Industrial devices – whether custom handhelds, industrial tablets, or other forms of application-specific purpose-built equipment – are indispensable for a wide variety of sensor monitoring, control, maintenance, and facility access applications. In addition to technical features, industrial electronics requires uncompromising reliability, security, and safety.

Many of InHand’s designs leverage one of our embedded COTS single board computers and modify it to meet application-specific product requirements – a process called Modified COTS. Typically, this includes display, communication, peripheral interfaces, and provisions for security, in addition to form-factor, ruggedization, and regulatory compliance. The result is a customized industrial product with optimized technical specifications and unit cost, designed with reduced cost, risk, and schedule.

Characteristics of Industrial Devices

Industrial grade electronic devices span a very wide variety of applications and use cases, from portable instruments used in harsh environments, to basic infrastructure controls used indoors, to multimedia display systems incorporated into vehicles, and more. Even with the vast multitude of uses, they tend to exhibit a number of similar characteristics, including:

  • Components that operate over temperature extremes, typically qualified for 24/7 operation
  • Hardware and software security that enables tamper detection, authentication, and trusted operation
  • Reliable operating systems, including Linux, RTOS such as VxWorks, and Android
  • Exceptionally durable and reliable, operating with prolonged life
  • Resist shocks, drops, impacts, and vibration
  • Impervious to damage caused by fluids or other contaminants
  • Electromagnetic compliance (EMC/EMI)
  • Easily viewable, whether in direct sunlight, dimly lit rooms, or in complete darkness
  • Operates with gloved hands, including thick industrial gloves
  • Available for purchase for long periods of time, often 10 years or more

Industrial Applications of Electronic Devices

InHand delivers circuitry, operating system software, and fully packaged computing systems and handheld devices for diverse industrial applications such as:

  • Instrumentation and test
  • Sensor monitoring
  • Manufacturing operations
  • Field operations
  • Rugged infotainment systems
  • Marine control systems
  • Railroad braking systems
  • Human-Machine Interface (HMI) front ends to larger industrial machines
  • Point of sale devices
  • Infrastructure access management
  • Control systems
  • Network access gateways, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular, sensor area networks
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Robotics

Wide-Ranging Environmental and Compliance Requirements

Each industry has its own set of compliance specifications, depending on the use of the device. InHand’s processes enable us to meet diverse and challenging requirements, whether technical or environmental. Examples of specifications for which InHand has designed and delivered embedded circuit boards and packaged product include:

  • Electromagnetic compliance: FCC Part 15 (United States), Industry Canada (IC), CE (Europe), IEC-61000, EN 61326, CCC (China)
  • Radio Equipment Directive (Europe)
  • Single device, multiple wireless interfaces: Wi-Fi (including enterprise encryption radios), 802.15.4, Bluetooth, NFC, cellular
  • LTE cellular certification: PTCRB, GFC, multiple carriers including AT&T
  • Maritime navigation and communication equipment: IEC 60945
  • NMEA 2000: National Marine Electronics Association
  • IEC 60068: Environmental Testing of Electronic Equipment
  • UL 61010: Safety Requirements for Electrical Equipment for Measurement, Control, and Laboratory Use
  • Railroad/train control systems: AREMA Part 11.5.1, Advanced Train Control System (ATCS) specification 110
  • UL and ATEX directives for intrinsically safe devices used in explosive atmospheres

The InHand Advantage for Custom Industrial Device Design

InHand works in partnership with our clients in the design of custom industrial electronics to ensure the product meets requirements for features, safety, and reliability. We accomplish this as follows:

  • System-level focus, identifying all product use cases and requirements before commencing with design
  • In-house cross-functional engineering team – hardware, software, mechanical, systems, and test engineering
  • Supply chain management to assure on-time and long-term product availability
  • Program management, the majority being PMP certified
  • Modified COTS minimizes cost, schedule, and risk through leveraging proven electronic platforms.
  • Firm fixed price NRE
  • ISO 9001 certified production

InHand Electronics is an industry leader in the design and manufacture of embedded circuit boards, custom tablets and portable electronic devices with rugged, secure, and long term operation. Discover more about the InHand Advantage today. Contact InHand for a review of your requirements and feedback on cost and schedule to get you to product.