For efficiency purposes, it makes sense to put critical electronic hardware, e.g., computers, monitors and printers, in the midst of the action in your facility.
That way, workers can access terminals, print labels and more without having to go out of their way too much.
Be aware of the dangers though! When you put hardware in a manufacturing facility, warehouse or something similar, you’re subjecting it to a variety of miniscule assailants that can and will wreak havoc on your electronics and shorten their lifespans significantly.
Here are four of the most common dangers that an enclosure can help protect your hardware from in your facility.
Unless you operate in a clean room, dust is always going to be one of the biggest issues for your hardware.
Dust is composed of a variety of particulates, including organic materials, minerals and small amounts of water. It can get into your hardware and coat components, clogging fans or blocking air vents. This can result in overheating.
Dust can also contain materials that can prevent necessary conduction. Or, it can do the opposite, conducting electricity where it shouldn’t and causing shorts.
In regard to printers, dust can coat and clog nozzles and cause print issues. It can also coat your materials and cause your labels to not stick properly.
It’s common knowledge that liquids and electronics do not mix well. Depending on what products you work with, you could be putting your hardware at risk due to splashing or spilled liquids all the time.
Water and other liquids contain particulates and impurities that can cause shorts when they come into contact with your circuitry. They can also cause corrosion on the inside or outside of your hardware. Some liquids, such as acids, can cause corrosion even quicker, so it’s especially important to understand what you’re working with to protect your hardware properly.
Humidity can cause a variety of issues if it’s at the high or low extremes.
With high humidity, there’s a chance for condensation, which could result in the same problems as discussed earlier with liquids. In addition, high humidity and condensation can cause dust to clog vents and overlay components even more than normal, causing overheating even faster.
In regard to printers, high humidity is a general pain for a variety of reasons. For one, it can distort paper and make pages stick together, which can disrupt functions, cause jams and even result in peeling toner and blank spots. It can also cause the ink to dry slower, which can cause oversaturated areas, streaks, smudges and spreading ink. And, it can make it difficult to properly stick on labels.
Low humidity can be just as bad. In general, low humidity can cause more static electricity buildup, which could cause shorts in the machine.
For printers, low humidity can result in multiple pages feeding at once and paper jams. It can also cause clogged ink, light/faded-looking prints and stretched out/repeated images and text due to paper shrinkage.
To learn more, check out our blog post How Humidity Affects Printers.
Heat & Cold
Most electronics are hearty enough to stand up to high or low temperatures.
Printers and label printers, though, can encounter issues with extreme heat or cold.
High heat can cause moisture to evaporate from the paper and air, resulting in low humidity and issues associated with it. It can also cause the ink cartridges to dry out faster and can make air bubbles inside the cartridges expand and cause links.
Extreme temperatures can also affect the viscosity of ink. At higher temps, the viscosity is lower, resulting in over-emulsification, dripping, misting, spitting and smearing. At lower temps, the viscosity is higher, which restricts ink flow and print density and causing mottled prints and excessing linting.
It’s easy to mitigate all of those issues with a quality enclosure from DustShield. Whatever hardware you want to protect, our team will be happy to design a custom enclosure, complete with accessories, to meet your needs.