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Different uses of industrial rugged tablets in the construction industry

Different uses of industrial rugged tablets in the construction industry

In the construction industry, workers undertake different construction projects and they work in harsh environments. Whether it’s a road project in a remote area, housing, or mega infrastructure, there is a need for more sophisticated industrial rugged devices that are versatile and durable. The use of rugged industrial tablets in the construction industry has streamlined internal business processes which have led to improved efficiency and increased productivity.

The construction industry has its own unique challenges and by adopting the use of rugged industrial tablets, all the risks associated with working under extreme environments are minimized and work efficiency is improved. The following are some of the uses and benefits that the use of rugged industrial tablets bring to the construction industry.

  1. Elimination of paperwork by going digital especially in construction sites

In the construction industry, there is a lot of records and drawings that need to be done and updated from time to time. Carrying physical documents of either structure drawings, labor records or materials can be tiresome and subject to damage or loss.

Luckily, with rugged industrial tablets, construction managers and supervisors are able to digitize all these records and drawings, therefore, increasing work efficiency. The system installed in the rugged tablets can be accessed even when working the remote construction sites. Through this integration, different departments can share and access data in real-time soothing which fastens the decision-making process.

With rugged industrial tablets, planning and imaging of construction projects can now be done with a press of a button. With modern technology, paper designs and drawings have now been substituted with paperless digital construction software and applications. Rugged industrial tablets ensure workers are able to handle 2D and 3D imaging, edit notes and project plans, and share their findings with other relevant team members seamlessly.

  1. Improved security and privacy

Data security and networks is another important aspect companies are paying special attention to in this digital era. When running a construction company, it’s paramount to use systems that guarantee the privacy of data and key information like rugged industrial tablets do.

When there is no privacy, sensitive information can be leaked to unauthorized persons and this can be very detrimental to any business reputation. Rugged tablets can be fitted with advanced security systems to keep hackers at bay.

When there is guaranteed system security and privacy of data, employees and management staff are able to communicate in a secure platform in real-time even if they are working in different environments.

  1. Guaranteed durability and efficiency even when working in an extreme environment

The work environment in most construction sites is often characterized by dust, noise, vibrations, water among other harsh components. Since office consumer-grade tablets cannot work effectively in such an environment, rugged tablets come in handy.

They are built to last and to withstand all these harsh elements and still offer seamless operations. They are dust resistant, drop and shock resistant as well as waterproof. Most of the construction works are done in remote areas where it’s difficult to predict the weather conditions on a day-to-day basis.

Therefore, having robust and ruggedized tablets ensures that work continues as scheduled without any interruptions or even downtime to achieve the set targets even when working under extreme conditions.

  1. They enable push-to-talk services

In big infrastructural projects, constant communication among different teams is very important. It ensures there is proper co-ordination and flow of command. Rugged industrial tablets are built with sophisticated communication features to support seamless push-to-talk services.

The majority of rugged tablet models are also designed with dedicated PTT buttons that support a walkie-talkie functionality to ensure there is effective communication that boosts workers’ morale and increases productivity.

  1. Rugged tablets have great mobility functionality

In a construction site, workers move a lot from one place to another. Therefore, they require gadgets that are lightweight and easy to move around with. Rugged tablets are lightweight and digitized to fully automate the construction work process.

Construction workers who use rugged tablets do not worry about losing their drawings and other paperwork records since everything is digitized and stored safely in one gadget. Other gadgets such as laptops are heavier and not very convenient to use in a construction site setup where there is a lot of movement.

Rugged tablets can even be modified to be operated when workers are wearing gloves, especially on push-to-talk services to ensure no work delays and every system works seamlessly.

  1. Helps in reducing overhead expenses

In the construction industry, owners and contractors must strategize on how to keep their overhead expenses down so as to remain profitable and competitive. Frequent damage or loss of gadgets such as phones and computers will not only impact the profitability of the construction company but will also lead to work and communication downtime.

Rugged industrial tablets are hardy and they are built to withstand pressure from inside and outside. Therefore, they have a longer lifespan, and construction companies that use them are able to reduce the cost of repair, replacement as well as employee downtime.

When overhead expenses are kept at a minimum, all systems operate at optimum levels thus, increasing the company profit margins and workers’ productivity.


Increasing industrial productivity by use of rugged tablets

Increasing industrial productivity by use of rugged tablets

The use of technology in various industries has revolutionized service delivery and work performance. Businesses have now been able to streamline their internal processes which have translated to increased efficiencies. In industrial settings and fieldwork, the working environment is harsh and consumer-grade tablets and computers cannot be relied upon to keep essential industrial operations running.

To increase efficiency and productivity, many manufacturers are now switching to mobile rugged industrial tablets which are more sophisticated and long-lasting. Rugged tablets guarantee reliable production processes and real-time communication among workers in different departments.

If you are in the manufacturing sector and you are still wondering whether buying rugged tablets is a good decision, we are going to look at various ways rugged tablets have helped increase industrial productivity.

 

  1. Enables effective asset tracking and management

When operating any business, it’s very important to keep a clear track of record of all your assets. Tracking assets and equipment manually is not an easy thing especially for industries operating under extreme conditions. However, industrial rugged tablets are designed to offer smarter asset management.

Thanks to rugged industrial tablets, companies in the manufacturing sector are now able to track their assets and equipment in any environment in real-time. Proper tracking of assets and equipment helps to reduce the cost of repair and operations.

The use of rugged industrial tablets ensures there is a constant assessment of their wear and tear even those being used under extreme environments.

