More and more businesses are embracing the efficiencies of mobile devices in the workplace. Tablets have enabled streamlined communications, accurate tracking, asset management, and much more. Although you might be eager to apply the cost savings associated with tablets, the first step is selecting the ideal product.
Finding a tablet that suits your business’s specific environment is critical—and not all tablets are designed for industrial applications. Consider these three areas when selecting a tablet for your operation.
1. Damage Resistance
Warehouses are not friendly to tablets and other mobile devices, so you need to find a device that will bear the brunt of a harsh environment in order to prevent costly downtime. Tablets designed for industrial applications are rated for IP54 or higher. IP—or Ingress Protection—is a rating for how resistant devices are to damage from moisture or foreign objects like dust and dirt. Look for devices that are rated for the conditions in your environment.
Manufacturing environments also wreak havoc on devices in the form of temperature extremes and falls onto hard surfaces. Be sure that your device is rated to endure these conditions. No matter how careful your employees are, you can guarantee that the occasional exposure to outdoor temperatures or drop onto the concrete manufacturing floor will happen eventually.
2. Lower Total Cost of Ownership
The rugged, durable features of tablets designed for industrial applications will lead to a lower cost of ownership. Although devices built for industrial applications might have a price tag that’s higher initially, they will pay for themselves in the long run with lower repair and replacement costs and less downtime. For every consumer-grade device that is dropped, you’ll have to pay to replace or fix it. However, with ruggedized tablets they’ll be able to withstand the difficult environment more easily. Don’t be fooled by “rugged” cases, which just mask the fact that the device within is still consumer-grade. The device itself still won’t be resistant to the dust, moisture, or shock that is common within industrial applications.
Additionally, many tablets designed for industrial applications will be field-serviceable, which means that they won’t need to be removed from service on the factory floor or in the field to be repaired. This means less downtime and more cost savings for you.
3. Optimal Performance
Your employees are multitaskers, so your devices need to be able to do the same. Tablets designed for industrial applications are compatible with multiple applications, from receiving to putaway, picking, and shipping. Tablets that are purpose-built for industrial applications will be able to seamlessly integrate with your ERP system and warehouse management system. Consumer-grade technology won’t integrate as easily, causing costly headaches and more complicated solutions.
Industrial applications have unique conditions that require devices built with corresponding specifications. The pressure is on for suppliers to cut costs, so it’s tempting to go with cheaper products, but it could ultimately end up costing you more. Partner with a tablet supplier that knows your industry’s demands and can help you find the right tablet for your industrial application.