Dust is responsible for more computer failures than nearly any other cause. Even computers kept in supposed dust free environments such as the office or home can develop a large build up of dust inside the enclosure.
You can see this for yourself when open up your computer enclosure, even after just a few weeks in the cleanest of environments; a ‘dust bunny’ will have probably developed.
The problem is that dust is generated from an unlimited number of processes and can also contain an unlimited amount of different elements from human skin and soil particles to metallic elements. Computers, because of their need for cooling also contain fans that have a habit of sucking air into the vents along with the dust that happens to occupy the atmosphere.
The problem is amplified in places where there are high dust levels such as a packing area or distribution warehouse. In these industrial areas massive amounts of dust can be generated and build up. In areas like these standard computers can be permanently disabled by the dust that will clog filters and drives; over insulate the equipment and also cause short circuiting if the dust contains conductive material.
There are industrial-grade dustproof computers that are designed to both European and US guidelines (NEMA – National Electrical Manufacturers Association and IP rating – European Ingress protection). Unfortunately these machines are extremely expensive not just in their cost either, the biggest problem with these intrinsically sealed machines is that when the machine goes down an engineer has to be called and the intervening downtime can be extremely expensive.
These machines are also ‘overkill’ for many areas, with an industrial machine costing many thousands of pounds when in reality it is just needed for producing packing labels or booking stock in.
A normal computer or printer could be used but the dust would probably finish them off in a matter of weeks and so the cost of continual replacements will soon start becoming a grind.
There is however an inexpensive solution that allows you to use a conventional inexpensive computer, monitor and/or printer in a dusty environment and that is to enclose them in an industrial computer enclosure.
These relatively inexpensive computer cabinets are produced to the same European and International Guidelines, guaranteeing dust protection such as IP54 or NEMA 4 as a bespoke industrial computer but cost literally a fraction of the price.