  1. Effective quality control measures

Quality control is a very sensitive component of manufacturing as it determines the quality of the end product. All manufacturing industries have minimum requirements and standards that they must meet when manufacturing different products.

Rugged industrial tablets are designed with modern applications and features that offer real-time tracking and monitoring of all processes to ensure all the required minimum standards are met. The other good thing about rugged tablets is that they can be designed to be used even when wearing gloves to ensure the highest level of accuracy is achieved even when working in remote areas.

It’s no doubt that industrial rugged tablets bring incredible strength and efficiency to the manufacturing sector. Many companies that have switched their systems and hardware applications to rugged are now able to increase productivity, reduce operational cost, and improve competitiveness.

  1. Helps in effective warehouse management

Industrial rugged tablets have also proven to be a game-changer in warehouse management. Warehouse managers are now able to operate with more flexibility in their daily activities such as inventory tracking, product consolidation as well as shipping.

Rugged tablets which are built to work in harsh environments have played a big role in speedy automation of the entire warehouse processes with no downtime. These digital industrial devices have increased productivity and drastically reduced the cost of warehouse management.

  1. Improved logistics and product delivery

Rugged industrial tablets have also led to a streamlined logistical process. Manufacturers of various products are now able to track their cargo and driver’s location in real-time. It’s also now easy to track driver’s hours of service digitally thanks to ruggedized tablets.

In addition to fleet managers being able to track drivers and hours of service, drivers also have the capability to completing the electronic visual inspection reports even in remote areas thus, improving performance.

When drivers are transporting goods in a new location, rugged industrial tablets with LTE and internet connections can help them in navigation. When the working conditions of a driver are enhanced, productivity increases and the company is able to reduce its operational logistical costs.

  1. Enhanced supply chain proficiency

In every industry supply chain, it’s very important to increase product distribution efficiency right from the manufacturer to the final consumer so as to remain competitive. Industrial rugged tablets are designed with the latest technology and sophistication to ensure fast and excellent delivery of all the essential products.

When the entire supply chain is efficient, team productivity will also increase since there will be no delays in any segment that can result in downtime and poor performance. It also helps in building a good reputation, reduction in inventory costs, and improved customer experience.

 Important features to consider when buying rugged industrial tablets

  • Hardy enough to withstand harsh industrial environments
  • Seamless touchscreen design and readability
  • Mobility and versatility
  • Water and dustproof design to work even in the field
  • Ability to run on more than one operating system


Does Barcode Scanning Speed Actually Matter?

Over the years, enterprises have enjoyed the numerous benefits that have been brought about by barcoding technology. One notable benefit is that barcodes have made it possible for users to collect and record a large amount of data within minutes. However, as is the case with all technologies and inventions, constant improvements are a must for them to remain relevant.

Therefore, the answer to the question of whether or not barcode scanning speed matters is an outstanding Yes. With the ever-increasing demand to process information faster, increased production levels, and customers’ need for efficient services, the last thing you need is a barcode scanner that cannot keep up.

Let’s discuss in detail what barcode scanning speed entails and how it can be improved.

Types of Barcode Scanners

One of the factors that affect barcode scanning speed is the type of the barcode scanner. There are four types of barcode scanners based on the technology that is used to scan. Let’s discuss each of these.

  1. Pen Type Readers

This scanner resembles a small pen. The scanner has an LED light and a photodiode in its tip. In order to scan, the tip is passed over a barcode whereby the LED light illuminates the black and white lines. The reflections from the barcode are measured by the photodiode and converted to digital characters which can now be transmitted in a computer system.

Compared to other types of scanners, this scanner is the least expensive. To achieve the desired scanning results, the user needs to carefully move the scanner over the barcode at the right speed. Shaky hands and other involuntary hand movements can lead to inaccuracies in the data being scanned.

  1. Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) Barcode Scanner

CCD scanners are also known as LED scanners. These scanners have many LED lights arranged in a row. When the lights are directed onto a barcode, they measure the voltage of the ambient light which is then converted to digital characters.

These barcode scanners tend to be very expensive but also, they are very accurate. One of the disadvantages of these scanners is that the barcode has to be 3cm to 10cm away from the scanner for it to work. Another disadvantage is that the scanner cannot read a barcode that is longer than the screen of the scanner.

  1. Laser Barcode Scanner

This scanner is more accurate than the pen type scanner. During scanning, a laser beam is directed onto a mirror, which moves such that the laser moves across the barcode in a straight line. The light is reflected back to a diode and then converted to digital form. This scanner can read a barcode that is 15cm or 60cm away. A long-range laser scanner can read a barcode that is 50cm to 3 meters away. A laser scanner can only read ID barcodes. These scanners are widely used in the retail sector.

  1. 2D Imager Barcode Scanner

This scanner contains a video camera that has tiny lights arranged in multiple rows. The scanner takes a picture of the barcode which is then sent to software that decodes the information using complex digital decoding techniques. The main advantage of this scanner is that it can read the barcode from whichever direction. This increases the speed of scanning. The scanner is also able to read ID and 2D barcodes.

Reasons a Barcode Scanner May Fail to Function

When using a scanner, sometimes the barcode is not read at the first attempt. In such a scenario, you have to try a second or a third attempt until the barcode is read. This decreases barcode scanning speed and may be frustrating to the user. Sometimes, the scanner may completely fail to function. Let’s see some of the reasons that may lead to these two scenarios.

