When budgeting for a PC enclosure deployment, there are many reasons as to why a company may choose one cabinet over another.
Quality, warranty, reputation, and availability are all common items that drive a purchasing decision. It is wise to explore all options available on the market and hone in on some “not so obvious” items that will help companies recognize the true cost of ownership.
Here are 5 factors that will affect the actual cost of owning a computer enclosure:
It may seem obvious, but inexpensive enclosures are attractive to buyers on the front end. One goal of purchasing agents is to procure the best product for the least expensive price. However, a lower acquisition cost may result in high operating costs, if the computer enclosure is not durable and requires replacement. To measure your ROI, try to achieve a balance between economics, utility, and performance.
Consider if corrosive materials will be present in the air and/or during the cleansing process for wash down areas. Stainless steel enclosures, although durable and reliable, are the most expensive cabinet construction. If harsh chemicals are not used during the cleansing process – a manufacturing facility may opt to purchase NEMA 4 powder coated steel enclosures to save money. Research the installation area to be sure that benign installations - where indirect by-products like wastewater and steam - do not pose a problem.
An enclosure’s gasket material can often be overlooked during the purchasing process. Not many people remember to ask what kind of gasket (if any) is used around the door and openings of the enclosure. Foreign substances like dust, dirt, grease, and corrosive materials can find their way into the enclosure - even behind closed doors. These substances can quickly ruin electronics and other equipment housed inside of the enclosure. Choose an enclosure that features foam in place of gasket to deliver a tight, continuous seal.
A PC enclosure is an investment, so it is important that it can grow as the business changes over the years. Modular enclosures that feature removable side panels allow the system to add or remove additional enclosure arrangements to scale. The flexibility to add accessories, such as a fan system or air conditioner, are extremely valuable if you need to move the enclosure to a different environment within the plant. If extensive modifications or a complete replacement is necessary, maintenance and labor costs will be high.
Beware of any hidden costs that may be associated with a computer enclosure purchase. Take into consideration the assembly time that it will take for employees to integrate the solution. Although assembly time may require no specific training, the solution may require special cutting to modify the enclosure – such as knockouts for conduit, cutouts for touchscreens, etc. All this time will add to the company’s overall cost of ownership. Freight charges may also put a project over budget, so always check on how much it will cost to ship the order.
With the proper research, you will be able to determine the best enclosure solution for your specific environment. Avoid common mistakes and do not base the decision solely on the initial purchase price, because a sub-par enclosure may cost more money in the long run. Help keep production running smoothly with an efficient, high quality enclosure system that will stand the test of time.
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