Armagard Blog

How to get a rugged industrial computer without blowing the budget

Posted by Daniel Waldron on Jan 11, 2016 9:30:02 AM


Protecting computers in harsh environments doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated.

Avoid the upheaval of having to install specialist computer gear, make use of your current equipment and reduce your overheads long-term. Here’s how to do it…

If unreliable PCs used in an unforgiving workplace are a pain point for you, did you know? You can take your current PC and screen, plus the keyboard and mouse if you like, and transform it into a rugged industrial computer system that’s protected from the numerous damage threats your harsh working environment poses.

Have you ever had one of those days where a computer decides today’s the day to go kaput, bringing production to a grinding halt and costing you thousands of dollars as a result of downtime?

You are not alone. According to a survey of 283 companies - conducted by - one in six businesses say that one hour of downtime can cost them $1 million (£594,000) or more.

Ouch! Equally, a survey by discovered that 78% of UK businesses said they couldn’t be confident of a full recovery following sustained disruption.

With that in mind, consider how much one hour of downtime is damaging your business. Could your company make a full recovery from a sustained period of downtime whereby you’re literally leaking thousands of dollars an hour?

Download The 'Improving Manufacturing Productivity' Guide

Chances are, you are shaking your head vigorously at the screen right now. Good! We don’t want to see you losing that kind of money, especially when it is preventable.

Transforming a standard PC into a rugged computer System – what you'll need


You can take any standard PC, screen, keyboard and mouse and transform it into an industrial computer system that is harsh environment ready.

1. You need a high-quality computer enclosure.

While computer enclosures are not the only solution on the market, they do represent the most inexpensive option in comparison with regularly replacing equipment or investing in specialist computers kits.

2. Additionally, an enclosure will allow you to make use of your current equipment, converting your standard PC into a rugged computer system fit for any environment.

Which enclosure should you choose?

1. Firstly, you need to establish what computer equipment you want to protect. Are you looking to protect a PC, a screen, a printer or an entire system? (PC, screen and printer - plus the keyboard and mouse).

If you’re looking to safeguard an entire system, for example, you might want to consider a complete solution, such as an industrial computer cabinet.

However, if you are looking to protect individual items of equipment, single computer and printer enclosures are available to you.

2. Secondly, what are you trying to defend your computer against and what type of material is right for the job?

For defence against water damage, a stainless steel PC enclosure is your best bet.

Protection against dust and airborne debris, such as metal shavings for instance, would warrant the use of a powder coated mild steel industrial enclosure.

3. Next, consider the space available to you.

If you have the room for an ‘all-singing, all-dancing,’ floor standing solution, you can easily transform your current computer equipment into a harsh environment ready, rugged computer system, with an all-in-one cabinet.

However, if space is at a premium you can opt for a minimalistic compact PC enclosure that is wall-mountable and can be postioned well out of harm’s way.


Short on space? Enclosures can be wall-mounted to suit your working environment.

The unique advantage of owning an enclosure is the flexibility it provides. You don’t have to sacrifice your current equipment to make way for specialist computer gear, which is both costly and disruptive.

Enclosures can also last up to 10 years or more and in that time they will extend the life of PC and printer equipment. Long-term, you’re reducing your overheads and you can protect two or even three generations of equipment.

When your hardware does come to the end of its usable life, it is simply a matter of replacing equipment. This is not the case with specialist computer solutions, which are built to a specification that only the manufacturer can understand.

If it goes wrong, you are reliant on them coming to repair or replace it, which is both costly and time consuming.

Therefore, making use of your current equipment and opting for a one-off investment in an enclosure gives you a rugged computer system that’s harsh environment ready without you blowing your budget.

Additionally, if an enclosure has served its purpose, you can always sell it on and recoup some of your investment.

Discover how a rugged industrial computer can improve manufacturing productivity. Download your essential guide.

Improve manufacturing productivity

Topics: industral computer, Rugged Industrial computers

improve manufacturing productivity

Manufacturing floor computer intergration

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