  1. Poor Quality Barcode Print

Poorly printed barcodes may take time before they are decoded or completely fail to be recognized by the scanner. Poorly printed barcodes may include barcodes with an inconsistent distribution of ink on the bars or use of faint colours on the barcode.

  1. Reading Position

As we have discussed above, some scanners can only scan the barcodes that are within a defined distance. This means that if the distance is exceeded the scanners will not work. Also, some scanners such as the laser scanners can only read barcodes from one horizontal direction. Therefore, if you change the position, the scanner will not function.

  1. Poor Colour Contrast

For a scanner to work properly, it needs to be able to differentiate the contrasting colours within the barcode. If the barcode is printed on a highly reflective surface, the scanner may misread the information or completely fail to scan.

  1. Settings of Your Scanner

Another reason that can make the scanner not to work is, the settings of the scanner are using. For instance, if your scanner can read both 1D and 2D barcodes but currently it is not reading 2D barcodes, it could be because the 2D functionality is switched off.

  1. Quiet Zone

Quiet Zone refers to the area that surrounds the barcode. The purpose of the quiet zone is to show where the barcodes start and where it ends. For a scanner to work properly, the quiet zone needs to be clearly defined so that the scanner does not end up scanning symbols that are outside the barcode.

Tips for Improving Barcode Scanning Speed

  1. Train your staff or users on how to use different types of scanners.
  2. Consider the environment where the scanner is being used. If you are using it outdoors where there is bright sunlight or in poorly lit rooms, you may need to change the settings of your scanner or get a scanner that can be used in such environments.
  3. Set your scanner according to the type of barcodes you are reading. For instance, if you are only reading 1D barcodes, turn off 2D reading capabilities.

To conclude, the barcode scanning speed is determined by several factors which when carefully met, will increase your productivity. Also, understanding the various types of scanners and how barcode technology works will help you get the right devices that will enable you to work with the desired speed and efficiency.


What you Need to Know About Rugged Tablet PC Barcode Scanning

What you Need to Know About Rugged Tablet PC Barcode Scanning

Rugged tablets have been widely adopted across many industries due to their ability to withstand drops, shocks, extreme temperatures, water damage, dust, and other potential hazards. They also have powerful processors and long battery life making them ideal for complex industrial applications.

As rugged technology continues to thrive, one notable feature that has been incorporated into the rugged devices is the barcode scanner. Given that barcode technology is now being applied in transport, logistics, healthcare, retail, and warehousing, an in-built barcode scanner is a timely invention. Barcodes have made it possible to collect data faster, better manage inventory, reduce human errors, and improve asset tracking.

Let’s discuss some of the things that are worthwhile to know in regards to rugged tablet barcode scanning.

 

Basics of Barcode Scanning

Whether you are using a stand-alone scanner or a scanner integrated within a rugged tablet, the principle of barcoding is the same. A barcode is a series of black and white lines found on products’ packaging. A barcode is read by a barcode scanner. When the barcode is scanned, the information contained in the barcode is decoded and transmitted to a computer system that contains the products’ database.

Below the barcode, there is a series of numbers that can be manually inputted into the computer system if the scanner is not working properly or if the barcode is damaged. The barcode scanner is therefore a faster way of capturing product information into a computer system.

Barcode Scanning Options When Using A Rugged Tablet

The rugged tablets do not restrict the users to the in-built scanner only. Rugged tablets have interface ports where external devices can be connected and are also Bluetooth enabled. Some of the scanning options available when using rugged tablets are discussed below.

  1. In-built Scanner

One of the advantages of using a rugged tablet with an inbuilt barcode scanner is that the need to have multiple devices is eliminated. This makes it easier to move around especially in a setting where the items or the products being scanned are located in different locations. The scanning experience can be made more comfortable and faster by attaching a scan handle to the rugged tablet.

  1. Bluetooth Barcode Scanner

Bluetooth barcode scanners are connected to the rugged tablets using Bluetooth technology; therefore, they are wireless. The Bluetooth scanner is powered by a separate battery which means that the battery of the rugged tablets will not be drained as fast during scanning. The scanners are not as expensive and can be upgraded whenever there is a need without denting the company finances. Sometimes, Bluetooth barcode scanners may fail to connect to the tablet due to connectivity issues. In this case, you can easily switch back to an inbuilt scanner.

  1. Corded Scanners

Corded scanners are connected to the rugged tablet using cables. Rugged tablets have enough USB ports which can be used to connect the scanners. With these scanners, you don’t have to worry about batteries or connection issues provided the cable and the interface port are in good condition. These scanners are best suited for Point of Sale (POS) or stations where the tablets are not being moved around too often.

  1. Camera Barcode Scanners

A smart device such as a tablet or a phone can read a barcode provided, they have a camera and a barcode scanning application. Camera-based barcode readers are not designed for scanning therefore they can be very unreliable. They tend to be slow and will hardly scan a barcode that is slightly defaced. If your work involved a lot of scanning, you might want to consider other scanning options instead of a camera-based barcode scanner.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Rugged Tablet for Barcode Scanning

  1. Type of Barcode

There are two types of barcodes, one-dimensional(1D) barcodes and two-dimensional(2D) barcodes. Compared to 2D barcodes, 1D barcodes are limited in terms of the characters they can hold. Before getting a tablet for scanning purposes, ensure that you are aware of the type of barcodes you will be scanning. This is because some rugged tablets can only be able to scan 1D barcodes. If your business uses the two types of barcodes, you may want to purchase a tablet that has 1D and 2D scanning capabilities.

