Rockwell Automation Releases Two Ruggedized Industrial Computing Products to VersaView LineDecember 14, 2020 by Seth Price
Rockwell debuts two industrial computing products suitable for machine control in harsh environments.
The VersaView Line
The VersaView 5200 Thin Client is used to display data from distributed, thin server systems. The VersaView 5400 industrial computer can be used for industrial and quality control loaded with existing commercial software packages or software developed in-house.
The VersaView 5200 thin clients. Image courtesy of Rockwell Automation.
Thin servers contain just enough hardware to perform their assigned task.
In industrial environments, thin servers can store and process data from sensors. The minimum hardware for this is the appropriate number of input and output channels, a hard drive, a processor, and a port for peripherals for occasional programming or maintenance use.
Thin clients access the thin server to view or handle the data, depending on the application. This provides technicians and engineers with a porthole view into the data to evaluate a process without disturbing the raw data.
Unique Data Collection and Access
The VersaView 5200 Thin Client acts as a terminal for data stored on a thin server. Users can access data over an Ethernet connection for display on the VersaView 5200. Data is stored on the thin server and displayed on the VersaView 5200 Thin Client, meaning any problems encountered will not affect the raw data.
The thin server can continue collecting data with no interruption. The VersaView 5200 has no native operating system but is ready for ThinManager software and no internal data storage, as it is not needed to view data from the thin server. They are powered by 24 VDC, and their compact design allows them to be DIN rail mounted.
For data collection and manipulation, Rockwell Automation has also released the VersaView 5400 industrial computer. This computer has an Intel Atom E3845 processor, with 4 GB RAM and 128 GB of storage on a solid-state hard drive, and is designed to run Windows 7 or 10.
The 6200 VersaView 5400 Industrial Computer. Image courtesy of Rockwell Automation.
Users can purchase this unit with three screen sizes or without the integrated display. The solid-state drive is just one more way to speed up performance while limiting the number of moving parts that can fail in a gritty, industrial environment.
What sets these products apart from the standard laptop or desktop computer is their rugged design. These devices can stay cool by using heat sinks instead of using a fan. This limits the entry pathway for dust, particles, corrosive fumes, and so on.
Fans in this environment can collect particles, which causes the fan to fail eventually. Furthermore, if the design required the fan to keep the hardware cool, the hardware will fail.
These two products are also rated for UL Class I Division 2 applications. According to the UL specifications, this means the two VersaView products are suitable for areas where flammable vapors may be present. Unlike non-certified computers, the closed design and fewer moving parts make the VersaView line significantly less likely to ignite flammable or explosive vapors.
Therefore, the VersaView 5200 and 5400 can be used in the oil and gas industry, where flammable vapors are present, and spark prevention is essential.
The VersaView 5200 Thin Client and the VersaView 5400 Industrial Computer are designed to view and manipulate data in harsh environments.