AIS Industrial Operator Panel PC|
A line of rugged Intel Atom-based industrial panels with displys ranging from 8.4 to 19 inches
(by Kirk Linsky)
American Industrial Systems Inc. (AIS) is a designer and manufacturer of specialty industrial panel PCs, industrial displays, digital signages systems, and rugged tablet PC solutions for customers in the industrial automation, military/aerospace, medical, transportation and power, and energy markets.
In April 2010, AIS introduced a full line of Intel Atom N270-based Industrial Operator Panel PCs designed specifically for industrial automation and PLC control. The idea here is to offer all-in-one PLC terminals with HMI functionality so operators can monitor, control, and program data into the system. Thanks to the low-power Intel Atom processor and accompanying chipset, these panels PCs provide fanless, reliable performance with minimal power consumption.
AIS offers the panel in various sizes, with LCD displays ranging from 8.4 inches all the way up to 19 inches. This is made possible by a modular approach that consists of a SBC (Single Board Computer), back cover, metal frame housing, LCD panel, optional glass or touchscreen cover, and optional custom bezels. The housing is a rugged steel construction, and the aluminum front bezel offers optional IP65 protection against dust and water intrusion. This means that these terminals can be used in harsh enviornments.
The panels can run either off CF Card-based Flash (usually the best solution for systems with an embedded OS) or off a 2.5-inch hard drive (AIS offers XP Professional and also Windows 7). Most systems can accommodate an optional optical drive, and there is ample internal expansion via a mini PCI slot as well as a full PCI and a full PCIe slot (some configurations require custom housings in the smaller sizes).
The overall goal for industrial terminals such as these is to provide complete reliability, long lifetime support and availability, targeted performance, easy programming through non-proprietary COTS hardware. AIS also offers options such as sunlight readable transflective films, privacy films, touch screens, wide voltage range boards, Power over Ethernet (PoE), wide temperature range modules, and shock/vibration enhancements.