  1. Software

To make your barcoding tasks efficient and seamless, you need stable software that integrates well with the rugged tablet and with your core business software.

  1. Scanning Environment

This refers to the environment in which your scanning tasks will be primarily conducted. If you work in poorly lit rooms you may consider fixing the lighting or getting a rugged tablet with a powerful barcode. A powerful barcode will also be useful in reading wet, defaced, and damaged barcodes. 

Benefits of Rugged Tablet PC Barcode Scanning

There are many benefits of using rugged tablets for barcode scanning. Let’s have a look at some of them.

  1. Saving Time and Reduces Errors

Using a rugged tablet with an inbuilt scanner for enterprise operations saves time. Manually recording inventory or other assets as they get in and out of the premises takes time and is prone to errors. With the rugged tablet, the inventory can be quickly scanned and the database updated in real-time. This frees up staff time that would otherwise be used to manually record, reconcile inventory records, or correct human errors.

  1. Convenience

A rugged tablet with an inbuilt scanner offers convenience because you can perform your scanning tasks without the need to connect or carry additional devices. The tablet can handle complex industrial applications and act as a barcode scanner at the same time.

  1. Enhanced Customer Experience

The tablets can contribute to a positive customer experience. In the retail sector, you can use the tablets to check the customers out faster therefore reducing the checkout lines. It is also a way to record your inventory faster and better manage your inventory levels. The customers will therefore have instant information on whether a particular product is available or not other than having to wait for a staff to physically check in the store.

In conclusion, a rugged tablet with an inbuilt barcode scanner offers more functionalities to businesses without necessarily having to add other devices. Barcodes have become essential components in enterprise processes. Getting yourself a device that can support many business tasks will save you money in the long run and make your work easier.


The Basics of a Barcode

The Basics of a Barcode

A barcode is a series of dark lines and white spaces with varying widths that contains information about the product or object on which it is affixed. The lines or patterns within a barcode are a representation of alphanumeric characters with basic information about the product. The barcode is read by a barcode scanner which decodes the information within the barcode and converts it to digital characters which are then transmitted into the computer system.

Barcode technology has made it possible to collect and record data much faster, reduce human errors, and better manage assets and inventory. For these reasons, barcode has found many applications in various sectors such as retail, healthcare, warehousing, manufacturing, transport, and logistics.

Let’s dive deeper and learn more about barcodes.

Structure of a Barcode

  1. Quiet Zone (Margin)

The Quiet zone of a barcode is the blank space on either side of the barcode. It defines where the barcode starts and where it ends and prevents the scanner from picking up symbols that are not part of the barcode.  If the quiet zones are not wide enough, the scanner may not be able to read the barcode.

  1. Start and Stop Character

The start and stop characters depict the start and the end of data respectively within a barcode. These characters will vary depending on the type of barcode.

  1. Data (Message)

This refers to bar patterns that represent the data, which could be in form of numerical characters, alphabets, or alphanumeric. They are usually arranged from the left.

  1. Check Digit

The check digit is used to check whether the barcode data is correct. It is usually located immediately after the data (Message).

  1. Barcode Length

The barcode length is the total length of the barcode including the right and the left quiet zones. If the barcode length exceeds the width of the scanner, it becomes impossible to scan the barcode.

 

Types of barcode

Generally, there are two types of barcodes 1D and 2D barcodes.

ID Barcodes

They are also known as linear barcodes. 1D barcodes are the most commonly used barcodes especially in the retail sector where they are used on consumer goods. 1D barcodes appear as dark lines and white spaces with varying widths.

In 1D barcodes, the length of the barcode is determined by the number of characters within the barcode. The higher the number of characters, the longer the barcode. ID barcodes, therefore, tend to be limited in terms of the characters they can hold otherwise they would be too long. ID barcodes can only be read by a scanner from one direction, mostly in a horizontal position.

In the retail sector, 1D barcodes are used as unique product IDs. They are used to identify products that have other associated information that may change frequently. For instance, the prices of commodities are always changing but the barcode characters usually remain the same. The price of the product is usually not encoded in the barcode, instead, the barcode is used to identify a product in the products’ database.

2D Barcodes

2D barcodes use patterns such as squares, dots, and other symbols to encode data. Compared to the 1D barcode which holds a maximum of 20 characters, the 2D barcode can hold up to 4000 characters. 2D barcodes encode data in both vertical and horizontal which means that the barcode can be scanned from whichever direction.

2D barcodes can contain a variety of information in form of links, images, and voice. In terms of scanning, 2D barcodes can only be read by a scanner with 2D capabilities. This means that a 1D scanner will not read a 2D scanner however, a 2D scanner can read both 1D and 2D barcodes. One major advantage of the 2D barcode is that its structure contains enough information that enables it to decode even the partially damaged or defaced barcodes.

2D barcodes have a high data density which makes it possible to use on very small items where 1D barcodes would be problematic. They are also used in websites, healthcare, transport, logistics, and many other sectors.

In summary, understanding the basics of barcodes and the technology behind them enables us to appreciate this great invention. Over the years, barcodes have revolutionized business processes making them more productive and more efficient.


Brief History of Barcodes

Brief History of Barcodes and How They Work

If you look around and pick a random product, chances are, it has a barcode. We may have a rough idea of what the barcode is used for because we have seen it being scanned in a retail store to reveal details of the product such as manufacturer, product description, product code, and product price. However, we rarely put too much thought into how the barcodes came into being and how they work.

