How to Use Thin Clients for Manufacturing

Manufacturing is changing. With the advent of industry 4.0 and the next-generation technologies that define it—ranging from the industrial internet of thing (IoT) to machine learning (ML) to cloud computing—leading manufacturers are integrating advanced solutions to boost automation, improve safety, and drive ROI.

More digitalization, however, can also lead to more pressure. When systems are tightly coupled and depend on each other for their functionality, it’s crucial that they work and that they’re adequately secure. At the same time, manufacturers who are sensitive to cost may not want to pay thousands of dollars per device every year to upgrade their IT infrastructure.

Thin Clients can be ideal for manufacturing environments as a technology solution. By providing improved reliability, better security, and significant cost savings, Thin Clients are a perfect solution for manufacturers who want their computing environments up to the challenge of today’s advanced industry.

Thin Clients Provide Reliability in Manufacturing Environments

Uptime is everything. The reason why a system goes down is irrelevant. All that matters is whether the production line is moving and creating output. Downtime directly translates to lost revenue, so manufacturers pick their technologies carefully with reliability in mind.

Thin Clients are more reliable than traditional PCs. They have a longer run time before failure for two key reasons.

First, since a Thin Client only needs enough hardware to power a connection to a centralized server, which provides the desktop environment, there are no moving parts. That means there’s less opportunity for fans to fail, cables to falter, or spinning disks to break. Second, a Thin Client doesn’t run its own operating system or software. That significantly reduces our chances of running into errors, bugs, or misconfigurations.

A follow-up to this point is that recovering a Thin Client is much faster and easier than a PC. Instead of having to deploy an IT Specialist to a location and troubleshoot a diverse set of systems, IT can handle it remotely. It can be as simple as reverting the system to the most recent functional state.

Thin Clients Bolster Manufacturing Cybersecurity

Today’s manufacturers are under immense pressure to keep their operational technology (OT) networks secure alongside their traditional IT infrastructure. As more digital technologies enter the OT network, the organization’s attack surface increases and puts the company at increased risk of ransomware, corporate espionage, or even worse.

Thin Clients aid cybersecurity efforts in a few key ways. First, since these systems are centrally managed and configured, they are better defined than isolated computers. It’s easier to more clearly and immediately know what software is running on it and what data it can access. Essentially, Thin Clients enable a more comprehensive definition of workstations. Second, patch management is also much simpler and more fully covered with Thin Client infrastructure. Instead of having to manually attending to each PC and making sure that they are fully patched for known vulnerabilities, you can do so on the server, and the patch will automatically propagate throughout the systems.

Thin Clients Can Provide Manufacturing Cost Savings

A Thin Client can cost far less than a fat PC for identical, even better, functionality. That alone is enough to actualize a potential ROI from investing in Thin Clients.

Beyond that, Thin Clients also consume much less energy. A typical PC uses around 80 watts of power per hour, while a Thin Client can consume about only 20 watts. Especially when you consider that in the context of a factory that has many computers and runs 24/7, reducing power needs by 75% could help to lead to substantial savings over time.

Finally, manufacturers can realize even greater cost savings by giving existing hardware a new purpose with Repurposing software like 10ZiG’s RepurpOS. Turn an old PC into a Thin Client to get more value out of a machine that would otherwise need to be decommissioned. This reduces overhead spending and saves on immediate device costs.

10ZiG Thin Clients for Manufacturing

Between improved reliability, better security, and significant costs savings, investing in Thin Client technology for manufacturing is an obvious choice. When you integrate Thin Clients into your manufacturing business, you remove the potential points of failure represented by traditional PCs. Ultimately, that means you can spend less time worrying about IT and more time building products.

10ZiG is a leading Thin & Zero Client endpoint hardware and software provider for VDI, Cloud, DaaS, and SaaS. We provide leading Intel and AMD based, Dual and Quad Core Thin & Zero Clients for VMware, Citrix, Microsoft, and other environments. 10ZiG offers free, no-obligation demo devices, best-in-industry Technical Support teams based in the U.S. and Europe, and provides for FREE, Cloud-enabled “10ZiG Manager™” centralized management software with unlimited user licenses. Get your free demo at [email protected] or [email protected] or just click here > FREE demo.