How to Cut Industrial Computer Maintenance Costs
Industrial computer maintenance is an unavoidable expense for manufacturing firms. However, many companies find themselves held to ransom by industrial computer suppliers because of expensive maintenance fees. To avoid excessive charges, here’s a way to cut industrial computer maintenance costs.
Industrial computers are pivotal to manufacturing productivity. It’s rare to find a facility that operates without an industrial computer contributing to the production process – whether it’s inventory, logistics or data collection. Computers have become the backbone of the supply chain, so keeping them operational is hugely important.
However, keeping industrial computer networks up and running is costly. This is where embedded industrial computer suppliers are clever. Most providers will tie you into annual maintenance contracts, charging you a fee that’s payable whether your industrial computer system fails or not.
A typical maintenance contract starts once the warranty has expired. Embedded industrial computer technology is quite sophisticated, and beyond the skills of an in-house IT engineer. Suppliers know this, and should your industrial computer fail, it’s likely that a specialist computer engineer would need to visit your facility to diagnose the problem.
If your maintenance contract does not cover the fault, you’re likely to incur additional fees to fix the problem or as a result of getting the system replaced. However, it might be the case that your industrial computer system never encounters a problem, which is great.
If that’s the case, paying the annual maintenance fee for something that could go wrong, but doesn’t, might not seem too great an expense. However, maintenance costs can occur in other ways!
Embedded industrial computer systems tend to function using technical software. Here’s something you can perhaps relate to… How often does your Windows PC or laptop run software updates? Quite regularly, right?
Thankfully, Windows updates are free and don’t cause too much disruption. Industrial computer software upgrades on the other hand are likely to require a specialist software engineer. While your maintenance contract might cover the cost of the software engineer, you’re likely to have to pay for the latest software.
It’s Good Practice to Protect Your Industrial Computer Systems
It’s not wrong to pay maintenance fees to cover your industrial computer network should a fault occur. Equally, it’s good practice to get regular software upgrades to keep your industrial PC panels updated.
However, you’re at the mercy of suppliers for the maintenance of your industrial computer workstations. While you’re paying for maintenance coverage, it’s no use if a computer or software engineer can’t get to you right away to fix problems or perform necessary software upgrades.
What you’re left with is an annual maintenance bill and idle computer systems that could be out of action for hours, days or weeks, potentially bringing production to a grinding halt! Without the technical expertise in-house to diagnose and fix the problem, you’re left stranded.
What’s worse is that the problems don’t stop there! As a result of an inactive production line, delays occur. Deliveries don’t go out on time, leading to disgruntled customers and a potential loss of market share. To top it off, unhappy customers write an online review that’s negative about your operation.
This is an extreme scenario, but it’s not unheard of, and it’s extremely costly to your business – not just financially, but on a reputational level.
The Key to Cutting Industrial Computer Maintenance Costs
To cut industrial computer maintenance costs, you have to take back control of your computer systems. Don’t rely on suppliers to repair, replace or upgrade your industrial computer network – it’s costly and time wasting.
Instead, get back to basics, using computer systems that you’re familiar with and can be repaired, replaced or upgraded in-house. How? You can use ‘off the shelf’ PC systems to create an industrial computer network!
Instantly, you can cut your costs by using equipment that’s readily available to you and quick to setup. Installing embedded industrial computer systems will lead to disruption on your shop floor - downtime that’s costing your firm money for every minute it’s out of action.
To safeguard your new, self-created industrial computer network, you will need to invest in industrial computer enclosures. Not only are these systems far more cost-effective than embedded computers, they give you the freedom and flexibility to self-maintain your network.
Once computers come to the end of their lifespan, you can swap them out with a new system without having to wait on a third party engineer. Off the shelf computers cost less, but more importantly, you can repair, replace or upgrade on your own terms, minus maintenance fees!
Equally, you limit downtime, which has massive ramifications for your business if not dealt with promptly. To break the cycle of paying maintenance fees and suffering extended periods of downtime, setup an industrial computer network that you can manage in-house and represents better value for money.
To get you started with ‘off the shelf’ computer integration across your manufacturing facility, make use of this guide...