Below is a brief history of barcodes and how they work.

Bulls-Eye Barcode

The first barcode was invented in 1948 by Bernard Silver and Norman Joseph Woodland who were graduate students at Drexel Institute of Technology. This is after Bernard Silver overheard a conversation between a store executive and the dean of engineering about developing a technology that could capture product information automatically and speed up the check-out process. The two graduate students were fascinated by the idea and began working on their invention.

After a couple of preliminary ideas and drawing inspiration from the morse code, they came up with a barcode in the shape of a bulls-eye. They were granted a patent for their invention in 1952 but the invention took close to twenty years to become commercially viable.

First Application of Barcodes

The first application of the barcode system was in the railroad system. In the 1960s, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) started using the KarTrak Automatic Car Identification system which was designed by David J. Collins, an MIT graduate.

The system used blue and red reflective stripes that were painted on the side of the railroad cars. The stripes contained information about ownership of the railroad cars and an unique car number. Whenever a train approached, the KarTrak barcode reader would read the information on the stripes which would then be printed out on a paper or a magnetic tape. The system gained popularity such that by 1975 almost all railroads in America were using the KarTrak system.

In 1978, the system was abandoned due to poor accuracy and an economic downturn that made many railroads to become bankrupt.

David J. Collins went ahead and created his own company, Computer Identics Corporation so that he could pursue other industrial applications of barcode technology.

Universal Product Code (UPC) Barcodes

Back in 1951, Norman Joseph Woodland was employed by IBM. Together with Bernard Silver, they persuaded IBM to further develop the barcode technology but due to limitations of technology, the invention was not commercially viable at the time. They, therefore, sold their bulls-eye patent to Philadelphia Storage Battery Company, who later sold it to RCA Corporation in 1952.

In 1967, RCA started marketing the bulls-eye barcode to grocery industries beginning their tests in a Kroger store in Cincinnati. Afterward, RCA and IBM were involved in the barcode technology development competition. RCA had the patent but IBM had the original inventor, Norman Joseph Woodland as their staff. Woodland was greatly involved in the development of a linear UPC barcode making IBM emerge as the winner in the technology race.

In 1974, Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum became the first item to be scanned commercially with a UPC barcode marking the turning point of barcode technology. Throughout the 1980s many retail stores adopted barcode scanning technology due to benefits such as:

  1. Faster checkout
  2. Enabled instant price changes
  3. Stores could serve more customers with fewer employees
  4. Improved accuracy in inventory monitoring

Quick Response (QR) Code

In 1994, a Toyota Subsidiary known as Denso Wave created the QR code to enable faster tracking of vehicle parts. QR code is a two-dimensional barcode as it contains symbols and shapes that are two dimensional.  The QR code is also able to hold approximately 7000 characters. This was an improvement to the UPC barcode which is one-dimensional and can hold up to 20 characters.

Another two-dimensional barcode is Aztec which was developed in 1995. It is popular in the transport sector and it is commonly used in planes and train tickets.

Today, barcodes are used across many industries. They are used in hospitals to administer medication, to validate air tickets or movie tickets, advertising, managing inventory, to check out products in the retail industry, and much more.

How do Barcodes work?

A barcode is a machine-readable code that is in form of black and white lines that have varying widths. A barcode scanner is used to read the black and white lines to decode the information contained within the lines and then transmit this information to a computer.

In order to read a barcode, a scanner is directed on to the barcode. The scanner’s LED or laser light shines on the barcode and reflects the light to a photoelectric cell, an electric component that detects light. As the scanner moves over the barcode, the photoelectric cell generates a pattern of on and off impulses which are converted to digital characters by an electronic circuit within the scanner.

The digital characters are then transmitted to a computer system with the product database and used to identify the product. Simply put, barcode scanning is a faster method of inputting alphanumeric characters into a computer system.

Barcodes have revolutionized the processes of many industries. As barcode technology continues to advance, we can be certain that its application will extend to new frontiers far from its initial purpose which was to speed up check-out and manage inventory better.


Benefits of Adopting Paperless Patient Check-In with Rugged Tablets

Benefits of Adopting Paperless Patient Check-In with Rugged Tablets

As technology continues to advance, healthcare systems are finding ways to leverage technology to improve their operations and to enhance patients’ experience. Maintaining good medical records enables medical professionals to provide safe and effective healthcare for their patients. Also, when a health facility or a medical professional is caught up in a medical negligence claim, medical records will be very essential in defending the claim. Therefore, the importance of having accurate, complete, and up-to-date medical records cannot be overemphasized.

Health facilities are now going paperless in patients’ check-in thanks to technology advancement which has provided versatile applications and powerful devices such as rugged tablets.  This move has its advantages because, it has eliminated the mundane administrative tasks of managing manual patients ‘records, clerical errors, and time-consuming paperwork.

Let’s discuss in detail the benefits of healthcare facilities adopting paperless patients’ check-in.

 

  1. Improved Accuracy and Speed During Patient Registration

Rugged tablets can be placed in strategic positions at the front desk area where patients can register their information. This includes the patient’s registration details, insurance information, and health history.

Digital forms can be installed in the tablets and used for patient registration. The advantage of digital forms is that they can be standardized so that similar information is collected all across the healthcare system. The digital forms are also flexible because they can accommodate multiple languages and different font sizes to cater to all patients. Mandatory fields can also be set within the forms to ensure important information is not left out. Also, data validation can be set in the digital forms to ensure the correct values whether numeric or texts are filled appropriately. These features enhance the accuracy of the data captured which may not be easily attained when using physical forms.

