Computers are not designed to last very long. Computer manufacturers design their machines knowing full well that within a year or two the machine will be out-of-date and probably replaced anyway. For this reason computers are assembled with cheap components and very few last beyond two to three years.
However, for some processes, where performance is far less important compared to reliability, such as in industrial applications, specialist industrial computers are built with more reliable components that while not the latest technology are certainly more durable.
Industrial computers are also designed to prevent any of the hostile elements prevalent in many manufacturing and production areas. They are often built solid state (without moving parts) and are sealed to prevent the ingress of dust or water.
While these machines are certainly reliable they are also highly expensive and are not very flexible. Often industrial computers are many generations behind their office counterparts and the out-of-date technology often means the processes controlled by these machines are not as efficient as they should be.
Industrial computers are also lacking in flexibility. Whilst these machines are often very reliable they can still go wrong. If they fail then often that means production has to stop until they are repaired and being a specialist device a service engineer will have to be called or even worse the unit will have to be returned. The resulting downtime could be crippling and when it comes to upgrading these machines it is often simpler and cheaper to completely replace them (at an exorbitant cost).
Fortunately a less expensive and far more flexible alternative to a bespoke industrial computer is to use a standard PC! Wait what’s that? What about all the dust, heavy impacts, grease, dirt, not to mention all the water that is used in many industrial applications?
The solution is to enclose the desktop PC in an industrial computer enclosure. These dustproof computer cabinets can also be designed to be waterproof and follow the same international guidelines as industrial computers (such as IP54, IP65 or NEMA 4).
They can also be built from stainless steel allowing them to be used in food manufacturing, including areas where water is liberally used to hose down areas.