Is a Dust Proof Computer Cabinet Fit for Purpose on the Shop Floor?

Dust Proof Computer Cabinet Fit for Purpose

Computers have existed on the shop floor since the 1950s, constantly changing. However, one thing has remained constant for the past 72 years, and will continue to do so for many years… computer damage caused by dust. How can a dust proof computer cabinet prevent this on the shop floor, and does such a product exist?

Computer use on the shop floor has become so integral to manufacturing operations in the 21st Century that it's hard to imagine an industrial facility being able to operate in any capacity, much less operate efficiently, if stripped of their computer systems.

However, computer downtime incidents on the shop floor continue to plague the manufacturing industry. The cause? The industry sector's arch nemesis… dust. Try as we might, we manufacturers have never been able to completely eradicate the age-old problem of dust getting into shop floor computers.

There's no cure for dust, it's as inevitable as taxes. The best course of action you can take to protect computers on the shop floor is prevention. However, therein lies the problem… For the hundreds or thousands spent on computers brought in to improve shop floor processes, the cost of computer failure on the shop floor gets very little thought, which means computer protection is rarely even considered.

However, the role dust plays in computer failure is precisely the reason why we manufacturers need a dust proof computer cabinet to reduce the risk of computers failing on us at the wrong time.

Is Dust Really That Much Of A Threat To Shop Floor Computers?

If the last 72 years are anything to go by, yes. To put that in context, dust has been around longer as a threat to shop floor computers than viruses, malware and other cyber-attacks. We're still talking about dust damage to computers in the 21st Century, and if it wasn't a problem, there would be no need for a dust proof computer cabinet.

The reality is, dust is a very real threat to shop floor computers. If you ignore taking protective measures, you do so at your peril. We're not just talking a damaged computer here. If your facility is heavily reliant on computers to perform key processes, computer failure is a massive threat to your entire production line.


For the cost of a dust proof computer cabinet, you're safeguarding your business against catastrophic financial losses. It's a hard truth, and might seem a bit dramatic, but the evidence doesn't lie, computer downtime can shave an average of 3.6% off your annual revenues, which will ultimately eat into your profit margins.

For some manufacturing firms, such losses leave them in a perilous position, and more often than not they are unable to recover from the damage inflicted by computer downtime. Now, we're not saying that dust is the only cause of computer failure… that would be an absurd claim.

However, we need to hammer home to manufacturers - ourselves included - that dust is a primary cause of computer failure. We've been in business for more than 25 years, protecting production processes worth more than £4 billion worldwide. We know dust is an issue… Take this recent request for information from one of our customers:

Customer request | An Actual Contact Form Completed
'An Actual Contact Form Completed [October 9, 2017] by an Armagard Customer in Need of a Dust Proof Solution for a Computer.'

This is just one of hundreds of enquiries we receive per month and you know what they say, 'there's no smoke without fire.'

Why Is Dust Bad For Shop Floor Computers?

Why Is Dust Bad For Shop Floor Computers
'Dust Build-up in Manufacturing Floor Computers is a Key Cause of Downtime.'

Aside from having the potential to bring your production process to a grinding halt, dust can make computers a workplace safety hazard. A common side of effect of dust infiltration is overheating. A build-up of dust over a prolonged period of time becomes an insulator, causing computers to retain heat.

In turn, this can cause computers to ignite, leading to a potentially destructive or even fatal fire. Equally, dust has the ability to turn computers into a magnet for electrostatic shock, while this isn't necessarily fatal, it can be quite painful for computer operatives.

As a direct threat to your computer, dust can delve into the crevices and cause unseen damage to critical components. What follows is a sudden computer failure, which will likely mean costly repairs or an entirely new system, not to mention an extensive period of the dreaded downtime!

Signs That Your Shop Floor Computer Is Taking on Dust

Overheating is the number one sign that your shop floor computer has taken on an excessive amount of dust. As a result of overheating, you will spot other telltale signs of dust infiltration, which will include computers crashing erratically, fans whirring at a volume similar to that of a jet engine or, it's on fire.

If Dust Is Inevitable On The Shop Floor, What's the Point Of A Dust Proof Computer Cabinet?

Industrial Computer Workstations Protect Computer Equipment
'Is a Dust Proof Computer Cabinet on the Shop Floor Worthwhile? .'

A dust proof computer cabinet is worthwhile for at least three reasons:

1. It's a better option than the alternatives, those being:

  • a. Constant repair or replacement of computers if you leave them exposed
  • b. Taking your computer apart to clean out dust or
  • c. Positioning your computers, printers and scanners a million miles away from the manufacturing floor, which is neither convenient nor efficient.

2. It increases the lifespan of a shop floor computer. The average computer will operate for 3 - 4 years (in a domestic/office setting). Use a computer on the shop floor, and that lifespan is shortened significantly. House it in a dust proof computer cabinet and you will get more life out of it.

3. You can protect existing computer equipment. You don't have to spend on a costly, new industrial grade computer network. You can use your existing equipment and you can switch or upgrade technology at your convenience, without having to bring your production process to a standstill.

We could wax lyrical about the worthwhile reasons for utilizing a dust proof computer enclosure, but the crux of it is that it provides so much more than computer protection. A dust proof computer cabinet is a safeguard for your entire production process.

We know, we've said it before and we'll say it again, we protect £4 billion worth of production all over the world, some of that includes our own. That's right, we wouldn't advise you to use a dust proof computer cabinet if we didn't use them on our manufacturing floor.


Is A Dust Proof Computer Cabinet 100% Dust Proof?

Dust Proof Computer Cabinet Provides a High Level of Protection
'A Dust Proof Computer Cabinet Provides a High Level of Protection Against Dust.'

No. Much like a household antibacterial spray, a dust proof computer enclosure is 99.9% effective against dust. A bit of science for you...

Armagard dust proof computer enclosures protect against dust particles with a diameter as low as 0.0002 inches (5 microns). To help you visualise that, take a look at this...

Micron Diameter Chart
'Armagard Dust Proof Computer Cabinets Protect Against Dust Particles with a Micron Diameter as Low as 5.'

...If the width of a human hair has a micron diameter of 50, an Armagard dust proof cabinet protects against particles with a diameter up to 10 times less than the diameter of a human hair! That's fine dust particles that could be gathering in your computer, leading to a whole bunch of scenarios that will bring your production process to its knees.

It's not a case of if? It's a case of when? Dust is inevitable don't forget, and while you can't 'cure' it, you can take steps to prevent it. Let's face it, taking your computer apart to clean it is not going to happen on a busy production floor, it's impractical. Even more so if you have more than one computer system on the shop floor.

Don't think of a dust proof computer cabinet as protection for a single computer. Look at the bigger picture. Computer failure equals:


If dust is rife on your shop floor and you're using computers, a dust proof computer cabinet is essential. To discuss dust proof computer enclosure options for your facility, call +44 (0)121 608 7226. Alternatively, complete the 'Quick Enquiry' form on our website's >>>

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