In terms of input methods, rugged tablets have different options such as touch screen keyboards, detachable external keyboards, or stylus which makes data entry much easier.

 

  1. Makes Payments Faster

One way of improving patients’ experience is by providing easier and convenient methods of making payments. This is also advantageous to the health facility because it increases the level of collections and minimizes the chances of accumulating bad debts.

The rugged tablets can be integrated with chip or magnetic credit card readers which enable the patients to make copayments instantly. They can also be integrated with billing systems such that the patient can access estimated bills or outstanding bills without having to go to a billing office located elsewhere to wait for the bill.

 

  1. Real-Time Access to Patient Records

Another benefit of using rugged tablets within the health care set up is that medical professionals will have instant access to patients’ records. When you use paper forms for patients’ check-in, the information is either transferred to a computer by a data clerk or filed in a physical form which has to be moved from one doctor to another. This takes time and sometimes it requires the medical professionals to make follow-ups through phone calls requesting patients’ files.

Using rugged tablets eliminates this downtime because the patients’ information is updated in real-time and can be accessed from whichever location as and when required.

 

  1. Record Sharing and Collaboration

Digital records are much easier and faster to share compared to physical records. Physical records can take weeks or even months if they are being sent to another facility by mail and worse still, they could get lost in the way.

Digital records make it possible for medical professionals within a facility to share patients’ records within minutes without having to move from one location to another. Also, when medical records are being shared with other facilities, for instance, a health facility where the patient has been referred to or to a specialist for more specialized treatment, the process is faster and there is no worry that the records will get lost along the way.

Rugged tablets support 3G or 4G cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity enabling easier and faster transmission of medical records and information.

  1. Enhanced Security

Medical records contain sensitive information and should be stored and transferred securely. Digital platforms have provided versatile options for securing patients’ records. With the right applications and devices, health facilities can mitigate risks of data breach and loss.

Rugged tablets can be integrated with barcode readers, RFID scanners, biometric scanners, which can be used to implement two-factor authentication in addition to having login credentials.

 

  1. Reduce Administrative Expenses

One notable benefit of going paperless is reducing overhead costs. This frees up resources that can be reallocated elsewhere where they can be used to improve healthcare services. Digitizing patients’ check-in means that the health facility will save on storage space initially set aside to store the physical files. Other expenses such as paper, files, printing, scanning, archiving and labour for data entry clerks will also be reduced significantly.

Important Tips When Going Paperless in Patients’ Check-In  

  1. Get the Right Devices

When a health facility goes paperless, chances are, a large volume of patients’ data is going to be processed, transmitted, and stored. Rugged tablets can save you the frustrations of slow applications and systems because of their high processing power and large storage which makes them suited to handle complex data processing. Also, with the rugged tablets, you don’t have to worry about tablets getting damaged due to accidental drops or coming into contact with sanitizing chemicals.

  1. Make the Process Easy and Secure

Generally, people tend to resist new changes.  The resistance can even be more pronounced when the new process is difficult to maneuver through. It is therefore important to make the patients’ registration process as smooth as possible. Also, secure the digital platforms so that the patients can feel safe and confident to submit their medical and personal information.

  1. Educate the patients

Educate the patients and staff on the benefits of going paperless and on how to use the digital platforms that have been adopted. You can prepare how-to guides and demonstration videos which can be displayed in the waiting rooms. You can also make the transition seamless by implementing it in phases and constantly informing the patients of the intended transition.

As discussed above, going paperless in patients’ check-in will result in improved operational efficiencies in healthcare systems and smooth patients’ experience. In the long run, this will translate to reduced administration costs , safe, and better health care services for your patients.


How Rugged Tablets Can Enhance Retail In-store Customer Experience

How Rugged Tablets Can Enhance Retail In-store Customer Experience

If you run a retail in-store, one of the things that are always on top of your mind is improving your customers’ experience. For you to stay ahead of your game and be able to maneuver through the ever-increasing competition, you have to find innovative ways to attract customers and make them keep coming back for more. Customers can easily get turned off by operational inefficiencies such as long check out lines, stockouts, prolonged waiting time and not being able to access information or a store attendant. As an owner of a retail in-store, you, therefore, have to review your operations, identify customers’ pain points and work towards eliminating them.

One way to eliminate the operational inefficiencies and hence improve customers’ experience is by adopting the use of rugged tablets in your business. Rugged tablets are specially built for enterprise and industrial environments. They are therefore durable, mobile, and powerful enough to handle complex business transactions.

Let’s see how rugged tablets can enhance customers’ experience in a retail in-store.

  1. Better Equipped Staff

Your employees are of great value to your business because they represent and sell your brand to potential customers. When staff are well-skilled, trained, and equipped with the right tools, their productivity is bound to increase and they can provide better services to your customers. When you equip your staff with rugged tablets, they will have quick access to information such as inventory levels, product features, or pricing options and will therefore be in a better position to guide the customers in making the purchase decision.

The rugged tablets can also be equipped with training modules where your staff can access courses that will improve their skills. This can improve their productivity and allow them to make better use of their time, especially during off-peak hours when there are no customers. During peak hours or when a customer walks in, they can easily switch to other applications and assist the customer.

 

  1. Line Busting

Long checkout lines are hardly anyone’s favorite. Some customers will even abandon a line and forego shopping all together when they spend a few minutes queuing or when they get into the store and see the long lines.

