Case studies > Chamber control unit with mini PC
Chamber control unit with mini PC
MP Elektronik corporation is a provider of complex services for the electrotechnical industry on the Czech-Slovak market since 1990. It produces MP Dry Cabinet devices, which are being sold all over the world. MP Dry Cabinet is an air-conditioned chamber which keeps constant climate conditions for electronic components storage.
We have been cooperating with MP Elektronik for many years. We have collaborated on the software development and hardware design for the MP Dry Cabinet control unit. The original control unit was based on compute module 4. However, as time went on, we received feedback that MP Elektronik's customers preferred a system based not on Linux OS, but on Windows OS, which brings them some certain advantages.
We decided to replace the compute module 4 with an STM32 microcontroller and complete the whole solution with a mini PC running Windows OS. We redesigned the control unit, where the main change was to replace the compute module with an STM32 microcontroller. Subsequently, we developed a complete firmware for the STM32 controller. Since a multiplatform desktop application was developed in the previous version of the controller with the Linux compute module, it was not necessary to develop the whole application for a Windows mini PC from scratch. Nevertheless, the application required some modifications, because a number of functions were moved from the application to the firmware, and we also developed the communication between the two devices. We also made design improvements to the whole application.
The developed web application for remote monitoring of climatic conditions in the chamber and the possibility to export measured data remained unchanged.
We carry on cooperating with MP Elektronik on feature extensions based on their customers' needs.
STM32 ARM® Cortex®-M
- USB, RS-485, Modbus RTU
- Rotronic Arichip temperature and humidity probes
PT100 with external ADC ADS1120
- RFID for authentication
- Fingerprint for authentication
- Outputs - Relay, Low-side switch
- Industrial mini PC
- Desktop applications
- Data backup to USB and network share
- RSA digital signature for remote features unlocking
- Cabinets monitoring from PC via web app