Better Computer Case Or...



  • So I have run into a slight issue. I work in a manufacturing shop where we use oils and other lubricants to cut metal and plastic. This is reeking havoc on my computers. I have been seeing cpu fans completely fall off the motherboard from the oils settling on the clips and essentially eating them away. This is also an issue with our graphics cards. I have had to replace quite a few due to fans breaking (from the crap in the air!) When we open the pc's on the shop floor, often everything is covered in a film of grime (oil, metal shavings, dust, etc). I need a way to keep this stuff out. Right now I need ideas to throw as many out there as make sense. I have thought about going with a more enclosed setup but I have no idea where to begin looking. I know they make dust covers, but I am unsure as to how those would stand up to the oily stuff that floats in the air here.


  • Service Provider

    @bbiAngie The best otion here would be to go with something without moving parts.

    How much processing power it truly needed on these devices?



  • So the problem is that we have gone with a pretty beefy "standard" build. Most of my computers are i7 with 16gb of ram. We already have these deployed so replacing them with something slower would not go over well.


  • Service Provider

    @bbiAngie said:

    So the problem is that we have gone with a pretty beefy "standard" build. Most of my computers are i7 with 16gb of ram. We already have these deployed so replacing them with something slower would not go over well.

    You avoided the question. What are the ones on the floor out there to do?



  • @bbiAngie said:

    So the problem is that we have gone with a pretty beefy "standard" build. Most of my computers are i7 with 16gb of ram. We already have these deployed so replacing them with something slower would not go over well.

    O.o Is that much computing power actually needed on the shop floor?



  • How about these? http://www.computerdust.com/ They say they work for dust and oil.



  • No its not needed, however, there is no going back at this point. We took this route so if any of our "main" computers go down, we can pull a computer from just about anywhere and it will work, even in engineering where they are using programs like solidworks and catia.


  • Service Provider

    @bbiAngie said:

    No its not needed, however, there is no going back at this point. We took this route so if any of our "main" computers go down, we can pull a computer from just about anywhere and it will work, even in engineering where they are using programs like solidworks and catia.

    What a waste of money and resources. All that extra unused hardware is not even useful like you envisioned because it is all failing.

    If you are going to stay this route, then you need a cabinet with air filters or a bag. Bags are cheaper and @nic listed a good solution.



  • Yea, I get all that, this is why I am trying to fix the problem.


  • Service Provider

    @bbiAngie said:

    No its not needed, however, there is no going back at this point. We took this route so if any of our "main" computers go down, we can pull a computer from just about anywhere and it will work, even in engineering where they are using programs like solidworks and catia.

    Well you need to go back now, right? Because this isn't working? The machines from the shop floor aren't surviving and aren't really useful as CAD workstations, right? The extra cost here must be staggering - even going forward.

    Go to management and propose saving them money, a lot of money right now. It would be far, far cheaper to have a spare on a shelf for the CAD people or spare parts rather then having their spares get destroyed on the shop floor.

    Anything with an i7 is going to have to put a lot of air to stay cool. Lots of air means dust and oil and damage. And a GPU makes that so dramatically worse.

    You want fanless, low power machines that cost a fraction the acquisition cost, don't need to push air through the chassis and will save a ton of money on power consumption too.

    This is the time where you need to go back to management and change the plan. A miscalculation was made but you can course correct right now and make things better.


  • Banned

    @bbiAngie said:

    So I have run into a slight issue. I work in a manufacturing shop where we use oils and other lubricants to cut metal and plastic. This is reeking havoc on my computers. I have been seeing cpu fans completely fall off the motherboard from the oils settling on the clips and essentially eating them away. This is also an issue with our graphics cards. I have had to replace quite a few due to fans breaking (from the crap in the air!) When we open the pc's on the shop floor, often everything is covered in a film of grime (oil, metal shavings, dust, etc). I need a way to keep this stuff out. Right now I need ideas to throw as many out there as make sense. I have thought about going with a more enclosed setup but I have no idea where to begin looking. I know they make dust covers, but I am unsure as to how those would stand up to the oily stuff that floats in the air here.

