Group Mobile to Attend the Alabama Automotive Conference — Rugged Mobile Technology for the Manufacturing Floor

Rugged mobile devices implemented into the manufacturing floor room will increase quality control, keep suppliers accountable for compliance issues, provide workers with real-time information allowing for timely and well-informed decisions, plus add a layer of protection and safety to your customers.

Do you want to boost productivity and quality control in your manufacturing facility? Rugged mobile devices implemented into the manufacturing floor room will increase quality control, keep suppliers accountable for compliance issues, provide workers with real-time information allowing for timely and well-informed decisions, plus add a layer of protection and safety to your customers.

Rugged Computers for Manufacturing

Whether your work takes place in an indoor factory handling assembly, repair, and maintenance, or an outdoor site, your computing needs go beyond normal. Manufacturing floors require resiliency, mobility, and the ruggedness to withstand the demands of a manufacturing environment.

The average laptop, desktop, or mobile PC cannot handle the environmental hazards of a manufacturing workplace or the vibrations generated by manufacturing equipment–forklifts, heavy machinery, and power tools. In addition, a manufacturing environment isn’t always the most convenient location for the IT department, so you better have something that won’t stop working.

Why a Rugged Computer for Manufacturing?

In a manufacturing environment, being careful with the equipment just isn’t good enough. Exposure to dusty air, extreme temperature fluctuations, powerful vibrations, chemicals, drops, and the many other things that afflict the average computer in a manufacturing job site plague even the most careful equipment handlers. Certain hazards are simply unavoidable.

But avoiding hazards is only part of the solution for providing durable computers in a rugged environment. You also need your computers to have constant access to real-time data and the capacity to integrate with applications and networks, so you can identify and communicate with automated manufacturing stations within the manufacturing network.

USB connectors, RFID readers, and bar code scanners need to function seamlessly with rugged computing devices so you can manage parts installation and inspection, collect data for compliance reporting, track inventory and assets, and mobilize workflow.

Rugged Mobile Computing for the Aerospace and Aviation Industry

All manufacturing facilities carry a certain amount of pressure. Companies that manufacture defective merchandise soon go out of business and often find themselves in court fending off lawsuits.

Lack of manufacturing precision in the aerospace and aviation industry produces disastrous results. Aviation and aerospace manufacturers deliver the most sophisticated and automated aircraft ever. And those life or death designs and calculations often depend on the dependability of your computing devices. In short, you don’t manufacture advanced airplanes and components without using the most advanced equipment.

With the right rugged device you can increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness with highly flexible mobile workflows powered by technology. From initial testing to takeoff, manufacturers of all sizes involve themselves with design implementation, maintenance and repair, frame inspections, electrical systems testing, communications testing, safety compliance, and myriad other operations that those outside of manufacturing do not understand.

Having the right people on the right device to manage and coordinate workflow is necessary.

Rugged Mobile Computing for Auto Manufacturers

Consumers demand more reliability and safety with their automobiles. Other than driver competence, nothing contributes more to the safety of automobiles than automobile manufacturers. Manufacturers, therefore, require technology that helps provide the reliability consumers demand.

In addition, automobile manufacturers must provide fuel-efficient, technologically advanced vehicles in order to compete. Regardless of your role in the automotive manufacturing and supply chain, you’re under a lot of pressure.

Plant production managers, assembly line operators, and auto manufacturing inspectors require and demand unlimited access to data at all hours. They require data from electronic user manuals, work orders, repair tickets, and shipping labels. Paperless rugged mobile computing devices and networks are the best way to deliver real-time data, schedule parts delivery, and track quality.

Rugged Computing Benefits

Regardless of what you manufacture, maintain, or repair, the right rugged computing devices provide numerous benefits. These benefits include the following:

  • Durability and Dependability
  • Streamlined Manufacturing Floor Processes
  • Paperless Factories
  • Accelerated Delivery of Information
  • Refined Maintenance Planning
  • Improved Workforce Scheduling
  • Improved Incident Management
  • Greater Access to User Manuals
  • Longer Battery Life
  • Better Documentation
  • Greater Mobility
  • Quicker Documentation

When it comes to mobile computing in manufacturing, you need devices as rugged as the people who make a living doing rugged things.

Group Mobile specializes in providing a perfectly customized mobile solution for every customer. Contact a sales professional today for more information.

 

Group Mobile will be attending the Southern Automotive Conference. This event brings together more than 1,000 influential industry leaders from across the United States and internationally. An unforgettable lineup of speakers, networking events, food, drink and music for an ultimate experience in Birmingham next week! Visit us at Booth #628!

