Automating shop floor processes is a no brainer. Computers can save money by reducing waste, increasing efficiency and speeding up production. Computers are now a valuable tool in the industrial environment and most production, manufacturing, distribution and industrial companies now use them, not just for controlling processes but they are also used in areas such as packing or the goods-in yard.
Using computers in industrial environments can come with downsides too. Computers are generally designed to work in offices or homes and are not equipped to deal with the many hazards an industrial area contains. A standard computer enclosure is designed to simply prevent damage to the components by a minor knock however, in industrial areas all sorts of elements can have dramatic effects to a computer.
Dust, dirt, water, oil, heavy impacts, excessive heat and vibration are just some of the problems a computer tasked to work in an industrial area will face. Of course a specialist industrial computer can be used. These can be designed dustproof or indeed waterproof, they are also robust and can withstand even the hardest of knocks.
However, these machines are not very flexible. A dustproof industrial computer may not be suitable to be moved in to a processing area that contains water where a waterproof computer is needed in the dusty environment. Also if the machine needs to be upgraded, repaired or replaced then a service engineer will have to be called out and how much could that cost in production downtime?
A more flexible and increasingly more common alternative is to use an industrial computer enclosure. These specialist steel cabinets for standard computer systems, monitors and printers can protect from all the aforementioned hazards but offer increased flexibility in that not only can an industrial computer enclosure can be placed literally anywhere they can also contain any PC which can take minutes to replace rather than the hours, days and weeks it might take to get a replacement bespoke machine.
Richard N Williams is a technical author and a specialist in the industrial computer industry helping to develop industrial computers and protection for all environments. Please visit us for more information about LCD enclosure, touchscreen or other industrial display device.