Industrial PC – Coping with Dustproof Environments

Computers are now an integral part of almost every aspect of business. No longer are computers the prerequisite of office environments as computers are now charged with controlling all types of processes in all types of areas.

Production lines, goods-in, despatch and packing areas are all areas where computers are used as part of an efficient process; however, many of these are areas that contain hostile elements to the average PC.

Computers are mass produced from cheap components and very few are designed to be rugged enough to cope with the rough and tumble world of industry and production. Specialist industrial computers are available but are prohibitively expensive and often far too much of an extravagance for the simple tasks that they may be required to do.

The biggest problem in most industrial areas is not just protecting the computer from hard knocks; which is in itself quite an important concern, but the biggest problem for computers in these environments is the dust.

Dust can affect computers in a number of different ways; it insulates, blocking filters and ventilation, causing the computer to overheat; it can also penetrate the computer’s enclosure short circuiting circuit boards all clogging up fans and hard drives.

There are however several methods to protect a conventional inexpensive desktop PC from dust and allowing them to be used in dusty environments.

Dust covers are an inexpensive, albeit temporary solution for computers used where there is only a small amount of dust however, to protect a PC in a warehouse of factory environment then there is no substitute for a dustproof industrial computer enclosure.

A computer housed in a dustproof computer cabinet will be completely protected from any ingress of dust. Many of these dustproof cabinets are built under accordance to European and National rating systems such as IP 54 (European Ingress Protection) and Nema 4 (CENELEC – Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation).

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