Industrial PC and Commercial PC

Equipping employees and manufacturing plants with the right technology is essential for boosting efficiency and reducing downtime and maintenance costs. As rugged Industrial PCs and mobile devices require a greater initial outlay than their commercial counterparts, are they worth the investment?

Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is essential for the future of UK manufacturing. Operational technology has the potential to provide connected, intelligent factories, where employees can use specialist skills, rather than spending time on manual processes. It enables businesses to remain relevant and competitive in an evolving market.

The benefits of automating manual processes include 24/7 operations, increase productivity, improve customer service and using data to support efficiency, production management, quality controls and strategic plans.

Whilst both commercial and industrial PCs can enhance business performance, rugged technology offers considerable benefits in manufacturing environments.

Benefits of Rugged Industrial PCs

A commercial PC is designed to operate for around 8 hours in standard conditions. This may suit some workplaces, but if you want technology that can withstand challenging environmental conditions, Industrial PCs fit the bill.

Developed and tested to withstand vibrations, wide temperature ranges, shock and drop, rugged technology is suitable for factories and warehouses. Fanless technology and sealed units prevent moisture and dust ingress which reduces damage risks. These Industrial PCs also offer:

  • Performance – Industrial PCs can provide reliable performance 24/7. In harsh conditions, they will reduce costs associated with downtime, maintenance and replacements.
  • Compatibility –PCI/Serial ports enable integration with existing operating systems and software, preventing the need for redesigning or purchasing of new systems.
  • Expandability – Expansion slots allow for additional functionality to be added to standard specifications before installation or as operating systems evolve.
  • Long-term Availability – Replacements are available from suppliers for typically 5-15 years, in comparison to 12 months for commercial PCs, enabling repairs and upgrades of like for like if required.

To give a few examples of the scope of these devices, Arbor Technology UK supplies IP65 Rated Industrial PCs for refrigerated food processing, sub-sea applications, utility companies and a cross-channel transportation check-in.

Feedback from Rugged Technology Users

Samsung Electronics UK recently researched the use of rugged technology in manufacturing settings. The results of their survey revealed that 71% of current rugged technology users were positive about the benefits that Industrial PCs and mobile devices offered.

In addition to performance, compatibility, expandability and availability, the survey revealed some other factors:

  • Increased Productivity – This was in part due to confident use of the technology; employees were not fearful that the device would break.
  • Cyber Security – Another point raised was that when reliant on commercial devices, employees would use their own which compromises security. The risk of costly cyber threats is reduced when employees are supplied with rugged technology.
  • Cost Savings – The initial investment is higher, yet the long-term benefits of avoiding regular repairs, replacements and downtime delivered long term cost efficiency.

Collectively, these points have led 64% of respondents to state that tougher devices were essential to digital transformation in industrial workplaces. Beyond manufacturing, there is also growing interest from the transport, retail and health sectors.

The Samsung research also identified that 73% of manufacturers who were not currently using rugged technology were planning to invest in it. Is this an area that your company is exploring? If so, we can assist.

Specialists in Industrial PCs Arbor Technology is a UK supplier of embedded, wide temperature, fanless Industrial Box PCs and rugged mobile technology. Our Milton Keynes based team provide knowledgeable customer support and solutions which are tailored to specific applications and requirements.


If your digital transformation could be realised through the introduction of stable, reliable and compatible rugged technology, contact Arbor Technology UK on 01908 310100 or