Computers, printers, monitors and LCD screens are as useful a tool for the shopfloor environment as they are in offices and the home. IT systems can save a fortune when production lines are automated and can increase efficiency and cut down dramatically on waste.
Using computer technology on shopfloor environments does come with its problems, mainly due to the fact that most PC’s, printers and monitors are designed to operate in home or office environments and not the dusty, greasy and wet confines of a factory or shopfloor.
Industrial standard computers and industrial PCs are available for these types of areas but there are downsides to industrial computers. Firstly, industrial computer systems are quite expensive. They are often designed to be solid state (no moving parts) which causes certain problems, primarily with upgrade and repair in that the units can only be refurbished by trained engineers. They quite often use outdated components too this is because they need to be as stable and reliable as possible so only proven hardware makes its way into an industrial computer.
Unfortunately with the fast moving pace of computers that often means that the industrial computer will have to run outdated software too and this could impinge on the efficiency of the system.
However, there is both a cost effective and practical alternative to using industrial computers and that is to use standard off-the shelf computer equipment, containing the specification and software you require and then protect the device with an industrial computer enclosure.
Industrial computer enclosures are not just protective cabinets they are entire micro-environments that ensure the enclosed PC is not just protected from the harmful elements of a shop floor environment but they are also heated and cooled using thermostatic controls to ensure the optimum temperature inside the enclosure.
Industrial PC enclosures can allow the safe use of standard computers in not just industrial areas but also areas of hose down (even jet washing) and locations with extreme heat or cold such as chillers and ovens.