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

5 Reasons You Need a Rugged Mobile Printer

If you frequently find yourself needing to transfer documentation from your mobile device to paper, however, there’s one more piece of equipment you need: a rugged mobile printer.

If you take your business on the go with you, you may already have experienced many of the benefits of rugged mobile devices. A rugged computer that’s tough enough to handle being bounced around in your truck all day, a rugged tablet that you can safely use in the rain, or a rugged handheld that doesn’t quit just because it bounced out of your hand and landed face-down on the sidewalk are incredibly useful. If you frequently find yourself needing to transfer documentation from your mobile device to paper, however, there’s one more piece of equipment you need: a rugged mobile printer.

Rugged Printers Make Creating Paperwork Easy

There are rugged mobile printers that are designed to handle all of your needs, whatever they may be. Whether you’re printing out a work order for a client to sign before you leave a work site or you need a printer that can print a receipt or tickets, there’s a rugged printer designed with your needs in mind. Many things have gone digital, but there’s still paperwork involved in your business. Rugged printers make creating that paperwork easy!

Speed and Quality are Increasing

Just a few years ago, a printer rugged enough to be used in the field meant a slow, clunky printer that offered poor quality at best. Today’s rugged printers, however, are rapidly increasing in quality. Now, you can expect to create everything from neat documents that print at a perfectly reasonable speed to full-color printouts that allow everyone to see every detail of the page.

Small Size Allows for More Equipment

You don’t need yet another clunky piece of equipment taking up vitally necessary space in your vehicle. Thankfully, today’s mobile printers are designed to be compact. They’ll fit neatly in the center console of your vehicle or tuck in with the rest of your equipment, allowing you to carry your rugged printer without having to sacrifice other necessary equipment.

Set Up and Use Your Printer Fast

The convenience of a printer that can go wherever you can is quickly outweighed if it takes an hour to get it set up. Thankfully, as more rugged printers hit the market, it’s becoming easier than ever to set up and use your printer. Within a matter of minutes, you can have your printer connected to your rugged mobile device and ready to use. It’s a simple process that will have you handing over important paper documentation to your clients, your coworkers, and anyone else who needs that critical information in a quick, timely manner.

Enjoy the Confidence that Your Printer Will Last

Portable printers shouldn’t be a regular line item in your budget. Instead, choose a portable printer that’s designed to be rugged–that is, a printer that is as tough as the rest of your devices and able to withstand all the conditions you face every day. From weather protection that will keep your printer functioning in spite of the fact that you’re using it outside to drop protection and more, rugged printers are designed to be used as hard as the rest of your equipment, making them a critical addition to your kit. Don’t settle for a printer that has to be replaced constantly because it’s not tough enough to handle it. Instead, choose a rugged printer that’s up to handling all your needs.

Your job demands rugged equipment, and we’re here to make sure that you have exactly the printers, scanners, and mobile devices you need in order to get your job done every day. Contact us today to learn more about the devices we carry and how they can transform your work day, your efficiency, and your budget.

 

Rugged Laptop or Rugged Tablet — How to Decide on the Right Mobile Computer for Law Enforcement

Whether you decide to implement a tablet or laptop solution into your department is completely dependent on the necessary requirements to create a real-time situational awareness crime center for every officer.

We all know how unpredictable and fast-moving law enforcement can be. We can all recall the days when officers carried handhelds the size of a brick, cell phones were an expensive status symbol, no inter-connectivity to personnel was available, and long trips back to the station to input the day’s data entry was a tedious and dreaded task. Who could have predicted the law enforcement workflow of the future — reliable and continual communication, instant access to critical records, GPS guidance, e-citations, fingerprint authentication readers, smartcard and magnetic card readers, body-worn cameras, in-vehicle printing, on-scene incident reporting, barcode and RFID readers, automatic license plate readers, and law enforcement oriented apps and software — these advancements have made it possible for officers to have a real-time crime center. Whether you decide to implement a tablet or laptop solution into your department is completely dependent on the necessary requirements to create a real-time situational awareness crime center for every officer.