Location: BJCC Exhibition Hall • 1962 9th Ave N • Birmingham AL

Six Critical Advantages of Rugged Computing Devices

Rugged devices are selling because that’s what professionals across a wide range of industries prefer, industries in which failure is not an option, including construction, the military, transportation, healthcare and manufacturing, among others. From oil rigs in Texas to military installations across the globe, rugged devices dramatically outperform conventional consumer equipment.

 

Sales of rugged devices — including fully and semi-rugged laptops, tablets, handhelds, and smartphones — are on the rise, this in spite of aggressive attempts by non-rugged competitors to counter the trend.  That’s the conclusion of a VDC Research report published in Field Technologies Online:

“Rugged tablets are the only truly mobile PCs that have proven capable of adapting on demand to the variations encountered in rapidly changing business and environmental climates. And that is why they are still the preferred mobile PC form factor despite aggressive attempts by notebook, handheld, and hybrid manufacturers to disrupt rugged tablets’ track record.”

The reasons rugged sales are climbing while the overall market for tablet computers is cooling off (with falling sales for the last 3 consecutive years) are several, as noted below.  But the simple fact is that rugged devices are selling because that’s what professionals across a wide range of industries prefer, industries in which failure is not an option, including construction, the military, transportation, healthcare and manufacturing, among others.  From oil rigs in Texas to military installations across the globe, rugged devices dramatically outperform conventional consumer equipment.

Here are six key advantages of rugged computing devices:

  1.  A Dramatically Lower Failure Rate

Even though they must perform in harsh environments, rugged devices have a failure rate of just 2%, dramatically lower than the 12% failure rate of non-rugged devices.  In industries like healthcare and public safety, failure is about more than money.

  1.  An Expanded Lifecycle

Rugged devices last longer.  On average, a non-rugged device has a lifespan of two to three years.  A rugged device typically lasts about six years, which means they need to be replaced less frequently.

  1.  Performance in Extreme Climates

Rugged devices remain fully operational in temperatures from zero to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.  Non-rugged devices in cold climates must be left indoors, or inside a heated vehicle, until the ambient temperature climbs above 32 degrees.  In hot climates, non-rugged devices may fail entirely.

  1.  Enhanced Communications Capability

Rugged devices are often equipped with embedded cellular, GPS, and Wi-Fi modems.  When the mobile device is docked in a vehicle, it can turn off embedded radios and pass signals through the dock hardware to roof-mounted antennas (what’s known as a “radio pass-through”).  Non-rugged devices do not include this enhanced communications capability.

  1.  Rugged Ability

Rugged devices are called rugged for a reason—they are far more resistant to harsh conditions.  Rugged devices are benchmarked in accordance with the U.S. Military Standard 810G (MIL-STD-810G). These grueling standards test rugged devices along a wide range of parameters, such as surviving drops from heights, shock impact, extreme temperature, and liquid, particulate, and humidity resistance.  In other words, rugged devices, unlike their non-rugged counterparts, remain operational in extreme conditions, a key advantage for end users in the industries for which they’re manufactured.

  1.  Embedded Options for Enhanced Functionality

Rugged mobile computers are manufactured to permit a variety of embedded options to increase functionality.  Common embedded options include radio frequency ID card readers, insertable card readers, barcode scanners and magnetic stripe readers.

Conclusion

Professionals in public safety, healthcare, the oil and gas industry, the military and homeland security, construction, and utilities can’t risk using devices that are likely to fail in harsh environments, or if they’re dropped or exposed to extreme weather conditions.  They rely on rugged devices for uninterrupted performance and enhanced communications in the conditions in which they work, every day.  Given their critical advantages over non-rugged tablets and handheld devices, it’s not surprising sales of rugged computing devices continue outpace those of non-rugged devices.

To learn more about our full, end-to-end mobile technology solutions, including fully- and semi-rugged laptops, tablets and handhelds and smartphones, contact us today.

Discover the Benefits of Sunlight-Readable Displays for Outdoor Mobile Computing Applications

Learn more about devices that come with sunlight readable displays so that you can use your device in any conditions.

When you’re using your laptop, tablet, or handheld on the go, you want to be able to see everything on the screen clearly. Unfortunately, most displays end up with a glare when you’re out in the sun — a place where many people, from paramedics and law enforcement professionals to construction workers, field service and utility workers, or forestry professionals, find themselves spending a great deal of time. Sunlight readable displays are designed to be just as visible in sunlight as they are in a shadowed space like your car or office, making them ideal for individuals whose job responsibilities take them outdoors on a regular basis.

