Why is TCO an important consideration in the selection of your next industrial and substation automation and computing system? TCO quantifies the direct and indirect cost of the device across its entire lifecycle, providing a more accurate depiction of the true cost than a simple consideration of only the initial capital expenditure.SEL Total Cost of Ownership Calculator
Indirect costs can account for more than half of an asset’s TCO. These indirect “after the problem” costs can include hardware replacement, employee wages, travel, opportunity costs, lost data, recovery, and more. The cost of downtime has real consequences that can equate to more than just lost productivity business costs. Downtime can also have a significant impact on brand reputation and, more significantly, on your enterprise’s revenue. Depending on the size of your company and the industry, this downtime can result in anything from a minimal impact to costing hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.
While some assets, such as computers or automation controllers, have higher initial price points, their TCO is often lower since they tend to experience fewer failures over time. Innovative designs and higher-quality, longer-lasting components contribute to better reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS). For industrial computers, it’s not just a cliché; you really do get what you pay for.
Another consideration is the manufacturer itself. If a manufacturer no longer supports the device after its warranty period ends and does not stock certain hardware components, you may be subject to unexpected and significant repair or replacement costs that could drive the TCO far beyond its original estimate. For this reason, you should consider choosing a manufacturer that has a reputation for supporting products beyond traditional warranty periods.
Calculating the actual TCO can be a challenge due to the number of variables. To help you better quantify the implications and costs associated with TCO, we have created a tool that simplifies this analysis: the SEL Total Cost of Ownership Calculator.
Fans that dissipate heat are one of the most common points of failure in computers. The unique thermal design of SEL automation controllers allows them to dissipate heat quickly and eliminate problems associated with moving parts such as fans, spinning drives, or vents. The power supplies are fanless and have a high mean time between failures (MTBF). SEL automation controllers are also designed to be easily enhanced or upgraded, even in the field.
SEL automation controllers withstand harsh environments of –40° to +85°C (–40° to +185°F) and are built with the highest quality components available.
Design, quality components, system testing, memory, storage capacity, and the ability to upgrade as needs change make SEL automation controllers the reliable choice for your demanding computing applications.
Design features, such as no moving parts, error-correcting code (ECC) RAM, and modular components, increase the availability of SEL automation controllers. The no-moving-parts design eliminates problems that are associated with normal wear and tear, and ECC memory protects against bit flips to prevent digital logic errors. Dual power supplies ensure continuous power, with the typical configuration of one power supply connected to a battery bank and the other connected to line power. And, with a RAID configuration, you can remotely rebuild a failed drive onto a spare. Designed for maximum availability, SEL automation controllers won’t break down even if there is a problem.
With modular designs and hot-swappable drives and power supplies, SEL automation controllers let you replace components in the field while your system is up and running. The modular design also allows you to perform memory upgrades in the field. SEL automation controller processors feature Intel Active Management Technology, which allows you to view logs for evaluation and service even when the unit is powered off. You can reboot into another OS for diagnostics or to batch install software and then bring the system back online, all remotely. SEL system monitor (SysMon) software creates runtime event logs within the OS to aid in quick recovery. Additionally, KVM-over-IP capabilities allow a remote expert to help with troubleshooting as needed for upgrades or commissioning.
|SEL Automation Controllers||Typical Computers|
Operating Temperature Range
|SEL automation controllers feature a wide temperature range of –40° to +85°C (–40° to +185°F) and have up to 95 percent relative humidity resistance for operation in outdoor, industrial, manufacturing, and utility environments.||Typical PCs are designed for use in commercial or light industrial environments—typically +10˚ to +35˚C (+50˚ to +95˚F).|
Environmental Operation Conditions
System Reliability and Availability
|SEL provides a comprehensive no-questions-asked, worldwide, ten-year warranty, so you can be confident in the automation controller’s long-term performance and reliability. In practice, we support our automation controllers beyond ten years.||Typical industrial computers come with a two- or three-year limited warranty. You can purchase extended warranties for an additional fee (typically to extend the warranty to five years). Depending on the manufacturer, support for products beyond the warranty period may not be available.|