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Siemens launches product line of particularly compact industrial PCs with new Intel Atom processors

The Siemens Industry Automation Division is extending its range of embedded industrial computers to include a new product line of particularly compact and energy-saving PCs in the nano-format.

The product line starts with two basic designs and a number of different versions: compact Nanobox PCs with versatile installation options and Nanopanel PCs with integral touchscreens of 7" or larger.

At the core of the Simatic IPC227D Nanobox PCs and the Simatic HMI IPC277D Nanopanel PCs are the latest generation of Intel Atom processors. The Nano IPCs are designed for maintenance-free, 24-hour service even when subjected to high temperatures, vibration, shocks and electromagnetic interference.

The units are suitable for simple control, visualization and communication tasks and can also be used as data loggers in areas such as machine building, traffic control, building automation systems or energy transmission. Ready-to-run packages comprising both computers and software allow the units to be put into service immediately. In recognition of its innovative product design, the Simatic IPC227D Nanobox PC has received the famous iF product design award.

The Atom processors of the power-optimized E6xx series from Intel form the basis for the new Simatic IPC227D Nanobox PC and Simatic HMI IPC277D Nanopanel PC embedded industrial PCs from the Siemens Industry Automation Division. The power-optimized Atom processors offer high-speed data processing and communication with low heat dissipation and a power consumption starting at just eight Watts. The devices boast high resistance to vibration and shock and have an integral 24 Volt industrial power supply unit. For maintenance-free use – for example in machine building, marine applications or in building or traffic control systems – the units can be operated without fans at ambient temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius. Compact-Flash cards with up to eight GB capacity or solid-state drives (SSD) of up to 50 GB can be used as robust bulk storage devices. As an option, Siemens offers a 250 GB hard disk for the Nanobox PC. Likewise, a retentive memory of up to 512 KB can be integrated if required and also used for applications without batteries. Within the buffering period, 128 KB of data can be written, for example to back up important machine data in the event of a power outage.

The Simatic IPC227D Nanobox PC with its compact dimensions of 191x100x60 mm (WxHxD) fits not only inside small control cabinets but also directly into a machine or the machine base. It can be installed very flexibly in the four standard versions of DIN rail, wall, portrait or landscape mounting. All interfaces are located on one side to simplify the connection of cables to the device. The unit can be operated without a fan at ambient temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius in almost any installation position. In the basic configuration, the Nanobox PC is completely maintenance-free, thanks to its dustproof enclosure and the absence of battery, fan or hard disk. For expansion purposes, the IPC227D has the option of one PCIe slot, three additional serial interfaces or four digital inputs and outputs (24V DC). For fast device diagnosis, the Nanobox PC has four status LEDs, three of which are fully programmable. Diagnostic software is pre-installed to provide comprehensive analysis.

The Simatic HMI IPC277D Nanopanel PC is available with 7", 9" and 12" high-resolution industrial touch displays in widescreen format, with a wide viewing angle. Devices with larger display sizes are currently being developed. Thanks to LED backlighting that is dimmable up to 100%, the power consumption of the Nanopanel PCs can be significantly reduced.

In all its versions, the IPC227D is equipped with four USB-2.0 ports, while the HMI IPC277D has at least three. Both devices have two Gigabit-Ethernet ports with teaming capability, of which one can optionally be used as a Profinet interface with real-time functionality. An RS232 interface is available as a serial port. Versions of the Nanobox PC with an RS485 or CAN interface are also available as options. By means of the Wake-on-LAN function, the devices can be remotely switched over from the active state to the standby mode, thereby reducing the energy consumption of the computer.

The Industrial PCs can be configured online and can be supplied on request with a pre-installed and activated operating system – Microsoft Windows XP Professional or Windows Embedded Standard 2009 – and have assured long-term availability. Versions with Windows 7 and Windows Embedded Standard 7 are currently under development. Ready-to-run packages including SIMATIC WinCC V11 visualization software or WinAC RTX (F) 2010 control software, which is also available in a fail-safe version for use where the most stringent safety requirements apply, are also being developed.

The Siemens Industry Sector (Erlangen, Germany) is the worldwide leading supplier of environmentally friendly production, transportation, building and lighting technologies. With integrated automation technologies and comprehensive industry-specific solutions, Siemens increases the productivity, efficiency and flexibility of its customers in the fields of industry and infrastructure. The Sector consists of six divisions: Building Technologies, Drive Technologies, Industry Automation, Industry Solutions, Mobility and Osram. With around 204,000 employees worldwide (September 30), Siemens Industry achieved in fiscal year 2010 total sales of approximately €34.9 billion.

The Siemens Industry Automation Division (Nuremberg, Germany) is a worldwide leader in the fields of automation systems, industrial controls and industrial software. Its portfolio ranges from standard products for the manufacturing and process industries to solutions for whole industrial sectors that encompass the automation of entire automobile production facilities and chemical plants. As a leading software supplier, Industry Automation optimizes the entire value added chain of manufacturers – from product design and development to production, sales and a wide range of maintenance services. With around 33,000 employees worldwide (September 30), Siemens Industry Automation achieved sales of €6.2 billion in fiscal year 2010.

Reference Number: IIA2011022615e

Peter Jefimiec | Siemens Industry
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