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“Consumer grade computers were not meant for an industrial control room environment. Their lack of dependability and constantly changing models drove us to seek a better solution with OnLogic.”Mitch Duncklee, Lead Product Design and Support Engineer at SYSTEMS Equipment Corporation
Who is SYSTEMS Equipment Corporation?
A Leader in Asphalt Processing Control Products
SYSTEMS Equipment Corporation has been manufacturing industrial controls and control related components for the drum mix asphalt industry since 1987. Based in Iowa, SYSTEMS specializes in highly reliable products for a wide range of asphalt processing applications including product handling, blending, testing and measurement.
Reliable, Compact Industrial PCs with Legacy I/O
Lead Product Design and Support Engineer Mitch Duncklee and the SYSTEMS team were looking for industrial computers for both embedded and workstation applications in a number of their products offerings. They needed a system capable of powering the graphics interface in their XP-100 embedded asphalt blending controller. The selected hardware would also be called on to serve as a full plant motor controller capable of being configured by the end user for use in SYSTEMS' Total System Control (TSC) product. Finally, the PCs would be implemented for use as a ticketing system connected to PLC's for safely loading mix from silos into trucks as part of the company's LC-1000/2000 and Win-LC 3000 devices.
Duncklee and his team had struggled to find hardware with the requisite I/O configuration they needed to effectively communicate with the various components within their products. Multiple serial ports were necessary to interface with their proprietary embedded systems, while a parallel port was required for their legacy DOS ticketing software in order to enable printing.
"We needed durable PCs capable of running multiple products from legacy DOS to Windows with SQL Server, with the ability to communicate to various I/O hardware," said Duncklee. "OnLogic offered a range of systems with the connectivity and performance we needed, all at a very reasonable price."
The OnLogic Solution
The Systems Equipment ML250 Fanless Computer
Through discussions with OnLogic Account Manager Will McCue, Duncklee and his team selected and configured a version of our ML250 Industrial Mini-ITX system. "The ML250 is fanless, rugged, has a capable processor and we can get it with 4 serial ports," said Duncklee. Compact, fanless, powerful and able to offer the unique combination of connectivity SYSTEMS needed, the ML250 was the perfect fit for their asphalt handling products.
"Overall we've had a very good experience working with OnLogic. They've consistently stood behind their products, and their support with technical issues has been excellent. In the last 2 years we've shipped nearly 250 OnLogic computers, but not just in new products. Some returning customers wanted to replace their older, consumer grade computers for the OnLogic systems they received in their more recent orders. One of our larger customers purchased ten plus units to replace existing computers that weren't even having issues yet."