Author: Leonard Gilbert Wines
Role at Box: Technical Director
Contact me on Leonard.Gilbertwines@Boxtechnologies.com or find me on Linkedin.
1. Energy Consumption
A typical desktop commercial PC requires on average 300W to power the device, a Box retail hardened device would consume 65W. When you multiply the energy savings over an estate of devices, per year, you can start to gauge a sizeable TCO on energy spend & also carbon footprint. We have a TCO calculator available to demonstrate manufacturer TCO comparisons (Example below).
2. Product Life Cycle
A typical non-retail hardened device will have a lifecycle of circa 18 months before the model is replaced or refreshed with new technology. This can have a negative operational impact due to the possible requirements for a new software build, PCI verification, supporting a mixed estate (spare parts & resource training) & the loss of investment into a peripheral ecosystem or specific shop fit around the device. A retail hardened device from Box Technologies will remain the same for a minimum of 7 years supply +2 years’ spares and on many occasions beyond this. We even provide the option of a 5 years supply +2 spares part for our Box manufactured mobility devices.
3. Quality & Manufacturing Control
As we manufacturer all of our retail hardened devices within our company owned factory facilities, this provides the following unrivalled benefits total quality control on all components and processes from the start of product life cycle to the very last. We QC all components that are used within our manufacturing facilities to ensure these remain consistent during the life cycle. All of our products go through rigorous testing cycles such as thermal controlled soak testing, all sub-assemblies go through specific testing and even each product Box is weighed before shipment to ensure all the correct items are within. We adhere to the following ISO standards ISO-9001, ISO-14001, ISO-13485 & ISO-20771.
4. Software Gold Build
If you change the model of your hardware, often you will need to pay your software provider to create a new hardware gold build, due to the change in the hardware architecture. This can be significant sums of money that can be avoided by selecting retail-hardened devices with a long product lifecycle.
As standard our Box retail hardened products come with a 5 year warranty and a commercial desktop would typically vary between 1-3 years & may not even have the option to uplift to 5 years. When investing into Box retail hardened devices you expect them to function beyond the 5 year warranty period & this also has a positive commercial impact on any maintenance contract you purchase.
6. Processor Selection
Due to our long term close partnership with Intel we select processors from the Intel embedded channel, not from the Intel consumer channel. This embedded channel provides extended purchase availability for intelligent systems and embedded solutions. Those CPU’s are designed for extreme conditions over consumer CPU’s so are the right selection for retail hardened devices.
7. Retail hardened components
Retail hardened devices are designed to be operated in harsh environments so the components selected from the touch screen down to the capacitors are selected in this way (this is why we can give a 5 year warranty for free).
Poly-fuses/thermal fuses are utilised throughout our retail hardened products, from powered ports to the main power supply, which ensures thermal spikes to happen without killing the system and these are not used in consumer grades PC’s.
8. Retail Specific Ports
We use retail specific ports such as Powered USB/Serial & power connector ports for payment devices or printers. We also provide a cash drawer port directly on the terminal to reduce redundancy on receipt printers as a point of failure.
9. Fan less and sealed design
Due to the lower power consumption we can design our products to be sealed and fanless, which makes them suitable for semi harsh environments which means that external air-borne elements such as lint & dust cannot access the unit.
10. Windows Embedded OS
You can only use Windows LTSB or LTSC on embedded systems. This provides benefits such as up to date security patches without the unnecessary feature updates, embedded OS features. The embedded OS options are also on the extended roadmap from Microsoft (10 years support).
Most of our retail hardened devices are designed to have service access, so the core components can be field serviceable this has a positive impact on device support & the cost of a maintenance service contract will be cheaper than for commercial products.
For our retail hardened devices we can create custom BIOS, Firmware & drivers across Windows, Linux & Android. We can also ensure that customer specific configurations are kept the same throughout the estate and delivered on every device purchased.