Work Where You Are

In some cases, you might have the luxury of getting under shade before you use your device, making it easier to see the vital information on the screen. With sunlight readable displays, you can use your device wherever you are whether it’s a cloudy day or the sun is pounding down on you. This is particularly useful for construction workers, first responders, and military professionals who often don’t have the luxury of finding shade just for the convenience of being able to read a screen. If you can work out in full sunlight, your device ought to be able to, as well — and your rugged device, equipped with a sunlight readable display, makes that easier than ever.

Don’t Miss Vital Information

When you’re squinting down at a screen that has gone dim and hard to read in the sunlight, you might find yourself accidentally missing critical information. From notes on patient care to information about a meeting that’s going to have to be rescheduled, you don’t want to find out later that you missed out on critical information just because you weren’t able to see a specific part of the screen thanks to excessive light conditions. The difference between being able to see everything on your screen might not matter if you’re only glancing down for a quick read on irrelevant information, but it matters a lot when it’s a critical note in small print! Sunlight readable screens make it easier to see every piece of information on the screen, which means you won’t make a mistake because you missed that important piece of information.

Avoid Tunnel Vision

When you’re staring down at a screen that is only partially readable because of bright sunlight, you may find yourself with tunnel vision: completely focused on the display in front of you as you try to pick out the details of the text or focus on the complexities of data entry. In many situations, however, that can be dangerous: a law enforcement professional out on the street, a construction worker on a job site where anything can happen, or any other outdoor worker who needs to be aware of their surroundings. Sunlight readable screens help you avoid tunnel vision by making it easier to glance at the screen, then return to the task at hand without losing sight of what’s going on around you.

Rugged laptops, tablets and handhelds are the perfect candidates for sunlight readable displays. In some cases, like the optically-bonded sunlight readable display option, creating displays that are functional in sunlight actually adds to the ruggedness of the device, making those screens tougher and more resistant to the hazards around you. Protective coatings and other technological advances can add to the readability of your device, so make sure you understand all the options available and have chosen the one that will work best for you! When you need a device that’s able to go wherever you can, contact us to learn more about devices that come with sunlight readable displays so that you can use your device in any conditions.

The ROI of Rugged Computers: Are They Worth the Investment?

Rugged mobile computers have the potential to offer a stunning return on investment for your business. When you work with a rugged laptop, tablet, or handheld you can be confident in the fact, no matter where work takes you, your rugged device can come along.

When you choose the ideal laptop or tablet for your computing needs away from the office, you want to be sure you’re getting a product that will stick with you for time to come. Rugged computers have a higher price tag than many consumer devices. You want to be sure, if you’re going to spend money on a ruggedized device, that it’s going to be worth the investment. Knowing the (ROI) return on investment of rugged computers can help you make those critical decisions for your business.

Rugged Computers Go the Extra Mile

For many individuals, from contractors working on-site to people who work outside on a regular basis, a computer is only as useful as the device will allow. Rugged computers are designed to be usable wherever you are. They can be used:

  • Out in the rain without having to worry about water damage
  • In the back of a truck, bouncing around with the rest of your equipment, without having to worry about damage from vibration
  • In locations exposed to dirt, dust, and other conditions that could cause a more traditional mobile computer to stop functioning

A rugged laptop or tablet’s greatest ROI is that it can go anywhere you can. Take it with you on those important trips, haul it along when you’re headed out to a job site or out into the wilderness: it’s tough enough to take it.

Rugged Computers are Highly Durable

In some cases, you might not be headed out to a job site or spending a great deal of time outside. That doesn’t mean, however, that accidents can’t happen wherever you are. Ask yourself a few key questions:

  • Do you travel frequently, hauling your computer along with you through airports, to hotels, and anywhere else you have to go?
  • Do you often find yourself setting up at restaurant tables that aren’t as clean as you’d like or where spills are more likely?
  • Are you naturally clumsy, with a tendency to drop your computer bag at the worst possible moment or spill a drink when you’re sitting behind your desk?
  • Do you work in dusty or otherwise dirty conditions on a regular basis?

If any of these conditions ring true for you, it doesn’t matter if you often work in rugged conditions or not. A rugged device could be the solution to everything you need! Any time your mobile computer has to be fixed, you’re losing time and money. Not only do you have to pay for it to be fixed, you also have to find a solution for handling your computing needs while your computer is out of service or put off that work until you have your computer back in your hands. A rugged mobile computer ensures less time lost because it’s less likely to become damaged over the course of a normal work day.