Within the past five years’ tablets have become an evolving form factor, some pledging the case for tablets becoming the mobile computing tool of the future for law enforcement, gaining momentum into the market so strongly laptops are being thrown into the abyss of the past. However, opinions differ on whether a tablet can outperform the old tried and trusted mobile workstations via a laptop or notebook, as both have their individual advantages. Keep reading on to discover the advantages of both mobile solutions — tablets and laptops for law enforcement.

The Pros of Rugged Tablet Solutions

Why should you choose a rugged tablet solution for your department? The choice between equipping your workforce with laptops or tablets is dependent upon whether officers are in a patrol car, at a desk, on foot, or in the office. Do officers want to take the device outside of the vehicle? Tablets are a highly effective tool for police motorcycles which can be mounted on handle bars or in the saddle bag, as well as patrol cars, SWAT teams and investigators. Detectives can use rugged tablets to take on-scene film footage and images without requiring expensive digital cameras to capture evidence.

Tablets are light weight and small enough for handheld use and take up minimal space inside police vehicles. Specialized uses for tablets include signature captures, barcode scanning for ID verification and VIN number scanning, field interview creation, evidence photography, plus the ability to exit a vehicle while filming real-time video of emergency situations to properly assess the requested resources for dispatch. Officers can take a tablet from the vehicle to the street and back to the office to be docked and used as a desktop PC — this seamless transition is the definition of true mobile computing. In the past, display real estate has been an issue with officers using tablets for their main computing solution but today tablet screen size has become comparable to the laptop or notebook and even offer digitized screens for glove-touch and sunlight viewability. What about data entry? Many rugged tablets have backlit companion keyboards that seamlessly snap-on or bolt-on for quick typing ability. Rugged tablets are a practical solution offering complete mobility allowing for routine work to be more streamlined in the field, an imperative element in creating intelligent, real-time crime centers.

 The Pros of Rugged Laptop Solutions

Not every rugged laptop is created equal and this is especially true when deciding which laptop solution to implement into your department. Many rugged laptops are purpose built for public safety and offer touchscreens for tapping and zooming, stylus pens for signatures and on-screen entry, a thin and light design, and ergonomic features such as swivel screens to be viewed by individuals both on the driver and passenger sides of the car.

What about removing the device from the vehicle? Many officers never remove their device from the police vehicle and when given the choice, would rather not. When a mobile device is removed from the vehicle such as a rugged tablet the chance of the device being broken, driven over, stolen or misplaced is highly likely. When this happens, the device must be replaced which can be very costly over time. An important aspect of a law enforcement laptop or notebook is the proper vehicle mounting solution. The last thing an officer needs is a large bulky computer impeding the process and increasing risk. Vehicle docking stations and consoles keep rugged laptops charged and ready to go while providing shock absorption and stability. Rugged laptops will continue to evolve aiming to make jobs more efficient and productive — we see this today in the adoption of the two-in-one hybrid notebook which can be used as a laptop or tablet. For those who need the stability of a laptop, yet the light weight flexible form factor of a tablet, a two-in-one device may be the right solution for your department.

When the time comes to implement new and advanced technology whether it be a tablet, laptop or a two-in-one device, police computers must be durable, high performing, easy to use with custom features and options, along with a realistic price point — an equation for value and return on investment.

The mobile solutions experts at Group Mobile work with police departments nationwide and can assist you in determining the best equipment for your application and budget.

Labor Day 2017: Honoring the Great American Mobile Worker!

Group Mobile would like to invite mobile workers to visit our website, here you will find a large selection of hardware and a suite for professional services perfectly suited for mobile industries!

Do you know the history of Labor Day in the United States?

