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tough tablets

Industrial Tablets vs Off-the-Shelf in the Field

Since 2010, Apple has seen tremendous success after the corporation released it’s first iPad tablet, launching a new market and being the trendsetter in a new line of mobile technology products. As recent as 2016, Apple’s global market share has reached 25 percent for tablets, leading Samsung by approximately 10 percent. It’s clear that this market has seen tremendous growth and application in the past 7 years—Apple sold more than 40 million iPads alone in 2016. However, what we’re looking at is largely representative of the consumer market for tablets and not the industrial market. It’s likely the case that an industrial company settled on Apple products for mobile productivity in the past, but there’s an important financial factor that’s hard to see on a day-to-day basis; the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is an estimation of expenses related with buying, deploying, using, and then retiring of a piece of equipment or product. Industrial companies focus a lot on TCO, but consumer grade tablets aren’t best in the long run for industrial companies. Generally the TCO for a tough tablet is lower (better) since they last longer. Here’s an in-depth look at why.

Tough Industrial Tablets Utilize a Hot Swappable Battery

If you’ve ever tried to remove the internal battery for a tablet, it was probably a frustrating and educational experience. Most tablets are sealed, so battery removable and replacement either requires someone who has experience getting into the innards of a tablet, a trustworthy individual with a steady set of hands who can learn quickly, or device shipment to the manufacturer who can replace the battery if the tablet is within warranty. If it’s not within warranty, expect to pay around 100 USD for a battery replacement and a turnaround time of 3-5 days with no promise of restoring all the previous data. If you’d prefer to remove and replace the battery yourself, kits often cost around as much as a manufacturer’s price for a battery replacement anyhow. That’s not a strong outlook for a business, especially if the tablets have no backstock, leaving at least one employee with no way to be productive. Or, you could just swap out the removable battery on the tough tablet instead and resume productivity. Not only does this removable battery functionality affect TCO greatly, it prevents production downtime. Plus, if a battery doesn’t hold a charge, others are available to purchase. The hot swappable battery function justifies the cost alone. It can take productivity from a few hours to a full work shift—or more, depending on how many people on different shifts use one tablet. One tough tablet with three batteries can be used continuously over the course of an entire day instead of three separate tablets in use, each potentially lasting the time span of a shift and then stored away to charge. Again, industrial tablets have a lower TCO.

Tough Tablets Need Tough Glass, and More

Some tablets use Corning’s Gorilla Glass, an alkali-aluminosilicate sheet of glass that is highly resistant to scratches, direct damage, and drops. Gorilla Glass has become a staple in tough tablet and smartphone manufacturing, but it’s not indestructible and a lot of videos have surfaced online demonstrating it can shatter if a tablet is dropped in sensitive areas—usually a corner. Industrial tablets are known to use Gorilla Glass and often have housings to protect the corners, which iPads and other consumer-grade tablets lack. Sure, a CFO can get protective cases for tablets too, but a rugged case can hit the wallet at about 80 USD—another cost consideration when going with consumer tablets. Why buy more when an industrial tablet comes with the protection? The last accidental drop a warehouse needs is one that shatters the glass on a tablet, potentially rendering the device useless. Tough tablets are built to withstand shocks and vibrations.

Tablets Tend to Bend

A quick search online reveals that consumer tablets aren’t the most resilient to warping. Some have actually shipped bent in the past, and others warp so much the glass actually shatters. Couple that in an industrial warehouse with temperature changes—not a favorable result. Even aluminum and stainless steel are known to warp a few microns because of temperature changes in machine shops, so we’ve come to expect sheets of silicon, aluminum, and glass to do the same. Industrial tablets are built to withstand temperature changes, vibrations, shocks, and accidental damage, extending their life beyond what a consumer would expect. Built with industrial-grade components, these tough tablets have a Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) timespan of six years. Consider that the original iPad released in 2010—several models of the iPad have been released between then and 2017, suggesting that one industrial tablet will last longer than several iPad generations. Again, lower TCO for the industrial tablet.

Capacitive is Great Technology—but Not For Industrial Tablets

Working in a warehouse often requires gloves—regular gloves, unless you buy capacitive-knit gloves (which are expensive and don’t provide much protection), don’t work on capacitive screens. Capacitive technology uses the electrical charge from our hands to actually register a change in voltage, thus changing the elements on screen. With a gloved hand, the electrical charge doesn’t register. Consumer grade tablets usually use capacitive screens, so a gloved hand won’t work. Industrial tablets use resistive screens so a gloved input can actually register. Sure, employees can take off their gloves and work with a tablet screen, but that’s quite a tedious annoyance.

