The term Rugged PC describes a computer that is particularly well protected and robust. Above all else, rugged PCs are specifically protected against external physical influences. We also offer these systems under the name robust computers.

 

These are the features of a Rugged PC

Its special protection against external influences characterizes a rugged PC. These are primarily dust, moisture, dirt and vibrations. Depending on the intended application, there are multifunctional systems or rugged PCs for particular scenarios. Also, these computers are often particularly compact.

How powerful is a rugged PC?

There is often a belief that rugged PCs are less powerful than classic computers. In fact, there is usually no difference in performance. This depends on the installed components. In most cases, powerful processors are used. You’ll also find these in current workstations or servers.

The same applies to individual use and software. Normal operating systems run on robust PCs. You can install Windows 10, Ubuntu or another operating system on a rugged PC. Most systems come pre-installed with a Windows operating system. Accordingly, you can install any Windows-compatible software on your Rugged PC.

How is a Rugged PC different from a regular computer?

The differences between a regular and a rugged PC can be seen in various places. One important point is the casing. Normal computer housings are not or only insufficiently protected from penetrating particles. Instead, normal systems use the air from the environment to cool the components. Rugged PCs use a completely different concept.

The housings are dust-tight. In many cases, they are completely enclosed so that there is no exchange with the outside air. If necessary, the components are cooled via heat pipes. These form a direct connection between the processor or other components and the case. The waste heat is removed via these and released into the environment via the case.

Further differences can be seen inside the systems. The choice of components plays an important role in a rugged PC. These systems have to survive shocks, vibrations or even falls without damage. That’s why the housings are sometimes shock-absorbent. This is especially the case with portable systems like a tablet or laptop. The components often do without mechanical parts.

Conventional computers have a large number of mechanical parts. On the one hand, these are susceptible to defects. On the other hand, they react sensitively to shocks. Fans in the case and on the cooler of processors or graphics cards are classic examples of mechanical components. Hard drives are also based on mechanical parts and are therefore unsuitable for rugged PCs.

The manufacturers of rugged PCs replace such components with components without mechanical parts. Instead of classic hard drives, you will find SSDs in the rugged PCs, for example. These are based on flash memory and have no moving parts. Processors and graphics cards have passive heat sinks. Thus, they no longer need fans. Corresponding alternatives are available for all mechanical components.

 

Where is a Rugged PC needed?

Wo wird ein Robuster PC benötigt?

Systems of this type are used wherever the environment does not allow or complicates using a normal computer system. This can be a carpenter’s workshop or even an industrial hall. Even the military uses such systems, which are specially equipped for the expected loads.

In practice, more and more applications can be found. More powerful computers, the increasing performance of networks, and the advancing automation require versatile control systems. These are usually based on normal PC technology. Rugged PCs, for example, are used in driverless transport systems.

These small, rugged computers control the driverless transport systems and communicate in real-time with a control centre. Of course, you can also equip a normal workstation with a Rugged PC. So they are extremely versatile. These are some of the areas in which these systems are used:

  • Industry
  • Outdoor use
  • IoT
  • embedded systems
  • Edge Computing
  • Hospitals, clinics and the healthcare sector
  • Hospitality and retail
  • Military
  • Digital Signage

 

Why Rugged PCs are so popular

Darum sind Rugged PCs so gefragt

With the advance of digitalisation, IT systems are penetrating more and more new areas. Not so long ago, PCs only existed in offices. In the meantime, however, computers are helpful and in demand in many other areas. There, however, the environment is often not optimal for the sensitive electronics of PCs. Dust, dirt and moisture are the natural enemies of electronic components.

To survive in such environments, the systems must be protected accordingly. This is where rugged PCs come into their own. This is one of the reasons why the demand for these systems continues to grow. At the same time, their performance continues to increase. Just a few years ago, it was unthinkable that small and inexpensive systems could perform such tasks.

 

Prime Computer solutions for the Rugged PC sector

Prime Computer offers various systems that are suitable for use as rugged PCs. For example, all mini PCs from Prime Computer have a closed housing made of solid aluminium. The systems are therefore protected against dust penetration.

At the same time, housing is particularly robust. The PrimeMini IoT is extremely compact. You can attach this small system directly to monitors because it has a VESA mount. The entire computer measures only 17.7 by 3.4 by 11.4 centimetres. The PrimeMini 5 is also suitable for use as a rugged PC.

This system also has a VESA mount for easy installation on a wall or monitor. Contact us now if you are interested in rugged systems. We will be happy to advise you extensively about the various features and advantages. This way, you will find the right system for your task.

