How Rugged Tablets Can Safely Help Automate Electrical Substations

7-How-Rugged-Tablets-Can-Safely-Help-Automate-Electrical-SubstationsInformation technology and automation has come a long way over the past century. As technology improves, we find new ways to rely on the systems and devices we use every day. From collecting data and recording information, tablets and mobile devices have become more useful in professional contexts.

Electric companies have encountered unique challenges with handwritten and paper-based operation systems. Inaccuracies in important data can result in machine malfunctions, faulty procedures, and back-ups while processing paperwork. With issues such as efficiency, clarity, and even accuracy, paper-based systems are both outdated and potentially dangerous when working in this particular industry.

The solution? Implementing rugged tablet technology to any existing systems, and replacing paper-based operations with mobile device data collection. With 3G internet connectivity, the functionality of a computer and the mobility of a phone, and the unique, portable slate design, rugged tablets are built for hard use and professional contexts.

To make the most of mobile data collection, electric companies can replace label stickers with RFID tags, and begin using the tablets’ RFID scanners to snap and collect data during rounds. From there, data can be contained on a single device, putting all potential paperwork in one place. Information can also be backed up wirelessly to a control center for easy collection, clearance, and analysis, reducing the time needed for inspections and procedures.

Along with improved accuracy and speed, rugged tablet technology can also assist with:

  • Staff efficiency. When all the necessary materials are in one place, employees can do their jobs faster, better, and more efficiently. Time that may have been spent preparing for work can be reduced, and the time spent recording and collecting data can easily be halved when the employee is equipped with a rugged tablet.
  • Better management. Check-in and check-out systems can be easily recorded with rugged tablets, as well as timeframes for any assignments. With this information, employees and managers can ensure that inspections and necessary procedures are being carried out efficiently and on-time.
  • Increased accuracy. Rugged tablets and RFID technology makes it easy to record data without risking any man-made errors in the process. From handwriting inconsistencies, in-field errors, and lost paperwork, paper-based systems are leagues less accurate than their digital counterparts.

All rugged tablets are designed for hard use, with protection against impact damage, extreme temperatures, and debris contamination. They can be equipped with a number of extensions and tools, and can be integrated with existing systems for ease-of access. User-friendly and efficient, they hold the future for many workplaces, and what better place to start than the place where our electricity is produced?

How Rugged Tablets Reduce Errors for Logistics

Logistics is a complex and fast moving vertical. The arrivals, departures, destinations, origins, and manufacturers alike have to be logged down and kept track of, on top of employee records and customers. With all of this information, it can be easy to get lost in a sea of paperwork and begin lagging in service.

Almost all errors are human generated, so as we begin to integrate technology into everything we do, it’s becoming easier to avoid mix-ups and clutter. With portable devices such as laptops, smartphones, and purpose-built tablets, workers can begin taking their jobs on the go with ease, so their work can follow them wherever they go.

From increased communication to transparent, easily analyzed and collated data, tablets have completely reformed how logistics employees do their jobs. Streamlining processes while remaining user-friendly is the key to balancing customer service and speed, and tablets are the leaders in redefining how we work in professional situations.

Here are just a few ways that tablets reduce errors.

  • Unified communication. Before, workers communicated with each other and their superiors via telephone calls. This can be time-consuming and hard to keep up with, and hinders more mobile employees from doing their jobs. Rugged tablets are more durable and reliable than laptops or smartphones, so what used to require a lengthy conversation on the phone can now be handled with a quick email or instant message.
  • On-demand data. Everything an employee needs is right at their fingertips, whether it’s in a document or on the internet. They can make more educated decisions on the go, receive new information and details, and keep up with important warnings and notices in real-time.
  • Increased productivity. It’s easier to work when all the tools are readily available, and with the extra processes and applications offered by tablet technology, workers can streamline their workload and get it done faster and more efficiently than ever.
  • Cleaner data collection. Whether it’s just mandatory reports or GPS routes, tablets can record and collect important information to assist in decision making later. Peak traffic time, directions to common customers, info on scheduling efficiency, and even customer reviews and requests can be logged down quickly and without hassle. No more paper clutter, and no more losing track of important information.

Rugged tablets are the natural next step when it comes to investment and company growth, especially when it comes to fields such as logistics and field-service. With the added mobility and useful applications, rugged tech can completely revolutionize how employees and superiors work and communicate.

