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Advantages of an Industrial PC

By ·Categories: Industrial IoT·Published On: January 8th, 2021·4 min read·

What is an Industrial PC?

An Industrial PC is a robust computer designed to be used in an industrial environment, often involved in the manufacturing of goods. An industrial computer typically has the following characteristics:

  • Fanless and ventless design
  • Ability to withstand harsh environments
  • Highly configurable
  • Extensive I/O options 
  • Long lifecycle

With the incredible growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), and with more and more connected devices being installed in remote and inhospitable environments, reliable hardware is increasingly important. An IT failure could have a direct and substantial impact on a company’s bottom line. With so much at stake, you need robust hardware. Industrial PCs are designed differently than consumer PCs, resulting in a solution that reduces downtime and lowers overall total cost of ownership. 

What features make a PC an industrial PC?

Fanless Design

Fanless ComputerOff-the shelf commercial PCs are typically cooled with internal fans which are the most common failure point in computers. When a fan draws in air, it also draws in contaminants which can accumulate and cause system slowdowns or hardware failure. Most Industrial PCs are cooled without a fan and the chassis is ventless to protect the electronics and ensure optimal reliability, particularly in harsh environments that are subject to dust, debris or other airborne particulate. Check out our article on how fanless PCs stay cool for more information on how fanless systems operate. 

Industrial Grade Components 

Industrial PCs have a hardshell design and components that are built for higher reliability and more uptime. That means that these components are resistant to harsh environments and can run 24/7, where a consumer desktop PC would fail. Meaning you spend less time and less money to replace systems in the field. 

Highly Configurable Design 

Custom branded industrial computer and custom packaging

Custom branded computer and packaging.

Industrial PCs can perform many different types of tasks, including factory automation, remote data collection, and surveillance. OnLogic’s systems are highly configurable to suit your individualproject needs. In addition to reliable hardware, we can provide OEM services such as custom branding, imaging, and BIOS customization. Check some of our customer stories about how many businesses have had success with our services. 

Superior Design/Performance

Industrial computers are engineered to endure harsh environments. These environments can include high shock/vibration, wider operating temperatures, and dust. OnLogic industrial PCs are designed to run 24/7/365 to meet the demands of the application. We have an extensive portfolio of hardware from industrial fanless to our rugged computers that are even more wide-temp, shock and vibration-resistant. Check out this article for more information about the difference between industrial and rugged computers

ExtensiveSmall Industrial Computer I/O Options and Additional Functionality 

To effectively communicate with devices such as sensors, PLCs and legacy equipment, industrial PCs come with extensive I/O options and additional functionality. Industrial PCs help eliminate the need for adapters or dongles because they offer the I/O feature set intended for applications outside of a traditional office environment. OnLogic solutions are designed to be redesigned. You can customize systems to suit your specific application needs with features like 4G LTE modems, hot-swap drives, CAN Bus, and other application-specific I/O like COM, Parallel ports or DIO.

Long Lifecycle 

Along with industrial PCs having higher reliability and more uptime, they also have an embedded lifecycle for long term availability. Industrial PCs allow businesses to standardize on a computer without any major hardware changes for up to five years. A long lifecycle means you can rest easy knowing your application is supported and available for years to come. 

Using the most current chip architecture is one of the best ways to ensure a long lifecycle. OnLogic works closely with the chip manufacturers such as Intel and AMD to ensure we can offer our customers the latest architecture and technology advances.

Check out our Helix Series which offers many options with Intel’s newest generation architecture. Including HX500, HX600 and HX610 with Intel 10th generation chips (Comet Lake). 


A photo of the HX500 from OnLogic


Helix 600



Helix 610



What is an industrial PC and why do you need one?

Industrial PCs are engineered from the ground up with the features necessary to survive in the type of environment that might destroy off-the-shelf computers. In short, they are designed to bring value to your organization no matter where you need powerful computing capabilities. If you’re looking for a long lifecycle solution with plenty of I/O options or have questions about how to best prevent damage from environmental factors, contact a Hardware Solutions Specialist today!

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About the Author: Taylor Pillsbury

Taylor works in customer service where she helps to deliver the outstanding support OnLogic customers deserve. During her free time she enjoys riding her bike and watching every sunset possible.