Hardened industrial panel computers target hazardous locations

July 22, 2013
New panel PC from Moxa is 19" EXPC-1319 -certified for hazardous industrial locations, especially within the oil and gas industries.

Moxa, a provider of hardened networking, communication and computing platforms, has set its sights on the oil and gas industry with the introduction of its "roughneck-ready" EXPC-1319 hazardous location panel computer. "The harsh conditions found in oil and gas fields are possibly the worst imaginable for a computer," notes Daniel Liu, business development manager for dmbedded computers at Moxa.

The company stresses that the EXPC-1319 is not a commercial PC that has been adapted to an industrial housing. Instead, it is a computer that has been designed with industrial-grade hardware from the inside out, to be used especially in industrial settings. "Our EXPC-1319 is fully enclosed to withstand the heat, moisture, vibration and dangerous gases that are inherent to oil and gas operations, so it can deliver reliable, high-performance computing capacity for operator control and monitoring, data collection, visualization tasks and mission-critical communication," continues Liu.

See also: Oil and gas industry demand paves way for Arctic wireless broadband

Exceptionally rugged for extreme environments, the EXPC-1319 meets demanding UL Class 1, Div 2 and IEC ATEX Zone 2 hazardous location codes without the need for special measures such as complex and expensive enclosures or additional certification processes. It is qualified for direct installation in hazardous areas worldwide where potentially explosive gases or vapors may be present, such as in petrochemical and chemical processing plants, mining, paint factories or fueling stations. Because these areas are often subject to high humidity, the panels are sealed off to NEMA4X and IP66 ingress standards to protect their sensitive electronics from water ingress, even when they are deployed outdoors.

In addition, the panels meet T5 temperature requirements by maintaining an operating temperature of 120° C or less (248° F) in ambient temperature of 60° C (140° F). Moxa's patented fanless, streamlined panel design provides highly efficient heat dissipation in hot oil refineries and processing plants. On the other end of the temperature spectrum, the EXPC-1319 is fully functional down to -40° C (-40° F), conditions expected in arctic oil drilling.

Chief among the panel computer's merits is its "long-life, super bright LCD" screen. Sunlight-readable displays are typically achieved by increasing power to the LED light bars, an approach that produces a brighter display, yet quickly burns out LEDs and significantly reduces overall product life span. Moxa says its engineers uncovered a way to raise the brightness of the EXPC-1319's 19-inch display to 1000 nits while using higher efficiency bulbs. The result is a 10% reduction in power consumption and a 40% increase in life expectancy for the bulb with no compromise to the display brightness or quality. The EXPC-1319's anti-glare, anti-scratch LCD panel is fully viewable in direct sunlight.

As smart as it is rugged, the EXPC-1319 contains other "brains and brawn" features that make it ideally suited for use as an operator panel or as a secure system platform for machine control. It comes standard with a high-performance Intel 1.8GHz Atom core D525 platform that combines lightning processing speed with low power consumption. Depending on preference, operators can select to use the LCD in either touch-screen or standard mode. Serial interfaces, Gigabit LAN ports, USBs, and VGA ports tested for full compliance with flame proofing requirements round out its impressive feature set, along with an expanded set of self-health diagnostics over SNMP for remote monitoring. For more product information, visit www.moxa.com.

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