By adopting the use of rugged tablets in your store, you can have the Point of Sale (POS) software installed in the tablets and enable the staff to check out the customers from various locations, therefore, speeding the check-out process. The rugged tablets can also be integrated with barcode readers and credit card readers to enable payments and transactions to be completed easily and quickly. Faster completion of transactions and check-out process will ensure that there is no crowding of customers within the store.

  1. Inventory Management

One of the reasons why a customer would choose to go to a particular store instead of another is because they are assured that the product is in stock in that particular store. Constant stockouts are a turn off to many customers so they should be minimized as much as possible. One way you can do this is by improving your inventory management using rugged tablets. The inventory management system can be installed in the rugged tablets enabling the staff to have real-time access to inventory levels from whichever location whether it’s within the store or outside.

Rugged tablets can be integrated with barcode scanners or RFID scanners which can be used to conveniently record inventory when it gets in the store and when it leaves and automatically update inventory levels. This means that the staff will not have to wait for a specified time to manually reconcile inventory or move back and forth to physically check whether a certain product is available. Having real-time access to inventory insights enables the salespersons to provide fast and accurate information to the customer.

  1. Gather Customer’s Feedback for Customized Experience

Customers always want to feel valued and appreciated. As a retail in-store owner, you can set up designated points where customers can give instant feedback or register for loyalty programs. Rugged tablets can be mounted at different stations within the store and have customer feedback tools or software installed. This enables the customer to express their views or recommendations on products faster as opposed to filling out manual forms.

Rugged tablets are designed to withstand extreme environmental conditions. So, the management will not have to worry about the tablets being damaged because of being used by large numbers of customers. Besides, the rugged tablets have high processing power and storage and can run on multiple applications. This means when they are not being used by the customers, the salespersons within the store can use them to perform other tasks.

The management can then use customers’ feedback combined with reports from the POS system to gather insights such as customers’ purchase history, related products, and how different products are selling. This information will help the management in deciding which products to add to their stock, which ones should be discounted, and how to improve their services.

  1. Space Maximization

If the space you have rented for your retail in-store is not large enough, you can still provide exceptional experience for your customers by maximizing the available space.  Rugged tablets are mobile, lightweight, and compact and are therefore an excellent alternative to the bulky checkout stations. Rugged tablets can be equipped with the Point of Sale (POS) software and used as checkout stations. They also support a variety of mounting solutions and can be mounted on multiple surfaces which leaves more space to stock up more inventory.

In addition, if you have limited space and you have some products that require a demonstration, you don’t have to worry about getting extra space. Instead, you can use the rugged tablets as displays where you can have virtual product demonstrations.

In summary, adopting the use of rugged tablets in your retail in-store will streamline your operations and make you and your staff better equipped to provide a positive customer experience. The effect of this is that your sales will increase and customers will keep coming back to your store.


Rugged Tablet PC with RFID Reader

Rugged Tablet PC with RFID Reader

The introduction of RFID scanners in the retail sector has redefined how businesses operate with utmost efficiency. Rugged tablet PC with RFID readers are changing the operations of retail, logistics, and medical sectors by increasing efficiency. The RFID reader brings a new dimension to modern technology and is now widely used in retail and medicine sectors to increase efficiency, safety, and minimize human errors or contact during service delivery.

As a result of this improved efficiency, the RFID readers have played a big role in achieving quality life and excellent service delivery. Rugged tablet PC with RFID reader technology has revolutionized the service delivery in retail and medical sectors. Using this RFID technology, it has become now easier for data collection automation, tagging, and asset management in these sectors.

To properly understand why a rugged tablet PC with RFID Reader is the best for retail and medical sectors, we shall start by defining what an RFID Reader is.

What is an RFID Reader?

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. The RFID technology is gaining popularity and more and more industries are using it to automate their operations. The RFID uses Radio waves to enable RFID tags to send crucial data to the RFID reader.

There are three main components that make the RFID system which are; the reader, transponder, and the scanning antenna. A rugged tablet PC with RFID technology works by using the antenna which is attached to the Tags to easily transmit the radio waves.

Once the radio waves are received, the reader will then decode those signals, interprets the instructions, and immediately send them to the transponder for action.

3 Types of RFID Technologies

  1. Active RFID

The active RFID is designed to offer the highest potential range. It comes with an internal battery that lasts for a period of 5 years. Since it has the highest potential range, it’s used when taking bigger reading ranges. Active RFID also comes with a big memory bank for guaranteed efficiency.

  1. Semi-Passive RFID

The semi-passive RFID tags are usually fitted with a small battery that coordinates with external sensors to effectively monitor.

  1. Passive RFID

The passive RFID technology does not require any battery to operate but it has to be activated for every session it’s in use. It’s ideal for short potential range and it’s widely used in the retail sector.

Other RFID subtypes are categorized based on the frequency range that they operate effectively. For instance, Low-Frequency RFID (LF) supports the 30 KHz to 300 KHz range. The High Frequency (HF) RFID supports the 3 MHz to 30 MHz range while the Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) RFID supports the 300 MHz and 3 GHz range.

All Rugged tablet PCs with RFID readers use the Near Field Communication (NFC) Tags approved by the International Organization of Standardization, or ISO (ISO 14443 & ISO 18000-3). As a result of standardization, the single frequency standard for NFC is 13.56 MHz

Why would you buy Rugged Tablet PC with RFID Reader?

