Conditions on most shop floors are not suitable for the requirements of most electronic pieces of equipment, particularly computers.
Dust, dirt, grease, water and knocks from machinery are all able to knock out a standard computer or monitor. Fortunately many computer manufacturers produce rugged, solid state industrial computers able to withstand the demands of industry.
However, one piece of hardware that is often overlooked is that of the printer. Because printers have to loaded with paper not to mention free to print, hardware manufacturers find it difficult to produce both a rugged and protected printer that is easily accessible to load.
The result is that while many shop floors run the same computers for years, they often have to replace printers far more frequently as dirt and grime gradually block up the moving parts. Even stalwart dot-matrix printers won’t last too long inmost industrial environments and modern laser printers even less so.
Printers are of course highly expensive. Even if shop-floor uses a low-cost, monochrome budget printer, it won’t last long and the combined costs of constant replacements could be heady.
Fortunately, some manufacturers of industrial computer enclosures produce different types of printer cabinet, able to withstand many of the demands of industry.
Often these printer cabinets are rugged enough to withstand a blow from a forklift or pallet truck whilst also protecting the printer and paper from dust and dirt.
Some types of industrial printer cabinet are even able to withstand splashing water, although any paper printing at the time would of course get wet.
Even in food production, a stainless steel printer cabinet can be used to protect the printer and lengthen its usefulness whilst also ensuring the hard copy that comes out of it is also free of contaminants.