Increasingly, manufacturers are seeing the benefits of deploying rugged tablets on their shopfloors to reap the rewards of the most efficient means of capturing, processing and utilising data in the workplace. This translates to a more time efficient workforce, equipped with technology that ensures accurate data sharing thus eliminating troublesome and often inefficient paper trails.
With GPS, tablets can pinpoint a worker’s location in relation to a particular asset. Inbuilt cameras can deliver timestamped images in real time to the control center.
Additionally, this shop floor data collection enables improved and responsive processes. Plant managers can be alerted to under performing areas, and give them the ability to channel more resources to them. This solves any production issues before they manifest themselves in a line failure.
Each of these systems contribute to a smarter and cost-effective manufacturing end to end process.
While commercial tablets have become a common method of enabling these improvements, managers are increasingly turning to ruggedised equivalents as they realise the cost benefits. Initial purchase of the device represents only 20 to 35% of the total cost of ownership, with maintenance, management of security issues and lost productivity making up a significant weight of the outlay.
Key Benefits of using a Rugged Tablet
- Prevent downtime caused by accidental damage
In a factory environment, equipment has to be sturdy and durable to withstand dirty and sometimes dusty conditions, hazardous to technology. Tablets are no different. Additionally they must be able to cope with knocks and drops, as well as extremes of heat when used next to equipment and machinery that operates at high temperatures in non-controlled environments.
- Run existing operational software compatible with Microsoft Windows
Our range of rugged tablet computers feature compatibility with Microsoft Windows. It enables many pre-existing applications, normally tied to desks, or fixed terminals and HMI’s, to be migrated to a mobile solution with a minimal amount of re-development. The ability to maintain compatibility with existing back end systems is crucial so that data can be synced with them seamlessly and, even more important, securely.
- Built in industrial docking connectors enable simple mounting onto fork lift and picking carts
Dock and mounting options mean that employees on the floor can easily move from machinery sites to forklifts with their hands free. Space on factory floors is usually limited, so having a lightweight and compact tablet that can be easily docked in a forklift cab improves the ease of the drivers’ operations. However, these are not the only locations that tablets can be mounted. Increasingly, rugged tablets computers can be docked on the side of industrial equipment and machines to provide visualization aides. Operators’ hands are left free to manage the manufacturing process.
- Avoid costly downtime with a range of extended battery options
Preventing power interuptions is important to avoid equipment switching from boosting productivity to becoming a drain on resources when they cannot be used. Ruggedised tablets are available with a range of power options to minimise this. There are those available with longlife powercells, to those with hot-swappable batteries, and those that can be used with charging stations, to be fully recharged hassle-free any time they are not in use.