The Support You Need to Keep Running

In every stage of the new device implementation process, from pre-deployment question and answer sessions to support after you’ve gotten used to your new mobile computer, but faced with a problem, you’ll receive all the support you need to make the most of your rugged computer. This includes:

  • Solutions for your most common problems
  • Help figuring out which rugged technology is the right fit for you and your business
  • Vital technical support when you need it most
  • Smooth roll-out services that will have your new technology working seamlessly in no time
  • Training for members of the team who need it
  • Extended help desk and repair of broken items

The investment in a rugged device comes along with all of these vital services, ensuring that you’ll be able to keep your equipment running smoothly. That means minimal lost time for your business as a whole, from the pre-deployment phases to the post-deployment need for support.

Rugged mobile computers have the potential to offer a stunning return on investment for your business. When you work with a rugged laptop, tablet, or handheld you can be confident in the fact, no matter where work takes you, your rugged device can come along. With less lost time, the ability to use your computer even in rugged conditions, and high-quality support, rugged mobile computers are an investment that will certainly pay off. Contact Group Mobile today to learn how we can help choose the right rugged mobile solution for you.

Considerable Discount on GD8000!

HUGE Savings on this GD8000 Fully Rugged Laptop Computing Solution!

Sale Price $2,921

(Suggested Retail Price $5,521) 

Save over $2,600!

Group Mobile’s GD8000 Mobile Computing Solution is ideal for field service and other mobile professionals that need a laptop and the essential accessories for working in the field and other challenging work environments. It offers both savings and convenience by bundling everything you need to stay powered-up and connected at a reduced price.


The GD8000 Mobile Computing Solution includes:   

  • General Dynamics Itronix GD8000 rugged laptop Vehicle power adapter   
  • Spare Lithium-ion battery
  • 3 Year No-Fault Max Service Warranty
The GD8000 is designed for the toughest user and tested to meet, and even exceed military standards. It is powered by the Intel® low-voltage Core™ 2 Duo processing architecture and features a 160GB shock-mounted hard drive with a heater, 1GB DDR3 RAM, and a 13.3-inch DynaVue® display with touchscreen for excellent viewability in all lighting conditions. This configuration has impressive communications capabilities including Bluetooth and GPS. Read More

The GD8000 Mobile Computing Solution is specially priced and available for immediate shipment. Other configurations are also available.

Don’t miss out on this substantial discount! 

For more information regarding rugged mobile computing visit www.groupmobile.com or call us at 1-866-RUGGED-8.

Panasonic Toughbook 31 vs. ATV

For a limited time you can save an additional $50 off our already-low price on any of the fully rugged Panasonic Toughbooks Group Mobile carries! We will also throw in a free screen protector! Simply mention this newsletter or enter promo code RUGGEDBLOG12 when you place an order on our website. Discount will be taken when order is processed. Offer ends March 15, 2012.  Order here! 

Do Rugged Computers Cost More or Less?

On a fairly frequent basis, Group Mobile provides a price quotation to a prospective customer on a ruggedized computer…and when we follow-up the prospect says something like, “Well, the decision was made to buy commercial computers since the ruggedized computers were higher in price. We felt like we could save quite a bit of money and if the plastic computers break, we can just buy new ones and we would still save money over buying ruggedized equipment.”

Then invariably, a few weeks or months later, the same person calls back and says something like, “I guess we are ready for those ruggedized computers now. We tried the commercial plastic computers and they were failing every couple of weeks. Our guys were ‘down’ and without their computers for days at a time. It was costing us a fortune in lost productivity, not to mention the hassle of losing data and having to constantly re-load our software on the repaired computers.”

So why does this scenario repeat itself over and over again? We can only blame ourselves…the people who are involved in manufacturing and selling rugged, mobile computers. We have not done a great job of educating people about the necessity of ruggedization when using a computer in a vehicle, in a factory, in a warehouse, in a service bay, or out in the field. Construction companies, utility departments, service, repair, inspection, delivery companies, police departments, etc, think nothing about spending thousands of dollars for the equipment specialized for their job or their business, but balk when it comes to buying specialized computers. They are just not fully aware that commercial grade computers are not designed for vehicle, warehouse or field use.
We all know that there is a difference in price and cost. The price is what you pay up front for an item. The cost is what you spend over the course of the life of the item. Rugged computers are priced higher but cost less. The primary reasons for this are less down time, less lost data, fewer repair costs and increased worker productivity. Obviously, this is only true when said computers are to be used in or on a vehicle, in a dusty dirty environment, in a hot or cold environment, outdoors, or on-site.

In every job there is a right and a wrong tool for the job. Commercial portable computers are perfect for indoor, white-collar, taking home at night, or flying on a business trip. Rugged mobile computers are the right tools for those with jobs in demanding environments. Rugged computers actually cost less! Read More…