Computers are now everywhere in our lives. Whether it’s at work, at home or at play we now find computers in almost all of our appliances from the washing machine to the car. Computers have improved many facets of our daily lives but none more so than in industry and production.
Computers are now performing tasks that entire workforces were hired to do not more than thirty years ago but the digital age has brought headaches along with it, particularly when sensitive electronics has to face the harsh environments of the factory floor or production line.
The problems that computer equipment faces with industry is that many of the consequences of manufacturing such as the production of dust, water, grease and dirt are the very conditions that computers hate the most.
Fortunately computers can be stashed away in industrial computer enclosures whilst waterproof keyboards and an industrial mouse are readily available to protecting them from the harsh environments of industry.
However the one computer peripheral that can’t be hidden away or enclosed is the computer monitor. Monitors have to, by their very purpose, be visible and this causes a problem as the dust and water in an industrial environment will disable a standard computer screen in minutes.
Touch screen monitors are often TFT (thin film transistor) although other variants of displays are available. TFT touch screen monitors are more often used in industry, primarily because using a touch screen removes the need for a separate keyboard and mouse. Waterproof touch screens are built many of which are also dustproof and rated to European IP65 rating or International Nema 4 rating.
An alternative to a waterproof TRT would be to enclose a standard touch screen display in a TFT enclosure these protect the display by housing it in a dust and waterproof enclosure allowing only the touch-sensitive face to be open. For this reason capacitive touch screens are more common in industrial surroundings. Other monitors and displays can be housed in similar enclosures along with entire computer systems from the PC upwards.
Most industrial computer enclosures are manufactured to IP65, IP54 or the Nema 4 equivalent ensuring that whatever is enclosed in them is afforded protection from dust, water, dirt and grease.
An IP rated or Nema 4 computer enclosure will offer protection for many years after a conventional industrial computer has expired or become obsolete.