Water and electrical equipment such as computers are not happy bedfellows which makes using a computer in wet areas a hazardous undertaking. However, water is liberally used in industrial areas particularly food preparation areas.
Unfortunately, most computer enclosures are not designed with any waterproofing in mind and taken into an industrial environment these off-the-shelf computers will fail very quickly.
Waterproof industrial computers have been around for decades but they do come with certain drawbacks. Most industrial computers are intrinsically sealed and solid state machines designed to be perfectly sealed to protect the inner workings from moisture and water ingress. This has a major disadvantage when it comes to repair or upgrade of the machine. A service engineer would need to be called or the machine sent back for any upgrade and this could mean production downtime.
Furthermore industrial computers are not designed with the latest technology. Because of their solid state nature and difficulties in upgrading and repairing them most are built with tried-and-tested components and software which although reliable can be as much as a decade out-of-date.
A better solution is to use industrial PC enclosures. These computer cabinets are designed to withstand direct hose-down and most can even survive jet washing.
Waterproof industrial computer enclosures are often designed to European and National guidelines such as IP65 and IP66 (Ingress Protection) and Nema 4. These waterproof computer enclosures can also be manufactured from stainless steel (food grade) making them ideal for food preparation areas.
However, the main advantage of a waterproof industrial computer enclosure or a waterproof printer enclosure is that the enclosed device can be repaired or replaced in seconds without the need for downtime and the services of an engineer.
They can also contain whatever hardware and software the task requires rather than making do with outdated technology.