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Rugged Tablet PC Requirements in Food Manufacturing

The food manufacturing industry defines the kind of variable, often-extreme working environment in which a rugged tablet PC thrives.

Refrigerated areas must be at or below 45 degrees, freezers at or below zero, and hot food must remain at 140 degrees or just higher. Rugged tablets have to endure these highly variable temperatures and move among them as needed.

rugged tablet pc food manufacturing warehousingCooking or steaming generates humidity, whereas it might be very dry and dusty outdoors. And equipment must be frequently cleaned and disinfected to avoid food contamination. A rugged tablet PC is tightly sealed against dust and moisture, with exterior materials that can stand up to water and cleaning chemicals. Batteries and processors are specially designed to produce minimal heat, even over long time periods, eliminating fans or crevices that could harbor germs.

Personnel wear gloves, and light levels aren’t always optimum. A rugged tablet PC has to be compact and lightweight for easy portability, but quality equipment comes a high-resolution screen large enough to actually see and keys sized for gloved fingers.

Processing equipment and warehouse vehicles create vibration, and there’s always the possibility that equipment may be dropped. Certainly it will get banged around. And the hours can be long.

A rugged tablet PC goes with the flow, ready to work no matter where you need it. Or when.

Food manufacturing requires flexibility with uncompromising standards, because in this environment, “pretty good” is no good. Cleanliness, accuracy and reliability are paramount. It’s just the place for hand-held mobile computers – as long as they’re entirely ruggedized, inside and out. That’s because a rugged tablet PC provides comprehensive-but-specialized mobile technology, including:

  • Powerful computing.
  • Wireless communication for voice and data.
  • 24/7 availability.
  • Touchscreen, pen or voice input.
  • Integrated options like barcode and RFID, camera, GPS, laser scanner.
  • Standardize size connectors for easy interface with peripherals such as label printers.
  • Extra long-life batteries.

A rugged tablet PC lets people work faster and more accurately, eliminating time and possible mistakes caused by manual data entry and making information instantly available to anyone who needs it, regardless of their physical location. It smoothly supports all aspects of food manufacturing, from materials intake through production processes and outbound shipping.

Particularly important is a rugged tablet’s ability to make the most of barcoding capabilities. It can:

  • Easily read one- or two-dimensional symbologies.
  • Quickly capture and retrieve product information or other processing details.
  • Share important data in real time.
  • Ensure absolute traceability, with continuous tracking of every product and ingredient and package.

There is an increasing need for greater efficiency throughout food manufacturing processes, without any reduction in stringent quality control. A rugged tablet PC is specifically designed to meet exacting requirements smoothly and continuously, assuring the levels of performance and confidence necessary in food processing.


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