In applications that use projection, uptime and reliability are two of the most important requirements. In simulation & training many systems need to be available 24/7 and have a schedule for planned downtime.
Is the projector designed for 24/7 use?
When selecting a projector for 24/7 applications, the projector needs to be designed for this use from the get-go. Heavy duty use of a projector that is not designed for such rigorous use will fail at much higher rates than those who are designed for it, and it will increase cost and create unwanted and unplanned downtime.
Can you service the projector yourselves and in-field?
Ideally you should be able to perform repairs, service and maintenance of the projector on site. To make this happen, the solution provider of the system needs to be trained and certified by the projector manufacturer to perform this service in-field. Some manufacturers even allow their end-customers to reach this level of certification. This is of course an important factor that affects uptime and cost of the system.
What components affect uptime and reliability in a projector?
Choosing the right light source is crucial when it comes to uptime and longevity of the projector use before service and downtime is needed. Where a traditional projector lamp’s lifespan can be 1,000-1,500 hours, a true solid state solution such as LED or laser has a lifespan of 20,000 hours or more.
In addition to the light source, you find the imaging device and the cooling fans. DLP® from Texas Instruments is an example of all-digital, all-inorganic display technology, and the lifetime of the DMD™ imager can exceed 100,000 hours with proper thermal management. Additionally, the DMD can be designed in a sealed solution to ensure sustained performance over the full lifetime of the projector. The cooling fans and the thermal design of the projector is very important. The projector should have a fully enclosed heat pipe technology and the fans should operate for at least 50.000 hours before periodic replacement. And, they should also be easily replaced without the need of dismounting or opening the projector.
Extended warranty for projectors
A simulator or control room is not designed for the standard 2-3 year warranty you find in most commercial projectors. If the manufacturer truly believes in its own product quality, it should also be reflected in the warranty programs. Having a projector with 5, or even 10 year warranty is important.
Make sure that your projector manufacturer truly understands the requirements of a heavy duty use application, that the projector is built with that in mind. If you want to read more about which factors that are important to know before selecting a projector for your application, download the free checklist: