10 reasons for computer hardware failures

Trevor Staley

For industrial applications, computer hardware failure can cause significant downtime, for the application itself, but even more so to the end user.

In most cases, industrial applications require the very latest technology to achieve the best performance levels, and therefore, commercial computers are often the preferred choice. The benefits of faster lead times, off the shelf and readily available computers make this an attractive solution.

However, with commercial hardware comes great limitations, and these exact limitations are often the reason computers are failing, when deployed to industrial applications.

10 possible reasons for computer hardware failure

1. Extremes of environments
2. Temperature
3. Humidity
4. Ingress of dusts or liquids
5. Shock
6. Vibration
7. Signal screening
8. Cable separation
9. Power conditioning
10. Site-specific environment

Industrial computers thumbnail edit - 10 reasons for computer hardware failures

So how do you overcome these failures?

When we look at computer hardware solutions fit for industrial applications, there are a many possible solutions available, but they can be broadly categorised as :

1. Re-engineering commercial hardware

Often, many of the problems above arise from commercial computer hardware typically designed for benign rather than challenging environments.

Where possible, replace commercial components with appropriate industrial-grade equivalents. Where some hardware must remain commercial computer consider if this can be re-engineered or re-packaged for industrial applications, without reducing operational life, reliability or product warranty.

For large scale programmes, we would typically revise the equipment design or repackage solutions to deliver optimised volume manufacture.

This will provide a balance of high-speed build times with minimised modification costs, and as the overall volume increases, will secure a more cost-effective solution when compared to modifying existing equipment on a case by case basis.

2. Partnering with the right vendors

The second approach is best used where the number of implementations is low but the volume of equipment installed is high.

For this scenario, working with a partner to define a bespoke solution that uses components from multiple vendors, where components can be selected to best suit the potential problems it may encounter as it is specified.

This approach will unlock the best from each element and bring them together into a product that secures the advantages of commercial performance while being suitably protected to endure the challenges of its environment.

3. Changing your environment

It seems obvious, but preventing the problem, rather than protecting against it, can be a valid approach. This can be a fundamental change in the environment through the use of a protected building, shelter or room, or a change in application scope and architecture that places the equipment into a less hostile environment. Of course, this isn’t always a viable approach for lots of reasons, and where the right computing solution to mitigate the issues is crucial.

How Captec can help

Ensuring your computer platforms maintain the optimum uptime, no matter what the application, is absolutely crucial for businesses and industries worldwide. Providing protected and certified computer hardware solutions tailored to the exact needs of the operating environment, ensures there are no sudden surprises and businesses maintain peak performance.

To learn more, visit our design to order computers web page.

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