Much of manufacturing and industry is as dependent on computers as the modern office environment. Many processes that would have been manually controlled are now fully automated and as a result manufacturing is more efficient thanks to the computer.
There are problems with using computers in industry however. Many industrial environments contain hazards that are absent in the average office or home but are plentiful in industry.
Dust, dirt, water splashes, extreme temperatures, knocks and bangs are all perils that the average industrial computer has to face day after day. Unfortunately these are also some of the most harmful environments for a computer. Dust can clog filters and cause machines to overheat, water will seep into electronics and cause shorts whilst a clip from a forklift will finish off most standard PC’s.
For these reasons industrial computers are designed to be rugged, solid state and sealed to prevent any seepage of dirt or liquid into the sensitive electronics. This however, makes them inevitably expensive with not just the initial outlay to be forecast for but by their very design industrial computers are also expensive to upgrade and repair, leaving many administrators of industrial computers torn between using outdated and inefficient technology or upgrading or replacing a unit (and suffering the downtime as a consequence).
However, another alternative to an industrial computer is to house a standard off the shelf PC in an industrial computer cabinet.
These cabinets will afford the same protection as a standard industrial computer but be a fraction of the cost and also outlive any industrial machine by several generations. The main advantage of an industrial computer enclosure is that the enclosed Pc can be replaced, upgraded ort repaired in moments, while the industrial computer enclosure can be used to house machine after machine after machine.
Not only do these computer cabinets offer equal protection to an industrial machine many are IP (CENELEC: Ingress Protected) or Nema (IEC) rated and can also be manufactured in food grade stainless steel.
An industrial computer cabinet will cost a fraction of the price of a standard industrial computer even including the enclosed PC, making an industrial computer enclosure a far more affordable alternative for industrial computing.