We all know about Labor Day. After all, who wouldn’t want to be informed about an extra day off work? Just because we know that the day is a rest from our labor doesn’t mean we know the true history behind Labor Day. Here’s a quick overview of why we celebrate Labor Day.

Labor Day got its start in the late 1800’s, when union leaders in New York City decided that they wanted to host a massive festival for workers across the city. Because Labor Day was not yet a national holiday, in order to attend those laborers would have to give up a day’s wages. Early in the first Labor Day celebration—which was held on September 5th, 1882—few people turned out. Over the course of the day, more and more people joined the festivities and by the day’s end the rally boasted 10,000 people!

News of this celebration of hard-working Americans and all our labor force has contributed to the nation spread, and in 1887 Oregon became the first state to declare Labor Day an official holiday. It took just under a decade for the festivities to gain traction across the country, and in 1896 President Grover Cleveland declared the first Monday in September as an official national holiday to celebrate American laborers.

This year on Labor Day, Group Mobile is honoring mobile workers! The world’s mobile worker population will reach 1.3 billion in 2016, representing 37.2% of the total workforce. Mobile workers, virtual workers, freelancers, independent contractors, and other terms have been used to describe those of us who more or less works anytime, anywhere. And this type of work is becoming a new norm around the world, so the growth of mobile workers is likely to continue. Such workers often work from multiple locations, and use at least three devices. Mobile workers carry their work in their pockets or carrying case, powered by a multitude of applications. Group Mobile would like to invite mobile workers to visit our website, here you will find a large selection of hardware and a suite for professional services perfectly suited for mobile industries!

Three different Getac devices are in stock and ready to ship in 48 hours, the Getac V110 convertible laptop, F110 rugged tablet and S410 semi-rugged laptop. These rugged computers are three of the most popular computers manufactured by Getac with the most popular custom features on the market.

Enter Discount Code: LABORDAY

What to Shop for When Selecting a New Mobile Technology Solution

When you invest in technology to improve your business, you must be confident the investment will pay off in the end.

The public safety sector is on the forefront of real-time data use. The value of real-time data is almost immeasurable as having access to true, real-time data can save lives. Given this, the

The ideal best practice for every organization is to pilot a technology before procurement, but this is not always feasible and many budgets don’t allow for trial and error testing.

Talk to other agencies

How do you know what to shop for when selecting a new mobile technology solution? Group Mobile suggests choosing a mobile device that has the right feature set for your needs or will be able to fulfill all of your agency’s operational requirements in a single device. There is no reason to procure a device that falls short of your agency’s needs. Also, finding a solutions integrator who fully understands all elements of your organization from pre-deployment, deployment and post-deployment professional services. 

When it comes to mobile technology deployments, Group Mobile knows the road. Many mid-size cities, towns and counties have similar workflows and, therefore, similar mobile device requirements.

Before buying, do your research and talk with other agencies that mirror yours. Set up a call with them or meet with them in person to understand the lessons they’ve learned in their mobile journey. You’ll find that agencies are always willing to help another agency and give you an honest assessment.

What to look for

This portfolio list of options will help you focus your requirements and conduct a full analysis of your own current technology portfolio to make early decisions regarding:

  • Operating system preference: The applications you choose will drive your OS decision. Most public safety agencies choose to run Windows for compatibility and security. Though there are new applications arriving on the Android platform today that may benefit some organizations. Fortunately, fully rugged Android tablets are now available.
  • Mobile data and mobile device security: This may include VPN access, multi-factor authentication, fingerprint readers, Common Access Card (CAC) readers, TPM, Kensington physical locks and other internal and external measures.
  • Data entry tools: Do you need the flexibility of keyboard and touch for data entry? Do you need a digitizer pen (which is much more accurate than a stylus)?
  • Size and weight: Do you prefer a larger 10-12” screen for easy, full-page viewing of documents and apps? Or can you make do with a 5” screen? Can your techs juggle a 5+ pound notebook and patient care in the field? Or do they need a more lightweight 2-4-pound solution?
  • Wired and wireless connectivity: How many I/O ports do you need? Which I/O ports do you need? Will your teams have access to Wi-Fi hotspots all the time, or do they need multiple wireless network and ancillary device connectivity options such as 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, IP, Gobi 3000
  • Rugged requirements: Which MIl-STD-810G and Ingress Protection (IP) rating levels are enough – and how much is too much? It depends on how often your mobile device will be exposed to water, dust, humidity, or corrosive elements, for example, and how prevalent shock or vibration will be in the vehicle. Will the device be used in potentially explosive environments? Make sure it’s also ATEX or C1D2/C1Z2 compliant for Hazardous Locations.