    Just do what we do. Get Dell XE2s and IP 65 (with air filters) rated enclosures for the tower, UPS and monitors.

    http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/optiplex-xe2/pd


  • Service Provider

    @bbiAngie said:

    Yea, I get all that, this is why I am trying to fix the problem.

    But you can really fix it, right? Now that the original plan is shown to not make financial or technical sense you need to change the plan to address that.

    The original plan sounds like it was a huge financial misstep anyway. So this is not only a chance to fix the technical issue of the dust and oil but to begin correcting the wasted money. Seems like a chance to take a disaster and use it to create a business win where IT can show that it "outplanned" the financial folks and can save the company money.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @bbiAngie said:

    No its not needed, however, there is no going back at this point. We took this route so if any of our "main" computers go down, we can pull a computer from just about anywhere and it will work, even in engineering where they are using programs like solidworks and catia.

    Well you need to go back now, right? Because this isn't working? The machines from the shop floor aren't surviving and aren't really useful as CAD workstations, right? The extra cost here must be staggering - even going forward.

    Go to management and propose saving them money, a lot of money right now. It would be far, far cheaper to have a spare on a shelf for the CAD people or spare parts rather then having their spares get destroyed on the shop floor.

    Anything with an i7 is going to have to put a lot of air to stay cool. Lots of air means dust and oil and damage. And a GPU makes that so dramatically worse.

    You want fanless, low power machines that cost a fraction the acquisition cost, don't need to push air through the chassis and will save a ton of money on power consumption too.

    This is the time where you need to go back to management and change the plan. A miscalculation was made but you can course correct right now and make things better.

    You make some excellent points. There are however computers on the shop floor that do NEED to be beefy. Some of our operators also do programming. This means that I still need to have at least a couple computers in each area that are capable of running 3d cad/cam software. Now i7's are probably overkill but the quadro cards that are in these pc's are also necessary...... I have yet to fry any processors, the cost has mostly been in replacing cpu fans/time.



  • I'd look at something like these, they work quite well.

    When I was at a sheet metal company we had to buy several, they were killing computers left and right.

    Just make sure to clean out the air filters regularly (monthly)


  • Service Provider

    If you need gear like that on a shop floor the de facto answer is VDI. Not always the answer, but it is the place where most people would look first. Put a low cost, fanless thin client or zero client on the shop floor and put the hefty gear where it is protected like in a server closet - clear, cool area and physically secure too.

    The natural reaction is VDI. But you could do just a remote desktop with a physical desktop being used - just remotely. That way you keep the gear you have, keep the model that you have, keep the approach that you have but you make everything more flexible.

    Remote access could be RDP, NX, ICA, something special or even a distance KVM connection.



  • Switching to Thin Clients + RDP is not a bad thing. AutoCAD 2015, and ArcGIS, and Adobe Cloud Suite all run great over RDP on a system that has a good graphics card. It's not 100% perfect, but it's the best I've seen in a while. I can't speak to NX or ICA.



  • I like the VDI idea and I fully plan on pushing that, however, my current push if 1st for server virtualization which is something that will be happening next year. After I get that all figured out, I do really want to look into vdi, I think it would be a perfect fit for us. But we are not there quite yet.

    I think I am going to look into something like nic posted for now. I have been lucky that the environment has not taken out any expensive parts yet. I know this will change.....so I want to remedy the problem until I can come up with a REAL solution.


  • Service Provider

    Just racking your existing desktops into the server closet and getting thin clients onto the desks now would be a way to fix things immediately while getting people used to the way that things work so that you have a fix now while getting ready for VDI someday.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    Just racking your existing desktops into the server closet and getting thin clients onto the desks now would be a way to fix things immediately while getting people used to the way that things work so that you have a fix now while getting ready for VDI someday.

