By Lowry Solutions | June 6, 2014

Many of our customers have been looking for innovative ways to incorporate ruggedized tablet computers into their current operations. In order to discover these innovative processes, end users are examining their current processes and trying to find those that would be improved either by increasing the mobility of the hardware, or increasing the size of the screen.

The importance of flexibility and mobility

A growing number of customers are beginning to investigate ruggedized tablet computers to replace fork/vehicle mounted computer solutions. For those who are not familiar with a fork/vehicle mounted computer, they are a major component of any infrastructure that involves collecting data in a warehouse environment. Fork mounted computers are mounted to forklifts and warehouse vehicles, giving the operator a large screen display. Additionally, these computers connect to any type of scanner, allowing the driver to collect data easily while performing daily tasks. In the past, end users have been extremely satisfied with this solution due to the speed and ease of use.

Although end users have been happy with these solutions, they have wanted more since the emergence of tablets in the marketplace.   Many organizations are investigating ways for tablets to replace fork mounted computers in order to increase the mobility of the solution. Organizations that are interested in increasing mobility want to use the tablet to enhance productivity, efficiency, and flexibility. These customers are not happy with their current fork mounted computers because they want the flexibility of being able to remove the tablet from the fork mount. Mobility would allow them to perform critical tasks on the warehouse floor, such as WMS solutions utilizing a larger screen, or electronic forms based solutions. Since fork mounted computers do not allow customers that flexibility, they are investigating tablets.

Are ruggedized tablet computers durable enough?

Ruggedized tablets are strong enough to be mounted and withstand the bumps and shakes that happen in these harsh environments. Furthermore, most tablets are MIL-810-G rated, and can withstand drops of 6 feet or higher, giving the end users a sense of comfort.   Lowry has a variety of partners who manufacture tablets that have performed at top levels in these types of environments, such as Panasonic, Motion Computing, Mobile Demand, and many others. A systems integrator, like Lowry Solutions, can help you determine which of the ruggedized tablet computers will work in your solution environment. Many factors go into this determination, including work environment, workflow, and screen preferences.

Accessories can increase performance

A question we often get from customers is, “How does one mount the tablet to the vehicle in a way that it can be easily removed?” This is a huge concern for customers because they do not want hardware to slow down operations or cause downtime. This customer concern is usually eliminated pretty easily when we show them the accessories provided by our tablet manufactures and third parties. These accessories allow for the tablet to be easily attached or detached. In addition, a variety of these accessories can disable the tablet when the vehicle is moving, therefore allowing end users to ensure safety for all of those around.

The selection of technology is not one size fits all; it differs in every business environment. Ruggedized tablet computers can be used to replace fork mounted computers, although we do not recommend that for every application. To learn if this solution is something that can be used in your environment, please contact your systems integrator to get expert advice. To learn more about ruggedized tablet computers on forklift trucks, please download the attached white paper.


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