5 Logistics Verticals that Need Rugged Tablets Today

BLOG 1 Five-Logistics-Verticals-that-Need-Rugged-Tablets-TodayEvery day, over a trillion people, products, and materials around the United States are transported and processed. The system of workers handling persons, goods, and materials is the backbone of the manufacturing industry, and the source of a large chunk of the country’s wealth.

Here are five logistic verticals whose workers could benefit from the usability, versatility, and durability of rugged tablets.

  1. The Trucking Industry. According to national estimates, there are over 8.7 million people in the trucking industry in the United States alone. Trucking makes up much of our transport of goods, raw materials, and industrial equipment. With a rugged tablet, both drivers and handlers alike can keep track of shipments, adjust schedules, and find the best route possible while on the road.
  2. Railways. Trains contribute another large amount of the country’s transport of both materials, manufactured products, and even people. In the hands of a railroad conductor, a rugged tablet can keep up with the strict scheduling, car management, and the often harsh environments of the industry to speed up and simplify everyday processes.
  3. Airlines. Tablets may become a staple in airplanes worldwide, and for good reason. Basically for managing luggage, and from ordering drinks, watching movies, playing games, and even purchasing extra features on the plane, tablets can deliver most of the on-board entertainment in an individualized experience with back of the seat mounting options. Their durability make rugged tablets ideal for use in a busy, ever changing environment, and they’ll easily stand up to everyday use.
  4. Warehouses. Workers in a warehouse definitely know what it’s like to be on a schedule. From paperwork to routine deliveries, a warehouse manager or floor hand may be constantly working around the clock to make sure that products go out at the right time, get on the right truck, and go to the right place, as well as moving pallets and boxes within the warehouse and tracking change orders and inventory locations. Rugged tablets can help with scheduling, inventory, and with recording information on each delivery.
  5. Labeling/Packaging. Like the warehouse industry, labeling and packaging are filled with day-to-day routines. Tablets can help employees track and record every step of the packaging, labeling, and preparation for shipment process, and withstand hard use and harsh environments along the way.

The logistics industries will continue to find ways to implement rugged tablets into everyday routines, for productivity, efficiency, streamlining, and automation.

How Logistics can be Simplified with Rugged Tablet Applications

BLOG 7 How-Logistics-can-be-Simplified-with-Rugged-Tablet-ApplicationsSimplifying logistics is a primary goal for many companies, but practical solutions have been scarce. The advent of technological answers to the multi-faceted challenges faced by packaging, warehousing, and transportation companies is accentuated by the rugged tablet, which provides even more flexibility and functionality.

Handheld data devices in the early days of logistics related applications fell short on various levels. Out-of-the-box solutions didn’t have customization, and consumer quality tablets failed to stand up to the stresses placed on them by logistics based environments. Rugged tablets provide both purpose-built functionality, and the durability required for continual use in rugged environments, including warehouses and loading bays.

The right match of software and hardware makes rugged tablets unbeatable as a logistics solution. Benefits of a rugged tablet for logistics include:

  • Data capture on multiple fronts; keyed, touchscreen or digital pens manual entry, barcode scanning. RFID, and image based instant code reading or image capture capability via a camera with automatic download and storage. Signature capture, payment or shipment / package release with card scanner options, and more are all available.
  • Mapping on a road or in-warehouse level is simplified with rugged tablets. Workers can seamlessly go from tracking down a crate, pallet, or box in a warehouse to following that item through the loading process, providing directions for shipment and delivery, and tracking it to its final destination. Coordination with other shippers or transport options and quick hand off in or out of the system can be accomplished and reported. Alerts and notifications can be sent from the tablet in real time, and data shared on time or temperature sensitive deliveries in case of weather issues or traffic problems en route.
  • Communication is seamless, with connectivity between tablets and through a closed network both options to take advantage of depending on the situation. Security and privacy are ensured with encryption based on the highest levels of currently available technology, and lost or stolen tablets can be wiped remotely if required or tracked for their location.
  • Tasks can be streamlined and data transferred on the fly, without the need for constant stops to hand off documentation and less error due to manual input and copying of important information.
  • Tablets can be assigned to a location, a vehicle, or a shipment, as needed, handed off without fear of damage in rough working environments, mounted to vehicle dashboards or static terminals in bays, docks, or warehouses, and even used in ports with weather and moisture resistant features. Screens that adjust to light availability make tablets easy to read no matter what the conditions.

Rugged tablets can be expected to keep developing new process driven functionalities for the logistic industry.