Impediments to true public safety mobility – inappropriate form-factors, fragile devices, heavy notebooks, weak data radios, limited mobile workflow software – are a thing of the past. The decision to go mobile today is just that – a decision to go mobile. Real-time information, streamlined reporting and constant communication make your service to the community faster, better and safer.

Make smart, near-term buys to lay a foundation for a full mobility solution with long-term return on investment. That may be just a handful of rugged tablets to power a new dispatch system. But it gives you time to fine tune your solution, define next best steps, and measure ROI.

One of the most challenging elements of implementing or upgrading a technology solution is achieving the return on investment. When you invest in technology to improve your business, you must be confident the investment will pay off in the end. It is critical you reach the maximum benefits in the time frame desired for your new technology solution. Group Mobile will identify the benefits available to your company based on a return on investment mobility model, and deliver technology solutions and services to ensure a successful outcome.

Group Mobile’s team of industry experts can assist you in selecting, designing and implementing a multi-network environment for mission-critical fleets, request a free personalized quote.

Group Mobile Launches New Microsite Dedicated to Xplore Products!

The Xplore powered by Group Mobile microsite also offers pages dedicated to vertical market industries that require rugged mobile computing solutions. 

Group Mobile has launched a new microsite dedicated to Xplore Technologies maker of industrial rugged tablets for customers in Energy, Utilities, Manufacturing and Distribution, Public Safety, Field Services, Transportation, and Military sectors for more than 20 years. This microsite will provide Xplore customers with a faster and more flexible way to shop for Xplore rugged tablets and accessories online. The Xplore powered by Group Mobile microsite also offers pages dedicated to vertical market industries that require rugged mobile computing solutions.

Visit buyxplore.com and enjoy a limited-time 15% discount on XSLATE R12 award winning, fully rugged tablet! The Xplore XSLATE R12 is a highly mobile, extremely flexible and always resilient tablet PC. The transformational two-in-one device gives you all the high performance capabilities and complete computing functions you need in a single platform. You’ll have the right connectivity and ergonomics for a quick transition from the field to a full desktop computing experience – and the most conveniently stored rugged keyboard on the market. With a highly responsive pen and touch input capabilities, magnetically-attached Companion Keyboard, adaptable form factor, and customized mounting options, this powerful rugged XSLATE R12 tablet gives all of your workers the flexibility to quickly and comfortably complete any task at hand no matter what working condition they face.

See why people are talking about this award winning Xplore XSLATE R12 tablet.

Visit https://BuyXplore.com to learn more about the Xplore rugged tablets Group Mobile offers.

How to Guarantee Your Agency Will Have In-Vehicle Connectivity and Ensure Success for Mission Critical Applications

A multi-network concept refers to any setup that provides the vehicle with more than one network connection, meaning, there can be a mix of technologies onboard ranging from cellular and Wi-Fi to LMR, satellite, or new formats as they come online, such as the FirstNet network for public safety.

Technology in the squad car is advancing every day which means staying on top of the best IT advances can be a huge challenge for any department.  Video surveillance, license plate recognition (ALPR), electronic ticketing systems and the latest vehicle dispatching and tracking technologies enable officers to safely cover more area, and coordinate with other officers and agencies. Today’s police officers, paramedics, firefighters, utility workers, transit operators, and other public safety workers rely on advanced mobile applications, such as automatic vehicle location, traffic signal prioritization, computer aided dispatch, route and schedule management, and fare payment systems that increase productivity and improve safety.

