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.

 

What is a “Purpose Built” Rugged Tablet?

BLOG 7 What-is-a-Purpose-Built-Rugged-TabletWhen selecting a new mobile device to send out to a task force or unit, just finding an aesthetic, affordable make and model is not enough. Matching the device to the needs of the application and user is important, especially when deploying devices intended for precision or sensitive use, or that will be expected to improve efficiency and productivity.

What is a Purpose-Built Device?

A “purpose-built device” is any machine that is built for a specific task. When it comes to rugged tablet tech, the potential for purpose built design is endless:

  • A military grade rugged tablet designed specifically for field mission use
  • A rugged tablet for construction workers, with GIS capability
  • Rugged tablets for first responders, with radio capability and a vault of knowledge base material for emergency situations
  • Local and municipal government use rugged tablets for extra security and portability
  • Rugged tablets for retail and hospitality, when flexibility and speed are high priority
  • Rugged tablets for medical applications, with anti-microbial coating and various data-capture modules to record patients’ information

There are many things to keep in mind when selecting a device and requesting purpose built tech, but the most important features will always be:

Durability

From cruise ship deployment to daily use on construction sites, rugged tablets are built to withstand demanding use. Their durability makes them ideal for harsh environments, whether the risk is impact, dust, moisture, or vibrations.

Usability

The ability to custom build a tablet to include familiar programs, include backward compatibility if necessary, integrate fully with existing programs, and create new unique applications based on specific needs makes the purpose-built device easy for users to understand, shift to, and train on.

Longevity

Purpose built tablets are built to run on the same platforms as most other tech, so they can smoothly integrate with existing networks and ongoing updates with familiar software. This also protects them from obsolescence; purpose built devices are well planned and designed to continue to be functional years after deployment.

Mobility

Tablets are the perfect mobile purpose built device, combining the mobility of a phone with the processing power of a computer. Single hand carrying capability and detachable keyboards allow for quick transition from office to on the go, and vehicle mounts and touch screens make working from a vehicle or in the field even easier.

Rugged tablets can be designed for any fleet of workers, in any industry or vertical, from warehouses to military bases. Designing tech for specific uses is the next technological step into the future. Within weeks, purpose built tablets can be fully deployed, increasing productivity and streamlining operations wherever they are used.

Five Ways Barcode Reading Helps the Cruise Line Industry

Five-Ways-Barcode-Reading-Helps-the-Cruise-Line-IndustryCruise lines have a number of unique challenges when it comes to data collection, verification, tracking, and confirmation. Rugged tablets with barcode readers and other scanning functionalities can provide exceptional solutions to many problems faced by the cruise industry, including any or all of the following:

  1. While previous barcode technology was deemed too slow for mass transit, updates to the tech involved make reading barcodes faster than ever. Aides stationed at boarding areas for cruise liners can quickly process passengers with printed or phone scanned passes for swift, efficient boarding.
  2. Lost or misplaced luggage is less of a worry when a barcode reader can be employed to instantly match passengers and bags. A system that included the entire manifest with passengers, bags, and room numbers all synched can make for easy delivery of luggage when required from holding areas or if a bag is left unattended or misplaced.
  3. Room Service. Barcodes for each room that correspond with passengers can be scanned for room service to easily track orders and extras for billing purposes, whether it’s food and beverage delivery or in-room bar replenishment. Tablets carried by staff can be used to quickly enter data and assign to the correct passenger with a quick scan.
  4. VIP Events. Barcodes can also be scanned on wristbands for entry into special events on board, providing a quick way to ascertain which guests require admission, and even verifying legal age in instances when family events may include alcohol availability. Barcodes can be printed on wristbands or on badges for easy access.
  5. Off-Ship Trips. Badges or wristbands with barcode printing can again be used for day trips on shore, to ensure all passengers are accounted for when off and on-boarding. Codes can be generated that are vehicle specific if the group is large enough to require more than one mode of transport, or for specific activities if there are varied options for groups going ashore.

As a type of portable terminal, rugged tablets are ideal to use in harsh environments. They can withstand vibration, bumps, impact, and drops, are versatile enough to be customized for specific duties or functions, and deliver a secure experience that is compatible with existing security and closed networks for guest safety and privacy.

Rugged tablets with integrated barcode scanners are easily transportable, can be held in one hand, provide instant access to data and a quick way to verify identity, and can streamline many cruise line activities and procedures. This helps ensure the safety of the passengers and can keep billing simplified for those who take advantage of items or activities not included in the cruise base cost.