DLOG GMBH, a provider of rugged industrial computers headquartered in Germany, with offices in the UK, Sweden, NL and USA, is currently developing particularly robust and mobile industrial PCs for use in forklift trucks and other vehicles.
High demands are made on computers used in the transport and logistics sector due to the harsh environmental and operating conditions.
In order to meet these challenges and to be able to react flexibly to changing customer requirements, DLoG uses congatec AG’s embedded computer modules for its current MPC 6 and IPC 7 product range.
Time is money. This is especially true with respect to warehousing and logistics applications. In this sector, fast order tracking and processing are vital and have become unthinkable without the help of computers.
In addition to the majority of "ordinary" computer terminals, i.e. those found in office environments and used to optimize warehouse management, a large number of computers are also employed "in-situ", often mounted directly onto forklift trucks or other vehicles used for the conveyancing of goods.
These computers face completely different environmental challenges compared to their "colleagues" stationed in offices or air-conditioned server rooms.
The DLoG MPC 6 – see figure 1 – product range for robust truck- and vehicle-mounted terminals has been developed on the basis of congatec’s XTX embedded computer modules.
Fig 1: DLoG MPC6 industrial PC.
Each of these XTX modules provides a complete embedded PC measuring 95 x 114mm. Unlike standard PC boards, XTX modules do not come with plugs for cable connection. Instead, all interfaces for supplying power via the USB or PCI Express lanes, are provided by four highly-integrated and extremely robust direct board-to-board plugs – see figure 2.
Fig 2: XTX connectors and available interfaces.
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When integrated into a particular system, such as the MPC 6, the XTX module is mounted onto the custom carrier board and securely screwed in place. All necessary interfaces are therefore also provided on the carrier board itself. They simply need to be plugged in at the correct position negating the use of any expensive and fault-prone cable connections.
The carrier board also comes with a power supply designed for use in vehicles (power cuts of up to 20 seconds can be bridged) and other functions such as, for example, an environment controller for statistical, configuration and monitoring tasks, a touch controller, etc. As a result of the logical division between the PC and the special upgrades, the MPC 6 allows flexible configuration. The customer is also able to choose between various CPU options.