These reasons clearly outline why tough tablets are the best choice for an industrial setting. Consumer grade tablets warp easier, batteries aren’t easily replaceable, gloved hands can’t interact with their screens, operational life is shorter, and there’s a higher TCO. Consider that the MTBF for an industrial tablet is longer than the lifespan for several generations of iPads and other tablets! You don’t want your employees to suffer productivity downtime over charging batteries or sending a broken tablet off to a manufacturer over one drop—unless you prefer spending more money over time.

 

 

How Companies are Automating the Warehouse with Industrial Tablets

Now that eCommerce has blossomed into the giant industry it is today, online retailers find automation is a more pressing need. Supply Chain Brief reports that Amazon hired over 120,000 workers one holiday season just to fulfill the influx of online orders—not a light expense! Automating the warehouse is no easy feat, since some operations in the supply chain management field are currently better handled by humans than robots. A fully-automated warehouse would be a supply chain dream, but we haven’t reached that point yet unfortunately. However, companies have made improvements in other areas which have streamlined processes. Automating the warehouse is an easier task with use of an industrial grade tablet, and here’s a few reasons why.

On-Demand Warehouse Feedback with Industrial Tablets

One obvious problem with automation is “the machine” can—and will—fail from time to time. Even Tesla’s self-driving automobiles have a track record of failing when on self-driving mode, a record recently improved through functionality implementation. The same can happen in an automated warehouse—the incorrect product is picked by a machine, a scanner can malfunction, or a conveyor belt can break down, essentially bringing production to a halt. The best way to avoid cascading problems is to have the right individuals notified of a problem immediately. If a conveyor belt breaks, managers with industrial tablets can receive instant feedback of what has malfunctioned and where—or perhaps even control automation systems remotely. Keeping information transfer as quickly as possible allows people to make the right decisions in an event of automation failure. If warehouse managers don’t have that immediate access to information via an industrial tablet, automation failure can be costly—it’s clear a battery-powered, tough tablet is the solution to keep automation problems addressed.

Traceability by RFID Technology

Since the consumer purchase process has turned highly automated in the past 15 years, the needs for the supplying warehouse must meet those demands. Traceability is necessary in an automated warehouse, and so all products need to be marked with RFID tags to track where they move. Without immediate and constant access to tracking any one item in an automated warehouse, companies are at the whim of human mistakes, automation errors, mechanical failures, and other factors. That’s why it’s important for warehouse managers to have battery-powered industrial tablets—lightweight, rugged computers that provide necessary tracking information through RFID. That’s just one method how companies are automating the warehouse to keep efficiency high.

Industrial Tablets Must be Made Industrial-Strength

Warehouse managers won’t be looking for the best rugged tablet crafted out of Fabergé eggs. Similarly, they won’t want a tablet rivaling the size and heft of a tank. Tablets must be lightweight to reduce fatigue and rugged enough to withstand several drops onto a warehouse floor. Managers also need a tough tablet with protection from hazardous materials—water and tablets don’t mix. Tablet users need to be free of tethers and safety hazards, so a battery-powered solution is a must. Plus, barcode scanners are crucial to warehouse operations in order to identify and count product.

The Cybernet Industrial Tablets Solution—the Rugged Windows Tablet X10

Cybernet has our best rugged tablet to assist with automating the warehouse—the X10 industrial grade tablet! It’s capable of withstanding constant shock damage, sand and dust exposure, temperature extremes, prolonged exposure to humidity, and random vibration with it’s MIL-STD-810G design standard, a standard maintained by a partnership between the US Navy, US Army, and the US Air Force. The tablet can also resist water splashes and sprays to it’s front bezel with it’s IP65 rating. This tough tablet is portable around an automated warehouse with hot-swappable batteries that can keep it running all day. Plus, the tablet weighs 2.2 pounds with the batteries installed! Automating the warehouse may not be a fully-realized vision, but industrial tablets like the rugged X10 are helping supply chain professionals ensure current systems in place are running smoothly and mishaps can be addressed with minimal downtime.

5 Key Aspects of Running An Effective Mobile Inventory Solution in Retail

Supply chain companies now face more challenges in tracking and expediting their inventory than ever, as the multichannel retail landscape shifts from “I-want-it-now” to “I-need-this-yesterday.” In order to stay competitive, retailers need to have an up-to-date knowledge of where things are, in what quantities, at all times. They need to be able to rebalance inventories, redirect shipments, and respond to whatever new demand arises immediately.

Among the most important trends for retail industry this year forecast by Vend, one of the industry experts, are three particularly important points:

  • Merging online and offline data collection and analysis. As consumers go through different paths to a purchase, retailers need to start analyzing online and offline data combined.
  • Single-view, cloud-based solutions. The modern retail strategy requires a unified view of the multiple channels of sales, inventory, and customer visibility. Cloud-based solutions enable retailers to scale quickly, work from anywhere and execute their multichannel initiatives with more efficiency as they get a timely insight into key aspects of their business. It is important to maintain an up-to-date item file, accurate inventory levels and pricing system across multiple channels. Several years ago, when many retailers went online, they maintained separate systems for online and offline sales, which became an important technical roadblock companies are now overcoming through the adoption of cloud-based IT solutions powered by rugged industrial tablets.
  • Adoption of Internet of Things throughout the supply chain. From barcodes to RFID beacons, retailers are leveraging the IoT in their warehouses and stores. IoT in retail is estimated to have an economic impact from $410 billion to $1.2 trillion per year by 2025. Forward-thinking retailers pioneer the adoption of the smart devices to streamline various business processes from inventory management to in-store shopping.

5 Key Aspects of Running An Effective Mobile Inventory Solution

  1. Desktop-to-Mobile Compatibility

    Inventory management software increases warehouse and shop staff efficiency when checking inventory, stocking shelves, transferring goods from the central warehouse & vendors. Most retailers have by now adopted an inventory management solution in their networks, and the primary software solution is deployed on Windows-powered desktop PCs. How do you scale that powerhouse of an application to mobile?Many software providers port their desktop programs to mobile operating systems, but that transition often comes at a cost of reduced functionality and crippled usability. So, why change operating systems?Windows-based industrial tablets are compatible with most desktop programs retailers run on their desktop systems, so users won’t run into any learning curves when switching to the mobile version. The functionality and usability are preserved while retailers run the full version of their preferred software on a mobile device.A fully-fledged mobile solution that is completely compatible with your enterprise resource planning system (ERP) cuts down the costs of deploying a third-party mobile inventory solution and integrating it with the ERP, an expensive and challenging process. It’s much easier to deploy solutions that are compatible with your existing ecosystem from day one rather than trying to bridge fundamentally different systems together.

  2. Barcodes and RFID

    Handheld barcode scanners and RFID devices are things of the past now that industrial tablets come integrated with these previously external peripherals. Standalone scanners and readers only capture some type of inventory data. It then needs to be synced with the main retail management program. Such devices tend to be expensive to program, integrate and maintain, and difficult to use.With the barcode reader and RFID scanner integrated into your rugged tablet, your employees collect, sync and create actionable reports on the go. This immediate data availability boosts the accuracy of inventory management.Through the use of RFID technology, your employee’s industrial tablet can be used to recognize where the employee is in the warehouse or in the store, and present the employee with the relevant options and information for the given location.RFID is also used in inventory management solutions to track inventory availability and alert the employees when a product is soon to be out of stock.

  3. BYOD vs Industrial Tablets

    Retailers widely adopt Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy, assuming it’s cheaper and easier to deploy than providing corporate devices to the employees. However, BYOD & poor cybersecurity awareness of users is a part of the reason why the retail industry is plagued by cyber threats. The criminals are after financial data they can monetize, and retail is the industry to hit, with the large databases of vendors, consumers and employee banking data, Social Security numbers and other personally identifiable information.BYOD devices add more work to your IT staff when scaling the system for a fleet of different devices running different OS’s, and having to look for a mobile solution that would be compatible with the variety of BYOD assets.Industrial tablets provide robust cybersecurity functionality complete with easy-to-use two-factor authentication with a biometric reader, CAC or smart card reader, full disk encryption, capability to encrypt data on external hard drives, capability to set up a tablet for multiple users with access controls, remote wiping and remote access for the ITs to update software of introduce timely changes.

  4. Ruggedness

    Inventory management requires your workers to be mobile and flexible. Hence, the mobile device has to be easy-to-operate and reliable. Rugged technology comes with a slew of advantages:

    • A carrying handle, strips and light weight simplify tablet handling.
    • Hot-swap batteries, a charging station for 24/7 uptime.
    • Military-grade components with the fail rate of less than 2% under constant use.
    • MIL-STD and IP65 drop protection, shock, vibration, temperature fluctuation and water protection for reliability in any out-of-the-office environment.
    • Integrated barcode, RFID, CAC or smart card reader paired with biometric reader increase the functionality of a single device.
    • Can be mounted on a wall, inside a vehicle, on a desktop.
    • Full disk encryption, capability to encrypt data on external drives.
    • Highly customizable OS, software and legacy ports.
    • Advanced wireless connectivity and support of the carrier of your choice.
    • Easy to deploy, cheap to maintain, low TCO if compared to that of consumer-grade mobile devices.
  5. Cost of Hardware

    Windows-powered industrial tablets do not require any intervention by your programmers, so the deployment cost is the cost of the hardware. When calculating the total cost of ownership of your industrial tablet, take into account:

    • integrated scanners and readers, which eliminate the need for bulky and expensive peripherals necessary to make IoT work;
    • it is rugged and durable, with 5+ years of continuous uptime;
    • hot-swap batteries, charging station for 24/7 uptime;
    • it is compatible with the inventory management software you run on your desktops;
    • failure rates of industrial tablets are normally 4% (it’s 2% with Cybernet’s devices) while the failure rates of consumer devices skyrocket 15%-30% when they are used intensively in working environments where they can fall, be exposed to humidity or fluctuating temperatures;
    • industrial tablets offer better security to maintain your corporate data protected from breaches whereas BYOD devices are looming with malware, spyware and ransomware stemming from poor user cybersecurity awareness and the lack of hardware-level in-built security functions.

Agility and performance in retail inventory management can be leveraged to their full extent when the dedicated software runs on a powerful, secure and reliable hardware such as rugged industrial tablets.

The Benefits Of A Mini Rugged As A Point Of Sale Computer

Leveraging Point of Sale

In any competitive business, the point of sale is a lot more than just a place to register the cash flow. When equipped properly, POS becomes your strategic center, your shortcut to the many business processes that help you grow your business. These processes need to be in-sync to provide the blazing fast customer service, and instill the customer satisfaction and loyalty. A powerful POS computer also helps you cut down the inventory costs, increase your POS mobility, durability, and performance.

The most important trend in today’s POS systems is the increasing mobility and scalability of hardware. The ability to mount a mini point of sale computer in more areas than just the traditional cash register station significantly widens their functionality and contributes immensely to the customer satisfaction. The introduction of a mobile POS is literally revolutionizing customer-centric businesses. The ability to hand a rugged point of sale tablet into the hands of an employee for a faster customer inquiry processing leads to shorter waiting times, faster order processing, storage checking and so much more. Your client leaves your premises faster because he/she gets a blazing fast customer service instead of frustrating queues. Likewise, mounted rugged minis as POS computers make purchase processing possible virtually anywhere.

POS As A Data Collection Hub

A balanced POS combines the robust hardware capable of running not only your point of sale software that processes the cash flow in the front of the house. Its integration into the back-end processes is equally important. When your point of sale is the service hub for tracking inventory, cash flow, orders, and customer habits and preferences, its benefits of becoming the data collection center are omnidirectional.

In this respect, mini rugged computers are robust and powerful enough to run complex POS software, handle various inventory databases and accounting, and keep the complex interactions between your different departments in-sync at all times. Its connectivity capabilities allow businesses to sync data between the remote POS stations where WiFi is unavailable and the company headquarters.

Cost-Effective Inventory Tracking

Affordable mini rugged PCs and rugged tablets not only save your retail space but also your money. Inventory tracking is one of the most time-consuming and labor-intensive business processes, where having too little, or too much leads to losses. According to the National Retail Federation, U.S. retailers lose $45 billion from insufficient inventory in stock and $224 billion due to excess inventory. Thus, a robust point of sale system that is rugged and can be installed in virtually any industrial, retail or service area cuts down those costs by letting your employees keep your inventory up-to-date at all times.

Having a mini rugged as a point of sale that can also be used for inventory tracking significantly reduces the number of times shopkeepers conduct physical inventory count, too.

Consumer-Grade VS Rugged

The best POS configuration encompasses three vectors – affordability, robust hardware that can be mounted in various environments and handle power- and resource-consuming software, and the ease of use for the employees.

Basic consumer-grade computers stuffed with a regular POS system that can accept payments and process sales are no longer the solution that will keep your business ahead of your competition. Your POS system needs to cover time- and cost-saving features such as accounting, inventory tracking, customer data gathering, staff management, marketing, and task automation.

Consumer-grade PCs don’t make the cut – they can’t withstand the excessive dust of brick and mortar shops and warehouses, or humidity of nursery stores, or excessive heat and grease particles that populate the restaurant and fast food areas. To optimize the performance in these areas, businesses are increasingly deploying rugged mini computers that can be mounted in virtually any place or VESA-mounted near a stand. Rugged mini-PCs come with a perfect combination of robust military-grade hardware and processing capabilities that make them the exceptionally powerful point of sale computers.

Customer Database

A robust POS mini rugged PC that tracks customer preferences will let you know who your best customers are. With the point of sale computer having access to the customer database, you can see a customer’s purchase history at the register. This lets you inform the customer of a new product that is of interest to him/her.

For example, a nursery owner might give a quick heads-up to the orchids lover about the new shipment of those flowers he might have failed to notice during his short soil mix shopping trip. Likewise, a manager at an auto parts store can query the availability of a spare part with the inventory database immediately. More sales, faster customer inquiry processing, more happy customers, ease of use for your employees.

Benefits of Rugged Mini

Your point of sale computer needs to be rugged, which is particularly relevant to retail and warehouse environments. The devices need to withstand the excessive dust, humidity, grease or vibration and be robust enough to provide the computing resources to power all your POS software and accompanying programs.  Whether you mount them in your warehouse, in your store, along the supply chain, or in a restaurant, your POS  is so much more powerful when it’s rugged and made with the military-grade components.

Moreover, retail transactions can take place virtually anywhere – indoors or outdoors. So, your point of sale computers must be able to withstand heat, cold, or humidity. Combine a rugged mini PC with a rugged tablet as your point of sale computer, and you get a mobile system that’s not only dust and waterproof but can withstand drops and bumps, be cleaned frequently and look presentable to feature product images to customers.

Finally, adopting technological advancements is fine, but what if you are using legacy peripherals and aren’t ready to upgrade or replace them just yet? Ensure the computers have sufficient legacy and serial ports to support the hardware add-ons you use. Receipt printers, QR and RFID readers, barcode scanners, card readers, additional displays and the like – you will save a lot of money by integrating your legacy peripherals into a new POS system. Yet, to do that you can’t make do with a consumer-grade PC that does not support legacy extensions.

Summary

A mini rugged as a point of sale computer does not just process payments but offers a wide range of benefits including:

  • Scalable, fits almost anywhere, withstands rugged environments, supports legacy peripherals.
  • Military-grade components and rugged casing lead to a 2% overall failure rate only.
  • Inventory management, purchasing reports, stock replenishment orders.
  • Reduces wastage by minimizing the excessive and the insufficient stock.
  • Generating sales reports.
  • Managing and syncing customer databases.
  • Managing employee timesheets.
  • Handling barcodes.
  • Handling sales and promotions.

A robust POS system syncs your operations from sales to inventory and customer data, improving efficiency and productivity,  decreasing errors and enhancing a customer’s shopping experience. Check out Cybernet’s solutions for the point of sale computers featuring affordability, cutting-edge computing power, and support for legacy systems. Combined with robust rugged casing and military-grade discrete parts, Cybernet’s mini rugged PCs help businesses harness the benefits of smart technologies in their point of sale systems.

The Need for Small Form Factor PCs in Industrial Plants and Factories

While large scale PCs may be the perfect choice for a number of industries, this is not always the case. In certain industrial plants, factories, and warehouses, the standard desktop and in many cases a standard laptop computer is simply too big to be functional. These systems are not designed to be used in such harsh conditions.

In many situations, a small form factor PC such as a tablet or all-in-one PC such as those offered by Cybernet make a better choice. These PCs can be designed to work in areas where dirt, vibration, and rough use are commonplace because they offer fewer service interruptions, longer lifespans, and improved productivity.

What Is a Small Form Factor PC?

There are several types of small form factor PC, including the netbook, small laptops, all-in-one PCs, and tablets. Each of these has their uses and can be put into action in a variety of environments. Small form factor PCs are lightweight and thanks to a built in battery pack are completely portable and self-sufficient.  This makes them ideal for carrying around the office, the production floor, and from one area to another. Each of our units is designed to be waterproof and shock resistant to ensure maximum lifespan and usability.  Depending on the application, we can supply you with a tablet or PC with a barcode and/or smart card reader, a RFID scanner, and a BioMed scanner.

Advantages of a Small Form Factor PC

Of all the advantages of integrating small form factor PCs into your system, size and portability are probably among the most important. Your employees need a PC that can be moved around the job site, not one that they have to keep running back to every time they need to enter data or check the logs. A tablet can be carried around like a clipboard and used freestanding, while sitting down, or at a desk or workstation with equal success.

The tradition desktop PC requires a desk or workstation along with a power source to be functional. Most are not designed to be used in a manufacturing environment as they have not been sealed to protect them from the environment. Thus, if your factory or industrial facility creates an excess amount of dust and dirt or there is the risk of exposure to water or any other type of liquid, a standard PC is not a viable option. The small form factor PC is designed to meet standards to those used by the military with regard to how rugged they are.

Military Grade Materials

Cybernet’s Fanless Rugged Mini PCs are made of military-grade materials, which makes them shock and vibration proof. They are sealed to lock out water and moisture and are rated to withstand heat up to 70 degrees Celsius or 158 degrees Fahrenheit. Cybernet offers a range of fully customizable small form factor PCs. This makes it much easier for you to find the perfect unit to match the right unit with your company’s needs and the environment in which they will be working in.

The net result of purchasing ruggedized small form factor PCs from Cybernet for your business is increased production, less downtime, and most importantly, a major reduction in the amount of capital that is typically spent each year maintaining your IT infrastructure and in production losses.

Our systems are designed to perform flawlessly in a number of industries, including petrochemical, gas, oil, and many others. They are designed to integrate flawlessly into your current IT infrastructure where they will go to work immediately reducing your overhead costs and helping to increase productivity.

Utilizing Rugged Tablets for Order Automation

Regardless of the products that a company produces and distributes, the process of completing orders is always very similar. Orders come in, often in a variety of formats, including email, fax, phone, and online forms. Then, a staff member must sift through each order and format in order to extract the order information needed to fulfill the purchase. Finally, once that information is extracted, it is passed on the next staff member who will fulfill the order and get it sent to the customer.

Though this system has been in use for years by many companies, it is far from effective. It is time consuming and requires many employees working to translate and complete orders as they come in. It also relies too heavily on the work of staff members who spend long hours staring at order figures, which leads to the risk of human error.

Streamlining the Ordering Process

A variety of new technologies offer options for manufacturers looking to streamline the ordering process. But many of these technologies require orders arriving in just one format. For manufacturers who have been servicing customers for many years or even just a few months, asking a client to change the way that they place orders is definitely a mistake, especially when the client is another company with its own internal system for placing orders.

But a new technology is overcoming these restraints and allowing manufacturers to streamline their order processing without changing how clients place orders. Order automation is a system that is able to process orders as they come in in any format, including emails, fax, online forms, and more. This technology sifts through the order to extract the necessary details, and delivers them via a simplified, compiled order form. The process is seamless, with 100 percent accuracy, eliminating the potential for error that comes with manual entry.

While this system revolutionizes the ordering process for the company, it doesn’t change the way that consumers place their orders. This means no confusion or loss of sales during the transition period to this new system. Loyal customers can continue to place orders as they have in the past, likely without even knowing that a change has occurred. It also requires less staff members to complete the ordering process. Rather than having someone processing orders as they come in, the orders can go straight from the client to the manufacturer.

The Need for Rugged Tablets for Use with Order Automation

But delivering order information directly to the manufacturer means that this technology is now in use in production areas and warehouses, where conditions may be dusty, dirty, humid, or otherwise less than ideal. A standard laptop or computer isn’t up to the challenge of working in this environment, and even a rugged laptop means that staff must be seated in order to fulfill orders as they come in. Tablets offer portability that can speed up the order fulfillment process, but consumer-grade versions are not built to withstand the conditions manufacturers face. Luckily, there’s a solution.

Rugged tablets offer a product that can withstand any conditions, while still offering the high level of processing power that is needed to run order automation software and receive large numbers of orders. With rugged industrial tablets in use on the factory floors, manufacturers can receive orders straight from the client, allowing them to process and fulfill orders in record time, and with fewer errors.

Cybernet offers a variety of rugged tablet options that deliver the power and durability that manufacturers need to implement order automation in the field. The Rugged X10 10.1” Industrial Tablet is built with military grade components, making it waterproof and shockproof, with drop protection up to five feet. It runs on the energy-efficient Intel i5/i7 CPU with vPro, allowing it to process an ever growing number of orders. It also comes equipped with dual hot swappable batteries, which eliminates the need to stop working in order to charge it up. Plus, cellular 3G/4G LTE options makes this tablet great for communicating in real time with all members of the manufacturing team.

By implementing rugged tablets equipped with order automation software, manufacturers are able to process higher number of orders much more quickly, with a reduced risk of error. These systems offer increased flexibility, as more orders can be processed without the need to hire additional staff members. It can also be integrated into a manufacturers system without the need for lots of training, as the staff members working from the manufacturer’s factory floor receive orders just as they always have, though now in a streamlined, simplified process.

How Rugged Tablets Can Prevent Serious Construction Injuries and Deaths

Construction companies have begun to use tablets as a valuable resource to reduce the hours, days, even weeks off of their project time. Construction site managers can instantly provide their clients with price quotes, obtain insurance approvals and schedule project start dates, all without leaving the job site. Tablets have proved to be invaluable on a construction in regards to cost, but cutting costs may only be scratching the surface, Rugged tablets on construction sites may also help to prevent serious injuries and even death.

