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Technical Articles & Industry Trends
For operations managers in heavy industry environments such as industrial equipment manufacturing, mining, or steel production, having a reliable computing solution is no small order. Any unit placed into these environments needs to be as rugged as they come; capable of withstanding the rigorous demands of the extreme environments where they will be expected to perform. They need to be built to exacting and demanding standards to ensure that they not simply survive daily operations, but thrive in them.
Working conditions in heavy industry often include environmental elements like vibrations, spraying water, rain, dust, dirt, sand, heat, and cold. Consumer grade computers wouldn’t stand a chance in these types of environments, and even many industrial grade products would likely come up short.
In a manufacturing workplace environment computer systems need to contend with vibrations from surrounding machinery, dust particulate in the air, spraying water, and temperature fluctuations.
For those operating computers in a mining environment, they need to account for vibrations from heavy machinery, airborne dirt/dust/sand particles, rain, and temperature fluctuations.
There are a number of key specifications that operations managers should consider when evaluating solutions for their working environments. To handle shocks and vibrations it is critical to select a rugged computer that meets official standards for anti-vibration, such as the MIL810F and IEC60068-2-27 standards. Hard disk drives are one of the most common parts of a computer to fail in an industrial environment due to the many moving parts they contain. This can be solved by selecting a computer with a solid state hard drive, thus eliminating moving parts from the equation.
For uncontrolled environments or applications where computers are required to move between differing temperature zones, it is important to consider having a rugged computer that can handle a wide range of temperatures without difficulties. To contend with airborne dust/dirt/sand particles, it is important to consider a computer that employs a fanless cooling system. Cooling fans introducing foreign elements into a computer are one of the leading causes of computer failures in industrial environments.
Exposure to moisture or falling water should also be considered when evaluating a computer solution, especially if the unit is expected to be operating outdoors or in manufacturing areas where spraying water may be a concern. Ingress protection (IP) or NEMA waterproof ratings should be consulted to ensure you select a rugged computer that will offer the desired level of ingress protection for your specific application. In applications where exposure to corrosive chemicals may take place, you will want to consider choosing a rugged computer with an anti-corrosion coating on its outer housing.
Teguar offers compact rugged touchscreen computers specially designed for heavy industry and other extreme workplace environments. These units feature a wide operating temperature range, fanless cooling system, IP65 waterproof rated housing, MIL-STD-810F/G anti-vibration compliance, and solid state hard drive.