Sealed computer takes the heat

A SYDNEY-based company claims to have developed a rugged computer that can withstand the elements and harsh environment of quarries and mines.

Staff Reporter
Sealed computer takes the heat

Amtex Electronics says unlike "comparable units from Europe and the USA", its Sealed Computer is built to cope with high ambient temperatures and could run continuously at 50C. The computer is not however intrinsically safe approved.

"The unit can be left out in open environs, which eliminates the need for air-conditioned shelter," Amtex said.

"It is certified to IP65 standard, so it also withstands dust, fines, aggregates, water and other liquids, as well as slurries.

"Built at Amtex Electronics' research and development centre in Sydney, the Sealed Computer is certified to Australian Standard IP65, meaning it can withstand 12.5-litres-per-minute water jets fired from any angle.

It was developed over two years with the help of an R&D Start Grant from AusIndustry.

Amtex general manager Jim Kuswadi said the Sealed Computer was developed to meet a perceived need in the local market not being met by imported units.

"We have had a lot of enquiries for a computer that can operate in ambient temperatures up to the 50C mark," he said.

"This is because almost all comparable products are imported from the USA and Europe and normally these are made to operate at much lower ambient temperatures. This is one of the reasons why AusIndustry awarded us an R&D grant."

The enclosure is made of stainless steel, making it not only tough but also applicable to any food grade applications. It has a Pentium M running at 1.1GHz.

Several variations are available: either 240V AC or 24C DC input; a choice of hard disk drive or the more rugged compact flash solid state memory, with or without wireless LAN.

For companies dealing with significant temperature fluctuations, a heating element inside the Sealed Computer is triggered when the temperature dips below 0C.

Kuswadi said custom modifications could be made, including installation of a wireless LAN capability, a separate waterproof keyboard or touchscreen keyboard integrated with the monitor.


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