Computing in industry can be a difficult concept for many network administrators. Often industrial areas contain many elements that prohibit the use of a conventional PC: dust, dirt, water, extreme temperatures and risk of heavy impact.
The most obvious solution if a piece of IT is required in an industrial area is to buy an intrinsically sealed bespoke industrial computer but there are a few downsides to buying an industrial computer.
Firstly, an industrial computer can be prohibitively expensive. Many of these machines cost close to and even exceed the ten thousand dollar mark. Even if you find a relatively low cost one, are you compromising protection with it?
The second problem with industrial computers is their very design. Because they have to prevent the ingress of dust and stop water from permeating into the machine, these intrinsically sealed units are often fitted with older components and software versions. This is done to ensure reliability but when you have spent many thousands on an industrial computer, it can be galling if it is not running your applications as efficiently as a standard PC.
The third problem with an industrial computer is again a product of its design. Most of these units are solid state and intrinsically sealed which means if they fail, need upgrading or repairing, or even replacing, this has to be done by an engineer which means the unit could be out of operation for a day or two – and possibly your production.
To avoid these problems and to save a significant amount of money industrial computer enclosures are an ideal solution. They are just as protective as industrial computers, many of which are even rated according to European IP rating and the International NEMA equivalent, but as they contain a standard PC this can be changed, repaired or replaced extremely easily avoiding the problems of downtime.