PC enclosure designed to meet food plant hygiene standards

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food industry

A new PC enclosure has been designed to protect equipment in food processing environments, and is resistant to strict hygiene processes, says its UK developer.

Computer Security & Solutions said the development of the protective unit was informed by a speculative enquiry from one of the food manufacturing industry’s largest firms.

According to the company, the food processor was looking to source a computer enclosure that could be protected from dust and fluids, and that could be washed down at the end of the day to remove bacteria.

Self-cooling

The new enclosure, continued the Lancashire-based firm, is self-cooling, and includes a waterproof, stainless steel keyboard as well as a trackball pointing device, manufactured from food quality stainless steel.

A spokesperson for the enclosure manufacturer said the cost of producing the enclosure undercut standard competitor tenders by 40 per cent.

With more and more food manufacturers installing computers on the factor floor for data collection, the company claims that demand for its enclosures has increased; it argues that protecting standard computers is more cost effective than purchasing industrial PCs.

Portable computer

Meanwhile, a new portable computer designed to operate in challenging food industry conditions was launched by noax Technologies at PackExpo/Process Expo in Chicago.

The S15 Premium Line is a sealed 15inch stand-alone PC which can operate to the most stringent hygiene requirements in the food processing industry and in both hot and cold environments, according to the company.

"The S15 with its smooth surface without edges that can collect dirt is specifically designed to work in harsh, wash down environments where easy cleaning and disinfection are important," the company's sales manager Jonathan Staub told FoodProductionDaily.com.

He said that the computer has a V2A (304) stainless steel enclosure plus a hygienic plastic front with no gaps or joints between the enclosure and touch display.

Applications

Typical applications, according to Staub, include controlling cutting machines in slaughter houses, tracking food components in production lines and directing food packaging machines.

"It has been designed to operate in wet or steamy environments and to cope with vibration and extreme heat or cold," said Staub.

The PC can operate from 0°C to 45°C and, when fitted with optional extra heating equipment, in temperatures as low as minus 25°C, he added.

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