The main point of access for these applications is often from the vehicle, because it’s equipped with onboard wireless connectivity and transmits and receives data on a nearly continual basis. In-vehicle connectivity has become customary, with first responders and field service personnel driving cars, vans, and trucks equipped with a network connection that provides convenient access to voice, text, and video data.  However, if the vehicle has only one onboard connection, the setup involves a certain amount of risk. Any issues with network coverage, bandwidth, or usage can mean delayed communications or, worse yet, no communications at all. Losing the onboard connection can have extreme consequences, and can even mean the difference between life and death. How do you reduce this risk?  By adding at least one more onboard network connection you can greatly reduce this risk. An alternative connection – to a secondary cellular network or some other format, such as Wi-Fi or satellite – creates a layer of insurance. When the primary connection isn’t up to the task, the alternate connection can be brought online to keep communications intact. Having two or more available connections onboard the vehicle, or “multi-networking”, protects against worst-case scenarios, and increases resilience for emergency response and other in-field services.

So, what is involved in a multi-network concept? A multi-network concept refers to any setup that provides the vehicle with more than one network connection, meaning, there can be a mix of technologies onboard ranging from cellular and Wi-Fi to LMR, satellite, or new formats as they come online, such as the FirstNet network for public safety. A multi-network router installed in the vehicle is used to manage the switches from network to network. So, when are these typical network changeovers? Changeovers usually happen at three points of operation: When leaving the depot and transitioning from Wi-Fi to cellular, when returning to the depot and transitioning back from cellular to Wi-Fi, and while the vehicle is in motion, with the router switching from one network to another to optimize in-field connectivity.

With the right multi-network solution in place, changeovers from one network to another can happen automatically without any kind of manual intervention, and the necessary security protocols are maintained without interrupting the flow of work, even when there’s a VPN (Virtual Private Network) involved. Furthermore, the selection criteria for each network connection can be customized, based on things such as vehicle location, vehicle speed, or the type of data being transmitted. The overall result is more efficient network usage, more effective field services and lower operating costs. Law enforcement and other organizations are now using more video, and at a higher resolution. The video is typically stored in the vehicle and then transmitted to the backend system at periodic intervals. The mobile router can be configured to use a dedicated link to send video, so the data-intensive video transmissions don’t disrupt or slow down the other services in use. Alternatively, the router can be configured to send video transmissions when the vehicle returns to its home base, using the depot’s faster, more secure Wi-Fi connection to transfer video. Now, how to choose the right mobile router for your workforce to ensure connectivity in the field.

The operating costs and in-field effectiveness of a multi-network platform are heavily influenced by the ability of the router to manage seamless network changeovers and protect data. The router’s switching speed, security features, and programmability all affect how well the solution performs, and how much it costs to manage. It’s important to consider all these factors when evaluating the various options available for mobile multi-networking.

Transitioning to a multi-network environment is a serious undertaking. To maximize your return on investment and fully realize the benefit to your organization we recommend three things to look for in a multi-network mobile router:

  1. Switching speeds that are fast enough to support seamless connectivity.
  2. The ability to provide continuous security without impacting performance.
  3. A policy engine that can be configured for intelligent switching and customized operation.

Choosing a mobile router that meets all three criteria lets you create a multi-networking environment that not only enhances efficiency but also adds value. Group Mobile works closely with Sierra Wireless to offer the world a comprehensive offering of hardware, software, and services for connected devices and machine-to-machine communications. Together, Group Mobile and Sierra Wireless provide innovative, reliable and high performing solutions.

Group Mobile’s team of industry experts can assist you in selecting, designing and implementing a multi-network environment for mission-critical fleets, request a free personalized quote.