Rugged tablets with RFID readers are increasingly becoming popular in the service industries due to their high level of accuracy and efficacy. They are mostly used in retail, medical, and logistic sectors because they help in cutting business operation costs through automation. Data collection and processing is fully automated to increase efficiency in asset tracking, inventory management, logistics, counterfeit management, and identification badging.

Rugged tablet PCs with RFID scanners are in high demand in the medical sector since they are able to offer effective and patient-centric care and safety. Healthcare automation which is now on the rise has played a big role in guaranteeing efficiency in service delivery.  With RFID scanners, it’s now easier to have real-time data on patient records, inventory, safety procedures as well as information regarding infection control processes.

Advantages of using Rugged Tablet PCs with RFID Readers over Desktop PCs

  • They guarantee a faster interpretation of data and execution. Once the RFID tag enters the recognition range, the reader will automatically read the data as received within a very fast speed of milliseconds. It’s able to save time and handle a bigger workload without any errors which could not be possible the retail, medical or other sectors are using manual methods.
  • They offer non-contact identification. Rugged tablet PC with RFID reader reduces the need for direct interference and it can easily work remotely thanks to its strong penetration power which enables it to quickly identify raw data and read tags easily.
  • Since rugged tablets are designed to operate in harsh conditions, they have an anti-collision feature that enables them to read even multiple RFID tags at the same time without causing any error. Such accuracy and speed improves efficiency and saves time.
  • RFID tags are durable giving users value for money due to their long service life. You only need to make a one-time purchase and it will serve you for a longer period of time by improving efficiency and cutting operating costs.
  • The RFID tags fitted on these rugged tablets have a high data capacity which can be expanded up to 10K depending on the user needs. Therefore, it has more data capacity compared to a QR code which has only 2,725 digits.
  • Rugged tablets with RFID readers have high-security levels to ensure privacy is guaranteed. When using it, it’s easy to attach the RFID tags to a product and encrypt the data with a strong password for maximum protection against unauthorized access.
  • Rugged tablets with RFID readers are easy to use since the data collected is easily automated, therefore, making it easy to track and monitor operations in the both retail and medical sectors.


disinfesting industrial tablet

A Guide to Cleaning and Disinfecting Rugged Tablets

Rugged tablets are mostly used in an industrial set up often being passed on from one employee to another. Also, some of the environments where the rugged tablets are used are prone to dust and spillages.  It is therefore important for enterprises to develop and maintain a routine for cleaning and disinfecting the tablets to protect their employees from communicable diseases, allergy triggers, or any other health risks. Regularly cleaning and disinfecting your rugged tablets can also extend their lifespan.

Below is a step by step guide on how to clean and disinfect your rugged tablets.

Step 1: Power Off the Tablet

Turn off the tablet and if it is charging, disconnect it from the power. Cleaning your tablet when it is turned on or when it is plugged into power is risky and should be avoided.

Step 2: Disconnect the External Devices

Disconnect all the external devices connected to the rugged tablet. If any of the external devices is wireless such as the keyboard or the mouse, be sure to remove their batteries.

Step 3: Wear Protective Gear

Always protect your hands by wearing disposable gloves made of latex. The cleaning solution or chemical used for cleaning and disinfecting can irritate your hands and make you uncomfortable to effectively clean your tablets. Some cleaning solutions may require you to have additional protective gear such as eye protection. Always read the instructions and precautions printed on the package of the cleaning solution or chemical and follow the guidelines.

Step 4: Choose Proper Cleaning Materials

The cleaning solution you use to clean and disinfect your tablet should enable you to achieve the desired results without damaging your tablets. The most recommended solution is made up of 70% Isopropyl Alcohol and 30% water solution. Always read the labels of cleaning solutions to determine what their contents are. Some of the cleaning chemicals, especially those that have bleaching agents can damage your tablets so they should be avoided.

Other cleaning materials that can come in handy are dry cloths and cotton-tipped applicators.

Step 5: Gently Wipe the Tablet

Take the clean cloth and dampen it with the cleaning solution. Carefully remove the excess fluid from the cloth and gently wipe the surface of the tablet. To ensure you clean all the parts of the tablet consistently, wipe in one direction, and apply the same pressure. Repeat the process ensuring you clean all the parts of the tablet.

Cotton-tipped applicators can be used to clean the spaces between detachable keyboard buttons, ports, and other areas that are difficult to clean with a cloth. Ensure you do not apply excess cleaning solution on the cotton-tipped applicators. Also, when cleaning these areas, exercise caution to prevent excess liquid from sipping through to the internal parts of the tablet.

Step 6: Dry the Tablet

Once you have cleaned the entire tablet, allow it to dry. You can use a dry sterile cloth to remove excess liquid and also air-dry the tablet. The tablet should never be turned on or plugged into power if it still has moisture.

Step 7: Clean Your Hands

Once you are done cleaning your tablet, dispose of your gloves, and carefully wash your hands.

Important Tips in Cleaning and Disinfecting Rugged Tablets

  1. Some specific brands of rugged tablets may require you to use specific cleaning solutions and follow specific procedures in cleaning and disinfecting your tablet. Always, read, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  1. Although rugged tablets are designed to withstand liquid ingression, you should not spray cleaning solution directly onto the surface of the tablet or on the keyboard. Instead, use a cloth or a wipe to clean the tablet.
  1. Avoid using abrasive cloths especially on sensitive areas such as the touch screen, barcode scanner, and camera lens. Materials such as toilet paper and paper towels should also not be used because they can leave some residues on the surface of the tablet.
  1. Mixing different cleaning agents is not recommended because it could be harmful to you and also damage the devices.