The advantages of Prime Computer’s mini PCs and servers in the rugged sector

The mini PCs from Prime Computer have many advantages when used as rugged systems. The focus is first and foremost on the design of the Mini PCs. The compact and robust housing even allows you to use it in places where there is little space available. Dust and dirt cannot get to the sensitive electronics thanks to the closed construction.

The fanless concept also speaks in favour of the Mini PCs from Prime Computer. On the one hand, it increases the service life of the systems. Fans are among the components that fail particularly frequently. As a side effect, this reduces the maintenance effort of the systems. Secondly, the systems do not generate any noise during operation.

This is practical in areas where people are working. An important point is also the integration into the network. In fact, no system today can do without a network connection. Rugged computers are often installed in places where no network cable is available and retrofitting is difficult.

That is why the PrimeMini IoT has onboard dual-band WLAN and Bluetooth. This simplifies the network’s integration enormously. Green IT now plays an important role for many companies. Customers want companies to be ecologically responsible. At the same time, energy-saving computers reduce energy costs.

With constantly rising electricity costs, this is also interesting for companies from an economic point of view. Furthermore, a green orientation of IT is helpful for marketing. Prime Computer’s mini PCs are particularly energy-efficient. Specially selected, energy-saving components from market leaders such as Intel are used. The advantages of PrimeMini PCs at a glance:

  • robust and closed aluminium housing
  • compact design
  • VESA brackets for easy installation
  • protected against dust and moisture according to IP51 – PrimeMini 5 and PrimeMini IoT
  • no mechanical components
  • completely silent operation
  • fast SSD data storage
  • low power consumption
  • reliable and maintenance-free due to fanless design
  • versatile options for network integration
  • power-saving components
  • suitable for a green IT strategy

The power of Prime Computer’s mini PCs

In terms of performance, the compact systems from Prime Computer do not have to hide from their larger colleagues. Especially when it comes to the processors, there are virtually no differences. With the mini PCs from Prime Computer, you can choose between i3, i5 and i7 processors from Intel. These multi-core processors are from the latest series.

The SSDs contribute to the high performance of the mini PCs from Prime Computer. On the one hand, these are used to avoid mechanical components. On the other hand, they are also significantly more powerful than classic hard disks. The SSDs achieve high data transfer rates and enable data access in real-time.

The PrimeMini 5 can even accommodate two SSDs. The interfaces are also important for the functionality of a PC. The PrimeMini 5 offers modern interfaces such as USB-C and Thunderbolt. The PrimeMini IoT has four USB ports in version 3.0.

In addition, both devices have HDMI interfaces in version 2.0a, so that the systems also support 4K. The PrimeMini 5 is available both with and without an operating system. On the one hand, this gives you a free choice of the operating system. When used as a rugged computer, a special operating system is often required for a special application. On the other hand, no bloatware is installed on the system.

For which tasks are the mini PCs from Prime Computer suitable?

Für welche Aufgaben eignen sich die Mini-PCs von Prime Computer?

Their versatility characterises the mini PCs from Prime Computer. There is a wide range of applications in which you can use the systems. Prime Computer’s mini PCs are well suited for embedded solutions. Here they serve as versatile remote controls, for navigation or monitoring sensors.

The PrimeMini IoT, in particular, is predestined for these areas of application and has certification for Microsoft Azure IoT Edge. This makes these systems suitable for digital signage or as edge gateways. The PrimeMini 5 is well suited to many areas, such as a thin client in the office or kiosk and cash register systems.

The catering industry, in particular needs compact and completely silent systems. In workshops and production areas, the PrimeMini 5 is a fully-fledged compact computer. It easily withstands dust and dirt. Prime Computer systems are also suitable for special applications, for example in laboratories, hospitals or medical practices.

The aluminium housing protects the electronics even from radiation. At the same time, the compact and noiseless systems do not disturb patients or staff. In addition, the mini PCs from Prime Computer are well suited as a replacement for regular workstations. In this application, other features stand out positively.

These include, above all, quietness and energy-efficient operation. The compact dimensions are also an advantage. This means that the mini-PCs from Prime Computer can be placed inconspicuously at the customer reception in hotels and restaurants or retail outlets. Prime Computer’s mini PCs benefit from their energy efficiency.

Since such systems in the rugged or embedded sector often run around the clock, energy consumption plays a central role. With a shallow power requirement, you build efficient and economical systems. This means that your solutions based on Prime Computer Mini PCs are energy-efficient, environmentally friendly and economical.

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