    Wish I had space for that right now, I am working on installing a relay rack in my server room and its a bit in shambles right now. Good idea though. I will most likely explore that a bit more when I am done with my current project.

    Just for fun, here is some of my what I have done!

    0_1450194648889_20151124_153742 (2).jpg



  • @bbiAngie That looks pretty sharp!


  • Banned

    @scottalanmiller said:

    If you need gear like that on a shop floor the de facto answer is VDI. Not always the answer, but it is the place where most people would look first. Put a low cost, fanless thin client or zero client on the shop floor and put the hefty gear where it is protected like in a server closet - clear, cool area and physically secure too.

    The natural reaction is VDI. But you could do just a remote desktop with a physical desktop being used - just remotely. That way you keep the gear you have, keep the model that you have, keep the approach that you have but you make everything more flexible.

    Remote access could be RDP, NX, ICA, something special or even a distance KVM connection.

    Or a remote dell precision rack mount computer. What are they doing engineering stuff on the shop floor anyway? That's odd. Usually you finalize that stuff for approval and then just feed it into the machines.


  • Service Provider

    Oh yeah, moving to rack mount desktop chassis are even better.



  • @Jason said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    If you need gear like that on a shop floor the de facto answer is VDI. Not always the answer, but it is the place where most people would look first. Put a low cost, fanless thin client or zero client on the shop floor and put the hefty gear where it is protected like in a server closet - clear, cool area and physically secure too.

    The natural reaction is VDI. But you could do just a remote desktop with a physical desktop being used - just remotely. That way you keep the gear you have, keep the model that you have, keep the approach that you have but you make everything more flexible.

    Remote access could be RDP, NX, ICA, something special or even a distance KVM connection.

    Or a remote dell precision rack mount computer. What are they doing engineering stuff on the shop floor anyway? That's odd. Usually you finalize that stuff for approval and then just feed it into the machines.

    Yes I know its strange. We are a precision machine shop. We are pretty unique in that we are doing tolerances less than .0005”. Sometimes this means making changes on the fly to account for various issues that arise in the machining process. 90% of the stuff is done in engineering. But one of the engineers is also the owner who wants to be able to be at just about any machine and be able to make these changes without it being slow.



  • @bbiAngie said:

    @Jason said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    If you need gear like that on a shop floor the de facto answer is VDI. Not always the answer, but it is the place where most people would look first. Put a low cost, fanless thin client or zero client on the shop floor and put the hefty gear where it is protected like in a server closet - clear, cool area and physically secure too.

    The natural reaction is VDI. But you could do just a remote desktop with a physical desktop being used - just remotely. That way you keep the gear you have, keep the model that you have, keep the approach that you have but you make everything more flexible.

    Remote access could be RDP, NX, ICA, something special or even a distance KVM connection.

    Or a remote dell precision rack mount computer. What are they doing engineering stuff on the shop floor anyway? That's odd. Usually you finalize that stuff for approval and then just feed it into the machines.

    Yes I know its strange. We are a precision machine shop. We are pretty unique in that we are doing tolerances less than .0005”. Sometimes this means making changes on the fly to account for various issues that arise in the machining process. 90% of the stuff is done in engineering. But one of the engineers is also the owner who wants to be able to be at just about any machine and be able to make these changes without it being slow.

    This is where VDI shines... have a thin client just about anywhere and anytime that user logs in they get the same power/speed as when they are at their desk.



  • Here is a computer built for situations like this: http://linuxgizmos.com/compact-rugged-pc-packs-xeon-heat-keeps-cool-fanlessly/



  • @mlnews said:

    Here is a computer built for situations like this: http://linuxgizmos.com/compact-rugged-pc-packs-xeon-heat-keeps-cool-fanlessly/

    That is neat. Few know some may,.. but homes were build similarly to this. at least for a period of time.


  • Service Provider

    Without fans?



  • @scottalanmiller No with their own cooling systems in hot areas of the world. Not central AC etc, but actually vented walls.


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