In many environments where automation would be very beneficial, e.g. for worker’s health, conditions are thoroughly adverse for machinery and sensitive embedded computers. Moreover, systems must be usable with protective gloves.
Today, control units for industrial automation need to be modular in order to keep cost and integration effort at a reasonable level. Since many of those applications require components (i.e software and hardware) from different vendors, certification and licensing issues arise. Bundles or system platforms may ease those pains.
After a rather long dry spell, the British industry is receiving interest again from foreign suppliers and producers. Germany-based input specialist Hoffmann+Krippner expands its UK operations with a new company in order to deliver customizable Panel-PCs.
Astonishingly, many of the requirements for embedded computers in extremely dirty and rough industrial environments are quite similar to those in ultra-hygienic applications. With this in mind it's manifest to serve those different markets with only one design.