One of the world’s largest disk drive manufacturers had been using industrial PCs and peripheral devices for human interaction on its manufacturing floor. The industrial PCs emitted a very high frequency noise and their cooling fans circulated dust. This was especially problematic in the disk platter coating and laser cutting areas, which are sensitive Class 10 clean rooms. The dust or micro-particles were harmful to the media being manufactured and adversely affected yield.
Because of the air movement caused by the industrial PCs, the clean rooms had to be flushed and cleaned regularly to eliminate even small amounts of dust. The annual cost for these processes, including the downtime required to complete them, totaled approximately $0.5M.
The ConnectPort™ Display enabled the customer to move the industrial PCs out of the clean room environment. This zero-client solution now seamlessly connects the same peripheral devices, which include a bar-code scanner, PLC controller, VGA monitor with touch screen controller, keyboard and mouse. These devices are now attached over in-plant Ethernet connections to the PC application running in a separate server room. The zero-client solution offers a radically new approach to the traditional PC-based client-server model and offers several key benefits:
- ConnectPort Display has no moving parts, so it creates none of the former noise or dust movement
- Reduced airborne contaminants results in higher disk platter yield
- Flushing and cleaning process and its associated downtime is eliminated, resulting in estimated annual savings of $0.5M
- Future deployments of new manufacturing processes in clean rooms or other sensitive areas have greater flexibility