Liquids can potentially destroy a computer in moments. Water is by far the most common liquid and as it is conductive will finish off any computer if it is allowed to seep into the enclosure. Waterproof PC enclosures are also guided by the European IP system with the second number denoting the level of protection. An IP 65 will offer such good waterproof protection that it will be able to withstand a total wash down and even a jet wash.
Many IP 65 enclosures are built from food grade stainless steel so do not corrode or rust easily making them ideal for food production and preparation areas. There is also no limit to the amount of water they can withstand with hose down and jet washing part of their design remit.
Heat is also bad for computers or other electrical equipment. Even in nominal conditions computer processors run hot and need to be cooled with fans so when they have to work near to heavy machinery or industrial furnaces the temperature can get far too high and processors can literally melt. Specialist industrial PC enclosure fitted out with additional cooling are available and for computers that have to work in really severe temperatures, air conditioning and even vortex cooling (using continual supply of compressed air) can be implemented allowing PC enclosures to be used even inside ovens.
The cold is of course a lot easier to deal with than heat with processors not minding too much if it’s too cool. Trapped frozen water can cause expansion and damage though so for industrial PC enclosures tasked to work in chillers and fridges heater units are often installed to prevent this.
Impacts are one of the main reasons industrial computers need to be protected in industrial environments. Many manufacturing areas contain forklifts, pallet trucks and other materials handling devices that even a small clip could cause enough shock to disable a computer. Vibrations from machinery too can cause damage to the internal workings of a computer. Most industrial PC enclosures are built from steel and contain shock absorbing bolts and other devices to ensure protection.
Vandalism and Theft:
Whilst the probity of your employees may not be in question any computer left unattended or in a public area may fall victim to vandalism or attempted theft which is why many computer enclosure are built with anti-tamper and theft-proof devices. Lockable PC safes can be left unattended in any area and can withstand even the most tenacious thief or vandal.