute for at least three minutes. The numeric designation for liquids goes as high as 8, meaning the computer is certified to work longer than 30 minutes at a depth of one meter of water without penetrating the computer.

IP Rating Table
Solids (First Number)
Liquids (Second Number)
No protection from solids (such as hands, fingers, screwdrivers, wires, etc.)
No protection from liquids or moisture. In this instance, the IP rating probably isn’t provided.
Protected from solids 50 mm or larger
Very limited protection; water can penetrate.
Protected from solids 12 mm or larger
Protected from vertically falling water at an angle up to 15 degrees; limited penetration.
Protected from solids 2.5mm or larger
Protected from water falling at an angle up to 60 degrees; limited penetration.
Protected from solids 1 mm or larger
Can withstand splashing water from all directions; limited penetration.
Some dust can penetrate the housing.
Can withstand water falling at 12.5 liters per minute for at least 3 minutes.
No dust can penetrate the housing.
Can withstand water falling up to 100 liters per minute with limited penetration (hurricane force).
No penetration when submerged at least one meter for 30 minutes.
No penetration when submerged one meter or more for 30 minutes or longer.

Computer Dynamics provides customized industrial computing technology and durable computers that can meet any IP rating specifications. To learn more or to request a quote, please contact us today.

Friday, November 22, 2013

5 Signs That Your Industrial Computer System Needs an Upgrade

After a few years of using your current system, you may begin to notice that your computer runs much differently than it did when it was brand new. Do you need a whole new system or could you get by a few more years with a less expensive upgrade? Here are 5 indicators that can help you determine the answer.

1.    Processing power is slower. If the system is the life-line of your operation you may get by with simply upgrading the processor. However, the type of processor is dependent upon other components (motherboard) and vice-versa (heat sink) creating compatibility issues. Count the cost of the processor and those components, if needed, as well as the labor that will be charged. It is possible that upgrading the entire system will be comparable in price and the better choice.

2.    Quickly runs out of memory. Memory issues can often be resolved by adding extra RAM if the current system provides the extra slots or will allow you to switch the current memory sticks to ones with higher RAM capabilities.

3.       Newer applications crash or freeze the system. This is likely due to the system not having the minimum requirements recommended by the software manufacturer. This can often be resolved by determining which of required criteria is lacking – drivers, CPU, operating system - and upgrading those components. If there are many, upgrading the entire system may be the feasible choice.

4.    Your current system won’t let you install drivers for new hardware. This is likely due to compatibility issues between the driver and your current operating system. Any upgrade to your operating system may be necessary.

5.    Support is discontinued. You received notice that your current system has reached its End of Life and will no longer be supported after a future date. This will definitely require an upgrade.

If an upgrade is needed, contact Computer Dynamics. Choose from flat panel computers, heavy duty PC’s, industrial touchscreen computers, or durable computers ruggedly built for a variety of harsh environments.