Custom-Built Computer EquipmentThere are occasions when off-the-shelf solutions will not fit, in which case we can design and build custom systems, either PC-based or using PLCs or other embedded devices..
When should we consider Custom-Made Hardware?
It used to be that we would always consider custom-made hardware on the grounds of both price and specification.
Whereas these days, it is not so economically justifiable to assemble your own machines, unless;
- We have a very definate specification requirement, such as requiring several PCs to do a specific task, and we need to build in some fault-tolerance and redundancy.
- We have a non-standard environment, and maybe need to build computers into workstation places, vehicles or robotic applications
- We have an automation requirement, where standard PCs do not have all the I/O facilities necessary for switching or monitoring purposes
In all the above cases, we find that building machines from components is more practical and nearly always more cost-effective than trying to find an off-the-shelf solution to fit.
Computers in Remote and/or Mobile Applications
Increasingly, we are seeing a requirement for computers to be built into vehicles, mobile homes or remote monitoring posts, and in nearly all cases it is better to custom-build the hardware to fit. This way we can ensure that disks are either solid-state or well dampened, we can ensure enclosures are waterproof or submersible, and can fiddle with the power to make them run off local 12-volt or other DC supplies.
Computers in Home and/or Industrial Applications
It has been dreamt about since the 50's, but only now is it becoming possible to widely use computers for media, automation and home security. Many people struggle trying to get ordinary PCs to do this task, whereas actually we probably need to either build a custom PC-device, or dispense altogether with PC technology and instead using something more robust such as a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) or an embedded device such as the very exciting Gumstix Platform, a fully-fledged Linux computer the size of a gum wrapper.
Further Reading:Other routes to hardware acquisition include:
And then have you considered... ?
If you are interested in custom-made hardware, please do not hesitate to get in touch for advice and solutions to all your bespoke requirements: