Taking inventory, updating logs, receiving orders, shipping and receiving: the warehouse is a very busy place. Add onto this load moving forklifts and all of the necessary filing that takes place and you can see why efficiency is key in this type of environment. But at a certain point, you can only get so efficient before you need better tools and technology for the job.
The answer to all of these problems is a rugged tablet.
These slate-shaped devices that are now so popular in the consumer market have actually been a staple in the industrial setting in rugged form for years, in applications such as field work and the health care sector. Their wide popularity in the consumer realm has definitely helped to spur design innovations. What this tells us, however, is that tablet PCs, after more than a decade of widespread use, are actually already inherently designed for an industrial setting.
The Rugged Tablet PC: How It Improves Efficiency
When we get right down to it, we want to know how this technology can make our jobs easier. Many rugged tablet PC manufacturers offer the option to include barcode scanners (both 1D and 2D), as well as RFID scanners built inside their tablets, and even provide vehicle docking stations for use in vehicles such as forklifts. This, coupled with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, allow for an all-in-one device that can easily communicate with a server.
In a warehouse environment, you have the additional factors of vibration, jostling, and potentially dropping the tablet. A tablet PC that can withstand this kind of treatment will give you a product that can last. Having a tablet which is also waterproof is another worthwhile consideration.
Availability and Cost of Rugged Tablet PCs
It used to be the case that when certain manufacturers had near-monopolies on the rugged tablet market, there wasn’t much of a selection of tablets. The unfortunate side effect of this was that these tablets were outrageously expensive. In this day and age, however, there are many companies manufacturing them, allowing for several options and a lower price point for product quality.
The opposite side of the coin is that because there are a lot of manufacturers, there are a great many options to choose from. So do your research, or ask a distributor from the industry what would be the best fit for your application. Because there is almost assuredly a rugged tablet PC that is just right for your use.
Brian Luckman is the President of New Era Electronics. He has worked in the industrial OEM market for over 25 years, serving a variety of different industries, gaining a strong reputation for his expertise and a thorough understanding of how to properly service OEM customers. In 2000 he began New Era Electronics and the company continues to grow. He’s a husband and father and enjoys exploring the outdoors.
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