How Field Operations Use Enterprise Rugged Tablets to Gain Productivity
Barry J. Ewell
February 17, 2021
Keeping workers and managers connected and providing them with the data and functionality they need, when they need it, is crucial to every business. To enable this, you need mobile devices that fit your workflow and your workforce. If workers don't use mobile devices, the benefits of mobility, connectivity, data capture and productivity are never achieved.
Every industry has its field operations. These include industries like public utility repair, automotive maintenance, telecommunications, or emergency medical services. The enterprise ruggedized tablet computer is among the most important tools used by field operations and technicians because of their need for reliable connectivity, accurate and real-time data exchange, and secure access to online documentation and sensitive data.
The tablets are used to handle varied and complex tasks that include barcode scanning, navigation, data collection, reviewing mechanical designs, training and so much more. Ruggedized tablets are all-in-one computers
- Durable enough to be used in the most demanding role, extremely harsh conditions (e.g., temperatures, water), and can recover from continual bumps and drops.
- Powerful enough to manage specialized software programs and apps.
- Agile enough to navigate job sites easily, communicate with co-workers and clients, check and schedule services orders, and send and receive real-time updates.
How are ruggedized tablets used? The following are just a few examples:
- Maintenance and repair organizations use the tablet to track inventory, manage fieldwork, monitor vehicles, view mechanical configurations, document repairs, video conferencing, send/receive status updates and access vital reference materials, like building schematics, operating procedures, and online reference materials.
- Public utilities (water, electric, natural gas and sanitation utilities) use the tablet to access information related to employees, customers and regulations can be mounted in vehicles or hand-carried in the field. Tablets are used for many situations that range from workforce management tools, including billing and asset tracking to GIS mapping and emergency dispatch.
- Telecommunications service teams work in a wide range of environments that span the summer's heat and bright sun to frigid, below zero conditions of winter. Individuals can mount the tablets in their vehicles or carry them to navigate a worksite, track work orders and enter/communicate data regarding the job status.
- HVAC heating and cooling technicians manage work orders, track parts, record digital signatures at the end of the job, communicate with customers and managers, print invoices, and document work and are exposed to indoor and outdoor conditions.
- First responders and emergency organizations use the tablet for quick access to emergency information such as maps, building schematics, details about hazardous materials. Tablets are also used to assist with patient-care triage, medical history, building inspections, gear management, taking images to document response calls and more.
The Right Enterprise Ruggedized Tablet for Field Operations
At Honeywell we are biased when it comes to ruggedized mobile computers such as the Honeywell RT10 Tablet.
We have millions of enterprise-grade mobile devices the world over in every conceivable environment and workflow. Our devices provide multi-purpose utility in an ergonomic form factor, driving improved productivity for your mobile workers and a lower total cost of ownership for your business.
Our mobile computers combine the advantages of consumer devices and the purpose-built enterprise computers into a single solution. Like consumer devices, Honeywell devices are designed with the user in mind, and they provide targeted functionality, a tactical keypad, and enhanced connectivity. Because the devices are touch-based, they are more familiar to the user, which improves speed to productivity.
Honeywell equipment can last twice as long as consumer devices because the devices purpose-built for mission-critical situations and includes features such as:
- A display optimized for viewing in bright sunshine.
- Screen response optimized for use while wearing gloves.
- A design that works well in a broad range of temperatures.
- A design that works in dusty, as well as damp environments.
- A superior scanning functionality for barcodes, compared with camera-based options, produces faster per-scan times and fewer rescans. The Extended FlexRange™ EX30 2D Scan seamlessly reads barcodes from 10 cm to 20 m [4 in to 66 ft] using the latest technology for a fast auto-focus mechanism.
- Long battery life that usually supports an entire shift, exchangeable batteries, and multidevice charging solutions.
- Improved device survivability is important when employees depend completely on the device, and the cost of downtime due to a device failure is high.
- Come with a host of accessories like vehicle and desk docks, batteries, straps, chargers and battles.
When Honeywell developed the Honeywell RT10 family of products — RT10W and RT10A (Android) — we ensured that the tablets were designed for rapid user adoption, minimized TCO, and optimized device management. No matter your role — supervisor or a shop floor employee, a manager, or a maintenance worker — the RT10 is ready to fit into your daily workflow.
- Stay connected with field employees with the RT10 and Smart Talk. Connect field workers with subject matter experts using secure PTT, text, voice and video communications.
- Turn data into action with the RT10A and Operational Intelligence. Find and fix problems like device abusers or units that weren't charged overnight.
- Powerful barcode scan capabilities including near, mid and far range scans with instantaneous autofocus.
- Rugged construction withstands 1.2 m (4 ft) drops using MIL-STD 810G standards and has an IP65 rating against dust and water.
- Vehicle docks for forklift mounting, desk docks for office use, hand or shoulder straps for keeping your tablet at your side – the RT10 has a full suite of accessories for many different workflows.
- RT10 comes in an Android (RT10A) and Windows (RT10W) model.
With its 10.1-inch bright, high-resolution, optically bonded display and a light yet durable form factor, the Honeywell RT10 rugged tablets are easy to use all day long, making them perfect for rapid user adoption. For data capture, the FlexRange dual-lens imager is capable of scans less than 0.1 m (5 in) all the way out to 10.7 m (35 ft), so users can easily capture barcodes from across the room without having to waste time getting close enough for a scan. In addition to flexibility and ease of use, mobile devices must also deliver minimized TCO by being durable and optimized for productivity. With its rugged drop specification and IP65 rating, the RT10 is built to last, and its hot-swappable battery packs can save you the hours of downtime that can occur when a device loses its charge. In addition, the RT10A is built on Honeywell's Mobility Edge™ platform, which helps future-proof your investment as well as accelerating deployments to minimize your time to value.
Honeywell's Mobility Edge™ platform includes the ability to accelerate provisioning, application certification, and deployment across the enterprise. Honeywell's Mobility Edge™ delivers an innovative solution to these challenges. Mobility Edge offers an integrated, repeatable, scalable approach to device management that is based on a common hardware and software platform. Designed for Android™1, it delivers a unified platform on which all software solutions are based. You can develop and deploy faster while reducing development costs.
Contact a Honeywell Solutions Expert today! Call 1-800-934-3163.
1AndroidTM is owned by Google, L.L.C.
Barry J. Ewell is a Senior Content Marketing Communications Specialist for Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions. He has been researching and writing on supply chain topics since 1991.