Increasingly, computer equipment is used mobile in the field. Classic equipment suitable for office work does not meet the requirements when working outdoors. Rugged equipment meets such requirements and ensures safe operation even in extremely difficult working conditions.
Is the rugged equipment different from office equipment?
1. Resistance to harsh environmental conditions - vibration, fall, impact
Portable computers designed to work in difficult conditions exposed to falling, impact or vibration have a special construction based mostly on the frame or the entire housing cast from light metal alloy. The corners are usually rubberized to secure the fall. The dies are based on new durable materials resistant to impact and breakage (eg Gorilla Glass). All elements are protected so that they will not be damaged during vibration. Disc disks are protected with special shock absorbing material and heated so that they will not be damaged at low temperatures or in recent years converted to electronic SSD versions. To determine the level of resistance of equipment, strength tests defined by MIL-STD-810F or G standards are used. This standard defines the exact method of testing the equipment and is one of the most important determining the resistance to work in harsh environmental conditions.
2. Tightness determining resistance to dust and water IP [x, y]
The first digit [x] Protection against solid objects
0 - No protection
1 - Protection against objects> 50mm (eg hands)
2 - Protection against objects> 12mm (e.g. fingers)
3 - Protection against objects> 2.5mm
4 - Protection against objects> 1mm
5 - Anti-dust protection, reduces penetration
6 - Total protection against dust
Second digit [y] Fluid protection
0 - No protection
1 - Protection against water flooding
2 - Protection against casting up to 15 ° from the vertical
3 - Protection against water spraying tilts up to 60 °
4 - Protection against water splashes
5 - Protection against water flow from any direction
6 - Protection against high pressure water jets
7 - Protection against immersion effects up to 1m
8 - Protection against immersion exceeding 1m
3. LCD screen adapted to work in the sun
The classic matrix in the sun is not readable. Currently, the producers of field work equipment offer dies that are clearly legible even with very high insolation. The use of backlight with very high brightness (from 500 to 1300 nits, office solutions offer brightness of approx. 250 nits), high contrast 1: 1200 increases the readability of the screen. However, in the strong sun the most important element that guarantees good legibility of the matrix is a special design using light that, after reflection from a special layer of the matrix, increases the readability of the screen even in extremely high outdoor lighting. This technology is used by all manufacturers of durable equipment and variously determined depending on the system used, most often referred to as Sunlight Readable Display.
4. Working temperature
Unfortunately, some work should be done regardless of the temperature outside. Computer equipment is sensitive to both very low temperatures and high temperatures. Low temperatures adversely affect the computer's hard drive, its matrix and battery. In the past, hard drives were heated and now SSDs are usually used. The use of special liquid crystal displays with dual backlight (LED ideally operating at low temperatures, CCFL fluorescent lamps working efficiently at high temperatures) and a special energy delivery system for backlight matrices can work both at very high temperatures and extremely low temperatures without smudging or delays on the screen. Manufacturers now offer batteries that work efficiently even at low temperatures without reducing the amount of energy they can deliver to the computer.
5. Immunity to electromagnetic interference
Sometimes, portable computers must operate in an environment with a strong electromagnetic field. Special construction and the use of appropriate non-magnetic materials protects such a computer against damage - standard MIL-STD-461F.
Such resistance is of great importance wherever there are very strong magnetic fields such as in power engineering, industry, industrial automation or the army. This requires the use of appropriate materials for the production of such devices, special screens and the use of filter modules. Attention should also be paid to the power systems of such computers, which require special attention due to its high sensitivity to magnetic fields.
6. Work in an explosive environment
In an explosive environment such as mines or the petrochemical industry, the computer must provide protection against the risk of a spark that could lead to an explosion. Currently, notebooks, tablets, PDAs and ATEX-certified phones are offered, guaranteeing safe operation in potentially explosive environments. Their electrical and electronic systems must guarantee safety in an explosive environment, but the casing must be made of materials that prevent the formation of a spark.
7. Other immunity
- Anti Fog - protection in a corrosive environment with high humidity and salinity (for example, mines).
- Anti-Fungus - housing that provides protection against bacteria, viruses and fungi.
- TEMPEST - a standard permitting equipment to work with classified documents (required in the army, government protection units and others where classified documents are created).