In the Office, On the Road – Rugged Tablets Bring Mobility to Logistics

In-the-Office,-On-the-Road---Rugged-Tablets-Bring-Mobility-to-LogisticsWhile off-the-shelf produced tablets are cheap and easy to acquire, the benefits of rugged technology far outnumber the pros of their consumer-grade counterparts. Industrial-level tablets are not only built to withstand the stresses of many fields – from trucking fleets to airplane maintenance and logistics – but they also offer a number of purpose-built features unique to their design.

Rugged Tablet vs Smartphones

Smartphones have recently gained in popularity, so much so that they have nearly become required to keep up with news, social media, and even business. Chances are, almost every person in the United States has extensive experience with consumer-grade products already. While casual smartphones may feel like the obvious option, many logistics fields are adopting tablets as their device of choice.

Rugged Tablets Provide Versatility

With their slate-design, easy-to-read display, and user-friendly format, they are both high-functioning and easily adapted to, unlike smartphones, which may be too small or complicated to work with comfort. Tablet-computer technology is more compatible with a number of existing systems, and easily the higher functioning device when compared to a smartphone. They are also less cumbersome than laptops, and do not require as much time and effort to use.

Rugged Designs are Purpose Built

Where consumer-grade tablets may fall flat in terms of durability and functionality, rugged, purpose-built tablets are designed for serious use. Whether it’s by customers answering a survey, construction crew on a site, or a surveyor trying to access on-the-go information, tablets are the natural next step in advancing technologically in the logistics field. Their portability and functionality are ideal for pairing with traditional methods of inventory tracking.

Rugged Tablets are Tough

Rugged tablets are designed for sturdy resistance to dust, water, extreme temperatures, and even vibrations. This makes them ideal for hard-use, especially in logistics situations where the shipping dock worker may be working through bad weather and tracking over long distances. Their extended battery life and drop-resistance also makes them worth the added attention, and ruggedized cases and hot-swappable batteries can add to these features.

Rugged Tablets can Adapt over Time

While older ruggedized devices may already be used in many fields, the technology can become outdated and uncomfortable to use in comparison to modern technology. It’s only natural that purpose-built technology should update alongside consumer-grade tech, so ruggedized devices are getting an upgrade with the latest and fastest updates in a form that allows for long term use and compatibility with progression.

Sleek designs and data capture features, as well as user-friendly functionality, are becoming standard requirements. Rugged tablet tech may well spawn the devices we see used in logistics verticals for decades to come.

How Rugged Tablet Tech Works 24 Hours a Day, 365 Days a Year

How-Rugged-Tablet-Tech-Works-24-Hours-a-Day,-365-Days-a-YearA reliable, lengthy battery life is one of the most important functions any mobile device can have, especially in professional contexts. When there is work to be done, there is no time to go stop working while a device charges, and chaining a device to a wall via charger can defeat the purpose of a portable device. Having to shut down to switch batteries can also reduce effectiveness, since it takes a hard reboot in order to safely switch batteries.

With hot-swappable batteries, achieving longer run-time while still working through the exchange minutes is entirely possible. Batteries can be swapped without powering down the entire device, which can prevent data loss, reboot time, and interruptions in communication. This feature allows a near-infinite runtime, as long as the spare batteries are charged when it’s time to replace them. In cases where there is no power, having several spare batteries can mean the difference between a few hours of power and an entire shift.

Many tasks have become mobile, especially in the case of delivery crews, construction, corporate representatives, government workers, and other field personnel. In situations like these, having tablets on hand can be vital to their productivity and work. A short battery life makes it hard for their devices to keep up with them, and this can cause issues during meetings, deliveries, and travel.

Standard batteries, while light, tend to be limited in their working time. They run out easily, and require the user to either charge the device or replace the battery entirely. Extended life batteries, however, can be cumbersome, and increase the weight of one device exponentially. However, a hot-swappable design can solve both of these problems.

With two batteries, a tablet can weight under four pounds, and if the extra energy isn’t necessary, they can even weigh closer to three pounds. The exchange doesn’t require the device to be powered down or rebooted, which can help in cases where data loss, time, and functionality are concerned.

Hot-swappable batteries with extended battery life are almost always going to yield the most amount of productivity, especially in mobile contexts where the user may need to be in the field for long periods of time. Being chained to a desk or charger can defeat the purpose of a mobile device, and heavy laptops with extended batteries are both cumbersome and prone to damage.

DT Research tablets are designed for continual use under a wide range of conditions, including those in which a power source may be unavailable. Battery life is the beginning and end of a tablet’s usefulness, so ensure your tech is sufficiently equipped.

Benefits of Rugged Tablets for Fast Response Utility Crews During Outages

Benefits-of-rugged-tablets-for-fast-response-utility-crews-during-outage...Utility workers often end up working overtime to bring systems back online in extremely unforgiving weather conditions. The implementation and integration of rugged tablets and other mobile devices designed to withstand hard use in severe working conditions is one way they are able to do their jobs more effectively. When restoring power and other services is a top priority, having tools purpose built for the job can be invaluable.

Rugged tablets have emerged as the most reliable mobile devices in hand to manage service calls, coordinate preventive actions between plant and field teams, and conduct outage recovery efforts. Those using consumer grade devices in less than optimal conditions often find to their dismay that their primary source of diagnostic and repair-related data fails in extreme temperatures or storm conditions.

