Buying an Industrial LCD Monitor? Don’t pay for what you don’t need!

Industrial LCD monitor mounted indoors

Photo courtesy of Kai Hendry(CC Attribution)

When buying an industrial LCD monitor for a specific application, it is easy to just go looking at off-the-shelf industrial monitors that are made with a “one model fits all” approach. However doing it this way will almost always result in you paying for features that you don’t need. 

The vast majority of industrial electronics manufacturers just produce a fixed range of LCD monitors, with perhaps two or three variants in each size, and only a limited choice of sizes. This is because the costs of development, testing, and certification of every model would become too high if they were to develop a lot of variants separately. Such manufacturers see it as a cost saving on the R&D budget if their range is “rationalised” down to a select few products.

However this also means that when buying these monitors, you are almost always paying for features that you do not require, and often there are desirable attributes or features missing. 

Here are a few examples.

LCD Monitors for Fixed Installation Indoors in a Building

Often an industrial LCD monitor will be chosen, where a screen needs to be mounted indoors in a building. Normally industrial LCD’s are chosen for this application because they are designed to be used 24×7, and in many cases because of their ability to be mounted into a hole in a wall or panel, or because they are a specific shape and size. 

However most off the shelf industrial monitors have other attributes that are not needed for indoor fixed use. These include waterproofing on the front, stainless steel chassis, ruggedisation against shock and vibration, and wide voltage range DC power inputs. They may also have the wrong kind of signal inputs (such as VGA) which then require an external converter box, and they may not have the best kind of touch screen to suit the application (if this is needed). All of these unnecessary features add to the cost of the monitor.

Industrial LCD Monitors for Shop Window Displays

For shop window displays, a few factors are important such as sunlight readability and automatic dimming. However if the monitor is mounted behind the window, it does not need to be waterproof, nor does it require ruggedisation. Hence again if a generic indusrial LCD monitor is chosen, it can easily push the cost up unnecessarily; on the other hand if a standard TV is used then it may not work reliably as it’s not designed fro 24×7 use; and it would probably lack the brightness features required for shop windows.

Industrial LCD Monitors for Control Rooms

Industrial Control Room with LCD Monitors

Photo courtesy of hemkes(CC Attribution)

For industrial control rooms, it is very common for regular industrial LCD monitors to be chosen. Again these are usually over-specified for the task. Control rooms tend to be indoors and not subject to splashing, and usually do not have any shock or vibration. Hence the correct monitor specification should be chosen for the task, to avoid unnecessary expense.

Rack Mount LCD Monitors for Server Racks

Server rooms tend to be some of the best controlled environments that industrial monitors are used in. In this scenario an industrial LCD is usually only chosen because of the convenience of mounting in a 19″ rack, plus its reliability. All the other industrial features are unnecessary in an air conditioned server room. Hence to save on costs, it would be better to buy a rack mount industrial LCD monitor with only the options needed.

A better approach

A better approach for all of the above examples would be to use an industrial LCD monitor that is designed to be modular, and hence the factory can supply each monitor with only the options required. CyberVisuell Industrial LCD Monitors offer exactly this, making them one of the most cost effective solutions on the market, whilst being able to meet practically every requirement.

About Chris Dobbie

Chris Dobbie is an experienced Systems Engineer focused on Industrial Technology. As the owner of Esis (Sydney, Australia) he has had exposure to a wide range of industrial electronic equipment in a variety of applications, and also has extensive system design and C/C++ programming experience. Contact Chris if you want to chat about your project!

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