Prevent Serious Construction Site Accidents

Construction sites are risky places. Preventing falls, avoiding equipment related accidents and other job site related injuries are only a small amount of the daily safe considerations on a project site. According to OSHA, one in five worker deaths in 2014 were in construction. Falls, being struck by an object and electrocution were the leading causes of death for construction workers.

There are typically two primary risks on a construction site, proper planning and communication. However, thanks to modern technology, devices, such as tablets, help plan safer job sites and improve communications. A few of the ways a tablet may help to prevent construction site injuries and deaths include:

3-D Printing

A tablet allows construction site employees to turn digital files in 3-D illustrations. This is extremely beneficial for preventing serious accidents on project sites, such as bridges and high rise buildings. The ability to view the work area in 3-D not only reduces the risk of human error and accidents while inspecting these sites, but prevents the risk of accidents while working on the project. Construction workers will have a better view of the exact area in which they will be working, which can reduce accidents such as falls from sections not visibly seen or slipping from a narrow passage.

Safety Apps

There is a vast array of safety apps and software available to help address some of the greatest risks in the construction industry. For example, modeling software provides visualization of every detailed element of a facility, prior to it being built. This type of advanced planning is crucial for identifying construction site hazards by allowing project managers to evaluate the risks before construction begins and preparing the workers for the conditions they will face.

Communication Saves Lives

Good communication is essential on a construction site, not only is it necessary for efficiency, but as a safety measure as well. Tablets allow constant communications between supervisors and workers, which allows for instant notification of a safety problem or accidents. Tablets are becoming a required “tool” and can be found in the tool belts of contractors, line men and electricians. A tablet provides phone, email and camera capabilities, allowing for instant medical attention for a job site accident. In many situations, construction site deaths may be prevented when communications are available.

The risk of accidents on a construction site can never be completely eliminated, but if everybody involved with the operation of the construction site has access to a tablet, especially when doing a potentially dangerous task, it may very well contribute to preventing serious injuries or death.

The iPad Versus the Industrial and Manufacturing Industry

There is no doubt that the iPad has its place in the world of consumer electronics.  Apple and mass media marketing have done wonders to ensure you believe the best tablet out there is the iPad.  This is partly due to the genius of Apple itself.  Marketing is large part of the iPad’s overwhelming popularity, but there’s also functionality to consider.  It is hard to believe Apple when they make claims that the iPad is “ahead of the game” in the realm of portable and tablet technology.  When compared with industrial tablets or rugged PCs, the iPad quickly falls short.  If you work in an industrial sector, try to imagine bringing your iPad into the volatile world of manufacturing and industrial work.

If you work in an industrial setting on a daily basis, it is easy to see how things can go south quickly, especially with a consumer-grade electronic.  This is a demanding environment and it isn’t one that is easily navigated by the iPad.  In the world of commercial and industrial enterprise, rugged tablets are the logical choice.  A rugged tablet gives you durability, power and reliability – everything you’ve come to expect in the digital age.  A rugged tablet is specifically designed for this type of environment, and it is not only functional, it’s also the most capable option.

Durability

There are a lot of options for durable cases with iPads, but when push comes to shove, they could never withstand the daily abuse of a rugged work environment.  When you’re working in a challenging environment, you want a tablet that will hold up to the abuse you’ll be putting it through on a regular basis.

IPads are not equipped for manufacturing and industrial work activities, plain and simple.  As a consumer grade electronic, the harsh nature of the commercial work environment would put an iPad through the wringer.

It’s glaringly obvious that the iPad isn’t rugged or tough.  It may be slightly durable, but that doesn’t mean it can handle the industrial applications that require a true rugged tablet.

Functionality is also compromised, as well. In warehouses and other industrial workplaces, it is sometimes necessary to wear work gloves while on the job. You cannot use an iPad with a glove on your hand, but many rugged tablets are designed to be used with gloved fingers.

In these particularly rugged work environments, contact with moisture and fluid is always a possibility. An iPad is not waterproof, while many rugged tablets are. They are specially made to protect your software and applications against the elements of the humid, gritty work atmosphere you encounter on a daily basis.

Applications & Software

 We all know that the iPad can be great for playing games or other entertainment apps. Even basic office applications can be utilized on an iPad device. However, in the commercial work environment, rugged tablets accomplish the workload by utilizing applications made to keep your business running smoothly.

You can find applications that help with productivity, inventory, time sheets, accounts and more.  Some of these applications even include warehouse or scanning software, or other ways to manage your work orders.  They provide true streamlined workflow from the main warehouse floor to the backroom industrial office.

There is no doubt that there is a place for iPads, but it is obvious that the industrial world is not it.