Summers can be extremely challenging; when temperatures reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit or more outside, a tablet inside a work truck can heat up close to 140 degrees Fahrenheit or greater. Purpose-built rugged tablets for utility companies are specifically designed to withstand such temperatures, making them an obvious choice for workers in the field.

Rugged mobile computing for employees is rapidly becoming a powerful productivity-boosting capability, enabling better management of core work processes, including asset management and dispatch. A mobile-centric strategy can be critical to every day grid management operations and even stand out as mission critical when circumstances such as heatwave-caused outages test systems and human capability to the limit.

Rugged tablets provide a level of stability, dependability, and digitization that streamlines utility dispatch and repair processes, delivering management tools, route planning efficiency, real time collaboration between field teams and experts, facilitation of expedited recovery actions to lessen outage periods, and more.

Utility-focused rugged tablets can connect quickly to networked testing equipment so that diagnostic data can be transmitted in real time, while powerful processors and long-life batteries improve resilience in the field. This leads to minimized system downtime during unplanned interruptions.

The ability of a purpose-built rugged tablet to withstand high and low temperatures, wind, rain, snow, and dust, makes them the best tool for a tough, unforgiving job. Using rugged tablets to improve utility response and customer service via reducing downtime and enabling in the field teams during storm or heat related outages is a smart way to minimize problems and maximize profits.

Deploying rugged tablets can significantly improve almost any utility company’s team strategy, and lead to long term benefits. If it’s time for an upgrade to mobile devices, this should be top of the list.

 

Why Purpose-Built Rugged Tablets Are Superior to Consumer-Grade Tablets in Rugged Cases

Why-Purpose-Built-Rugged-Tablets-Are-Superior-to-Tablets-in-Rugged-CasesAs more diverse tablets, laptops, and smartphones enter the market, there has been a steep rise in demand for ‘hardier’, more reliable products. This has led to an influx of ‘rugged’ cases and covers being manufactured. While useful for every-day use, these protectors and cases are not truly durable in harsh environments, and don’t protect against the stresses of daily hard use.

Durability

While a rugged case may be useful for people looking to protect their entertainment devices from children, drops, and household accidents, they are not reliable for use in the field or warehouse. If a device is not purposefully manufactured to be rugged, it may not withstand anything that the case can’t protect it from. While a ‘rugged’ case may even the playing field somewhat, the rugged device is always a better investment, especially if it’s being used in a professional or industrial setting.

Software

Purpose-built tablets boast more functions and better versions of consumer-based applications. They are streamlined for efficiency, built to accommodate customized versions of common applications as well as tailor made apps that are industry or task specific. A consumer-based tablet may be cluttered with extra apps, but rugged technology is built with business in mind and streamlined for speed and productivity.

Hardware

Purpose-built tablets are also fully customizable when it comes to added hardware, and can accept additions such as cameras, card readers, RFID technology, and barcode scanners.

Mobility

From the warehouse or shipping yard back to the office, on military deployment or in civil organizations, a rugged tablet can follow any job anywhere. The tablet can be designated for a room, a machine, an employee, or a task with equal effectiveness.

Security

Tablet technology can be as secure as any smartphone or laptop, and when paired with a closed network, the tablet exceeds even the most rigorous government security and privacy standards. Multi-step authentication can be employed as well as options like media blackout as required to protect sensitive data.

Long Lasting

Rugged tablets are designed to resist obsolescence as well. They are forward thinking, prepared to accept updates, handle new systems, and even integrate with existing platforms. Although a consumer-grade tablet may initially be a less expensive option, the lasting value of a purpose built rugged device outweighs the initial cost, justifying the extra expense by providing a tool that will last.

Why Rugged Tablets Are the Top Choice for Demanding Environments

Why-Rugged-Tablets-are-the-Top-Choice-for-Demanding-EnvironmentsAs tablets become more and more popular, many industries are finding ways to use them in demanding situations. However, it’s important to determine how employees will be using the devices before selecting a model. Different applications require different functions, and while one employee may be using a tablet to scan and sort inventory, another employee might be using it on the road or in high-stress conditions.

These tablets are designed to fill the role of any other tablet computer on the market, while also withstanding harsh conditions. The hardware is solid and guarded by protective casing both inside and out. From drops to temperature fluctuations and dirt, dust, and everything in between, the rugged tablet is made to last in every way possible.

Rugged tech offers more than just durability, however. With all the functions of a consumer-grade tablet and more, they are both useful in a variety of situations. Where laptops can be fragile and cumbersome, tablets are both lightweight and portable. For employees who need to move and travel unencumbered, a tablet computer is an ideal replacement to a computer or a smartphone.

For situations that require employees to be outside or on the field, the rugged tablets can keep up with them there, too. The screens are adjustable, and made to display a clear image no matter the conditions. Whether it is being used outside in a brightly-lit area or in a dark room, the screen display is designed to fit any situation.

Along with physical improvements, rugged tablets are also made to compete with expensive consumer-grade models as well. Apps are easy to install and use on a day-to-day basis, and the software makes them easy to repair. Custom applications and software improvements can even be designed and installed to improve on existing functions.

Made to be used in any kind of setting, from industrial to military, rugged tablets are outfitted to be multi-functional and durable. Extra functions such as RFID technology, secure connectivity, and even barcode scanners are available. While they are a more expensive option than most consumer-grade technology, they make more sense financially in hard-use situations.

Whether they’re being used on the field, in military scenarios, in warehouses, on the road, or even in retail or food service situations, rugged tablets combine technology, durability, and portability to improve both work experience and boost productivity.