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5 Critical Items to a Successful Forklift-Mounted Tablet Deployment

rugged-tablets-for-forklifts-in-warehouseIn the continuous pursuit of greater efficiency, accuracy and productivity, many manufacturing and warehousing operations are looking to tablets because of the real-time performance they can get from a WiFi enabled, high performance Windows tablet that can run desktop applications while on or off the forklift. 

Historically, forklift-mounted computers were sufficient until you had to handle product that was not in the system, or damaged goods, or you needed visual verification of the shipment and its condition, all requiring the use of a camera.  A tablet delivers a solution for those needs plus the added bonus that you can deploy the same technologies for workers using carts and to management that needs to be on the floor.

Request More Info on Forklift-Mounted Tablets

Selecting the right forklift-mounted tablet and the right mounting hardware for your customer’s operation can make all the difference between success and failure.  Here are five critical items to a successful forklift solution:

1.   Operations that have exposure to the elements or hosing down forklift for cleaning.  These require a sealed solution which is IP65 and an IP65 vehicle dock with captive and sealed connectors.  

  • Do they have to take their forklifts outside for handling shipments that won’t work with their dock situation and the delivery/pickup vehicle?
  • Are their facilities open to the elements like cross docks and ship yards?
  • Do their forklifts get very dirty and are regularly power washed?

2.   Operations that are always indoors and not exposed to the elements or power washing can actually be covered by cloud-based rugged or semi-rugged devices. Fully rugged tablets are not necessary. 

  • Factory line restocking workers.
  • Put-away/Finished Goods workers.
  • Warehouse picking.
  • Picking/shipping Quality Inspections.

3.   Multiple peripherals like scales, scanning, RFID, shock monitors, and keyboards necessitate support for RS232 (with power for scanners) and multiple USB ports.  Some customers have deployed a USB hub along with Flex tablets, however most vehicle docks come with 4 USBs and one RS232 port.

4.   Mounting location is critical to not obstruct the user’s vision or access (OSHA regulations), but also to ensure the tablet/vehicle dock are within the “cage” to prevent damage.  This heavily depends on the vehicle and what it has for surfaces. RAM Mount solutions as well as Gamber-Johnson are two of the more popular mounting companies in the industry. 

  • Rail / roll bar mounting is very popular because you can use a 2-bolt clamp which can be situated from the dash height all the way to the top of the cage.  No need for drilling in to the fork truck. 
  • Cage with wire mesh mounting is achieved with larger plates and a 4-bolt pattern.  Care needs to be taken to ensure the mesh is strong enough for the weight of the solution.  
  • Dash mounting places the tablet in a location with the least view obstruction, however it requires drilling 4 holes into the forklift’s dash.

5.   Keyboards are very popular in operations where multiple applications are deployed, where some require more flexible entry than just scanning a barcode and entering or verifying the quantity.  Solutions such as iKey rugged keyboards are designed to be mounted with RAM Mount AMPS 4-hole pattern hardware.  The mounting of a keyboard can be independent, however it is often more convenient to mount it with the docking solution.  

Have any questions about tablets for forklifts? Give MobileDemand a call. 319-363-4121

Our next blog post will feature give MORE critical items to a success forklift-mounted tablet deployment.  

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