This article was printed in CONTROL's March 2009 edition.
Industrial computer deployment on factory floors has to balance the need for more computing power and speed with a minimalist approach to the space it occupies. Machine footprint is an important consideration, and every component has to contribute. It also needs to stand up to the difficult conditions commonly encountered on factory floors. Stealth.com, a ISO 9001-certified manufacturer of rugged, industrial computers and peripherals, provides its LittlePC products to serve applications in which powerful solutions are being deployed in space-challenged designs around the world. To further that objective, the company released a new Model LPC-625F small-footprint, fanless computer for mission-critical and industrial applications.
“We think that the LPC-625F is a breakthrough in micro computing with its rugged, small form, noise-free design that uses Intel’s powerful Penryn family of Core 2 Duo Mobile processor technology,” says Ed Boutilier president and CEO of Stealth.com. “Stealth’s mini PC offers tremendous power in a package that measures only 7.9 in. wide and deep and only 2.4 in. tall. The Mini PC is only slightly larger than the size of a hard-cover novel, yet it surpasses the performance of most industrial and embedded PCs available today.”
Designed without cooling fans, the extruded aluminum chassis acts as a heat sink to dissipate internal heat and provide noise-free operation. The company says its small size and fanless design make it ideal for applications where space is critical.
“The LPC-625F is the most powerful fanless computer we have ever offered,” says Boutilier. “It uses the latest Intel Core 2 duo processor technology, and we believe it offers the most processing power per square inch of any embedded, fanless machine available today.”
The LPC-625F features a variety of I/O connectivity such as Gigabit LAN, eight-USB 2.0 ports, a serial port, an eSATA 1-DVI port, an HDMI port and an Audio 7.1 port, with 802.11g Wi-Fi optional. The LPC-625F supports up to 4GB in memory and has a built-in 2.5-in., high-shock hard drive with up to 500GB for archived data.
“For applications that require extra high shock, vibration and wide temperature ranges an optional SSD, solid-state hard drive is available,” states Boutilier. “The PC also can operate from 12-20 Vdc, making it an ideal choice for field and mobile applications.”
The LPC-425F is easily mounted in control panels, enclosures, cabinets or directly to machines on the shop floor.
The PC is enclosed in a durable, extruded aluminum housing and is designed to stand up to the rigors of the shop floor. Another feature contributing to its durability is the lack of internal cooling fans that can suck dust or dirt into the machine, eliminating a cause of catastrophic failures. The LPC-425F is also available with solid-state drives, making it totally free of any moving parts, another advantage in factory-floor and field environments.
Many I/O features are available as standard products, allowing control engineers to easily connect to the PC.
Boutilier says the systems are compatible with Microsoft Vista/XP, Linux and other operating systems and “can be custom-configured to meet the exact needs of the end user, as opposed to purchasing a white box solution that does not meet all needs.”
Stealth says the LPC-625F will be ideal for industrial applications such as process and discrete control, HMI, factory automation, data communications and shop-floor machine control.