Armagard Blog

5 Rules to Follow For Buying a Quality Industrial Computer Enclosure

Posted by Daniel Waldron on Aug 1, 2016 12:00:00 PM

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You need to protect computers, printers, touchscreen applications or LCD screens in an industrial environment. Researching industrial computer enclosures has left you spoilt for choice.

How do you guarantee a blend of quality and value for money? Here are 5 rules to follow when investing in industrial computer enclosures.

Rule #1 – Ask who designs and builds the enclosures

If you were to ask Armagard who designs and builds our industrial computer enclosures, we can tell you that they’re designed and built by an in-house crew. Armagard has a dedicated design department with great industry knowledge who work closely with a very experienced production team.

Together, design and production work on improving existing designs as well as coming up with new ideas in order to keep up with ever changing market requirements. However, just because an enclosure manufacturer self-designs and self-builds, it doesn’t guarantee quality or value for money, which brings us nicely onto rule #2.

Rule #2 – Ask about in-house quality checks

A large majority of industrial computer enclosure manufacturers self-certify, which means they test their own products for adherence to US NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) standards or European IP (Ingress Protection) standards. It’s a common practice, which Armagard follows too.

However, the quality of testing can vary as it hinges on the methods and tools used to undertake such quality checks. Armagard can point to its own self-certification practices as a sign of quality design, having invested in an environmental testing chamber.

This apparatus allows for the testing of an enclosure’s ability to protect hardware from extreme temperatures and other environmental factors such as condensation.

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Armagard’s very own environmental enclosure testing chamber.

Rule #3 – Ask about case studies

Any well-respected supplier can provide details of how their environmental enclosures have been used successfully for numerous IT hardware protection projects. For instance, Armagard protects equipment worth more than £4 billion worldwide, and for top global brands such as Ford, GlaxoSmithKline and BP (British Petroleum).

Rule #4 – Ask about a product consultation

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Armagard enclosures adhere to IP and NEMA standards.

Some cheaper, ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions are often not appropriate for specific environments so it’s all about the right qualification process and enclosure adaptation to suit your individual requirements

Experienced protective enclosure suppliers will match the unit to your individual requirements, adding or removing options based on the information you provide. Therefore, it can be risky to trust widely circulated pricelists of ‘off-the-shelf’ enclosures as quite often the “one-size-fits-all” rule doesn’t apply.

Make sure you receive a product consultation for your industrial computer enclosure, where the features and benefits are explained to you in detail, making sure it fulfils your individual needs.

Ideally, you want enclosures that are IP or NEMA rated and able to protect against the hazards in your industrial facility. Should you have a high volume of extremely fine dust for example, Armagard might recommend to use recirculating fans instead of filter fans, increasing the level of protection from IP54 to IP65.

That, in combination with the positive air pressure created, will protect your computer equipment from harmful particles and prevent the build-up of hotspots at the same time. Therefore, be sure to ask your supplier how they manage dustproofing and more importantly, what the right level of protection for your industrial working environment.

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Need watertight computer protection? Ask about the materials used to build an enclosure.

Equally, if you require a waterproof computer enclosure solution, you should ask potential suppliers how their enclosures are able to prevent liquids infiltrating an enclosure and also how durable the materials are.

Armagard only uses 316 stainless steel to manufacture its waterproof enclosures. This highly durable material prevents corrosion and build-up of bacteria in challenging and often sterile environments.

The combination of high quality materials, knife-edged door seals and rubber sealed cable entries makes these enclosures one of the most long-lasting and effective solutions in its field.

Essentially, all of the above allow you to clean enclosures using high-powered jets of water. It’s ideal if you’re looking to protect computers used in food facilities, where washdown processes are a part of your operation.

Rule #5 – Ask about guarantees

Most reputable suppliers of computer enclosure systems offer guarantees. For instance, Armagard provides 5-year warranty coverage for all mechanical parts fitted to all products and a 12-month warranty for all electrical components.

The golden rule is to invest in a system that gives you peace of mind, buying from a supplier who offers you the right support before and after the sale. Equally, you want an enclosure that’s flexible and low-maintenance that can accommodate your current computer systems, but leaves room for you to upgrade in the future.

Quality environmental enclosures tick all the boxes, giving you a long-term practical solution and the satisfaction that you have acquired a high-quality solution, catering to your exact requirements.

10 point checklist of an industrial computer enclosure worth buying

Topics: industrial touch screen enclosures, industrial computer enclosure, industrial computing, industrial computer

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