At home, in the office, on the shop floor or deep in the bowels of the warehouse, most people don’t spare much thought for protecting network equipment until it fails. Unfortunately for many organizations, airborne particulates and liquids can destroy key network equipment and leave the company scrambling to reconnect devices.
As Industry 4.0 gains steam and organizations depend more and more on having a reliable network, it’s increasingly critical that companies take proactive measures to help ensure their network equipment is protected, just like their printers and computers. Enclosures are a great way to help with that, as they can shield key network equipment from harmful particulates.
Ready to start protecting your network equipment? Here are some key things to consider in an enclosure.
Obviously, if an organization is looking for an enclosure that will protect networking equipment, one of the first things to consider is how much protection the enclosure will provide. Since networking equipment like routers are generally housed inside a building, the organization can focus on interior enclosures. A NEMA-12 rating will suffice for most instances–that type of enclosure will protect against the ingress of dirt and dust, as well as splashing non-corrosive liquids.
Do some research into enclosures to make sure they provide the necessary coverage. Look for features like grommets on openings to ensure the enclosure is foolproof in its protection.
In addition, organizations should take a look at the filtration system on the enclosure. Not all filters are created equal, and it would be a bad deal to find out down the road that the filter on an enclosure allows in enough particulates to gum up the machine.
Construction is key in any equipment purchase. Organizations want to make sure that not only will the enclosure protect the equipment inside, but it also needs to stand up to the abuse it might sustain in a fast-paced warehouse or industrial environment. Don’t just assume that one material is better than another. Instead, do the homework and consider things like ABS plastic versus steel and how the enclosure is put together.
In addition, in regard to network enclosure construction, organizations should consider how the materials will hinder the signals coming the box, e.g., WiFi. Some materials, like steel, can block the signal, which could result in dropped connections.
No two network equipment setups are the same, so neither should the enclosures that house them.
Organizations should talk to the enclosure OEM and make sure they can meet the organization’s needs in regard to sizing, mobility and durability. Organizations should ask about any accessories, e.g., heaters, HVAC units and such, that might meet their needs as well.
Investing in a quality enclosure to protect your networking equipment is a very smart solution that can add years of life to the electronics. Unfortunately, there is much to consider, so it’s also a complicated decision. But, it’s a decision the DustShield team has helped hundreds make over the years, and one we’d be happy to help your organization make as well.