An industrial PC is a machine designed for industrial applications, with a size and form factor comparable to a desktop or server rack. Industrial computers are usually much more expensive than consumer computers and have high reliability and stability requirements. Because of this the cost of industrial computers is often times much higher than the cost of consumer computers. But it may save you money in the long run because industrial computers perform much better than consumer computers.
Computers in industrial settings are used to control industrial equipment such as welding or milling machines. Industrial computers are often designed to withstand heavy use and heavy duty applications. Most industrial computers are built with redundancies in case of system failure, so should be considered as a life saver in the event of a computer breakdown. The most basic industrial computer is a simple PC with a general purpose processor (GPA) and the standard keyboard and mouse controls. Some industrial computers are designed with additional input and output devices such as printers, scanners, faxes and external hard drives.
Industrial computers are often used in the factory floor to control all aspects of the assembly line. Large corporations have entire floor or sections designated as an industrial computer room. In the factory floor the operations of a large company can easily be monitored from a single location. For example, a printing press in the factory floor will typically be controlled via a single computer terminal.
Dust is another big enemy of industrial computers. Computers generate lots of heat when processing power is used. As excess heat is generated, dust particles are created which in turn cause operation difficulties for several computers at the same time. This is one of the reasons that many factories and companies have taken steps to purchase and install air conditioners which are able to reduce or eliminate a large amount of dust from being emitted into the environment. You can check out industrial computers here which are used by different factories.
Some industrial computers are designed specifically for specific applications. An example of this would be the PRINCE2 industrial computer manufactured by Precision Instruments. This machine automation platform is primarily used to measure material usage in the manufacturing of plastic products. Other examples include those designed to assist with production of medicine and chemicals. Manufacturing applications are becoming more specialized each day.
If you wish to use an industrial computer for applications in your industry, it is important to note that such machinery should be certified by a high performance computing association. Such an organization would be one that is closely associated with software and hardware manufacturing. Such a group would certify that a given machine or equipment has passed various stringent tests designed to ensure its durability and reliability in both extreme cold and hot environments. It should also be able to meet or exceed the specifications of an international standards body. Check out this post that has expounded more on this topic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panel_PC.