In this article:
- What is an Industrial Monitor ?
- Industrial means ‘quality components’
- Industrial means ‘Fit for Purpose’
- Monitors with Increased Ingress Protection
- Ingress Protection Ratings
- Oil & Gas, Maritime and Energy Certification
- Touchscreen Monitors
- Screen Size and Resolution
What is an Industrial Monitor ?
Within the embedded systems sector, the term ‘industrial grade’ is used to describe products used for industrial applications.
But is that what ‘industrial’ truly means?
Well, to some extent it does. When we talk about industrial computers, the embedded systems we describe are instantly more recognisable as industrial. They are constructed using durable metal chassis’ which clearly look more rugged than their pedestrian cousins we have sitting on our desks and are often described as having fanless operation and SSD storage, to reduce the amount of moving parts (thus increasing reliability).
Industrial means ‘quality components’
Firstly, the components within commercial and industrial screens are made to last longer. Your desktop computer screen may be on for 8 hours a day, 6 days a week, but to run 24/7/365 as is called for in many industrial applications, the tolerances of internal components need to be increased. Additional to longevity, in certain units the components are designed to expand the operating temperature range.
Industrial means ‘Fit for Purpose’
Arguably the greatest factor considered with an industrial display will be defined by where the screen is going to be situated. It’s the versatility of placing a monitor which is one of the defining ‘industrial’ factors and dictates the application range of a screen. It may call for placement within an OEM designed facia or workstation for example.
The choices of mountings available for an LCD display are as follows:
- Open Frame Monitors
An open frame monitor is encased in a frame which enables the screen frontage to be clear of any fixing clutter. The frame surrounding the screen can then be clasped, screwed or bolted into position. Mounting from the inside, they offer a flush fitment for the OEM finish required by many clients. An open frame monitor offers customers maximum flexibility for the design and look of their final product.
- Panel Mount Monitors
Where you have an aperture in which to place a screen you could use a panel mount monitor. A panel mount display has a front bezel around the screen which is larger than the chassis containing the constituent parts of the screen behind. These screens can be slotted into an aperture and are often then clamped or screwed into place from the reverse.
- Chassis Mount Monitors
A chassis mount encases the monitor in a durable and metal skin. Chassis mount screens are fixed to a wall or similar surface using VESA fixings on the back of the chassis. VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) is a family of standards and dimensions used across the screen industry. A VESA mount is used on most conventional TVs when fixed to a wall.
Monitors with Increased Ingress Protection
Various applications call for monitors to be protected from dust and liquid ingress. These monitors are therefore made to be certified by the standard IP65.
IP stands for ingress protection, the first number is the level of dust protection ‘level 6’ and the second number is the level of liquid protection ‘level 5’.
Level 6 offers complete protection against contact with dust and is considered ‘dust tight’ whilst level 5 liquid protection signifies resilience to water projected by a nozzle (6.3 mm) against the unit enclosure from any direction.
An IP65-rated monitor can be rated partial or full. If the monitor is being panel mounted and sealed into an aperture, then quite often the rear of the unit does not need to be rated as only the frontage is exposed.
However, there are certain applications where a Full IP65 monitor is needed.
Ingress Protection Ratings
First Digit – Protection Against Ingress of Solids
- 0 - No Protection
- 1 - Protected against solid objects over 50mm in size
- 2 - Protected against solid objects over 12mm in size
- 3 - Protected against solid objects over 2.5mm in size
- 4 - Protected against solid objects over 1mm in size
- 5 - Limited protection against dust ingress
- 6 - Totally protected against dust ingress
Second Digit – Protection Against Ingress of Water
- 0 - No Protection
- 1 - Protected against vertically falling drops of water
- 2 - Protected against direct sprays of water with light tilted 15 degrees from vertical
- 3 - Protected against direct sprays of water with light tilted 60 degrees from vertical - strong rain
- 4 - Protected against sprays of water from all directions - gentle spray with a hose pipe
- 5 - Protected against low pressure jets of water from all directions - strong spray with hosepipe
- 6 - Protected against strong jets of water from all directions - cleaning light with high pressure hose
- 7 - Protected against temporary immersion in water no deeper than 50cm - bit of flooding
- 8 - Protected against continuous immersion in water no deeper than 100cm - pool or pond light
Oil & Gas, Maritime and Energy Certification
Further to an IP65 rating, monitors can be certified for use in various marine and offshore applications. Whether on the bridge or down in the engine room of a ship, out on an oil rig or in a rescue helicopter, there are global DNV test ratings for equipment used in maritime, oil & gas and energy applications. Assured Systems specialise in the supply of certified monitors and panel computers for such environments and levels of certification.
Automation and process controls often use bespoke software, the interaction between human and machine being more convenient through pushing a few icons on a screen rather than utilising a peripheral keyboard and mouse. Furthermore the placement of said screens is commonly at eye level. It’s no surprise then that OEM designers would look for an industrial grade touchscreen monitor to facilitate process and control in their designs. When configured to one of the above mounting options and certified to the necessary ingress protection, touchscreen is one of the most common features for an industrial monitor.
Screen Size and Resolution
The drive behind many different screens of shape, size and sharpness is undoubtedly the thousands of specific industrial applications utilising screens and monitors. Whether you need a 17 industrial touch screen monitor or an 8 widescreen industrial touch screen display, there is a screen size and dimension to fit any application.