How Construction Companies are Using Rugged Tablets to Increase Worker Safety

If you work in the construction industry you know how hazardous it can be. There are many things that can happen on a construction job site or during the course of labor that can put a worker in jeopardy. These days, technology can go a long way to help decrease some of these workplace hazards. Here is what you need to know about how a rugged tablet can make working in the construction field safer and less hazardous than ever before.

What Is a Rugged Tablet?

A rugged tablet is essentially the same as the other tablet computers that are on the market but their design has been modified in order to keep it functioning properly in the rough conditions that occur on a construction job site. These devices typically have:

  • An outer casing that has been sealed in order to keep out dust, water or other contaminants.
  • Display screens that will be easy to read no matter what the lighting conditions are
  • Cases that can withstand being dropped or subjected to stress in other ways
  • Strategically-placed compartments and buttons making them easier to use in adverse conditions

How Can These Devices be Used on Construction Sites?

If you consider the type of activities that take place on a construction site, they may not seem to mesh well with the use of a tablet. Often, a lot of the work is physical labor that a tablet or other type of computer is not used to complete. You may be surprised, however, to find that there are many ways these devices can be used for construction purposes.

  • Plans can be easy to view and share with the use of an AutoCAD WS or similar application
  • Rugged tablets make it possible for builders to add notes on top of a 2-dimensional image
  • Material audits, punch lists and submittals are much easier with a tablet computer

There are various different ways rugged tablets can be useful and efficient for workers on a construction site. These devices can also contribute to a safer environment for everyone on the site.

A rugged tablet can help a foreman or other job site manager keep track of which workers are qualified to perform a specific task—right at their fingertips. On a large job site, there can be scores of employees working under just a few foremen. Knowing who has specialized training to perform a specific task properly and safely can aid in reducing workplace injuries.

Rugged tablets also allow workers to take part in e-learning in order to learn new skills and abilities.

First aid and other emergency details and instructions can also be easily and conveniently accessed on a rugged tablet, helping to ensure faster and more effective responses to workplace injuries.

There are a number of ways rugged tablets can contribute to the safekeeping of construction workers while they are on a job site, ensuring that work, in general, can proceed according to budget and on schedule.

Why OEM Medical Device Manufacturers Are Utilizing Rugged Tablets to Improve Medical Grade Technology

Healthcare is a demanding field and relies heavily upon utilizing the best, most up-to-date equipment to help doctors and nurses provide the highest quality medical services.   As advances in how procedures are performed continue to push boundaries not thought possible even a decade ago, one thing is becoming very clear: technology is more important than ever.  From ultrasound machines to retinal cameras, computers are playing a more critical, centralized role in the newest generations of medical equipment.  Because of this fact, many medical equipment manufacturers work with companies like Cybernet to engineer complex medical devices that rely on rugged tablets to function properly.  Here’s why.

The “Brains” Behind Medical Devices

Control units direct how different parts of complex medical devices work. By utilizing a rugged tablet as the control unit for medical machines like oxygenators and wearable dialysis machines, OEM medical device manufacturers ensure that machines run optimally for extended periods of time – and in any environment.

Built to Go the Distance

Rugged tablets are built with waterproof seals, hardened glass, reinforced frames, and tough skins that ensure internal components stay intact and function at optimal rates. While it’s true that consumer grade tablets have a lower initial price point, it’s important to point out that they aren’t made with the same toughness of rugged tablets. In the long run, consumer tablets will end up being more expensive since they are more susceptible to a wide range of failures.  Rugged tablets, on the other hand, are built using components that make them more durable.  They have longer life-cycles, require fewer updates, and can withstand the tread of heavy usage. By investing in durability, OEM medical device manufacturers ensure patient safety. And in a business where saving lives is the top priority, it’s the best investment anyone can make.

Packed with Processing Power

Rugged tablets aren’t just built like tanks, they run like tanks too. Fully optimized to run lesser resource-intensive applications without a hitch and engineered with core processors that increase operational efficiency, rugged tablets are the best base that manufacturers can use when building complex medical devices.  The CyberMed Rx Rugged Medical Tablet is one such example of a rugged tablet that can be utilized by OEM medical device engineers to innovate medical technology. These rugged tablets from Cybernet are powered by the latest Intel Core i5 CPU, come with dual hot swappable batteries and weigh in at roughly around 4 pounds.  They are perfect for standalone use in emergency rooms and operating rooms.  But they can also serve as the “brain” of a much more complex medical device as well.

As healthcare becomes increasingly more reliant on technology, the demand for rugged tablets that can handle highly complicated and tedious tasks will continue to increase, particularly as it relates to OEM Medical Device Manufacturers.