Embedded Computer
What are the features of industrial control computers in industrial applications Dec 08, 2022

Industrial embedded computer is the core of industrial automation equipment and information industry infrastructure equipment. Traditionally, computers used for measurement, control and management of industrial production processes are collectively referred to as industrial control computers, including computers and process input and output channels. But the connotation of today's industrial control computer is far more than that, and its application scope has gone far beyond industrial process control. Therefore, industrial control computer is a reinforced enhanced personal computer that is applied in various fields of national economic development and national defense construction, has the ability to adapt to harsh environments, and can work stably for a long time, so it is also referred to as industrial computer.


Industrial embedded computer is an electronic computer designed according to the characteristics and requirements of industrial production. It is used in industrial production to realize various control purposes, production process and scheduling management automation, in order to achieve, real-time, low consumption, safety and reliability. The purpose of reducing labor intensity and improving the working environment. It is an important branch of automatic instrumentation and an important branch of electronic computers. It is mainly used in industrial process measurement, control, data acquisition and other work. However, industrial sites generally have the characteristics of strong vibration, a lot of dust, and high electromagnetic field interference, and generally factories operate continuously, that is, there is generally no rest throughout the year. Therefore, compared with ordinary computers, industrial control computers have the following characteristics:


1. High reliability: Industrial rack mount computers are usually used to control the uninterrupted production process, and they are not allowed to stop for maintenance during operation. Once a failure occurs, it will cause quality accidents or even production accidents. Therefore, the industrial computer is required to have high reliability, that is to say, there must be many measures to improve safety and reliability, so as to ensure that the mean time between failures (MTBF) reaches tens of thousands of hours, and at the same time shorten the time to repair the failure (MTTR) as much as possible. to achieve high operating efficiency.


2. Good real-time performance: The industrial control computer controls and monitors the production process in real time, so it is required to respond to changes in various parameters of the control object in real time. When there is a deviation or fault in the process parameters, the industrial control function can respond in time, and can alarm and deal with it in real time.


3. Good system scalability: With the improvement of factory automation level, the control scale is also expanding, so the industrial computer is required to have flexible scalability.


4. System openness: The industrial computer is required to have an open architecture, that is to say, the principle of openness is followed in terms of host interface, network communication, software compatibility and upgrade, etc., so as to facilitate system expansion, connection of different types of machines, and portability of software and swap.


5. Complete backup measures: including power supply backup, memory information protection, manual/automatic operation backup, emergency switching device, etc.


6. Redundancy: In occasions with higher reliability requirements, there must be dual-machine work and redundant systems, including control stations, dual-operating stations, dual-network communications, dual power supply systems, dual power supplies, etc.; with dual-machine switching functions, dual-machine monitoring software, etc., to ensure long-term uninterrupted operation of the system.


7. The system can monitor and self-reset: Nowadays, the watchdog circuit has become an indispensable part of industrial PC design; it can quickly alarm when the system fails, and make the system automatically resume operation in the case of human intervention.


8. Compatibility of software and hardware: It can use ISA, PCI and PICMG resources at the same time, and support various operating systems, multiple programming languages, multi-tasking operating systems, and make full use of the accumulated software and hardware resources of commercial PCs.


9. Strong environmental adaptability: The industrial site environment is harsh, electromagnetic interference is serious, and the power supply system is often disturbed by the start and stop of heavy-duty equipment. Its grounding system is complex, and common mode and serial mode interference are large. Therefore, the industrial computer is required to have a strong ability to adapt to the environment, such as high requirements for the range of temperature and humidity changes; it must have the ability to prevent dust, corrosion, and vibration and shock; it must have good electromagnetic compatibility and high anti-interference ability and High common-mode rejection capability.


10. The process input and output are well matched: industrial control computers must have rich and multi-functional process input and output matching templates, such as analog, switch, pulse, frequency and other input and output templates. It has various types of signal conditioning functions, such as isolated and non-isolated signal conditioning; various types of thermocouple, thermal resistance signal input conditioning, voltage (V) and current (mA) signal input and output signal conditioning, etc.


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