Benefits of Fanless Computing for Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry has many responsibilities, including the designing, producing, and distributing of goods. It plays a significant role in the supply chain. Due to this, manufacturers are consistently striving to improve processes for more efficiency, productivity, and sustainability. One way to do that? By using fanless computing.

What is Fanless Computing?

Fanless computing refers to all computer systems that do not use a fan for cooling purposes. Instead, these systems rely on other cooling techniques, such as heat sinks. It is particularly popular in a manufacturing environment thanks to its increased reliability. If you want to get an idea of the types of fanless computing available, check out Things Embedded, which offers a range of fanless computing systems for manufacturing purposes. If you need more assurance of a fanless design, keep reading to learn the benefits.

Less Dust and Debris

Many manufacturing sites come with a lot of dust and debris circulating the air – it’s sort of part of the package. Unfortunately, this can cause significant issues for machinery. Even more so when that machinery has cooling fans installed. That’s because dust and debris can quickly clog a fan, causing the entire computing system to perform poorly and even malfunction.

A fanless computing system means that dust and debris won’t harm the system. Plus, it eliminates the need for regular maintenance and cleaning, saving time and money in the long run.

It’s Better for Harsh Conditions

Cooling fans do not work well in harsh industrial conditions. When subject to such a harsh environment, computing systems with fans installed can quickly become damaged. In turn, the manufacturing company must spend more money fixing the problem or replacing the system altogether. To avoid that, it makes sense to invest in a fanless design that can withstand the typical harsh environments of manufacturing.

Less Noise

It’s no secret that manufacturing is noisy, thanks to all the machines operating simultaneously. However, that doesn’t mean every area of the manufacturing site should be loud. On the contrary, having quiet areas of the manufacturing production site helps create a better work environment for the employees. Plus, silent or at least peaceful areas have their purpose, especially in rooms where undivided attention is necessary.

Fanless computers won’t ruin a quiet environment. Quite the opposite – without a noisy fan, fanless computing systems can run with minimal noise wherever it gets placed.

A Small Design

Many manufacturers have an issue with space; they want to ensure every piece of machinery and equipment serves its purpose and only takes up as much space as necessary. Fortunately, a fanless computing system is far more compact than one with a cooling fan installed. Without a cooling fan, the computing system becomes small and compact, allowing it to be placed in various tight areas of the manufacturing production site.

No Moving Parts

Without a cooling fan, a computing system can boast a solid-state design, which means it has no moving parts. A solid-state design is highly beneficial in a manufacturing environment, as they are more resistant to shock and vibrations, meaning they won’t fail due to the harsh surroundings. Plus, a solid-state design has a longer lifespan, reducing overall manufacturing costs.

Energy Efficiency

The manufacturing industry is under significant pressure to reduce its carbon footprint. That makes sense, considering that manufacturing in the UK produced 7.8 million metric tons of CO2 in 2020.

An added benefit of the energy-efficient fanless computer system is that it costs less to run. That might only save a small amount of money, but those savings can add up for manufacturers that invest in multiple computer systems.

More Reliability

One of the major benefits of fanless computing systems is that it eliminates risk. It removes the risk of the system malfunctioning or stopping working altogether because of a faulty fan. Instead, the system can run effectively without the presence of a cooling fan, which, in turn, creates a longer lifespan for the system.

When the system is less likely to fail because of a faulty cooling fan, manufacturers don’t have to spend time or money fixing the issue. Instead, they can benefit from the increased reliability of the fanless computing system.

Fanless Computers Can Live Anywhere

The last significant benefit of fanless computers is that they can be located basically anywhere. Fanless computers are specifically designed to be used in harsh conditions, including manufacturing production sites. Thanks to their robust design, they can withstand extreme temperatures, vibration, shock, and much more. That’s why rugged, fanless PCs work well in many industrial environments.

How Do Computers Stay Cool without Fans?

So, now you know just how beneficial a fanless computing system is in a manufacturing environment. You might now wonder, how exactly do computing systems regulate their temperature without the presence of a cooling fan? The answer is heatsinks.

A heatsink – commonly installed in fanless computing systems – is a cooling component that dissipates heat from the system. It does that by absorbing the heat from the computing system’s hottest parts (such as the CPU) and then transferring that to the air. It’s a clever, efficient way of keeping the system cool without having a fan installed.

It’s important to note that all fanless computing designs come without GPUs. That’s because GPUs (graphics processing units) produce a lot of heat, and that heat cannot be dissipated with a heatsink. So instead, they require a cooling fan.

In Summary

Computing systems naturally get hot thanks to the amount of power they use. That doesn’t mean all computing systems require a cooling fan, though – not when fanless designs are available. Fanless designs are prevalent in the manufacturing industry thanks to their increased reliability, cost-effectiveness, and longevity. They provide an alternative that dissipates heat without the bulky, high-maintenance fan.

If you are thinking about investing in a new computing system for your manufacturing site, consider whether the system actually needs a fan or whether you can purchase one with an alternative cooling method. If possible, the latter option is always preferable!


We monitors and writes about new technologies in areas such as technology, innovation, digitization, space, Earth, IT and AI.

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