Organizations are always looking for ways to streamline their operations to increase efficiency and mitigate downtime.
For many companies, a simple way to do that is to move hardware closer to the actual processes and line. For example, where a label printer would normally be housed in a separate area, safely away from the dust and debris of a warehouse, organizations are now moving these machines into the fray so workers don’t have to travel to print labels.
While this does make it more efficient to get the job done, it puts hardware in areas they’re not built for, i.e., environments that are heavy with dust, debris and particulates that can easily kill a machine. So, companies have to make a decision–is it worth the cost to invest in an enclosure to protect your hardware? What’s the ROI of an enclosure?
It’s fairly easy to calculate the tangible benefits of shielding hardware in an enclosure. For the most part, all an organization has to do is look at the price of a replacement machine.
For some, those calculations can easily justify the cost of an enclosure. But others might ask why they should pay to protect a machine that can be easily replaced.
Before an organization writes off an enclosure as frivolous and unnecessary, they should take a look at the intangible, harder-to-quantify benefits. Read on to learn more about these, and why organizations should look beyond the hardware replacement costs when considering protection.
Legacy Hardware & Software
Often, organizations use legacy hardware and/or software that can’t be easily replaced. For many, it’s a piece of hardware that runs software that controls a CNC router, laser or another piece of equipment that is integral to their processes. The software might be outdated and no longer supported. Or, it may require an operating system that’s no longer supported.
Either way, if the computer housing that software gets damaged by dust or debris and needs to be replaced, the organization might have to replace the software as well. Any organization that has implemented a new software can attest that the process can be expensive, time consuming and result in a lot of downtime while they train employees on the new software and work out the bugs.
For many change-averse organizations, this is not an acceptable risk. If your organization falls into that category, you should definitely consider learning how to protect your hardware with an enclosure. Doing so can add years to your machine’s life, thus prolonging the need for new software, hardware and all the headaches involved with the change.
Organizations employ a variety of processes and machines to ensure their quality meets their customer’s expectations and demands. Whether it’s a mass spectrometer, KEYENCE microscope, scales or some other specialized piece of equipment, organizations base much of their reputation on these machines day in and day out.
Therefore, if particulates get into one of those machines and cause an issue, the costs could be much more than just maintenance- or replacement-oriented. Instead, you could be risking your reputation and your customers’ trust.
For many, that danger to their reputation alone makes the cost of an enclosure worth the investment.
Printers–label and otherwise–provide services far beyond just ensuring packages are ready to ship.
Manufacturers use them to identify products and parts for easy reference and reordering down the road.
Small-batch beverage and food makers, among other craftspeople, use them to create quality labels for their products.
Sports organizations, warehouses, offices and retailers use them to print RFID chip labels to track the movement of products or ensure security.
Livestock owners use them to identify and track their assets.
Event venues and theme parks use them to create wrist bands that function as tickets.
So, if the printer head gets clogged, the internal components get coated in dust or something similar, the organization is likely to encounter a number of issues. Maybe the printer won’t print clearly, or maybe the label won’t stick properly.
Either way, the result will be maintenance costs associated with the printer as well as the less-tangible costs of lost parts orders, low customer confidence and more.
In the end, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Sure, your hardware might be fine for a while without your organization spending the money on an enclosure.
Or, it could get clogged down and die, resulting in a variety of consequences.
If you’re interested in learning more about how DustShield can help protect your equipment–along with your organization’s product and reputation–with a quality enclosure, contact our enclosure specialists at 417.736.3746 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We can design and build a custom enclosure solution that will protect your hardware, fit it like a glove, and help extend its life.